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Sixteenth Sunday After Trinity EPISTLE (1881)

Sixteenth Sunday After Trinity EPISTLE (1881)

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Published by David Juhl
Franz Pieper outline. Ephesians 3:13-21.
Franz Pieper outline. Ephesians 3:13-21.

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Published by: David Juhl on Sep 09, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity (1881

Ephesians 3:13-21 St. Paul explained to the Ephesians how he had preached to them the Gospel of Christ Jesus, which was also meant for them in God's eternal counsel. He has also reminded them about the blessed state in which they, who were previously without God in the world, are brought by the adoption of the Gospel. Through faith in Christ before God they have "boldness and access with confidence", because by Christ's atoning death for them God's wrath is appeased and every obstacle is cleared away that opposed access to the holy God for the unholy. But now it applied to the Ephesians to persevere in this blissful state. Thus, the apostle begs for their maturity in the spiritual life, becoming strong in the inner man. The Gospel is also proclaimed to us according to God's eternal counsel - we have embraced it in faith - we are brought by it into a blessed state. However, what the apostle says about maturity in the spiritual life also applies to us. Be strong in the inner man; 1. how necessary this is. The need is evident a. from the dangerous circumstances in which Christians are located1; b. from the humble and fervent prayer in which the apostle implores for being strong in the inner man for those entrusted to his care 2 2. from whom it comes: a. from God, but not insofar as He prevails in the kingdom of nature, but b. from God, insofar as He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Father through Christ.3 He therefore makes us strong α. by grace ("according to the riches of His glory"; glory [δόξα] = glorious grace4); β. certainly (Father - child); 3. how it is caused; a. by the Holy Spirit.5 All wanting to be strong by our own power will already be weak and will relapse6; b. as we cling to Christ in faith, so that He becomes more and more our one and only7;
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Ephesians 3:13. Ephesians 3:14. 3 Ephesians 3:14-16. 4 Romans 9:23-24. 5 Ephesians 3:16. 6 Philippians 2:13; Romans 11:18-22.

c. as we remain fixed and immovable in love8; 4. what glorious consequences it has; a. deeper knowledge of God's wonderful decision of grace for our salvation, in particular the incomprehensible love of Christ9; b. the being filled with all fullness of spiritual gifts10 ("being filled with all the fullness of God". Luther: "This means, if we follow the Hebrew, filled with everything God's bounty supplies, full of God, adorned with His grace and the gifts of His Spirit - the Spirit Who gives us steadfastness, illuminates us with His light, lives within us His life, saves us with His salvation, and with His love enkindles love in us; in short, it means having God Himself and all His blessings dwelling in us in fullness and being effective to make us wholly divine - not so that we possess merely something of God, but all His fullness."11) c. praise to God in eternity for His working of grace over asking and understanding.12

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Ephesians 3:17a. Ephesians 3:17b. 9 Ephesians 3:18-19a. 10 Ephesians 3:19b. 11 Church Postil 4:2:279-280. 12 Ephesians 4:20-21.

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