God in Ephesians 4:6

Phrase

Theological Term

Meaning

“Above All”

Transcendence:  Avoids Mysticism and Pantheism

Above Experience.  God cannot be known by the experience of the five senses.  Romans 11:33-36

 

Sub-Term:

 

 

Spirit

John 4:24; Col. 1;15.  God Is not matter, nor does He depend upon matter.  God is “light” (I John 1:5).  God is “Love” (I John 4:8).  He cannot be seen or known by material means.  (Ex. 33:18-20;  I Cor. 2:7-17.  He must be worshipped in spirit and in truth.  (John 4:24)

 

God is Alive

Jer. 10:3-16; I Thess. 1:9; John 5:26.

 

God is Self-Conscience

Ex. 3:14.  He is conscious.  I Cor. 2:11: our personhood is analogous to His: Eph. 1:9;  See also Acts 17:28,29.  We are the offspring of God: how can God be less than we are?

 

Infinite

He has no measures, no limits.  Only God is infinite.   He is bound only by the nature of His Being, and as He chooses to be bound by His promises.

See Sub-Chart for more on God’s infinity.

“Through All”

Immanence: 

Avoids Deism

Extends to the very limits of things, or permeating everything: in every object, in every moment.   God is the active “Force” that extends through all things.  He brings everything to pass according to His will, and of one lump of mankind makes some vessels of mercy unto honor, and some vessels of wrath unto damnation.

See Sub-Chart for more on God’s Immanence.

“In You All”

Regeneration and Sanctification: Avoids Sacerdotalism and Externalism

This avoids externalism in religion.   Christianity is a religion of the heart.   God is a Spirit, and His Word is quick and powerful, speaking to the center of core of man’s heart.    He is present in the believer by the work of His Word and Spirit in a way that He is not with the unbeliever.   He is morally and spiritually present in covenant with the believer, but morally and spiritually far from the unbeliever.  As far as ontology is concerned He is equally present everywhere and in every heart, even the heart of the unbeliever.

All rights reserved, 1997.  No portion of this chart may be copied by any means, including electronic, without written permission of C. W. Powell, New Geneva Theological Seminary, Colorado Springs, CO.

 

Notes on “in You all.”

1.       It really makes no difference to the sense, whether we read this “in all” or “In you all,”  because Paul is speaking of the Church in all these phrases.  It is true that the first two terms apply to both the godly and the ungodly, but this passage can apply only to the believer, and applies to the work of God by the Holy Spirit,  which secures our union with Christ.

2.       The Triune God fills all objective and all subjective space, and therefore is “in” all people and “in” all things, all the time.  Even the Devil and Hell cannot escape this Presence, the awful Presence of Him who fills all things, and in whom we live and move and have our being.  But in a special way—revealing Himself in love and mercy, working the image of Christ, bringing forth the fruit of the Spirit—God is in the Church and in the true believer, and most emphatically NOT in the unbeliever.