Why does Paul refer to his fellow Christians as “saints” at the beginning of his letters, and how can this be true since all Christians continue to struggle with remaining sin? What does it mean to be chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, as Paul teaches in Ephesians? Does God choose us because of something good that he foresaw in us? And what is the significance of the idea that we have been predestined to be adopted as his very own sons? The host will discuss these questions and more as we begin a new series on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
“When God speaks, things happen. When God says, ‘Let there be light,’ in the Old Testament in Genesis, there is light. When Jesus says, ‘Lazarus, come forth,’ he in fact does. When God, through the mouth of the apostle or here through the pen of the apostle says, ‘Grace to you and peace from God our Father,’ it’s not just imparting information. It is doing that, but it’s doing something more than that actually. It’s bringing the very thing that it speaks of. It is imparting to them the peace that comes from God on account of Christ.”Steve Parks
TERM TO LEARN
“The Authority of Christ in Scripture’s Authorship”
Christianity is often called a book-religion. It would be more exact to say that it is a religion which has a book. Its foundations are laid in apostles and prophets, upon which its courses are built up in the sanctified lives of men; but Christ Jesus alone is its chief cornerstone. He is its only basis; he, its only head; and he alone has authority in his Church. But he has chosen to found his Church not directly by his own hands, speaking the word of God, say for instance, in thunder-tones from heaven; but through the instrumentality of a body of apostles, chosen and trained by himself, endowed with gifts and graces from the Holy Ghost, and sent forth into the world as his authoritative agents for proclaiming a gospel which he placed within their lips and which is none the less his authoritative word, that it is through them that he speaks it. It is because the apostles were Christ’s representatives, that what they did and said and wrote as such, comes to us with divine authority. The authority of the Scriptures thus rests on the simple fact that God’s authoritative agents in founding the Church gave them as authoritative to the Church which they founded. All the authority of the apostles stands behind the Scriptures, and all the authority of Christ behind the apostles. The Scriptures are simply the law-code which the law-givers of the Church gave it.
If, then, the apostles were appointed by Christ to act for him and in his name and authority in founding the Church—and this no one can doubt; and if the apostles gave the Scriptures to the Church in prosecution of this commission—and this admits of as little doubt; the whole question of the authority of the Scriptures is determined. It will be observed that their authority does not rest exactly on apostolic authorship. The point is not that the apostles wrote these books (though most of the New Testament books were written by apostles), but that they imposed them on the Church as authoritative expositions of its divinely appointed faith and practice.
(B. B. Warfield, “The Authority and Inspiration of the Scriptures,”
The Selected Shorter Writings of B.B. Warfield Vol. 2, pp. 537–539)