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Volume 4 & 5 - Page 55 of 161 Index | Zoom | |
It will be observed by comparing the first and last member together that the force of
the apostle's teaching in chapter 5: 1, 2 is emphasized. There he writes, "Be ye therefore
imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love, even as Christ also loved you."
The Father's motive becomes the children's example. If the sphere of our calling is "in
love," so must our walk be if it is to be worthy of it. In love we are to be rooted and
grounded, in love the whole body increases and is built up. In love we are to forbear one
another and endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit. In love we live out the truth we
have been taught (cf. Eph. 4: 15 with 4: 21, 25). Love must ever be uppermost in our
thoughts and in our dealings. It was when the apostle heard that the Ephesians had "love
unto all the saints" (1: 15) that he prayed for their further enlightening. Love with faith is
the centre of the benediction with which the epistle closes. The rich mercy of God
toward us flows from His great love (2: 4), and the second great prayer of Ephesians
includes among its greatest petitions a knowledge of the knowledge-surpassing love of
Christ (3: 19).
One of the most precious titles of the Lord Jesus in the epistles is, "The Beloved"
(Eph. 1: 6), in whom we are accepted. The only other occurrences of agapaġ in
Ephesians are found (5 passages) in Eph. 5: 25-33 in the great practical demonstration of
Christ's love to the church as set forth by the love of the husband to the wife. As one
looks around at the lack of love everywhere manifest in home, in church, in business, in
state, how one yearns for a return to this illuminating and blessed spirit. Let us remember
"His great love," let us remember how loveless we were, and indeed are, in ourselves.
Let us keep well in mind that our acceptance is only in "The Beloved," even as our
calling originated "in love," as shown in Eph. 1: 4, 5. Then let us, by grace, see to it that
our walk shall not belie our calling, but forbearing, speaking the truth, growing, and
walking, the Father's motive shall in measure be our motive, it shall be in love.
Studies in the Epistles of the Mystery.
The Father's predestination us (Eph. 1: 5).
Referring to the structure on page 1 we shall find that the subject now turns upon itself
by way of amplification. In the first member relating to the Father's choice our minds
were directed to the Person in whom the choice was made ("in Him"), and the period
when that choice was made ("before the overthrow of the world"). There for the time the
subject was left, while we passed on to consider the object and the motive. Having
gained this additional knowledge, we are prepared to come back to a further
consideration of the Father's choice which is described in the opening words of verse 5,
"Having predestinated us." What does this word "predestination" mean, and what does it
involve? Calvin in his Institutes 3. 21-5, writing on predestination, says:--
"Predestination whereby God adopted some into the hope of life, and judgeth some to
eternal death, no man that would be accounted godly dare simply denie: but they wrap it
up with many cavillations, specially they which make foreknowledge the cause of it. We
indeed do say that they be both in God, but we say that one is wrongfully made subject to