A few months ago, I got an E-mail from a friend. He quoted Genesis 1:26 and asked me who is the "us" mentioned. That got me talking to him and a few other people about the Trinity and the Old Testament. Does the Old Testament teach the Trinity? If not, then why not? If God really is one Being who eternally existed as three Persons, then why would He not feel like mentioning that in the Old Testament?
Rather than a devotional today, I thought I'd answer a question for you that I was asked recently. Hopefully this helps you be better equipped to defend your faith.
A friend of mine called me up with some questions the other day. He was visited by some Jehovah's Witnesses who pointed out a passage and told him that Jesus wasn't God but that God had created Jesus. Now, if you are a Christian or grew up in church, you know that Jesus is God. But, would you know what to say if presented with this verse?
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. Colossians 1:15
What would you say to someone who showed you that verse and said, "See the Bible says that Jesus was created. He was the first born. If He was created, then He isn't really God."?
Its Monday again. This post will be more of a mix of my own commentary and thoughts than a devotional. If you like that sort of thing, then dig in. If not, normal devotionals start again tomorrow.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
In the previous verses, Paul identifies himself and then prays for a blessing for the saints in Ephesus, namely that they would receive peace and grace from God. Here, instead of praying for a blessing, He declares "blessed be God". He isn't praying a blessing over God, He is saying that God is blessed. The word for "blessed" here is "eulogetos" which can also be translated "praised". He is saying that God is praised and blessed. This is a mini declaration of worship from Paul who is honoring God with his words.
Its interesting where the definite article comes in that sentence. (Definite article = "the"). It doesn't say "Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Instead, it says "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." With this sentence construction, it implies that the Person we are talking about here is not only the Father of Jesus Christ but also the God of Jesus Christ. There is plenty of biblical support for the Trinity and we know that Jesus is the second member of the Trinity and therefore He is very God. But what we see here is that even though Jesus is equal in power, authority, eternality, glory, creativity, knowledge, and every way with the Father, He submits to the Father. This is a really big truth tucked away in this little positioning of the word "the." This fact that an equal can submit to an equal will come up later in Ephesians in regards to marriage, work, and family.
When you speak of God, do you bless and praise Him? Do you make sure to say something wonderful about Him or just toss His name out carelessly?
I'm going to be going through the book of Ephesians on Mondays. I'm going to only do a couple of verses at a time and it may look more like a commentary than a devotional. Hopefully, it will be a mix of both. This might be more of a study type thing for anyone who reads it than a pure devotional, but if that's what you're looking for then you can find it here on Mondays.
Paul an apostle
Paul introduces himself here as the author of the letter to the Ephesians. He also identifies himself here as an apostle of Christ Jesus. The word apostle comes from the Greek word apostolos which has the meaning of a delegate or envoy or a "sent out one". The title means that Paul has been sent out and commissioned by Jesus. Paul can say this because the resurrected Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus and called him.
Mark has been happily married for five years, has a year and a half old daughter, and serves as a youth and children pastor in Oak Park.