The Berean Expositor
Volume 23 - Page 189 of 207
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Ephesians 1: 1 and the breaking of prejudice.
pp. 221 - 222
In our opening article we gave the testimony of one who was delivered from the
bondage of tradition and so made ready to receive the truth.
Those who subscribe to traditional views are often very godly and well-meaning
people, and fear that unless drastic action is taken, they will not be able to prevent some
of their friends from being "led astray". This is of course commendable in its spirit, even
though it confuses light with darkness, but many times, however, this zeal for traditional
teaching leads to incorrect statements and misrepresentation. It is necessary to our
witness that we stress the importance of giving heed to the four prison epistles--
Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and II Timothy, but we have never forgotten that
the letter to Philemon is also a prison epistle, although obviously it does not occupy the
fundamental place that these four do.
This omission has been seized upon by a critic, but we have felt it to be too trivial to
merit an explanation. Our emphasis upon the four prison epistles was taken up by those
who oppose our teaching, and the warning was sounded: "This man will rob you of your
Bible, his consists of four epistles only."
This was the line of argument used in an endeavour to persuade the reader whose
testimony we now give. Instead, however, of being deterred by the denunciation, this
believer felt it was at least scriptural to let the Editor speak for himself, and a meeting
was attended despite all warnings. The presence of this reader was unknown to the
Editor at the time, and the subject dealt with was the epistle to the Ephesians, one of the
four books that supposedly constituted the speaker's "Bible". The particular passage
under consideration was Eph. 1: 1, and the special feature of that verse was the word
"faithful". Almost--as if in answer to the questioning that was going on in the hearer's
mind (and who will deny that the Lord does intervene in His own time and way?)--the
speaker turned from the peculiar testimony of the four prison epistles and, lifting up his
Bible, declared that though it was maintained that in these four epistles alone could be
discovered the revelation of the mystery, nevertheless believers in the mystery, as all
other saints, needed the whole of the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation in order that
they might understand their own peculiar calling and sphere, and further, that the initial
salvation and justification all must possess must be theirs also.
The stress upon the necessity for all Scripture, together with the presentation of the
meaning and purpose of the word "faithful", was the commandment that "came".
Entrance into the high glories of the mystery was perceived to be by "faith", just as
salvation, peace, and any other blessings made known in the Word. Subsequently the
warning that such teachers had no room for the rest of the Bible was found to be not only
foolish but really a slander, for Eph. 1: 4 demanded a close understanding of Gen. 1: 2,