The church I grew up in as a boy focused on the imperative. They told me what I should do. In my case they told me over and over again without much result. I eventually became consumed with guilt because of my inability and eventually…I became indignant. The thing I almost never heard was the theological basis for why I should do what was commanded. I was often told what to do; I was much less often what God had done and why that ought to motivate me to live a certain way. Now the practical implication of that was that I listened to a lot of preaching from the last fourth of Romans…and the second

half of Ephesians…but I never got to hear much preaching from the groundwork for the commands contained there.

That is not, however, the way Paul does it. In Ephesians, Paul focuses first on what God has done on behalf of His people. It is only when he is overcome by the glory of God’s kindness toward us in Christ that he shifts to a discussion of how believers ought to respond.