For several years of my education, I went to a very conservative, Catholic school. In the 8th grade, I was taught by Sister John. She was a highly motivated and committed nun who could keep 50 very rambunctious kids focused on learning. And I think her favorite subject was English grammar. I can remember endlessly diagramming sentences. Some complex, some compound. All of them were a pain to organize into those structured diagrams.
But I have to admit that I can still do it and from time to time it comes in handy as I try to understand a difficult piece of literature or even a portion of scripture.
Recently, I had a flashback to Sister John’s classroom as I noticed that twelve verses in the first chapter of the book of Ephesians are one long run-on sentence in the Greek language. The sentence starts in verse 3 with Paul’s declaration that as believers, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. Take a moment to read those verses and you will see a detailed explanation of the treasures endowed to God’s kids because of the finished work of Christ.
He starts with the statement that we have been chosen. Having absolutely nothing to do with our performance, God chose to endow us with His grace. John captured the concept with the amazing phrase, “…we love because He first loved us” (I John 4:19).
Paul then highlights our redemption. As slaves to sin, we were bought back by the precious blood of Christ. We were slaves, standing on the auction block ready to be passed off to the highest bidder and a life of doom. And in stepped the savior. As the old hymn of Fanny Crosby declares, “redeemed, oh how I love to proclaim it, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Redeemed, redeemed, His child and forever I am.”
In verse 7, Paul goes on to remind us that the riches of God’s grace have been lavished on us. Not just given, or applied or extended to us. No, that grace has been lavished on us like a thick layer of soothing salve.
And then he finishes this amazing sentence with a comment on our spiritual inheritance. He assures us that almost like a down payment of our eternal blessings; the indwelling of the third person of the Trinity is ours NOW. We are not only chosen, redeemed, lavished upon, but we are also empowered by the Holy Spirit.
If your week looks a bit cluttered with urgent but not real important “stuff”, stop a minute and consider this run-on sentence and consider the rich, spiritual blessings of the Lord. It is a great perspective giver!