Monday, September 05, 2016

Dial Daily Bread: Comprehension, A Key Idea in Paul's Writings

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

"Understanding" has "eyes" that must be "enlightened" (Eph. 1:18). A key idea that pervades Paul's writings is "comprehension," seeing things, grasping truth. In Ephesians chapter 3 he prays for them, bowing his knees "to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, ... [that you] may be able to comprehend with all saints" the glorious dimensions of the love [agape] of Christ (vss. 14, 18).

Often Jesus lamented the dullness of the Twelve to comprehend what He tried to tell them. That dullness may have been forgivable two millennia ago, but is it so for us today? On us "the ends of the ages have come"! (1 Cor. 10:11). Good works that we do can make God happy, but let's not forget that a teacher is most gratified when his pupils comprehend what he communicates to them!

If you go through life with the vague feeling that you are only another number responding to a universal invitation, Paul wants you to sense to the full that the Father is calling you as an individual specially and individually. No one else can fulfill as well as you some special mission in life. That's "the hope" embedded in your "calling" that Paul speaks of in Ephesians 1:18.

When at last you meet the Lord face to face, He will give you "a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it" (Rev. 2:17). This will be no cold presentation ceremony like a university president handing out hundreds of diplomas at Commencement; you will have an intimate meeting with the Father and a knowing glance from Jesus. You will look into His eyes and see a recognition that tells you that He understands all about you and your life and all the mysterious things you've never been able to unravel. That "white stone" will be a little computer memory special to you!

"The exceeding greatness of His power toward us" (Eph. 1:19) is the power to conquer sin in our "sinful flesh" through the faith of Jesus. He Himself condemned sin and did it "in the likeness of [our] sinful flesh" (Rom. 8:3). Paul strains feeble words almost to their bursting point!

This "power" includes all that was in the power that raised up Christ from His tomb. Think of the power that was needed to resurrect that one Man who so fully suffered the curse of God! More power was needed to raise Him than all the power that will be exercised in resurrecting the billions in the coming "first resurrection"! And that is the power that is given to you by which we will overcome sin in our sinful flesh!

--Robert J. Wieland

From: Ephesians: You've Been "Adopted," 2005.
Copyright © 2016 by "Dial Daily Bread."