Westminster Larger Catechism Study

Providence and God’s Inheritance

Mike is one of my favorites. What he writes and how he articulates it gives a clear message. I highly recommend following his blog. The message is so true…this is an Amazing Grace.

“Here, I think we shall simply bask in the truth of the Sovereignty of our gracious and merciful God and wonder that He would choose anyone at all from the Human race let alone those of us who are to be His Inheritance.”

Often wish I could express it that well.

I do personally prefer the King James Version of these verses though. It is based on the Greek Texts, which contrary to modern thinking are the vast majority of the preserved texts. These are the texts which were used through out the Reformation, having come West when the Greek scholars fled. The Westminster Larger Catechism which I am currently studying has such questions like this one:

Q. 19. What is God’s providence towards the angels?
A. God by his providence permitted some of the angels, willfully and irrecoverably, to fall into sin and damnation, limiting and ordering that, and all their sins, to his own glory; and established the rest in holiness and happiness; employing them all, at his pleasure, in the administrations of his power, mercy, and justice.

The discussion of angels is pretty lost doctrine today, but you can see it pretty obviously in the majority Greek texts.

Eph 1:10  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Eph 1:12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. KJV

OldJohn Gill wrote… “both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him; by things in heaven are not meant the souls of saints in heaven; though it is true that the souls of departed saints are in heaven….

but rather the angels are meant, whose origin is heaven; where they have their residence, and from whence they never fell; and whose employment is in heaven, and of an heavenly nature: and by things on earth, are not intended every creature on earth, animate and inanimate; nor all men, but all elect men ….”

Anyway that’s another discussion, but to me something seems to be lost and it’s not due to Mike’s good translation, but in the underlying text being translated….something to think about.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

11 Ἐν ᾧ καὶ ἐκληρώθημεν προορισθέντες κατὰ πρόθεσιν τοῦ τὰ πάντα ἐνεργοῦντος κατὰ τὴν βουλὴν τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ 12 εἰς τὸ εἶναι ἡμᾶς εἰς ἔπαινον δόξης αὐτοῦ τοὺς προηλπικότας ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ. Ephesians 1:11-12 (NA28)

11 In whom also we were made an inheritance, having been predestined according to the plan of the one working all things according to the counsel of His will. 12 For us to be to the praise of His glory, having previously hoped in Christ. Ephesians 1:11-12 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

Most modern Bible translations undoubtedly render v11 a bit differently than I did above. The words “we were made an inheritance” translates one verb, ἐκληρώθημεν, which is the Aorist tense, Indicative mood, Passive voice of κληρόω (klēroō), “obtain an inheritance. The passive voice is the key. Paul is saying that Christians are made…

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