EPH 3:14-19: The indwelling of the Holy Spirit and Christ.
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ's afflictions. 25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf, and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love [the great defense against false teaching], and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge [in 3:3, your life is hidden with Christ in God].
The discovery of these treasures is linked to how we live our lives. If we pick up our cross, lose our lives, deny ourselves, then we will find them.
These treasures are only found in the Word of God. They can only be seen by revelation from the Word to us, through the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit while we continue to learn doctrine and strive to live the way in which the doctrine teaches us.
Every believer has been elected from before the foundation of the world. The believer has been elected in Him, in Christ. The believer has been chosen for the purpose of entering into the life of Christ, living and experiencing that life.
Therefore, there is a dominant ethical quality about the divine election, as is the unmistakable character of the life of Christ.
who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood
but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."
He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.
Man’s opinions, his ideas, his reasonings, cannot attain to the hidden wisdom in Christ. Many men are sincere when they form their opinions and when they try to do God’s will from their own reasoning, but only the simple, revealed truths of the word of God will give us the vision in the eyes of our hearts of the real Person and Work of Christ.
For instance, the calling to holiness and blamelessness would scare many believers if they did not know that in position they are justified, meaning that all guilt and penalty of sin has been taken away and the righteousness of Christ has been bestowed. This has to be understood in order to have the courage to hope in our election and embrace it rather than fear it.
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, 16 making the most of [redeeming] your time, because the days are evil [surrounded by evil]. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation [asotia: an abandoned dissolute life (Thayer)], but be filled with the Spirit
The life of abandonment, “behavior which shows a lack of concern or thought of the consequences of an action - senseless deeds, reckless deeds” (Louw and Nida Greek Lexicon) is shown here as the antithesis of “redeeming [exagorazo = to buy out] your time.”
Redeeming your time under the will of the Father rather than being senseless and reckless with your time is the point of this passage. Don’t abandon your time to a dissolute life, for that is meaningless, but be filled with the Holy Spirit, redeeming your time in obedience to the will of the Father in all things.
We could actively pursue something outside of God’s will, or we could passively ignore God’s will, forgetting who we are in Christ. Asotia would apply to both errors: reckless pursuit and senseless passivity.
Avoid reckless pursuit of error and senseless passivity.
But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
In the life of Christ there are things we actively and energetically do and things that we vehemently don’t do.
These things, learned from the word of God are absolute values; virtues.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.
Nihilism is the thought that there are no absolute values. A moderate nihilism, relativism, believes that there are relative values which depend on the time, the culture, the race, and the circumstance, while denying any ultimate or absolute value. They affirm that the relative value of the moment is the right or good one, but the fools don’t realize that they have thrown out any standards by which to judge right and good.
“Those who stand outside all judgments of value cannot have any ground for preferring one of their own impulses to another except the emotional strength of that impulse.” [Lewis, Abolition of Man]
When men cease to believe in the absolute of good and bad they stop being men. Hence Lewis titles his book The Abolition of Man. Man in his so-called genius to rid himself of the pesky, overbearing God, his Creator, has actually eliminated himself as a man. He dug a pit and fell into it. When all that says ‘it is good’ has been debunked, what says ‘I want’ remains. Man must come to be motivated by his own pleasure. When two impulses compete for the soul, the choice is only based on the strongest one.
For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
If a man’s life is lived by impulses, it follows that at any given time the strongest impulse wins out, then his life is really ruled by chance. He is tossed here and there by waves. And again, the intellectuals in the world that advocate for such an existence, calling it freedom, have dug a pit and fallen into it. Their extreme rationalism that they think found a way around or through the revealed truth, leaves them only to be creatures of impulse and therefore wholly irrational.
Ultimate value is timeless. It is the life of God which has no beginning or end.