Monday, November 05, 2007

Ephesians and the Armour of God

We've just come back from a great weekend in the peak district with Christ Church Central. Humble, lucid, timely teaching from Ephesians was provided by Simon Austen from Carlisle.

Simon focussed on what we learn about the Church in Ephesians . We saw that the Church is the
  • apologetic for the power of the gospel
  • new humanity/temple/household built on Christ in the Spirit
  • outpost of the kingdom of Christ
  • plan of God for creation and history
  • product and agent of gospel progress
Particularly exciting were his insights into Ephesians 6:10-20 and the armour of God. Austen argued that the armour belongs to the conquering Messiah as described in Isaiah 11:1-5, 49:1-3 and 61:10 (also Psalm 18:35?), and is ours because we are united with him (hence, 'be strong in the Lord and in the might of his strength').

So, Christ sits victoriously enthroned above all powers (Eph 1:20-22), and through his church (which is dressed in his armour - no wonder since it's his body, 1:22-23) wages war on the very same powers and authorities (6:12). As the church stands against the schemes of the devil and pushes forward with the sword of the Spirit, Christ is bringing all things under himself in accordance with the Father's plan (1:10, 20-22).

I'll try and remember that the next time I feel disappointed with/ tired of or grumpy about [the] [C/]church.

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