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The verses which follow enumerate these blessings and are a "kaleidoscope of
dazzling lights and shifting colours" (J. A. Robinson). We see ourselves as objects of
grace, chosen, marked off for sonship, redeemed, forgiven offences, enlightened as to the
secret of His will, taken as an inheritance, etc., and all "to the praise of His glory". But as
we proceed deeper into this wonderful epistle, another truth emerges which almost takes
our breath away.
He spoke well of us, yes, but where? Where was the spiritual eulogy heard? Eph. 1: 3
supplies the answer, "in the heavenly places". Who then heard it?--"the principalities
and powers" there surely. But with what object? The same undoubtedly as the effect of
bringing to light the dispensation of the mystery (which treats of the blessings already
referred to), as it was made known among men, viz.,
"to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be
known by (means of) the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the purpose
of the ages (lit.) which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Eph. 3: 10, 11).
The attention of mighty spiritual beings has been drawn to the church, which is being
used to make known "the full sweep of the Divine wisdom" (Moffatt). The members of
this church, the Body of Christ, have had made known to them, "in all wisdom and
prudence", the secret of His will "for a dispensation of the fullness of the seasons"
(1: 8-10). Such a dispensation sees "all things in Christ" under His Headship (`gather
together in one' in verse 10 is lit. `to head up again'), and the church which is His Body
is a kind of firstfruits in this respect, insofar that Christ is already given to it as Head
(Eph. 1: 22, 23), and something of the harvest may be learned from the firstfruits!
But it is as well to remember that there is a practical side to this also. When the Lord
drew the attention of Satan to Job, it was not, in that case, to the blessings of Job, but to
his response to blessing:
"Has thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect
and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?" (Job 1: 8).
So then we also ought to recognize that our response to such blessings as are ours,
may also be under observation by spiritual beings, and if that is so, what manner of
persons ought we to be? He has spoken well of us, and we are to speak well of Him;
ought not that `speaking' to include our manner of life?
"For we are His poem (A.V. `workmanship', Greek poiema), created in Christ Jesus
for good works, which God prepared before in order that we should walk in them"
(Eph. 2: 10).
BRIAN E. SHERRING