Ephesians 5:14: The Meaning of the Promise

We proceed to the sixth Question moved in § 1, What is the meaning of the promise subjoined to the admonition, and Christ shall dawn upon thee? And whether supernatural grace is only going to follow upon the right use of natural gifts? With respect to the first member of the Question, we do not entertain here one and another variant reading, less suitable, or even inept, which already of old CHRYSOSTOM rejected and JEROME exploded, and concerning which Interpreters everywhere treat.  When the Apostle writes, καὶ ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ Χριστός, and Christ shall give thee light, the sense of this promise is able to be fixed with sufficient confidence from those things that were observed in § 11 on the text of Isaiah 60:1-3, with those things compared that had been prefaced in § 10 for the illustration of the prophecy of the same Prophet, Isaiah 9:1, 2.  That is, as the grace and salvation to be brought by Christ alone as the Redeemer and Savior of the world is wont not only to be magnified most brilliantly in the Sacred Scripture in proper words, but also to be commended under various emblems borrow from whatever matters eminent in excellence, pleasantness, and usefulness:  so all saving benefits to be merited by Christ and to be conferred upon the redeemed elect occur here under the emblem of Illumination, proceeding from Christ, as the Dayspring from on high, ἀνατολῇ ἐξ ὕψους, Luke 1:78; the Sun of Righteousness, under whose wings are spiritual healing and enlargement, Malachi 4:2; the true Light that, coming into the world, illuminates whatever man; the Word in whom was life, which life was the Light of men, shining in the darkness, John 1:9, 4, 5.  This Sun of Righteousness in his rising would bring a gladsome day of grace, whereby the former darkness of ignorance, impurity, shame, and terror would be dissipated; and the agreeable light of saving wisdom, spiritual healing, divine favor, true holiness, continued enlargement of the new life, the very safest guidance, solid glory, and heavenly joy, would succeed according to the effects and adjuncts proper to Light, especially Solar Light.  In the collation of which benefits Christ the Mediator would show the efficacy of His Sacerdotal merits, would extend His Prophetic instruction, and at the same time His Royal guidance, government, and liberality; which prerogatives the elect in Israel had already of old enjoyed, by the retroactive power of the satisfaction and obedience of the promised and coming Mediator:  but who, coming into the world through incarnation in a time of the thickest gloom, would in actuality merit these benefits, the distribution of which, extended even to the Gentiles, to whom previously communion in the same had been denied, and bring light out of darkness, a most welcome day dawning after a terrible night.  And from none other than Christ, the sole Mediator between God and men, 1 Timothy 2:5; the way, the truth, and the life, without whom no no comes to the Father, John 14:6; was this Illumination able to be expected and to proceed, who is uniquely qualified as the Sun of Righteousness and at the same time is alone sufficient to bless fully the entire world of the elect; just as also the Sun alone is given in nature, illuminating the entire world, warming, vivifying, and benignly nourishing and cherishing all things by its rays.

Leave a Comment