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Ephesians - Mark Fletcher - 17-02-2007 05:50 PM

Today, I have spent some time reading St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians in both the King James Version and the New Revised Standard Version translations. The letter is mainly about God's purpose to unite all things in Christ (Chapter 1 verse 3 to Chapter 3 verse 21) and the Church as God's instrument in reconciling all things in Christ (Chapter 4 verse 1 to Chapter 6 verse 18).

I have realised that I have very little conception of what Paul is writing, and yet I feel that it relates to the profoundest spiritual truths which are available to those who have chosen to become Christians and are thus able to access the Christian Mysteries.

For example, in Chapter One:
Quote:17 'That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might , and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.'

My question is: do Christians "grow into" these majestic, unfathomable Truths over years of discipleship? It is surely absurd for me to think that I who am not yet even a truly believing Christian could understand these extraordinary mysteries without Christian Initiation and the 'access' that this grants. I know that God does as He pleases, but it seems somewhat unlikely that He would grant such understanding to the profane (ie. one like me, standing 'outside the temple', in the narthex of the Church, as it were).


Knowing and Growing - John Charmley - 17-02-2007 08:28 PM

Dear Mark,

Those further down the path will say more, but for me, the answer is 'yes'.

The process for me is two-fold at the moment. I try to lead the best Christian life I can. What does that mean? It means obeying the 10 commandments and following His precepts about loving God and my fellow man. As I read, as I pray, as I move through my worldly life, I try to be mindful of my Christian duty, and, without ever being 'pi' about it, simply try to behave in a way that will bear witness to His love in this world; sometimes it is hard, but that is when it is worth trying harder.

At the same time, as part of this process, I do find
Quote:The eyes of your understanding being enlightened
. I feel more 'alive', more like the person I am meant to be; if not dead to the old Adam, at least able to see him for what he is, and to aspire to follow my God.

Through the Church and its teaching, through association with my fellow Christians, and through the blessing of the Holy Sacraments, I do feel a growth; I trust and believe in Him, and that it will be a continuous process.

I suppose, to use an analogy which is a little foreign to me, it is like exercising in a gym - you become (I am assured by my step-daughter who does this) more toned and fitter; the same may be true of spiritual exercise in that spiritual gymnasium, the Church.

So, persevere - always,

In Christ,

John