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The Magnum Opus of Ephesians Chapter 1

November 20th, 2005

“the purpose of his will”

(Eph. 1:5)

“the mystery of his will”

(Eph. 1:9)

“the counsel of his will”

(Eph. 1:11)

When we reflect upon what makes life worth living, the words of old Mark Twain come to mind: “Now, that will depend on the liver” (London Punch). In addition to Twain’s pithy and pointed remark, it remains to be said that the life worth living is the life lived out in the will of God.

In referring to Ephesians chapter 1 as Paul’s Magnum Opus, we mean his great literary contribution to the inspired word of God. Many biblical prophets were not literary—Elijah and Elisha, for example. Paul was the Lord’s “chosen instrument” (Acts 9:15); and, as such, he wrote most of the New Testament.

“His will” takes on three dimensions in Ephesians 1: Purpose, Mystery, and Counsel (1:5,9,11). Unlike those who neglect their creator/redeemer, and have no meaning for their existence, Christians know meaning. Christians seek to live in the will of God; and in the will of God, they find their meaning, their power, and their affirmation of what is truly worthy.

-Robert M. Housby

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