From “Far” to “Near”!
A Pericopal Theology Guide to Preaching Ephesians 2:11-22
The book of Ephesians lays out, unlike anywhere else in Scripture, God’s grand plan for the cosmos, preordained and purposeful—“the administration [management/ordering] of the fullness of times [the last days, where everything is headed] the consummation [summing up] of all things in Christ—the things in the heavens and the things on the earth in Him” (Eph 1:10).1 I consider this the key verse of Ephesians, and perhaps, of all of Scripture: “the consummation of all things in Christ” in the
cosmos is God’s ultimate goal. Right now, everything is broken, undone, chaotic. But one day, in God’s grand design, everything is going to be integrated, harmonized, and aligned to Christ, the unifying end of the cosmos. The entire universe, both its heavenly and its earthly dimensions—from black holes to
badgers, from nebulas to nightingales, from trans-galactic forces to intermolecular forces, from planets to potatoes—everything is being administered. arranged, harmonized, consummated in Christ. This is the grand design of God, the zenith of creation. What a day that will be! The first pericope of Ephesians (1:1–14) raises the curtain on that glorious divine trajectory of all creation —the consummation of all things in Christ. Into this epic plan, all (believing) humans have been recruited—chosen, predestined,
engraced, redeemed, claimed, and sealed! We were blessed into God’s grand plan, with grace, love, and delight! With this as a backdrop, I would like to analyze 2:11–22 closely, for the purposes of the themed issue of this Journal: the significance of this glorious plan for the constitution of the church.