Two Become One, Part IV of the Gospel of God’s Psychology in One Commentary on Ephesians.

Chapter 23:   The Two Shall Become One.

Although it is natural to our human nature that in life and marriage, male and female “shall become one”  (Genesis and Ephesians), when you throw in that this on a higher level a God designed and ordained basic principle of how Christ and the body of the Church become One, as Paul labors in Ephesians 5 for a lot of verses for such a small 6 chapter book.  That foundational principle in the purpose of God must be sort of like gravity, or really greater than gravitational attraction of the heavenly bodies, that TWO BECOMES ONE.  Even as you start without a beginning of a Bible blessed worldview without a consideration of the beginning of Ephesians with the BIC and AIC of new beginnings of humanity, by ignoring the before condition of man and the glorious after condition of man the scoffers and futurists are able to construct a philosophy of darkest concepts centering around ONE REMAINING AS ONE, or really One rationalized at One for fudged to One and holding.  It first must deny our God the Heavenly Father of Creation, in the beginning; deny the difference between the way God originally created man in His own image and what happened in the fall of human sin, placing man squarely in a drastic shortness of the original glory of God that demanded redemption and a new heart and mind.  (That is just good ole plain Christian Doctrine like the book by Connors, and like the seven ones of Ephesians.)

Let it be added at the beginning that even as in marriage we never get there in the nature of complete integration, and in the church we never achieve the God ordained unity of the body with Christ until the END, even so we strive and allow the grace of God to work in us with the assurance of ultimate achievement.

23-1:  GIST:  The world cries out in rebellion against everything God, the ONE SHALL REMAIN ONE, while God in His Word and way demands in Christ and the body of the Church the two shall be one, in marriage and life male and female shall become one, Jew and Gentile shall become one body, and so on and on in the Bible the goal and struggle of believing humanity only with and by the grace of God is that the two might be One.

“Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

Jesus taught as recorded in Mark 10:8,9, “And they twain shall be one flesh: so, then they are no more twain, but one flesh.  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

The natural, unregenerate man fights that on two counts:  to get away from the natural order of male and female in the two shall become one, and to many provisions for man and courts and lawyers to assist in tearing asunder what God has joined for life. Until one minister and scoffer of the so-called New Age futurists came along to challenge the very natural order of God for two to become one by proposing a new world order that ONE SHALL REMAIN ONE, that already God and man are one and already as a homosexual in justification of his own existence states that male and female remain one.  That is to say, we did not fully appreciate Paul’s comparison to male and female in marriage by way of analogy as similar to the uniting of Christ and the Church into one body, and labors it.

Ephesians 5:21-33

“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.  Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Saviour of the body.

Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.  Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

So, ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” 

This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverences her husband.

This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.  Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverences her husband.”

The confusing part is underlined, it seems at first reading that Paul has the primary subject of man and wife becoming ONE, then suddenly or so it seems until you consider the verses that lead into the passage, how they lead into the analogy with marriage by telling the whole local church body at Ephesus to submit to one another.  Of course, if you are preaching on this fifth chapter, striving in this contemporary feminist age to (1) wives to submit to their husbands as an obligation to Christ; and  (2) oh no, that the “husband is head of the wife”, in your typical church where over 50 per cent of the congregation is divorced–generally because they did not head the teaching of Jesus to “be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers”—then they have sulked up and stopped listening anyway, and you can see it on their faces.

There is just something in women and men that tends naturally to rebel against anything and everything that God says, especially when it starts to mess with personal matters about life and marriage; and of course, that rebellion against God is called sin.  And at the highest intellectual level, like theologians do, it is a matter of striving to make ONE REMAIN AS ONE.  Natural man and women, for we are speaking in the generic sense of the way God in the beginning made male and female as one man, naturally think all the best about themselves as the pride of life and an excellent self-image apart from Christ is the prejudiced bent of all.  They want, they must have, ONE REMAINING AS ONE.  That the spark of God is already in them requiring no new birth.  Yet God’s Word rises always to say, “For the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he understand them for they are spiritually discerned.”

Natural, sinful because short of the glory of God and the way God made him, and ignorant always stands like in the front of a heavy machine that is about to run over him, LET ONE REMAIN ONE, while God still replies THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE.  Thus, we can come to understand on more our level the battle for the hearts and minds of man going on in the cultural and intellectual levels of ONE against TWO or binary against non-binary.  It is true in that the scoffing futurists demand that male and female are already one, that is the natural or norm; that Buddhist, Hinduists, and gnostics are one, and that homosexuals are also one with the body of Christ or should be!

23-2  Unity on Christian doctrine of the Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterians.

Great news for unity in the body of Christ for the faith once for all delivered to the saints as the United Method Church in conference yesterday voted by 438 to 384 to hold to the faith of Christian traditions about no gay or LGBT bishops and no same sex marriage.  That is very significant in these days of the great apostasy.  It in spite of all the battles against TWO becoming One, the first disciples with all other believers and in the Seven ONEs of Ephesians, here was a great victory for that Oneness Jesus sought as He prayed in the Garden that “they (Christians) might all be one even as God the Father and Jesus are ONE”.

Of course, this disintegration of closer and closer votes will continue until maybe the ONE REMAINING ONEs win, for that is what the falling away is all about; and will happen as God the Holy Spirit is withdrawn from earth then without any balancing force of Satan against sin, for righteousness and judgment.  Of course, the cure of God and Christ is the revolution and sin rebellion shutdown of One remaining One at the Second Coming of Christ.  Then as Christ establishes complete iron rule over the ONE REMAINS ONE of the scoffers, all rebellion on the new earth will be suppressed, really eliminated as all scoffers and unbelievers are separated into their own evil domain and eternal sufferings.

Most often the ONE REMAINING ONE of the scoffers makes the noisy news, but there remains always a solid base of the body on Christ on the Seven Ones of Ephesians.  If you would a seven thousand or more in each generation that have no bowed to the kind of Oneness of Baal.  What you will if you look closely is that there is far more agreement of traditional Baptist, Presbyterians, Methodist and so on than there are the differences that the scoffers desire to concentrate on, and that agreement of a promotion of inherent unity starts with God the Holy Spirit as a common spirt and then the Seven Ones of Ephesians as the “making fast with bonds of peace the unity which the Spirit gives.

23-3:  It is a peace and unity during the storms of current culture between the ONEs of Ephesians, the solidarity of Christian doctrine, and their expression in the total One Church Body.

  1. The uniting seven ONEs of common Christian doctrine. (Seven may not seem like much when you consider all the denominations, but you must realize with those seven subjects you could with effort outline the whole Bible of 66 books, thousands of chapters and millions of verses.)

“Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”  (Ephesians 4:3-6)

  1. The Unity that remains between the seven ones of Christian doctrine and the one church body of Christ., Ephesians 3:5-9. (Remember if you can get the Jews and the Gentiles together which increasingly is happening, you can surely get the denominations together, and local churches with the one Church, and by the way without any formal organization of Unitarianism and ecumenism where men can control.

“Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:  Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.  Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ…”

  1. Oh and yes, God and Christ in their magnificent plan of being two into one have provided VISIBLE and unifying leaders to unite doctrine with Church, Ephesians 4:11-16.

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

Even as you cannot get all these ordained leaders for the Church into one local congregation, so you can in no way limit all this Oneness of Church and Christian doctrine into only one local church.  It is too big for that.  And the love is too big for that!

23-4:  By now we are ready to do some things of love, so back once again and to conclude on God’s Gospel of Psychology in One Commentary on Ephesians.

  1. Things to Do

By now, we are ready to do some works of love. Veil, almost. Before anything else is possible, in order to stand, to complete every task and still stand, the total armor of God must be put on. The endeavor is not easy as it is a war against principalities and powers, against the rulers of dark ness, against spiritual wickedness in high places, against the wiles of the devil who devours like a lion.   Even as the solder properly equipped is physically strong, we, as Christians are to be spiritually strong, finding our strength in the Lord by using all our armor. After the mountain peak of Ephesians, Paxil leads us back down into the imperfections of this world with opposition from the spirit of the world and Satan. We are to take the ONEs into battle. There are seven ONEs, and there are seven pieces of armor. Christian pilgrim surrounds himself with the Trinity as he puts on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the sandals, the shield of faith, the helmet, the sword of the Spirit, and prays.

Christ is all’s He is the way and truth) Christ was made our sin in order that He might be our righteousness) He is our peace) our faith) our salvation is only in His name) Christ is the “Word of God”) and only in His mediating work are our prayers heard. God the Father is all’s ultimate source of truth, righteousness, of the gospel of peace) faith, for faith provides access back to God) hope, salvation from the God of the Universe) and prayer, to “Our Father, which art in heaven…” The Holy Spirit is all these pieces of armors He reminds us of truth) He creates inward righteousness, sanctification) our peace, the eternal Comforter) faith, creating faith with the new birth and increasing faith) salvation, in regeneration and sanctification) the sword is the Spirit at work), and the Holy Spirit teaches us to pray as we ought to. In short, the Trinity of God is our suite of armor, seeing this through a glass darkly since we also do not completely understand the very nature of the Trinity, how God can be Three Persons in One.

The Belt of Truth. Even as the girdle or wide belt is the piece of armor that holds all the loose ends together, by gliding the loins about with the belt of truth the Christian integrates. It makes sense out of this world, is an antidote to discouragement, confusion, and indifference tripping up on our own wisdom and notions, keeps on the right path, hitches us up to the plan and program of God, and ultimately leads to heaven, God has given us the power to become sons of God; God is still in charge of the world) and God the Holy Spirit is presently doing for us in this world what Jesus did for His first disciples.

The Breastplate. It Is righteousness, legal and actual. With first belief, the Christian is legally declared through Christ to be righteous) and through the inworking Holy Spirit each day, the work of righteousness continues as the Spirit makes us like Christ, like God.

Feet Shod. As the Christian walks, stands, and fights, even as the Roman soldier wore cleated shoes that gave sure footing, the gospel of peace moves us forward without fear of slipping or losing balance. We are justified and have peace with God, calmness and courage) ready to give an answer for the hope in us) sparing no effort at lowliness, meekness, longsuffering, and love) sharing the gospel of the cross and church) working with the Holy Spirit to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment.

Shield of Faith. The shield of faith marches out in front of the Christiana faith in God, in Christ, in the work of the Holy Spirit, and in the Bible.

Helmet of Salvation. God the Father thought of salvation, God the Son provided the means of salvation, and God the Holy Spirit works it out in the individual life) it is impossible to lose, all things working for our good, making us more than conquerors, persuading us that nothing can separate us from the love of God, in Christ.

The Sword, this is our offensive weapon. We are to read the Bible, memorize it, and make it the guideline for life; we are to use it against Satan and against human opponents with superhuman forces of evil that war against the plan and program of God, God the Holy Spirit wrote the Bible and God the Holy Spirit is our prime teacher of the Bible,

Prayer, it is the atmosphere the warrior breathes. It keeps us in direct communication with the Commander-in-Chief.

  1. Things to Think

This is easy for the Christian. Think on “whatever is true”, as in:

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you,”   (Phil,  4:8,9 KJV)

Doing and thinking are both part of God’s psychology, they slip on the mind of Christ—who thought highly of being equal with God but did the death on the cross—as part of truth, it is true, honest, justice, realistic , and knowledge from the Bible.

  1. Things to Do and Think

Love, it is both cognitive and behavioral, we do love, and we think love. If one assessed twentieth century Christianity by the popular religious television programs, at least five thrusts would be detected: evangelization by short, terse statements dynamically presented from the Word of God to quickly bring to an immediate decision with a large supporting organization working behind the scenes; the charismatic with healing and speaking in tongues with a corresponding emphasis on holiness; an alliance of fundamentalism with conservative Republicanism, mixing the social and political with religion; possibility thinking with a tough attitude; and calm, logical statements about the truths of God, While the significant contributions that these television evangelists have made, especially in uniting Christian efforts, is undeniable, the real work of Christ is in another area—the local church.

“And he gave some, apostles and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.,” (Ephesians 4:11 KJV)

The most lasting and in the long run most influential work of Christ is in the millions of local churches across the world as these churches love, growing within and without. Recently the Institute for American Church Growth of Pasadena survey ed 8,600 people from thirty-nine Protestant denominations, concluding from the results; “Growing churches are more loving—to each other and to visitors—than declining churches.”

23-5:  ONE and Evangelism

The American Christian community still has not felt the full impact of what Jesus said about oneness and evangelism.

“Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are,… Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”  (John 17:11,20-21 KJV)

This was Jesus’ last, long prayer before His crucifixion. “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee…” (John 17; 1 KJV)   It was a prayer after His deep teachings on the Holy Spirit that would comfort the first disciples, and on His death, resurrection, and second coming. It was before Gethsemane and the betrayal by Judas. If they were words from Jesus alone, they would be significant. Yet they are more; words from a prayer to God the Father, words of a Son about to die on the cross, and a prayer for His select group of disciples as well as all disciples that would ever believe on Him.

This prayer had to be the pattern for Paul in the wording of his great prayers in the book of Ephesians. The prayer of the last half of Ephesians 1 — “…making mention of you in my prayers…”   (l:16 KJV); and the long prayer of Ephesians 3 — “…I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (3:1 KJV)

Feel the impact of Jesus’ prayer:

(1) That the original disciples might be one even as God the Father and God the Son are one;

(2) That all future disciples that believed on Jesus through their words, which includes us since we have believed on Jesus through the recorded words of the first disciples as they are written in the Bible, might be one also. The unity between all Christians is to be as great as the original unity among the select twelve, as great as the unity between God the Father and God the Son; and

(3) Unity among Christians promotes evangelism — “that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”

23-6:  A FINAL CHECK

From the Word of God, a final check should be made on the emphasis, comments, and doctrine of ONE COMMENTARY before it goes out into the world. We will use the book of Colossians since it is so like Ephesians, and we will use the King James Version since it is so familiar.

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colossi Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Colossians 1:1,2  )

  1. The first eleven words of Colossians and Ephesians are the same. Timothy is there during the writing of Colossians, having been invited in the letter of II Timothy (4»9-12) along with the request to bring John Mark. The same passage tells how Luke is with Paul, Demas has forsaken him, and Tychicus has been sent to Ephesus.
  2. Both books use the address of “saints and faithful” if they are “in Christ” and “at” the city of “Colossi”; and the ONE source of grace and peace is from the ONE God, “Father of all” (Ephesians 4:6) and from the ONE Lord, Jesus Christ. “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying  always for you, Since we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world, and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit,”  (1:3-8)
  3. Clearly Ephesians was written before Colossians— Timothy and Mark were not at Rome with Paul, and Tychicus had been sent to Ephesus with the letter of Ephesians, having returned to also be the messenger of the letter to Colossae (Col. 4:7,8) You can hear the foundation of Ephesians in the reading of the shorter letter of Colossians, especially in “the hope which is laid up for you in heaven”, one of the spiritual blessings in heavenly realms of Ephesians.
  4. Epaphras, “our dear fellow servant”, is one of the Colossians (Col. 4:12) and told Paul of their “love in the Spirit” as well, I:m sure, of the problems in Colosse.
  5. “Truth” and “truth in the gospel” is more peculiar to Colossians but builds on the “belt of truth” of Ephesians.

“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding! that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyful-ness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be par takers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins…”  (1:9-14)

  1. Paul evidently had no personal experience with the church at Colosse, “since the day we heard it”, yet there were even already twelve disciples at Ephesus (Acts 19:7) when he first arrived and before he taught in the synagogue and the school of Tyrannus for two years; and during that period “all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word” (Acts   19:10 KJV).
  2. “Pilled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” is like “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened” in Ephesians; “walk worthy” is like the great challenge to the Christian vocation at the beginning of Ephesians 4, with “patience” and “longsuffering” in both; the “fruitful in every good work” like “created in Christ Jesus unto good works”; “increasing in the knowledge of God” is like the great prayer of Ephesians 3 with “strength” and “power” and even begs the issue of Ephesians 6 “to find your strength in the Lord”; darkness and light are contrasted in both books; and Colossians 1:14 is the same as Ephesians 1:7.

“Who Is the Image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature; For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist, And he is the head of the body, the church. who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminise,” (1:15-18)

Praise to Christ like Ephesians 1:20-23 with the one body, the one church, as unmistakable as is the one Christ.

“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven,”        (1:19,20)

  1. The Father made the Son the fulness of unity everywhere.
  2. In both books, Christ made peace through the blood of his cross.

“And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight…”          (1:21.22)

  1. “Sometime” of Colossians reminds us of the before condition of Ephesians.
  2. Holy, unblameable, and unreproveable are the characteristics of the ideal body of Ephesians 5:

“If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven?  whereof I Paul am made a minister…”    (1:23)

  1. Grounded and settled is the opposite of not being tossed about by every wind of doctrine.
  2. The ONE hope is the hope of the gospel, the same gospel that is preached to every creature.

“Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church…”  (Colossians 1:24)

  1. The prisoner for your sake in Ephesians is the sufferer of afflictions in Colossians.
  2. It is for the sake of Christ’s body, the church.

“Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles is? which is Christ in you, the hope of glory…” (1:25-27)

  1. Colossians gives us another look at the hidden mystery of Ephesians.
  2. It is made known among the Gentiles.
  3. It is the ONE hope of Christ in you.

“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom? that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” (1:28,29)

  1. Christ is preached in Ephesians and Colossians.
  2. Learning Christ is important in both books—preach, warn, and teach.
  3. The goal is the same for the individual Christian, “for the perfecting of the saints”, “every man perfect in Christ”, “unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”.

“For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh? That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ? In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (2:1-3)

  1. We can’t get away from the seven churches of Asia Minor.
  2. All the hearts are to be knit together, Laodicea and Colosse, and Ephesus, like knowing with all the saints the love that passes understanding of Ephesians.

“And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” (2:4-7)

  1. This is the kind of unity and oneness Christ prayed for among all Christians, with you in the spirit if not in the flesh.
  2. Walk in Christ like you learned Christ.
  3. How did you learn Christ? Rooted, so as not to be tossed by every wind, and built up, fitly joined together.

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”            (2:8)

Colossians 2:8, NLT: “Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.”

  1. Philosophy can be negated with the belt of truth.
  2. Vain deceit and the traditions of men belong in the category of BIC, “not after Christ.”

“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (2:9)

  1. The Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  2. Jesus is the body expression and fulness of the Godhead.

“And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power; In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”  (2:10-12)

  1. Completeness, full stature, oneness, maturity, ultimate integration in Christ.
  2. In Ephesians, you were called Uncircumcision by the Circumcision in the flesh: in Colossians, true circumcision is explained.
  3. The ONE baptism is explained.

“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”   (2:13-15)

  1. In Ephesians while it is “dead in sins and trespasses”, in Colossians “dead” is part of BIC but trespasses come under the heading of AIC with “forgiven your trespasses”.
  2. In Ephesians death is part of the TIME CONTRAST and uncircumcision part of the MEMORY CONTRAST. All contrasts come together in this passage from Colossians with the emphasis, using the same words, on the positive or after side.
  3. The CHRIST CONTRAST of Ephesians is amplified on, blotted out, took it out, nailed it to the cross, spoiled, and made a show of them, triumphing.

The principalities and powers that we war against in the book of Ephesians were, according to Colossians, spoiled.

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which is a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increasing with the increase of God.”     (2:16-19)

  1. Christ is important and the body of Christ.
  2. The Head of the church is Christ as the husband is the head of the wife.
  3. The body makes increase of itself in love, bonded and knit together.

“Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh? If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in G God. When Christ, who is our life, shall-appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” (2:20 -3:4)

  1. Since your blessings are in heavenly realms, that is where your interest and affections are to be.
  2. It is by the grace of God, not of works, that men are saved, and not of any will.
  3. In Ephesians Christ abolished the law of commandments contained in the ordinances: in Colossians these ordinances are to perish.

“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth| fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when you lived in them.” (3«5“7)

Beginning with this section of Colossians we detect a mixture of God’s Psychology, the Ten Commandments, and the triad of contrasts of Ephesians. “Walked…when you lived in them” is a description of life behavior; idolatry and covetousness are a violation of the Commandments, still a surprise to find among a church of Christians; and “wrath” and “some time” remind us of the BIC/AIC contrast.

“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, fil thy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:  Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all,” (3: 9-11)

Stotts COB’S NEW CREATION might be more an appropriate title for Colossians than Ephesians with its contrast between the old and new man; yet a sub-theme in Ephesians with the “created in Christ Jesus”, “his workmanship” like “renewed in knowledge”, “after the image” like the attitude of psychology to be “like God.” Old man characteristics, found also in the book of Colossians as malice, anger, etc., are more fully developed in Ephesians with the assumed cure in both books the summary of the Ten Commandments as given by Jesus, love —the essence of Ephesians.

The truth of the gospel remains the same in Ephesus or  in Colosse “as it is in all the world”. Christ is all and in all in Colossians even as God the Father is in all in Ephesians, the Godhead being inseparable. Greek and Jew, bond and free, circumcised and uncircumcised become one in the body of Christ, who broke down the middle wall of partition. Christ is also all the pieces of armor: truth, peace, righteousness, etc.

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mini, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” (3:12-15)

You have the bonds of peace in Ephesians, “the peace of God rule in your hearts” in Colossians, but you short of have to dig out the essence of Ephesians to get “the bond of perfectness” so clearly stated in Colossians as “charity”. “Put on” in Colossians would be the equivalent in Ephesians of  “Spare no effort”, although it is also “put off the old man” and “put on the new man” in Ephesians  (Ephesians 4:22-24).   In the book of Ephesians these same challenges to the high calling lead, after the summarizing statement of the ONEs, to the five ways in which peace and unity can be promoted, like the “called in one body” of Colossians. “And above all” reminds us of I Corinthians 13 as it does of the essence of Ephesians, all the lively doctrines intermingling into a great oneness.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”   (3:16)

  1. In Ephesians it is “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith”: in Colossians it is “the word of Christ dwell…” 2. Songs and hymns are mentioned in both books: “speaking to yourselves” in Ephesians and “teaching and admonishing” in Colossians.

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (3:17)

  1. It is an attitude of “try to understand the will of the Lord” in Ephesians: here, it is “do all in the name of the Lord.”
  2. Giving thanks to God is part of prayer in Ephesians, the seventh piece of armor for the warrior.

“Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands love your wives and be not bitter against them. Children obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Servants obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of  the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”  (3:18-25)

  1. Identical teachings in both books on wives, husbands, servants, and children.
  2. The job and the boss get some amplification here.

It makes us wonder if in the fourth and last chapter of Colossians whether we will see the seven pieces of armor that are in the sixth and last chapter of Ephesians.

“Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.”  (4:1)

  1. A further word to supervisors.
  2. An emphasis on justice and equality.

“Continue in prayer and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” (4: 2-6)

  1. We get the seventh piece of armor, prayer, the atmosphere that the warrior breathes.
  2. In both books, Paul wants prayer to “open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19) and a door of utterance to speak the mystery of Christ  (Col. 4-:3).
  3. Walk in wisdom in Colossians, walk circumspectly in the book of Ephesians: redeem the time in both.
  4. How to answer every man reminds us of the sandals of the gospel of peace in Ephesians.

“All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here. Aristarchus my fellow prisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;) And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellow workers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”     (Colossians 4:7-12)

  1. Tychicus, mentioned in both books, must be the messenger of both books, the beloved brother, fellow servant in the Lord and the faithful minister that would assure that the circular letter marked at and the letter to Colosse would be read by as many Christians as possible, the same Tychicus of II Timothy 4:12, sort of an interim pastor to both Titus and Timothy.
  2. Paul’s purpose for sending Tychicus is the same in both letters, to know their estate and comfort their hearts.
  3. Mark is the author of the gospel bearing his name, son of the Mary in whose house (Acts 12:12)  Christians were praying when Peter was arrested by Herod and to whose house, he went after the angel freed him. The profitable Mark of II Timothy 4:11.
  4. Barnabas and Mark accompanied Paul on his missionary trips. At Antioch (Acts 15:37-39) Barnabas and Paul split over Mark, Barnabas taking Mark to Cyprus and Paul taking Silas through  Syria and Cilicia. Paul found a disciple named Timothy shortly thereafter (Acts 16:1), circumcising him because of certain Jews in the area, then taking him on his second missionary journey.
  5. Onesimus is the same as of Philemon, another book by Paul on brotherly love. Part of the body at Colosse or at least a congregation met in Philemon’s house. (Philemon 1)
  6. Aristarchus, Paul’s fellow prisoner, accompanied Paul into Asia (Acts 20:4) and was one of Paul’s travel companions that was caught by the silversmiths in Ephesus (Acts 19:29), listed along with Gaius as “men of Macedonia”.
  7. The letter that gives a previous commandment about Barnabas is difficult to identify.
  8. We envy Paul his “fellow workers”, the unity and fellowship they had in the Lord and in the small New Testament world; yet Paul lamented how Demas had forsaken him (II Timothy 4:10) and how the household at Rome did not stand with him. Of course, Paul had established most of the churches and had become the father in Christ of many of the early Christians. Also, he earned this fellowship through afflictions.
  9. The standing perfect and complete in the will of God of Colossians is the equivalent to completing every task and still standing in Ephesians 6.

“For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.  Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you.  Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Mymphas, and the church which is in his house.”  (4-:13-15)

  1. The second mention of Epaphras (Col. 1:7), one of Colosse and who in Philemon 20 was a fellow prisoner with Paul.
  2. Asia Minor is a small world— Colosse and the brethren of Laodicea to be saluted.
  3. The New Testament world is small with mentioning’s of Mark, Luke, Demas, Barnabas, and Timothy, and Onesimus of Philemon, many names famous because of books of the Bible and because of the history of the book of Acts. Another church that met in a house and a usage of the “ecclesia” in the local sense.

“And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans: and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it. The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.”  (4:16-18)

  1. Most of the epistles got around to the churches and later became part of the New Testament Canon with one stipulation being that they were written by an apostle or an associate of an apostle.
  2. Ephesians is speculated as being the letter from the Laodiceans, Tychicus would help in this matter.
  3. Bonds is in the salutation of both letters.

Paul’s bonds are on their behalf and for the sake of the gospel. His bonds, having brought him to Rome after the ap peal to Caesar as a Roman citizen, slows down the persecution of other Christians. His bonds and afflictions remind them how relatively easy it is for them to be a Christian in Asia Minor and could even be prophetic of the persecutions of the book of Revelation that would endanger their “first love”.  His bonds of imprisonment remind them of contrasting bonds of peace They are to secure the shackles of peace, sparing no effort in order that the chains of attachment with other believers hold fast and like the Roman soldier and his bound prisoner, as firmly fastened with chains of oneness to the Godhead. Paul wanted believers incorporate in Christ and those BIC to be altogether and almost as he was, in that he followed Christ, except for the criminal’s bonds.

“Remember my bonds.” in Colossians 4:18, a complete and stand-alone three-word sentence. In Ephesians 6:20 it is only “I am an ambassador in bonds”. I think Paul knew between the writing of Ephesians and Colossians, while he sent for Timothy and Mark, that he was about to die. Luke, the beloved physician there all along, had already been encouraged to write the gospel of Luke and Acts Mark had to get there before the writing of Colossians in order to be encouraged to write the gospel of Mark and that the churches would be encouraged to read his letter epistles.

“Remember my bonds” was an epitaph and an inheritance from Paul. It signified the way the winds would blow from martyrdom in Rome to persecutions in Asia Minor; and Paul had to set an example in death and in life for the seven churches in Asia Minor. It could be another title for Ephesians with an understanding of the bonds of peace, unity, and love.

Of course, as usual you can if you wish free download this blog/message in order to help others understand somewhat of a difficult Bible subject at:

http://sungrist.org/TWObecomeONE.pdf 

 

 

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