Run-on Sentences Do Serve a Purpose!

Ok, so I have this problem and I am admitting it, in hopes that anyone else who struggles with it may find comfort today. See, I like to journal and write and if you get me on a comfy couch, with a good friend and coffee, I can talk an ear off. I write like I think, which basically means one thought can go on and on and on……and on…and…on – OK, you get the gist! My friend once told me, as she was revising one of my papers I had written for school, “Shelly, you’re the Queen of run-on sentences!!” Like I said, I write how I think: like one long spaghetti noodle and everything is intertwined into all my thoughts. Does anyone else understand this??!!! There’s just too much to share, especially if I’m excited about something, that it just goes on and on….and on! I can be asked the question, “How are you?” but that’s a very dangerous question for me. At times I get overwhelmed in my head of how I’m going to explain such a question, like how do I succinctly explain what has happened in the last 24 hours?! My friend Jen will simply say, “Yo, Torres, just give me the cliffs notes version” ūüôā Mmmm, she knows me well!

Ok, so what does this have anything to do with scripture and how might this encourage you as it did me?! Well, I’ve been doing a study throughout scripture regarding identity: Who God Says I Am. There is a section of scripture that I cannot leave and keep going back to in Ephesians 1:3-14. It is rich with so many truths — deep truths, and as these truths are growing in my heart, I know my view of myself will be radically transposed into a higher view because it’s all about¬†who God says I am in light of who He is. That’s the kind of truth worth going back to over and over, right?!

So what made me shout hallelujah as I read a commentary over these verses? Well, let me just say this first. The purpose for the book of Ephesians is identity formation, by reminding believers, “how wonderful God’s work in Christ is, how significant their unity with Christ is and what living for Christ looks like”. Basically as another commentator put it, the first 3 chapters are about a believer’s wealth in Christ and the last 3 chapters are how we practically can live out that wealth! I’m game as to knowing more and more the riches and wealth we have in Christ and I’m sure you are too.

Well, so going back to verses 3-14, Paul is setting forth the theology¬†in a doxology {p.s. – I had to look this up too. A doxology is a hymn or form of words containing an ascription of praise to God. It is suggested that these verses were also sung in local congregations! Imagine that rich theology…mmm…Ok, but back to the verses…}. As we read these verses in our modern¬†translations (ie – NIV, ESV, NASB, etc.)¬†these 11 verses are broken up by 8 sentences. In the original Greek though, the way that the recipients of the church in Ephesus would have heard this letter,¬†the 11 verses would have been just ONE LONG RUN-ON SENTENCE! Go ahead and try reading these verses without putting a period..Ephesians 1:3-14…it’s pretty crazy, right?!

So, this is my deduction, for what it’s worth. It’s as though Paul literally could not even contain the WEALTH of the riches that are ours that comes with being in Christ, that he just had to blurt it out in ONE LONG RUN-ON sentence! I mean, did he stop for air or was he just scribbling away, overwhelmed at telling his brothers and sisters in Ephesus, “DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST??!! Well, I’m gonna tell you because it’s soooooooo good!” As one commentator put it that this long sentence is a “cascading description of God’s work in Christ after another”. Mmmm, cascading…like a waterfall all over us, day in and day out. My prayer is that you would sense the cascade continually wash over you too!¬†And the long spaghetti noodle of praise begins…

  • ~you are BLESSED with every sort of blessing because of your union in Christ
  • ~you were CHOSEN in advanced, to be holy and blameless based on the work of Christ
  • ~you are LOVED
  • ~because it pleased the heart of God, He has ADOPTED you as His very own. Friend, you belong to God.
  • ~you have been GRACED with new life in Christ, which has REDEEMED you, and has RELEASED YOU FROM BONDAGE of sin (that’s forgiveness!)
  • ~you were created for HIS GLORY. Just like Paul and the early church, who were the “first to hope in Christ”, you too were chosen to be a vessel that will bring Him glory (even when you don’t think it nor feel it…it’s what’s true).
  • ~if you ever needed assurance that you don’t belong to this world, but to¬†something larger, or rather Someone larger, you have been SEALED by the Holy Spirit. Truly, you are¬†signed, sealed and delivered¬†as His very own.

So my challenge to myself and to you is that in our walks with the Lord, is to have a heart that is open-wide to the cascading truths of who God says we are, and in turn, we cascade with thanksgiving as those who are truly wealthy in Christ.  Friends, you are blessed, chosen, loved, graced, redeemed, forgiven and sealed by the Holy Spirit, that your very life might display the splendor of His glory!

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