I’m still stuck on the passage of scripture from yesterday’s study.
We looked at Ephesians 1 – the entire chapter. Our Pastor preached the passage and I had the privilege of teaching it to our Life Group. A cursory look at the text and one might think the subject is an oft-debated one – predestination. Certainly the doctrine of Election is one of the themes of the chapter.
But that’s the not the point.
Scholars tell us that in the original Greek, verses 3 – 14 are written as one, very long sentence that begins and ends with this thought – our praise and blessing belong to God. All the points in between only describe why He – in all three parts of the Trinity – is worthy to be praised. It’s really written as a Doxology to start the letter.
The rest of the text in between is the arena where some Theologians debate the finer points of Calvinism. Now, to be sure, we need to have those discussions. We are compelled to engage God’s Word and explore the meaning and need to be diligent in that pursuit.
But, that’s not the point.
The beginning and ending of this text is worship. It is this sense, that overcomes our hearts, that God has done something miraculous in us – as Paul says in verse 7, “In Him, we have redemption through his blood.” Paul would add in verse 18 that the eyes of our hearts must be opened to the truth that Jesus acted on our behalf before we knew him and gave us every spiritual blessing in him.
My biggest takeaway from this text is this – our theological pursuits should lead us into worship. Theology for the sake of argument that doesn’t produce praise in the theologian is really only a form of pride.
So, instead of parsing the text asking the question of if, how, or why God predestined some but not all, I’ve decided to stay parked at this question – “Why in the world did God choose me?” When I ponder that, my heart fills with praise for the One who gave himself for me.
And, that’s the point.
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.