# 1 - Read and consider:|
1 "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus
by the will of God,
To the saints who are at Ephesus
and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ."
THINK ABOUT THIS: |
The letter is part of scripture,
and is not written only for believers
who lived or worshiped in Ephesus.
It is also written for believers today.
See: Romans 15:4
To use and practice Ephesians, we
can extend it to be a letter written
to us, the faithful in Christ Jesus.
We are greeted: "Grace to you
and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ".
# 2 - |
3 "Blessed be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us with
every spiritual blessing
in the heavenly places in Christ,
4 just as He chose us in Him
before the foundation of the world,
that we would be
holy and blameless before Him.
5 He predestined us to adoption
as sons through Jesus Christ
to Himself, according to the kind
intention of His will,
6 to the praise
of the glory of His grace,
which He freely bestowed
on us in the Beloved."
APPLICATIONS; FACTS OF PREDESTINATION:
* Spend time praising God
for His *spiritual* blessings
to us in heaven, in Christ.
* Study to understand that
before the world was founded,
God chose people.
He chose people to be in Christ.
His choice enabled His people
to be holy and blameless
in relationship with Christ.
This is also called predestination.
* God's will is for the people He has chosen
to eventually be adopted as sons of God
through Jesus Christ.
* Praise His glorious grace -
freely bestowed on us in Jesus Christ, the beloved.
# 3 - |
7 "In Him we have redemption
through His blood,
the forgiveness of our trespasses,
according to the riches of His grace
8 which He lavished on us."
FACTS OF REDEMPTION:
* Surrounded by Jesus, we have redemption through His blood.
* Redemption is the forgiveness of our trespasses.
* Forgiveness and redemption for us happen as God the Father's rich grace is lavished on us.
[The evidence of God's grace is spiritual, not physical, gifts.]
# 4 - |
8bIn all wisdom and insight
9 He made known to us
the mystery of His will,
according to His kind intention
which He purposed in Him
10 with a view to
an administration suitable to
the fullness of the times,
that is, the summing up
all things in Christ,
things in the heavens
and things on the earth."
CONSIDER: God's ways aren't man's logic
* In God's wisdom and insight (not in man's), God
revealed the mystery of His will to us (who believe Him)
* His intention was (and is) kind.
* God's viewpoint was to administrate a plan suitable
for all times.
* In other words, God's plan was to establish and enable a way to combine all things in Christ, both heavenly and earth bound things.
What is the mystery of God's will?
What is the fullness of times?
Who administers all things?
# 5 -|
10b"In Him 11 also
we have obtained an inheritance,
having been predestined
according to His purpose
who works all things
after the counsel of His will,
12 to the end that
we who were
the first to hope in Christ
would be to the praise of His glory."
PRAISE GOD'S GLORY - HIS PLAN
[* God the Father plans to sum up all things in Christ (v 1:10) for Him to administer.]
* In Christ we, the predestined, are also heirs. We have obtained an inheritance that fits God's purpose, by working all things together according to His will.
* Our hope in Christ benefits from those who first hoped in Him, and results in our praising God for His glory.
# 6 -
13"In Him, you also, after listening
to the message of truth,
the gospel of your salvation ó
having also believed,
you were sealed in Him
with the Holy Spirit of promise,
14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance,
with a view to the redemption
of Godís own possession,
to the praise of His glory."
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
* You listened to and actually heard Christ's gospel message of truth about His planned offer to save you. (Not all ears hear - see Isaiah 6:10, 32:3, 42:20; Jeremiah 5:21, 6:10; Ezekiel 12:2; Zechariah 7:11; and NT - Matthew references and more )
* You believed God's gospel plan
* Then you were sealed in Christ with the Holy Spirit of promise
* God the Holy Spirit is given to us as a pledge, an earnest, of our inheritance in Christ
* This is God's plan of redemption for those people who are His
* Our response is to praise Him for His glory
* What does this say about requiring a believer to "accept Jesus into his/her heart" or answer an altar call? Instead, we listen & believe the true gospel and are sealed by Holy Spirit.
# 7 -
15 "For this reason I too,
having heard of the faith
in the Lord Jesus
which exists among you and
your love for all the saints,
16 do not cease
giving thanks for you,
while making mention of you
in my prayers;
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of glory,
may give to you a spirit of wisdom
and of revelation in the knowledge of Him."
EVIDENCE, THANKS, and REQUESTS
* Paul had heard of the Ephesians'
faith in Jesus Christ and their
love for all the saints.
* Because of their faith and love,
Paul always thanked God for them
and asked that Christ's Father God
would give them the spirit
of wisdom and revelation
to know the Lord Jesus.
NOTE: Whose faith and love in Christ have you heard about recently?
NOTE: Do your prayers include thanking God for such faithful and loving people?
NOTE: Keep asking Him to give them
1) the spirit of wisdom and revelation and
2) to know the Lord Jesus Christ?
# 8 -
18 "I pray that the eyes of
your heart may be enlightened,
so that you will know
what is the hope of His calling,
what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
19 and what is the surpassing greatness
of His power toward us who believe."
GOD'S WILL FOR PRAYING FOR OTHER BELIEVERS
What does God want us to pray for other Christians?
* that the eyes of his/her heart be enlightened (get it?)
* Why? So he/she will know:
- ) the hope of God's calling
- ) the economics (glorious riches) of God's inheritance in believers (saints)
- ) the ultimate great power of God towards His believers
# 9 -
19 "These are in accordance
with the working
of the strength
of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ,
when He raised Him
from the dead
and seated Him
at His right hand
in the heavenly places,
21 far above all rule
and every name that is named,
not only in this age
but also in the one to come."
PRAISE GOD'S GLORY - HIS PLAN
* These prayer requests agree with
how God's powerful strength
works through Christ:
* God raised Jesus Christ
from the dead and
* seated Him at His right hand
in the heavens, where
* They sit together uniquely -
* far above all other
power, dominion, and
name that is named,
* both right now in this age,
and also in the age to come.
Which believers are you currently praying for?
Where is Christ right now?
We who are in Christ, where are we right now?
# 10 -
22 "And He put all things
in subjection under His feet,
and gave Him as head
over all things to the church,
23 which is His body,
the fullness of Him
who fills all in all."
SUBJECTION and FULLNESS
* The plan of God the Father is
to put everything under Christ's authority.
* Jesus Christ, not any man,
is the head over all things to believers.
* These believing people are the church.
* Believing people (the church) are Christ's body.
* Christ's body is the fullness of God
who fills all in all.
How do these scriptures explain Christ's fullness?
John 1:16-17 Full gospel: grace & truth
Rom 11:25 What allows the fullness of Gentiles?
Rom 15:28-30 Full blessings of Christ
Eph 1:9-11 What is the fullness of times?
Eph 4:12-14 more on the fullness of Christ
Col 1:18-20 the fullness dwells in Christ
Col 2:8-10 in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form