EPHESIANS: AN ECCLESIOLOGY OF IDENTITY AND RESPONSIBILITY IN THE LIGHT OF GOD’S COSMIC PLAN AND A CANONICAL VIEW OF GOD’S PEOPLE.

G. C. Pereira

Abstract


I show that God’s programme in history is to create for Himself1 a people to have a relationship with them. Yahweh will be their God and they will be His people. In this way God’s lordship becomes an experienced reality for creation. God’s cosmic plan is to place all things under one head, even Christ. The activity of God creating a people continues in the church, now consisting of Jews and Gentiles. God’s creation of His people is an ecclesiology of (substantialist) identity; they are what they have been created to be, and in Ephesians it is explicated by the fact that they are God’s property, God’s workmanship and God’s dwelling. We are identified according to our vertical relationship. But the church also lives in horizontal relationships. Here I may speak about an ecclesiology of responsibility. To the community of believers our (relational) responsibility is to maintain unity and shalom. To society at large our (vocational) responsibility is to be an example of true community in unity and justice, and to share the gospel of Christ’s ultimate lordship in accordance with God’s cosmic plan. Thus, the question that pervades this whole discussion must be put succinctly, “How do God’s people fit God’s cosmic agenda by being indicatively and imperatively relevant?”

Keywords


Ephesians; Ecclesiology; God’s People; Identity; Responsibility; God’s Cosmic Plan

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/112-0-55

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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