What a Sentence!


          The typical sentence rarely requires more than a breath to complete. Because of this brevity, most sentences are less than twenty words.

          In Ephesians, the first sentence immediately after the apostle Paul’s standard epistolary greeting (1:2) is—as he originally wrote it—over 200 words long! It begins in verse 3 and concludes with verse 14.

          Its length suggests that the apostle Paul just had to get this “off his chest”. The chant of megale ho Artemis Ephesion (“Great is Diana/Artemis of the Ephesians”) had been stuck in his craw long enough and he intended to set the record straight before “his head exploded”. So, he did:

          “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

          What a sentence!

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Author: jchowning

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