Ephesians (Evangelical Press Study Commentary Series)
Christ the exalted Lord is the constant theme of the epistle to the Ephesians. Christ is always and everywhere the exalted Lord, and he is the exalted Lord expressly for the benefit of his people, the church. The remarkable way...
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Christ the exalted Lord is the constant theme of the epistle to the Ephesians. Christ is always and everywhere the exalted Lord, and he is the exalted Lord expressly for the benefit of his people, the church. The remarkable way in which the benefits of Christ's lordship are enjoyed by his people means that, in Ephesians, Christology is inextricably focused upon the doctrine of the Church, a detail set in contrast with other letters by Paul.
The upshot of this is that Ephesians represents a letter of eulogy, prayer, exhortation and instruction where the enthroned and cosmic Christ is constantly seen as bestowing blessing after blessing on his people, the Church. This engages every subject mentioned in the letter. Salvation, prayer, faith, the church, the gospel, regeneration and Christian living are all variations of the one symphony, the blessings 'in the heavenly places' which Christ the exalted Lord gives to his church. This is the keynote of this commentary.
Harry Uprichard lives in Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland, where he has been the minister of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Ahoghil, for three decades. A graduate of Queen's University, Belfast, his master's degree deals with the relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist, and his doctorate investigates Paul's theology behind 1 Thessalonians. He has also taught at Belfast Bible College, contributed to a symposium on the church and its unity and maintained a keen interest in music. He is author of A Son is Revealed - Christ in Mark, A Son is Promised - Christ in the Psalms and A Son is Given - Christ in Isaiah, all published by Evangelical Press.
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The key to understanding Paul's letter to the Ephesians lies in the phrase 'in the heavenlies'. This occurs five times in this letter and nowhere else in Paul's writings in this specific form. Within the context, it means 'in the heavenly places' rather than 'among the heavenly beings'. It is not speaking of the sky or the after-life so much as of the realm of reality, the location where the real spiritual forces of life are at work. In Ephesians, Christ is the centre-piece of 'the heavenlies'. Christology in Ephesians is set in this mould.
Harry Uprichard has ministered in Trinity Presbyterian Church in Ahoghill, Northern Ireland, for over thirty years. He is a graduate of Queen's University in Belfast and has also taught at Belfast Bible College. He has a keen interest in music and trains a local male voice choir.