Paul is heavy on the commands in this chapter. Continuing his exhortations to moral behavior from the last chapter, he uses fifteen imperative verbs in the space of thirty-three verses, and if we expand the category to include implied commands and participial phrases used to convey normative behavior, we get something like twenty-five instances. Bottom line: that’s a lot you gotta do.
This bar is so aggressively dark that I could not concentrate on the text while eating it. But to get to the text: in today’s chapter, Paul returns to the metaphor of the body that he hinted at in yesterday’s passage (3:6) and developed more fully in 1 Corinthians 12, as we’ve seen. He underscores the importance of growth within the body, and encourages his readers to higher standards of behavior as an expression of how they’ve come to know Christ.
Let’s talk about mysteries. I’m having trouble getting started today, and we’ve got to talk about something, so mysteries it is.
Confession: I’ve never seen an episode of The Walking Dead. You’d think I’d at least have read an issue of the comic or something, but no.
Let’s get Greek. This photo is the opening page of Ephesians 1 from my Greek/English Interlinear New Testament. This is what Paul’s original writing would have looked like if someone had added accent markings to his Greek, put spaces in between the words, and written word-by-word English translations under every line. If you’re curious what Paul’s original letter looked like, check out this page for a photo of an original Greek manuscript fragment.
Paul concludes his letter to the Galatians with a return to that much-loved topic of circumcision. It may just be the cumulative effect of the whole letter, but this chapter strikes me as giving the clearest picture of his opponents and their motivations yet.
This chapter takes me back. My freshman and sophomore years of college, the leader of the campus Christian Fellowship was big on the first verse: “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” You know how some verses you memorize deliberately, and some verses you end up memorizing accidentally just through exposure? The head of the Christian Fellowship was so big on this verse that I accidentally memorized it through exposure.