Ephesians Chapter 1
Ephesians Chapter 1
Let us look at the book of Ephesians chapter 1.
According to 2 Timothy 3 we are told what the scriptures are good for.
Timothy 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
First we are told that all scripture not just the parts we like but all scripture is given by inspiration of God and that it is profitable for doctrine which is right believing, for reproof which tells us when we are not teaching and practicing the word of God correctly, and correction which brings us back to correct teaching from the error we were practicing. Every scripture in the entire bible will fit into one of these three categories.
Rom 8:1a [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus:
This verse is doctrine; it tells us the right believing about what Jesus Christ accomplished. We are no longer condemned. Jesus Christ took all that was against us and nailed it to the tree he was crucified on. He has paid the price for you and me and any who will believe that God raised him from the dead.
1Corinthians 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater [is] he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
1Corinthians 14:6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
Apparently there were those who would just speak in tongues which profits the person speaking but brings no prophet to the church. This is clearly reproof. Paul is showing the church at Corinth that what they were doing was not what God wished them to do.
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
There was a group of religious Jews who followed Paul and tried to undo the teaching that Jesus Christ is the end of the law. One of the major points in the law that the religious Jews wanted everyone to adhere to was the laws concerning circumcision. Well if Jesus Christ was the end of the law and part of that law was every male had to be circumcised then Jesus Christ had put an end to it. Paul said via revelation that “Christ would become of no effect” if you continue to live under the law. Because of what Jesus Christ had done neither circumcision nor non circumcision availed anything but you were to operate by faith. See how Paul is trying to draw them back to the word. This is correction. They had been teaching wrongly and continued to practice that you still had to be circumcised and Paul is bringing them back to operating by faith and not the ordinances of the law. This is correction of the practical error that arose from the teachings in the book of Romans.
Now there are seven Church epistles and each one falls into one of the three categories.
The book of Romans contains the doctrine of what Christ had accomplished that if you believed and confessed that God raised Jesus from the dead you have salvation. There are many others truths contained in Romans as well.
Corinthians reproves the doctrinal error that arose from failing to adhere to doctrine of the book of Romans, and then Galatians corrects the doctrinal error that the believers were practicing.
Next you come to Ephesians. Ephesians is doctrine; it tells us what we have at the moment. The benefits and responsibilities we have as children of God.
Then Philippians reproves the practical error that grew out of failing to adhere to the doctrine of Ephesians. Colossians corrects the practical error and brings you back to right believing set forth in Ephesians.
Thessalonians stands alone. Thessalonians is the doctrine of the first return of Jesus Christ. Since that is future there can be no practical error since it has not occurred yet.
So now with that understanding we go to Ephesians chapter 1
Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Have you ever wondered what an apostle is? Well an Apostle is a gift ministry given from God to a person; this person will bring new light to the current generation. Now the light may be old light but it will be new to those of the generation he is speaking to. So let’s say that the generation is teaching that you must confess your sins to be saved. Now the apostle would come and start teaching that you are saved by grace and it has nothing to do with what you do. It is a gift from God to man to anyone who will accept it. That would be new light to that generation. Ephesians 2: 8,9 is where that information is.
Now if you do a word study on the word Apostle you will find some other interesting information as well. It is a compound word apo and stollsō. Apo means one sent to send, the military commander sent to get the ships where they need to be sent, and stollos means the one who is equipped to go. Before we go into the word it is interesting this Greek word apostolos is used in profane literature in regards to a naval commander who is the one who assigns the ships where to go. He would get the ships all lined up correctly so when the battle would start they would come out victorious. He was sent to send. He would be equipped to do the Job. This is its major use. He would bring new orders to that fleet even if it is old orders it is new to the current fleet.
Let’s see what the word has to say.
Mark 1:2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
The word send is the Greek word apostellō. Here it is speaking of John the Baptist.
Mat . 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into [any] city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
The word sent is the word of apostle.
Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Again the word sent is apostellō.
1John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
Again sent is the word apostle
Hebrews 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
There are many more and I would suggest when you have the time you check them out.
Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at
Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
The word saint means God’s holy ones or those who are set apart. We have been set apart from the rest of the world we will not suffer the wrath of God, we will be gathered or raptured away before it all breaks loose here upon earth. From what we read in Revelations we don’t want to be there to go through what is coming.
In verse 1 where it says Ephesians in the oldest Greek texts is left blank. So it is written to the faithful in Christ Jesus. Now it is not talking about your one or two hour a week Christian this is talking about those who are faithful those who endeavor to renew their minds on a daily basis.
The word grace means unmerited divine favor. Grace is something you do not earn it is something given to you. If you take an action then it is payment not grace.
The words grace and peace are together many times. They by nature go together. If you have unmerited divine favor and operate it you will be at peace.
We have been blessed with all spiritual blessings. There are no more that you can have we have it all. So many people try to earn their way into heaven and hope for a tidbit from God. How far below par we have been taught to live. No one has risen up to the word and is willing to say what the word says. We have all spiritual blessings. There is nothing more that God can give as far as spiritual blessings go. You have it all! I don’t know how to say it so you see how big it is. If you had a million dollars in the bank but didn’t know it you would live a life that is short of what is available for you to live. We have to have the courage to read God’s word and to claim what the word of God says we have and to do what the word of God says we can do.
Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
We have been chosen by God we are holy and without blame. That sort of puts an end to it, the hellfire and brimstone sermons just are wrong if the word is right! How can we be these terrible sinners if God says he choose us and we are holy without blame before him in love? God has a pretty high opinion of you maybe it’s time that you start seeing yourself the same way God does. You don’t listen to men you can read the word for yourself right here and you stand before God holy and without blame. Why because Jesus Christ paid the price so that you could stand before God in this manner. So why wait, stand now holy and without blame before God in love. This is not me flapping my gums this is God’s word.
Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Now you may know that 1 Peter says we have been born by seed. So is this a contradiction here where it says we were adopted? No this points out a great truth. Remember these people were under Roman law. Now Roman law tended to be brutal most of the time. Under Roman law you could disown your child by birth. You could do this for many reasons. A child by birth you never knew what you were getting. They could be mentally challenged, or a psychopath, or just some horrible person. So under the Roman law you could disown you own child by birth. This law did not however apply to adopted children. They were your child by your choice. You could see them so once you adopted them you could not disinherit them. God doesn’t want to get rid of us, he choose us and he will always be there for us. God choose you that is such a comforting thought. God wants you as his child. So we are not only God’s child by birth but by God’s choice.
Before you get all big headed remember:
How does one reconcile this with freedom of will? First we need to understand who God called.
1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
So what is God's will that all men should be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth. Is this happening? To me it would seem that not to be happening, all men are getting saved. So a man’s will comes into play in the formula. It is basic contract law. God wants x and to get x you need to do something or give something to acquire x. God wants us to get saved we have to do that which God requires of us to be saved which is to believe he raised Jesus of Nazareth from the dead and to make him Lord of our life. See Romans 10:9,10 for further information
Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
The first word in this verse is the Greek word eis. It is a preposition normally translated to or unto. There is another preposition the Greek word is pros. The word eis means to travel the entire length of a vector. Pros means to head in the direction of something. If you would say he went to the store with the word pros it means you head in the direction of the store it does not necessarily mean you got there. The same thing with the word eis means you got to the store. Here it is the word eis to the praise of his glory means it has been achieved.
We have been made acceptable. If you have confessed Jesus Christ as your lord and believed God raised him from the dead you got a gift from God of holy spirit. You have been made acceptable. This has nothing to do with what we did or didn't do. You can confess your sin all day and night and it does nothing, you might get a good feeling but we are talking about the accuracy of God’s word not how you feel. You can also get a good feeling from seeing a shrink that does not mean you got saved or born again.
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Now we have some pronouns. Pronouns refer back to nouns so you have to keep straight which noun the pro refers to as one of my teachers in the word would say. Mostly context will tell you but all the rules of biblical interruption apply. This verse has to fit with all other verses that deal with the same subject.
Eph. 1:7 In whom(God) we have redemption through his(Has to be Jesus Christ) blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his (God) grace;
This verse ties it up into a nice neat package. We have been redeemed. The word redeemed means to be bought back for a price. Jesus Christ’s blood paid for the grace we received. The grace came from God at the price of his son’s life.
Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Verse nine clearly says we have been saved from the wrath that is to come. So anyone who makes a claim that something is a sign of the end times is here now has no idea of what they are talking about! They have proven they do not understand the scripture and what the scripture say. You need to be careful with that person and what they say they have proven they have wrongly divided the scriptures. You could also show them these scriptures and point out between Romans and Thessalonians we are never told to look for any signs we are given a hope 1 Thessalonians 4:13 ff .
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
11 And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
Now that is a pretty good definition of love. While we were dead in trespasses and sin Christ died for us so we could be reconciled to God. The last word of verse 11 is atonement someone once showed me what that word means. At one because of what Christ did we are at one with God. We have been reconciled and we have been made righteous and been redeemed.
Ephesians 1:8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
The word wisdom means knowledge applied and prudence means wise or judicious in practical affairs. God not only gave us wisdom and prudence but he abounded it to us. There are two kinds of knowledge carnal and spiritual. God shows and teaches us how to use both. Now the spiritual knowledge works on a much higher plane than the carnal but you need both. If all you have is the carnal you will never have the answers you need in life. You may be very wise but if you have decided against spiritual knowledge being in your life you have been and will continue to be deceived until such time as you start learning the in’s and outs of spiritual knowledge.
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
There is a day coming when the Archangel will blow the trumpet of God.
1 Thess. 4: 13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
That day is coming. It has been coming for many years but all the unbelief didn't stop the first coming of Christ and all the lousy unbelief in the world will not stop his return for his saints. You can be a part of it or suffer the consequences.
The word dispensation means administration, just like we talk about the Obama administration or the Bush administration, of the fullness of time. It cannot come to us till it is available. Till then we are to study the word put forth extreme effort to live as God wants us to live and to do what God would have us do.
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
We have an inheritance with God. Not too shabby, my father owns the cattle upon a thousand hills and we are joint heirs with Christ.
We were predesignated to be to the praise of his (God’s) glory who first trusted in Christ. So God trusted him so maybe we should as well. When people talk about predestination they never say what we were predesignated to do. They will argue we were predestined so that means we have no freedom of will. Well that isn't what my bible says, it says we were predesignated according to the purpose of his will, so what is the will of God? His word is his will and God would that all men should be saved but not all men are even those who say we are predesignated don’t say all are saved so why are there those who have not been saved? If it is God’s will that all men should be saved then they must have some say in the matter. They can have the same birth and adoptive rights we have if they will accept it they just choose not to.
The main difference between you a believer and a non believer is your choice in the matter. AS it says in verse 13 we trusted in Christ as well and we were sealed or as one translation says it we were canned up with holy spirit because of who we trusted. That spirit is the token or the small piece which represents a larger reality that we have. Anyone who has ever traveled on mass transit in New York City will understand it that token you get when you pay represents a ride to almost any place in NYC. That token is in us until Christ comes back to pick up all that he paid for
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
One thing to notice Paul had heard of their faith. These people were not just people who wanted to be Christian but they let go all there old beliefs. These were men and women who got committed to God and to moving his word. In the 19 chapter of Acts it talks about this place and it says so mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. The word doesn't prevail when a bunch of halfhearted people hope something happens, these people made things happen by standing on the word.
So Paul is about to pray for the saints, all the saints, not just those at Ephesus. Remember it is blank in verse one according to the oldest texts. So this is Paul and God’s believing for the church.
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
There are 6 things that are prayed for, for us. This is Paul’s and ultimately God’s believing for us
- Give spirit of wisdom
- Revelation knowledge in the knowledge of him
- Full enlightenment of truth
- Hope of his calling
- Riches of glory of his inheritance
- What is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe
He is praying we are given Spirit of Wisdom. So right off from the start you are not talking about someone who just started fellowship yesterday. We are talking about a more seasoned believer. It’s not that someone new to the body of Christ can’t operate in spiritual wisdom it is more that it takes time before they grow to that point. It would be like a baby just born eating steak, it just is not the way it happens. Even the apostle who wrote this book took time after his conversion to study and to learn. He didn't go from Damascus straight to so mightily grew the word of God prevailing there was some growth time required you get to the prevailing word.
Revelation knowledge comes first from studying the word of God. The word is revelation knowledge God expects you to know what you can from the word of God before he starts handing out special revelation. For instance if you are worshiping any other god other than the father of our lord the first thing God would expect is that you stop your idol worship because that is what his written word tells us to do. Once you are in alignment and harmony then God will start talking to you, he expects you to change. As you apply the word change happens.
Full enlightenment of the truth again you have to have the basic knowledge we are given in the word. Then once you have grown into a mature believer God can give full enlightenment. If you cannot handle the basics how can you expect God to trust you with more important things? It’s like if you offer to help with a meeting the person in charge may not start you off by letting you teach the word he may want you to start by taking care of the coffee for the after fellowship. If you can handle the smaller stuff then maybe they will let you move on to more important things. Well those leaders are following the example God sets for us.
The Hope of his calling, if you get involved you will find that the hope is all that keeps you going at times. The hope motivates and encourages us. The hope is what we look for. The hope will be where you find all things that get done are done for.
With the hope comes the riches of our inheritance that we have.
The exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe. The power that created the universe is in Christ (God was in Christ) and Christ is in us. Therefore the power that created the universe is within you. See we limit God, it has never been God is unwilling to do things with us it is we haven’t grown to reach our full potential. We have at our beckon call all the power to do signs miracles and wonders; the only question is will you let yourself have the faith to do the works, because that power is there with all the promises of God to back it up. Yes, God will decide how that power gets used but it is there waiting for you to use it to move God’s word!