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Friday, October 23, 2015

The Gospel According to Paul # 21

"In His Letter to the Ephesians (continued)

A Letter of Superlatives (continued)

There is the superlative of space. One phrase runs through this letter - "in the heavenlies". When you come into the heavenlies, you are just amazed at the immensity of the expanse. In the natural realm that is true, is it not, even of the very limited 'earthly heavens', as represented  by the earth's atmosphere. If you travel a good deal by air, you pass through the airports and see the planes coming and going, coming and going, every few minutes, all day long and all night long and day after day - and yet when you get up into the air you rarely meet another plane. It is quite an event to pass another plane in the air, so vast are the heavens in their expanse. And this letter is written in the realm of the superlatives of space, in the spiritual heavenlies, altogether above the limitations of earth.

Again, it is written in terms of the superlative of power. There is one clause here, so familiar to us, which touches that: "the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe" (Ephesians 1:19). There is much about that power, superlative power, and its operation, in this letter.

Further, this letter is the letter of the superlative in content. How to approach and explain that is exceedingly difficult. You see, some of us have been speaking, giving talks, giving addresses, about this letter to the Ephesians - and it is only a little letter so far as actual chapters or words are concerned - for over forty years, and we have not got near it yet. I defy you to exhaust the content of this letter. It does not matter how long you go on with it - you will always feel, "I have not begun to approach that ye". I know what some of you think about me over this letter. I am almost afraid to mention the very name "Ephesians"! Even as I have once again meditated over this letter at the present time, I have been saying to myself: "I would like to start now to give a long, long series of messages on the Letter to the Ephesians, and I should not touch much of the old ground!" It is like that. But when you look into it and consider it, you find that you are in the realm of superlatives so far as contents are concerned, and it begins with "hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ" (1:3). Can you get above or outside that? You cannot!

Again, it is in the realm of the super-mundane. The earth here becomes a very small thing, and all that goes on in it. All its history and all that is here becomes very small indeed. The earth is completely transcended.

It is super-racial, as we shall see in a moment. It is not just dealing with one race or two races. It is all one race here.

It is super-natural. Look again, and you find that everything here is on  plane that is altogether above the natural. You cannot naturally grasp it, comprehend it, explain it. It is Divine revelation. It is by "the Spirit of wisdom and revelation." That is super-natural. The knowledge that is here is super-naturally obtained.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 22)

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