After the three troublesome books of 1 and 2 Corinthians and Galatians, there follow three very positive epistles. The book of Ephesians tells us that this messy church is actually the apple of God’s eye, something He desired and planned in eternity past and something He is completing in time as the focus of His divine economy. The church in your locality is the expression of this universal Body. Then the book of Philippians brings us to a situation where the apostle and the saints are properly related.
This is in sharp contrast to 2 Corinthians, where the saints were questioning Paul’s apostleship even though he had raised them up, nourished them, and labored for their growth. For some reason, the Corinthian believers did not know how to appreciate the apostles properly, while the Philippian believers had a very healthy relationship with Paul.
First Corinthians can be seen to contrast with Ephesians, and Galatians stands in contrast to Colossians, for in Colossians the person of Christ is preeminent and above all.
Adapted from Oneness and the One Accord, pages 72-73.
Tomorrow: “Oneness in the Book of Colossians” (6)