Lord’s Day, February 13, 2011

A few hours early…

I will be speaking at our little Sunday gathering tomorrow, Lord’s Day.

I’ve decided on expounding the book of Ephesians for 2011; I believe a good view of God’s plan to unite everything in Christ was a good way to start the year. I began the year by preacing on Ephesians 1:3-14. Tomorrow, God willing, I will try to relate 1 Peter 1:3-4 (what I wish to call Peter’s understanding of Soteriology) to the soteriology understood by Paul. I am by no means suggesting that there is a Peter-Paul dynamic at work here, as some have suggested the supposed contradiction found in the Paul-James dynamic. As you can see from the following, there is an almost direct parallel to the salvation understood by Peter to that of Paul.

There is similarity in recognizing the different work of each member of the Trinity in securing our salvation. I’m going to be accused of anachronism here, but you could say there was a certain Calvinist bent to both Peter and Paul’s writing.

The difference, albeit not the only one, should be understood in the letters’ contexts. Paul writes from  a high Christological vantage—seeing the end result of God’s mighty work and working to put everything under the Savior; Peter is more relational—he is writing to Christians undergoing suffering and his greatest comfort for them is the finished work of Christ. The salvation that we have is greater than the suffering we might be enduring.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope…(1 Peter 1:3a)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:3-6)

…through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, ( Peter 1:3b)

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Eph 1:7-10)

…to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,  who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:4-5).

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)

Amazing!

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