August 23, 2018

The Benediction | The Blessing of All Blessings

The Benediction | The Blessing of All Blessings

For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, hereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) – Ephesians 3:1-4

Paul is to the Church in the gospel of grace and peace what Moses was to Israel under the Law. The Apostle Peter categorizes the writings of Paul as the canon for the New Testament (2 Peter 3:15-16). Contained within the epistles of Paul is what God planned before the worlds were formed.

In the passage above, Paul makes reference to what he wrote, which is now documented as the first chapter of his epistle to the Ephesians, saying that when we read it, we may understand his knowledge in the mystery of Christ. This is the first time in Paul’s writings where he refers us to a particular section of what he has written. There is therefore something of great importance found in the first chapter of Ephesians. The Apostle Paul was drawn into the inner recesses of being caught up in Christ and he saw what was before time (2 Cor. 12:1-2).

In the preamble of the gospel according to Saint John, he writes, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”.   Moses wrote in his preamble to the book of Genesis, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth”. Both authors wrote of the beginning but they were not referring to the same beginning. John 1:1 pre-exists Genesis 1:1 and what occurred within the gap of both is what is explained in Ephesians 1.

Before the beginning, the Godhead is immanently within Himself, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But since there was no one to whom He could be revealed, what He knows of Himself remained within Himself. He is all in all at this moment. There is therefore the beginning whereby the Word, that is, the Logos – that which is the discourse concerning the knowledge God has of Himself – is with God. He is face to face with God. Thus, within the essence of God, there is one who is described as God yet distinct from God. By implication, there is the plurality of persons within the being of God.

God is love (1 John 4:8). The supreme structure of agape is that it must be interpersonal. It is an “I-thou” relation; in other words, love must have an object and a subject. This is what the church fathers have called the perichoresis of the Godhead because all that the Father consists of is found completely in the Son and all that the Son is is found completely in the Father and the relation of exchange between them is known as the Spirit. Thus the Father as the lover, the Son as the beloved and the Holy Spirit as the bond of love is what consist of God.

The Son is the Logos of God; He is all that God knows of Himself. He became flesh. Thus, the immanent trinity, God being God within Himself, now projects to be God out from Himself. This is known as the economic Trinity. In order for Him to be revealed and known, He had to bring forth what He knows of Himself, which is the Logos, who issues forth from the Godhead as the only begotten Son. Now, from the only begotten Son, issues forth all creation. God created all things by the Logos and this begins in Genesis 1:1. But between John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1, there is no measurement of time. Chronos is not yet operational because there is no time or space yet. Had God not revealed what occurred, we would have never known it. He selected a man and showed Him what happened within the bosom of the Father; what happened when the immanent Trinity projected to be God outside of Themselves.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. – Ephesians 1:3

Whenever the Apostle Paul makes a statement that is Trinitarian, that is, which includes the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit, it indicates the commencement of a very profound discourse in His epistles known as a doxology. A doxology is an expression of praise to God at the revelation of His work in the person of Christ. It is known as the benediction because from it, we learn to appreciate more profoundly what has already been conferred to us freely in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3 is a doxology that introduces a trend of thought of what happened between John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1, before the worlds were formed. The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is the One who is blessed and the source of the blessing.

He hath blessed us”. This blessing is in the pre-existence; we were not there. It is pre-genesis. We had no occasion to either be qualified or disqualified. The Father as the immanent, triune Godhead, is the blessed and has all these blessings within Himself; He is all-sufficient, satisfied in and with Himself, complete and perfect and in need of nothing. But He wants to share His state of blessedness because He is love. He wants to extend this communion of interchange, this relationship of giving and receiving. Thus, of His own blessedness, He communicates from the Logos what is in Himself into us.

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