A Very Long Sentence

I have just returned from a very long break.  I went to Minnesota to spend time with my wife’s family.  It was a wonderful time, rowing on a lake, playing board games and shopping in the Mall of America.  However, it was also good to see my old, familiar bed and to sleep soundly at home last night.

My family did read the Bible together, but I did not post.  I thought it best to remove that pressure when I didn’t know what each day would look like.  I could get to a Bible, but not to a computer.

Recounting my long break seems like a good way to introduce a famously long sentence.  As you probably know, a sentence has a subject and a predicate.  The subject here is the blessings of God.  The detailing of those blessings cycles through the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  The sentence runs from verses 3 to 14.  In English Bibles the sentence has been broken down into a number of other sentences.  In Greek it is all one.  I am sure a teacher would dismiss it as a run-on these days.

Ephesians 1:3-14

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

 11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Questions

  1. How does verse 3 introduce 4-14 (Hint: It mirrors the structure in some way)?
  2. How do you think that 4-14 could be one sentence in Greek and two paragraphs in English?
  3. How are the Ephesians blessed by the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit?
  4. How are you blessed by each person of the Trinity?
  5. How does the blessing by the Trinity result in praise in your life?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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