Treasures from Paul Ephesians
Treasures from Paul Ephesians is a study on but makes no pretence of providing a full commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. If you want information about background, when and why the letter was written, and the like, you should turn to the internet or to any good Bible dictionary, encyclopaedia, or commentary.
What you will find here is a treasure – that is, a cluster of ideas taken from Ephesians and expounded in various ways, often drawing on many other parts of scripture, and always directed toward successful Christian life and to the enrichment of your mind and spirit.
I should mention here, too, that the sections of this book that comment on Paul’s phrase “in the heavenlies” are similar to Chapter Two of my book Throne Rights. The ideas seemed important enough to warrant a re-statement, especially since not everyone who reads one book will read the other.
About Treasures from Paul Ephesians
As for Ephesians itself, it baffles me how anyone can read this letter and then deny the truth of the gospel. Were more wonderful words ever written? Were more extraordinary ideas ever compounded?
This letter contains that rarest of things, a cluster of ideas that no one on earth had ever before imagined! It defies the maxim of old that “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ec 1:9-10). This small letter is filled with concepts that here come into the world for the very first time. It is a miracle! Let anyone who wishes to scorn the gospel first explain away the divine mystery of Ephesians!. How could any man have conceived and written such things unless they are simply true?
Yet this becomes even more wonderful when you remember that Paul was a first-century Jew, a devout monotheist, utterly committed to the worship of one God, Yahweh of Israel. He reckoned it foul blasphemy deserving a savage death to call any man divine. Yet suddenly we find him ascribing to Jesus of Nazareth an astonishingly exalted rank. Paul no longer sees Christ as merely human, but as wholly divine, possessing supernal glory and a dazzling magnificence equal to that of Yahweh! Such a transformation is inexplicable apart from a radical conversion – that is, a mind-change based upon a shattering encounter with irrefutable evidence. And that, of course, is just what did happen to Paul on the road to Damascus (Ac 9:1-8; 22:3-10; 26:9-19).
Someone may say that certain scholars doubt that Paul wrote the letter, that in fact it was written by a later disciple of his, possibly as late as 80 A.D. Yet even among those who question Paul’s authorship a scholarly consensus remains that Ephesians at least echoes his teachings. In any case, we are still left with the same problem – how to account for the incredible ideas in the letter? If they are not true, then they were invented, which seems impossible!
Nevertheless, there are people who do insist that the letter is a piece of fiction, a human invention, an irresponsible fabrication. But why would any man of the first century invent the scenario presented in Ephesians, and then present it as life-changing truth? And how could he do so, when the ideas are so unique, so exalted, so improbable, so dangerous – unless they had come to him as undeniable truth?
Even if Ephesians were only a summary of Paul’s beliefs, written by a disciple not long after the apostle’s death, it still runs counter to all that he had formerly been as a man, a Jew, a scholar, and it remains a miracle of revelation. Here are beliefs that undo many of his previous deepest convictions. He was a fiercely monotheistic Jew for whom even the thought of a man of flesh and blood possessing divinity was foul blasphemy, deserving savage death. Yet now, barely 30 years after the Cross, here is Paul describing Jesus in the most exalted terms. How can such an astonishing shift be understood apart from the reason Paul himself gave − his cataclysmic confrontation with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus?
This book is now also available as an ebook from Smashwords Treasures from Paul Ephesians
All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to every good work. (2Ti 3:16-17)