On this program, Michael Horton talks with his colleague, Dr. Steve Baugh, professor of New Testament at Westminster Seminary California, about his recent commentary on the book of Ephesians. In addition to providing a great deal of background information relating to the city of Ephesus in the first century, the two discuss some of the prominent themes that Paul addresses in this important epistle. Join us for this special edition of the White Horse Inn.
“Paul has a very robust, straightforward doctrine of election, that we were dead in trespasses. So the people who are elected have no resources of their own. We offer nothing to the Lord. We offer to him dead corpses. That’s what we are by nature, children of wrath, and we are the ones he chose out of his abundant wealth of kindness and grace. That being said, he wants to prove to us that we are that important to God. Why? Who knows? We offer him nothing, but God has done it because he loved us. So we love because he loved us first. He wants us to be secure in that, to be assured of God’s love.”
Term to Learn
“Covenant and Kingdom”
The kingdom of God is not a generic concept that can simply be applied in any epoch; its character is determined in every era of history by the covenant according to which it is administered. Some of the biblical covenants are of the suzerainty type: on the basis of the victory of the suzerain (great king), the lesser king pledges entire loyalty, and if he fails to keep the stipulations imposed by the suzerain, he will fall under the sanctions of the treaty. It is a “do or die” type of covenant. There are other covenants that are more along the lines of a royal grant: on the basis of a previous victory, the heirs are simply beneficiaries of an inheritance. The covenant with Abraham as “the father of many nations” is clearly such a grant, especially as interpreted in the New Testament. In contrast, the Mosaic covenant is dependent on Israel’s obedience.
(Adapted from Michael Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way, p. 537)