Ephesians Study 2

Ephesians Study Notes and Questions 1

Ephesians Study Notes and Questions 2

Ephesians Study Notes and Questions 3

Epistle to the Ephesians
STUDY 2

Introduction
Ephesians 1:1-2

Ephesians 1:1 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: 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Who is the stated author of the letter?

Paul (Ephesians 1:1,) "I, Paul" (Ephesians 3:1)

What do we learn about Paul (see also Ephesians Study 1)?

He is an apostle (apostolos from apo = from + stello = send <> One sent forth from another who is in authority. He is sent with a commission, the necessary credentials, the sender's authority and the implicit responsibility to accomplish a mission or assignment). He is sent out by Christ Jesus (see Acts 9:15). He did not chose to be an apostle but he became one by the will (thelema = God’s gracious disposition. His choosing Paul as an apostle was not due to any good or merit in Paul, but is the result of His own pure goodness, originating wholly in the freedom of His own thoughts and loving counsel = His "will") of God.

Who is his target audience?

In this letter it is the saints. (See word study on saints)

Ray Stedman in his usual pragmatic expositional style writes that…

Saints is a word at which we all shudder a little. We don't like to be called saints because we have such a plaster idea of what a saint is. We think of them as being unreal -- so beatific, so holier-than-we, so unlike ordinary human beings. But the saints of the New Testament are not that way; they are people like us. Saints are people who are beset with struggles and difficulties, who have disturbances at home, and problems at work, and troubles everywhere else. They're normal people, in other words! But one thing is remarkable about them: They are different. That is really the basic meaning of this word saint. In the Greek it is a word derived from the word for holy. And holy means distinct, different, whole, belonging to God and, therefore, living differently. That is the mark of the saint. It isn't that he doesn't have problems, only that he approaches them differently. He handles them in a different way. He has a different lifestyle. That is what Paul is talking about here. Their characteristic is that they are faithful, which means, of course, that they can't quit. That's what a Christian is -- a person who can't quit being a Christian. A true Christian just can't stop! (Read the entire sermon Ephesians 1:1-14: God At Work)

Where is he writing from?

Prison, most likely in Rome (see Acts 28:11-31, Ephesians 3:1, Ephesians 4:1, Ephesians 6:20).

I love what Pastor Stedman's introductory remarks to his series on Ephesians…

I hope that, as we begin this doctrinal portion of Ephesians, your heart will be anticipating tremendous truth. I would like to urge you to read this letter through once a week during the time that we are engaged in studying these first three chapters. Read it through in various versions, and in different ways. Read it through at one sitting the first week, and then the next week take a chapter a day. Other weeks read it in some of the paraphrases. Let this truth come to you afresh in new and different language. I can guarantee that if you will do this faithfully until we finish our study you will never be the same person again. This truth has the power to change you, and it will!

I think that, of all Paul's letters, the letter to the Romans and this one to Ephesians have affected me most profoundly. Both are attempts at a systematic and rather exhaustive setting forth of the whole Christian view of life and of the world. Others of Paul's letters deal with specific problems, and they are very helpful when we are involved with those same problems. But these two deal with the whole sweep of truth, the great canvas of God's painting of reality. Ephesians has changed my life again and again:

It was from this book that I learned how the body of Christ functions. The truth of the fourth chapter was strongly in my heart when I came to Palo Alto, as a young man fresh from seminary, and began to pastor a small group of people meeting here. It was the conviction that the ministry belongs to the saints, and that the business of a pastor is to help the people find their ministries and to prepare them to function in them, and to discover the excitement of living as Christians where they are, which was formative in the early years of Peninsula Bible Church and is still so strongly emphasized here. It was from this letter that I learned, as a young man, how to handle the sex drive which God had given me, as he has given it to all of us, and how to live properly in a sex-saturated society. This letter is most practical in that way. It teaches us how to come to grips with life as it is.

This letter taught me profound truths about marriage and about family life. I'm still learning in this area, and have a lot more to learn, but I've already learned a great deal about this subject from the letter to the Ephesians. It was this letter which taught me better than any other passage of Scripture how to understand the strange turbulence I often found in my own heart, the spiritual attacks to which I was subject, and how to deal with my fears and anxieties and my depressions -- where these were coming from, and what to do about them. So this is a great and practical letter, and I urge you to become familiar with it and to make it second nature to know the truth of Ephesians. Let me share with you the experience of another person in this respect. This is from the introduction to a book by Dr. John McKay, for many years the president of Princeton University:

I can never forget that the reading of this Pauline letter when I was a boy in my teens exercised a more decisive influence upon my thought and imagination than was ever wrought upon me before or since by the perusal of any piece of literature. The romance of the part played by Jesus Christ in making my personal salvation possible, and in mediating God's cosmic plan, so set my spirit aflame that I laid aside, in all ecstasy of delight, Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo which I happened to be reading at the time. That was my encounter with the Cosmic Christ. The Christ who was, and is, became the passion of my life. I have to admit without shame or reserve that as a result of that encounter I have been unable to think of my own life or the life of mankind or the life of the cosmos apart from Jesus Christ. He came to me and challenged me in the writings of St. Paul. I responded. The years that have followed have been but a footnote to that encounter.

So I would suggest that, if you feel the need for change in your own life and for deepening your relationship with our Lord, you would do well to expose yourself in a very personal way to these teachings from the letter to the Ephesians. (Read the entire sermon Ephesians 1:1-14: God At Work)

Ephesians 1:3-4

Ephesians 1:3 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, 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love

How does Paul begin this letter?

He begins with by giving them a greeting that includes in a sense a prayer for them, a prayer for grace and peace. Note that "grace" is like a bookend in this great epistle the last verse reading…

Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with a love incorruptible. (note Ephesians 6:24)

Observe the order, grace before peace. Know grace, know peace but no grace, no peace!

Grace (charis - see word study) is often defined as unmerited favor, which it surely is, but it is far more than that. Think about the recipients. They had received "unmerited favor" when God saved them ("by grace you have been saved through faith" - note Ephesians 2:8). So as ones who have already been saved by grace, it is quite likely that Paul intends an additional meaning to this grace he speaks to them. Like all "saints", they were still in the world (see Acts 19 for what their world was like - idolatry, magic, demon possession, focus on materialism, etc) and so they needed grace to make it daily. And so grace (still unmerited of course) takes on a different hue or shade of meaning, and speaks of that strength God provides to assist saints to live a supernatural life in a natural world. It is transforming grace, grace that gives strength when the circumstances overwhelm us, when unexpected interruptions jump on us, when God gives us one of those little "pop tests" of life, etc, etc. Paul describes this aspect of grace in his last known letter to Timothy (also written from prison)…

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (see notes 2 Timothy 2:1)

Do you see it? What is inherent in grace? Is it not that unmerited favor from God which is present in Christ Jesus and which gives needed strength to our inner man. This is the "shade" of grace we all need for daily living.

Peace (eirene - see word study) is from the verb eiro which means to join together what has been divided and so to set at one again. It is that attribute given by God to us in Christ so that our spirit might be at rest in all the changing circumstances of life

Here's one of the best illustrations of peace I've ever read and interestingly enough it's from the perspective of a primitive (Gentile) tribesman…

Jim Walton was translating the NT for the Muinane people of La Sabana in the jungles of Colombia. But he was having trouble with the word peace. During this time, Fernando, the village chief, was promised a 20-minute plane ride to a location that would have taken him 3 days to travel by walking. The plane was delayed in arriving at La Sabana, so Fernando departed on foot. When the plane finally came, a runner took off to bring Fernando back. But by the time he had returned, the plane had left. Fernando was livid because of the mix-up. He went to Jim and launched into an angry tirade. Fortunately, Walton had taped the chief's diatribe. When he later translated it, he discovered that the chief kept repeating the phrase,

"I don't have one heart."

Jim asked other villagers what having "one heart" meant, and he found that it was like saying,

"There is nothing between you and the other person."

That, Walton realized, was just what he needed to translate the word peace. To have peace with God means that there is nothing--no sin, no guilt, no condemnation--that separates us. And that peace with God is possible only through Christ (see note Ro 5:1). Do you have "one heart" with God? With your spouse? With your children? With your fellow men?

What does Paul do in verse 2?

He stops for a moment of praise - a blessing to God. Some would call this a "doxology".

He offers a blessing (blessed = eulogetos from eu = well, good + logos = word <> means well spoken of, one worthy of praise and honor. <> English = "eulogy") to God the Father and Son.

Comment: Paul knows he is getting ready to unveil some of the most incredible truths ever written by anyone and it leads him as it should to an anthem of praise. Praise isn't so much something we do, as it is a response from within our spirit and inner man as His Spirit reveals to us the awesome nature of our God. And when He does, the natural outflow that simply cannot be contained is an eruption of praise to the greatness of our majestic God.

Why? What has God done?

The One Paul blesses has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.

Where is that blessing?

In heavenly places.

What is the source of the blessing?

Being in Christ Jesus.

Where is Christ in Ephesians 1:20? Where are we as saints according to Ephesians 2:6? Christ is in the heavenlies (and it is not figurative language but a reality) and we are seated with Him there (not physically of course but still very much a reality, albeit unseen and surely also a bit poorly understood). Where are all spiritual blessings? Are they not where He is and where we are seated with Him? Interesting truths to ponder. Remember God wants us to experience in everyday life the reality of every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. That experience begins with a proper understanding of what Paul described as sound (literally "healthy") doctrine. So although the first 3 chapters of Ephesians are primarily doctrine, they are far from dry, dreary and disinteresting discourse! They are the very foundation stones on which the Spirit of God will build and enable us to partake in a real, albeit supernatural way, "every spiritual blessing"… so that we might possess in our experience what we already possess by virtue of our position (of being "in Christ" and "seated with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus").

What is the theme of Ephesians 1?

Every Spiritual Blessing in Christ

As Ray Stedman says of the spiritual blessings Paul begins to unveil that they…

"are the things that make life worthwhile. Without these great facts, life is unbearable to man, desolate, dull, boring, and we can hardly stand ourselves or each other. This is a list, if you like, of the incompetencies of man. Man cannot provide these. No political party can introduce them. They come from God, and God alone -- God at work. No one else can give them to us. It is absolutely impossible that we ever should achieve them by ourselves. They are the gifts of God."

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Ephesians 1:4 What is the first spiritual blessing Paul describes?
Chosen

What is meaning of the Greek word for "chose"?

The verb eklego means literally to select out, single out or choose out of. Eklego in it's original Classic Greek use expresses in every case the idea that a part has been claimed from a greater quantity, by an independent act of decision for a particular purpose, and that the remainder has been passed over, but not necessarily rejected. Eklego means to choose out for oneself, but not implying rejection of those not chosen.

Who chose us?

God the Father

Where?

In Him (Jesus Christ)

When?

Before the foundation of the world (you may want to stop and ponder this time phrase)

Why did God the Father chose us?

That we would be holy (same word for saint = hagios) and blameless (literally without spot - same word describes Jesus the Lamb as spotless in 1 Peter 1:19) before (literally directly in front of His face or eyes!) Him (Coram Deo = Before the Face of God!)

JOHN 15:16

John 15:16 "You did not choose (eklego) Me, but I chose (eklego) you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you

What do you learn about divine choice from John 15:16?

Jesus chose the 12 disciples, not vice versa. The common practice in Jesus' day was for the disciples to chose which rabbi they would sit under. We did not chose God. He chose us (think about this as a manifestation of God's grace - unmerited favor).

What was His purpose?

That the disciples (and we) should bear fruit (e.g., spiritual fruit such as godly attitudes in Gal 5:22, 23, righteous behavior as in Php 1:11, praise Heb 13:15, and especially leading others to faith in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God Ro1:13-16). Their fruit would remain.

What is the privilege of those chosen?

Free access to God in prayer

What is the context (especially Jesus' following statements about what they would experience in the world - and that their Lord would soon be crucified) and how does that help you understand Jesus' telling them they are chosen?

The following verses predict hatred and persecution from the world. Jesus counters what He knows will cause them to suffer and doubt and reminds them that they are chosen for accomplishing an eternal purpose.

Think about it - if God chose me, then I am His responsibility!

1PETER 1:1-2

1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen (eklektos from eklego) 1:2 according to the foreknowledge (indicates God planned beforehand and not that He observed beforehand or just that He was aware of what was going to happen) of God the Father, by the sanctifying (setting apart) work of the Spirit (He makes those who are "chosen" holy by setting them apart from sin and unto God), that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure. (See notes 1 Peter 1:1; 1:2)

What does Peter explain about God's choice of believers?

The choice was according to the foreknowledge of God - not just that He knew it would happen but that He set about a plan to make it happen.

How was God's choice accomplished?

It involves the sanctifying (setting apart) work of the Spirit.

What is the purpose of God's choice?

(1) It's purpose is that we would obey (literally means to "hear under" picture of listening and submitting to that which is heard) and

(2) that we might be sprinkled with His blood (difficult to be dogmatic - Three times in OT blood was sprinkled on men: [1] Cleaning of lepers Lev 14:1-7, [2] Consecration family of Aaron to priesthood, Ex 29:20-21 and [3] Covenant ratification - Mosaic covenant between God and Israel - using Scripture to interpret Scripture this could allude to an element of all three - NT believers are cleansed from sin, consecrated priests to God all upon entering the New Covenant in Christ's blood). (Comment: 1Peter repeatedly emphasizes suffering and persecution of believers as a result of fact that they were Christians and Peter is writing to encourage them. He begins his "encouragement" with the truth that they are chosen. It follows that God's means for this doctrine to be one that encourages and not that divides believers!)

1CORINTHIANS 1:26-30

1 Cor 1:26-30 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen (eklego) the foolish things of the world (in order) to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world (in order) to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base (low born) things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, (in order) that He might nullify (make of no effect) the things that are, 29 (in order) that no man should boast before God. 30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."

How many times does Paul state God has chosen?

Three times

According to 1Corinthians 1:26-31 what is God's purpose for choosing?

To shame the wise and strong ultimately so that no man can boast about salvation.

The choosing is not something that man can boast in

What is the basis for His choosing us in Christ Jesus?

It is by His doing that we are "in Christ Jesus"

What is the ultimate purpose of God's choice in the plan of salvation?

That we would boast in God. Or as Paul phrases it in Ephesians that it would be to the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 1:5-6

Ephesians 1:5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

What is the spiritual blessing described in this verse?

Predestined to adoption as sons

What does the Greek word for "predestined" mean?

Predestined (proorizo from pró = before + horízo = to determine, as by setting a boundary or limit <> from horos = boundary, limit) literally means to mark out beforehand or set the the limits or boundaries in advance of any place or thing. Though proorizo meant simply to plan in advance, in the New Testament it attracted a special meaning. Here the idea is a divine decree of God, whereby He determined in advance that something should happen.

Wuest commenting on proorizo adds that…

The genius of the word is that of placing limitations upon someone or something beforehand, these limitations bringing that person or thing within the sphere of a certain future or destiny. These meanings are carried over into the New Testament usage of the word. Thus, the “chosen-out” ones, have had limitations put around them which bring them within the sphere of becoming God’s children by adoption (see note Ephesians 1:5), and of being conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus (see note Romans 8:29). (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)

Who predestined us?

God the Father

When did this happen (from the context)?

Before the foundation of the world

What was the purpose?

Adoption as sons (Click excursus on "Adoption as sons")

How did He accomplish this adoption according to this verse?

Through Christ Jesus (we were chosen in Him, we were predestined to adoption through Him). Our "adoption papers" won't be revoked because of some legal snafu. Beloved, you are FOREVER adopted into the family as one of God's sons or daughters. This should give you security in regard to the assurance of your salvation in Christ.

Where were Gentiles spiritually before being adopted? (see Ephesians 2:12 )

"separated from Christ… having no hope, without God in the world" -- and yet now the Father has "adopted [us] as sons… to Himself"! Glory! (See notes Ro 11:33-36).

Romans 5 says Gentiles (and that is most of us) were "helpless" (see note Romans 5:6), "sinners" (see note Romans 5:8), "enemies" of God (see note Romans 5:10)

Colossians says we "were formerly alienated and hostile in mind engaged in evil deeds." (see notes Colossians 1:21)

Understanding who we once WERE helps us appreciate who we now ARE in Christ! It presents such a striking contrast to what we are now that it overwhelms our hearts with gratitude and a deep desire to walk in a manner worthy of our high calling as sons of God who desire to be pleasing to our Father Who choose us even before the foundation of the world!

What motivated the Father to adopt us as His own sons even before the earth came into existence?

The kind intention (eudokia from eu = good, well + dokeo = think <> literally "good pleasure". The delight which God has in blessing His children is found in the fact that what He does for them is dictated by what is good for them) of His will (Comment: Note that Paul says it was "according to" His kind intention. It was proportionate to His kind intention. It was in conformity with His kind intention.)

What is the result of sinners now being God's sons? How does the phrase "to the praise of the glory of His grace" relate to those who are predestined to adoption?

It brings praise to Him and gives a proper opinion (glory) of His grace.

The point is that God's purpose for predestining to adoption as sons is to result in praise of the glory of His grace. Predestining us to adoption is not just for us (which it is), but it is also and ultimately for Him, for from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

What is the practical application of this truth? What should our lives do to others around us?

When we walk worthy of the calling to which we have been called, others can see God's glory and His grace. And this should in turn cause them (and us) to praise God just as Paul did in these passages.

(See related study on letting your light shine before men so that they see your good works and glorify your Father Who is in heaven - notes Matthew 5:14; Matthew 5:15; Matthew 5:16)

What is a "short definition" of grace from this verse?

That which the Father freely bestows on His sons and daughters who are in the Beloved (Christ Jesus).

How much of this grace did we deserve?

None. It is freely bestowed independent of our merit or our works.

Acts 4:27-28

Acts 4:27-28 "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, Whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined (KJV = "determined before") to occur."

What does this verse teach about the trial and crucifixion of Jesus? Was it an "accident", something that should never have occurred?

God's hand (authority) and His purpose predetermined that it would occur. (Comment: This indicates that Christ's mission, especially His death and resurrection, was not ultimately the result of human will but originated in the eternal counsel of God which decreed the event determining all its primary and secondary causes, instruments, agents, and contingencies.)

Acts 2:22-23

Acts 2:22 "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know--23 this Man, delivered up by the predetermined (horizo = marked out by a limit) plan (that which has been purposed and planned) and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

Although this verse does not use the same verb "predestine", what is the truth that parallels that in Acts 4:27-28?

God knew crucifixion would occur. Jesus Christ was delivered to death because God planned and ordained it

Romans 8:28-29

Ro 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren

What is God's purpose for predestining those He called and foreknew?

To become conformed to the image of His Son - God has previously set boundaries around us that assure that this end will be accomplished! Far from being divisive, this truth about predestination is encouraging.

Ephesians 1:7-8

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, 1:8 which He lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight

What does Paul emphasize is the source of the next "spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" and what is it?

In Him - Redemption

How did He accomplish redemption for us?

Through His blood

1PETER 1:18-19

1 Peter 1:18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

What does Peter explain about Jesus' blood?

We were redeemed not with worldly wealth like silver and gold which perish

We were redeemed from our futile (empty, vain, worthless) way of life (inherited from our forefathers - from whom we received "Adam's virus" = see note Romans 5:12)

We were redeemed with Christ's precious (costly, of great value, indescribable worth) blood which was like a sacrificial lamb's blood in the Old Testament, such animals having to be unblemished (without blame) and spotless in order to be acceptable sacrifices.

From the preceding verses (context) in chapter 1 of First Peter we can see that this amazing truth about the preciousness of our redemption is given to motivate us to diligently pursue personal holiness.

Peter had just written that "as obedient children" we should not continually "be conformed to the former lusts (that governed us prior to salvation)… but like the Holy One Who called us" we are to "be holy" in all our behavior (see notes 1 Peter 1:13; 1:14;1:15; 1:16) adding that "if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth knowing that you were not redeemed (lutroo) with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life (Christ saved us from a life of emptiness) inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ." (see notes 1 Peter 1:17, 1:18; 1:19) So Peter exhorts us to live holy lives motivated by a reverential awe (fear) of the fact that we will be impartially judged and also motivated by the costliness of the redemption price, the blood of Christ.

What is the meaning of redemption?

Redemption (see word study on apolutrosis) means to pay a price to set a person free and was used to describe the payment made to free prisoners of war or to liberate slaves from their masters. Before redemption we were held captive by Satan (our "father", cf John 8:44) to do his will and were enslaved to our old sin nature inherited from Adam. In Christ we have been ransomed by His blood (1Cor 6:20; Rev 5:9), are no longer under the curse of the law (Gal 3:13; 4:5) and have been released from the bondage of sin into the freedom of grace.

Illustration of Redemption: A missionary in West Africa was trying to convey the meaning of the word redeem in the Bambara language. So he asked his African assistant to express it in his native tongue. "We say," the assistant replied, "that God took our heads out." "But how does that explain redemption?" the perplexed missionary asked. The man told him that many years ago some of his ancestors had been captured by slave-traders, chained together, and driven to the seacoast. Each of the prisoners had a heavy iron collar around his neck. As the slaves passed through a village, a chief might notice a friend of his among the captives and offer to pay the slave-traders in gold, ivory, silver, or brass. The prisoner would be redeemed by the payment. His head then would be taken out of his iron collar. What an unusual and graphic illustration of the word redeem! Let Him take your head out of the enslaving collar of sin and set you free.

Redeemed–how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy–
His child, and forever I am. – Fanny Crosby
(play hymn)

Christ was lifted up on the horrible Cross
That we might be lifted out of our deadly sin.

What is redemption closely associated with in Ephesians 1:7 and in Colossians 1:14?

Forgiveness (see word study on aphesis from apo = from + hiemi = send) pictures sending away from and in Greek secular writings was a technical legal term for repaying a debt or canceling a debt.

This act of sending away of our trespasses and sins brings to mind the Old Testament ritual carried out once each year on the Day of Atonement when the high priest sent the scapegoat into the wilderness (read about it in Leviticus 16). The high priest would first kill one of the two goats and sprinkle its blood before God on the mercy seat in the Holy of holies (where the glory of the Lord dwelt and where only he could enter and then only on this one special day each year). The high priest would confess Israel’s sins over the live goat, and would have this goat taken into the wilderness to be lost. What a wonderful picture of God's incomparable, unmerited forgiveness of all of our trespasses and sins! Christ, the Lamb of God, was also the "Scapegoat", Who died to carry away our sins, so that they might never again be seen! Hallelujah! (see this same principle beautifully pictured in Ps 103:12; Mic 7:18 19).

COLOSSIANS 1:13-14

Colossians 1:13 For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

How does Paul explain redemption of Christ in Colossians 1:13; 1:14?

Deliverance and transfer

It involved a deliverance or rescue from the "right and the might" of darkness, from the power of Satan and our Sin nature, neither of which now have the right to force believers to do their evil will. As a way of life the evil one cannot grasp a believer in a way that exerts a modifying influence on his life. Redemption made possible this transfer from one kingdom (governed by Satan, the flesh and the world system) into the Kingdom of light ruled by Christ. In the ancient world the Greek word "transfer" was used to describe the displacement of a conquered people to another land. Antiochus the Great "transferred" at least 2,000 Jews from Babylonia to Colossae (so the Colossians surely grasped the import of this liberating truth). The kingdom is not just future (it is that) but is also a present, practical reality for Paul explains that "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (not the externals but the eternals are to be given priority in Christ's Kingdom!) (see note Romans 14:17)

Ephesians 1:7; 1:8 What else does Paul explain about our costly redemption? What makes it possible?

According to the riches of His grace

The meaning of the little phrase "according to" is important to grasp. It does not mean a portion out of but a proportion of God's riches of grace. How rich is God in grace? Infinitely rich, right? So he provides for redemption and forgiveness not by giving a portion but a proportion! Let's illustrate. If I am a billionaire and I give you ten dollars, I have given you out of my riches; but if I give you a million dollars, I have given to you according to my riches. The first is a portion while the second is a proportion. "

How did God provide His grace to believers?

He lavished it on us

The Greek verb for lavished (perisseuo from perissos = abundant) means our Father caused His grace to superabound to undeserving sinners in superabundance! That's amazing grace! It's an oversized grace and more than enough to save and keep us saved for time and eternity. The same verb is used by Paul in his famous statement "where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (see note Romans 5:20)

ROMANS 3:24

Romans 3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus

Romans 3:24 What else did redemption achieve for believers?

Justification as a gift by His grace

Reminds us that redemption is in Christ Jesus

To justify (see word study on dikaioo) is a legal term borrowed from the courtroom in which the judge renders a legally binding verdict of "not guilty". The defendant is "acquitted". In salvation dikaioo describes the legal act whereby God declares the believing sinner to be righteous or in right standing before Him on the basis of the payment of the price of redemption, the blood of Christ. Justification is not doled out piecemeal over a period of time through priests or ritual-observance. It is not subject to recall so that you have to get it over and over again. Justification is once for all time and is the believer's permanent state before God. Just as you may not be tried for the same crime again after being acquitted, God's justification means you will never be tried or condemned by Him again for your sins--past, present, or future! This is good news indeed beloved of the Father! Be careful to observe that justification is not an act of God that makes us righteous but is an act of God that declares us righteous.

ROMANS 8:23

Romans 8:23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit (in other words, the first fruits is the presence of the indwelling Spirit), even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly (see word study on apekdechomai = pictures awaiting the return of Jesus with a sense of great expectation and anticipation - used 3 times in Romans 8! Romans 8:19, 8:25) for the redemption (apolutrosis) of our body

What does Paul teach about redemption in Romans 8:23?

Redemption has a future aspect = glorification of our bodies, when Jesus returns and resurrects all believers changing them in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Yes, believers have redemption through His blood as our present possession but we eagerly await the final culmination of this redemption.

Every believer has the first fruit (The first portion of the harvest was regarded both as a first installment and as a pledge of the final delivery of the greater harvest!) which is the indwelling Holy Spirit (compare to the Spirit as our "pledge" - see note Ephesians 1:14)

When we as believers experience the Holy Spirit enabling or empowering us to turn from darkness to light, from iniquity to obedience, love, worship, and service to the most High God, we have a foretaste of the future completed and perfected renewal He will work in us at the resurrection. Every time we see Him working His righteousness in and through us, we yearn all the more to be freed of our remaining sin and spiritual weakness. Because of our divinely-bestowed sensitivity to sin, we ourselves groan within ourselves over the dreadful curse of sin that is still manifested by our remaining humanness, and the many times we stumble in our thoughts, words or deeds. But glory to God, this condition won't last for long!

When was the price of redemption paid?

On the Cross - Jesus declared "It is finished" (John 19:30) which is the Greek verb "Tetelestai" which translated means "Paid in Full!"

When someone had a debt in ancient times and it was paid off, they would write "Tetelestai" on that certificate which means 'Paid in Full', the exact words Jesus declared in His moment of ultimate triumph over Satan and Sin! Tetelestai was used by various people in everyday life in those days. Receipts for taxes found in the the secular Greek writings have written across them this single Greek word "Tetelestai"! (A good document to have when the auditor comes!) When a Roman citizen was convicted of a crime, the law of that day slammed him in prison, prepared a "Certificate of Debt" that listed all the crimes he was convicted of on it and nailed the certificate to his cell door for all to see. It remained nailed there so all would be assured that he served his full sentence, and "paid in full" the penalty for his crimes. When Jesus, dying for us on that awful Cross, announced His great victory cry with the Greek word "Tetelestai", it would have resonated with many watching this spectacle for it was a very familiar phrase. Tetelestai was the same word that the authorities stamped across the Certificate of Debt after a criminal had completed his prison term. It literally meant that he had "Paid in Full" for all his crimes. Then the criminal was given the certificate which he could produce to show that his debts and obligations had been "paid in full." He could never be a victim of "double jeopardy" or paying for the same crime twice.

In a similar way, when an artist completed a picture or a writer finished his manuscript, he might say “It is finished!” The death of Jesus on the Cross “completes the picture” (cf the truth in Ephesians 1:9; 1:10 - notes) that God had been painting since before the foundation of the world, the story that He had written from all eternity. It had been predestined, predetermined in the mind and heart of the Father. Because of the Cross, now we can look back and begin to understand all of the Old Testament rituals and ceremonies which pointed to this one day in time and eternity when the price of redemption for lost, helpless, hopeless and enslaved mankind was "Paid in Full"! Glory to God! Hallelujah!

2 Timothy 1:8-9 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 Who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,

Ephesians 1:9-10

Ephesians 1:9 (In all wisdom and insight) 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 fulness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth. In Him

What is the spiritual blessing Paul describes in these verses?

The mystery of God's Will - it's a sneak preview. He doesn't tell us here what it is in these verses.

How was it revealed and what motivated God to do so?

In all wisdom and insight = what God gave Paul to help understand

It was made known

God was motivated by His kind intention which He purposed in Christ

What is the mystery?

Believing Jews and Gentiles in one body, the Church, with Christ as the head of the body.

Why did God make known the mystery?

With a view to an administration (management or stewardship) of the fulness of times

In short that time when all things (including things in heaven and earth) would be summed up in Christ

How else is this word "administration" used in Ephesians 3:2?

Paul explains God gave him a stewardship of grace for the Gentiles

In essence it was the revelation of the mystery of the church

By implication, Paul was called to be a good "manager" or "administrator" of this mystery

Whey do you think this "summing up" begins?

Most likely began at the Cross - this is when the mystery began to be unfolded

Ephesians 1:11-12

Ephesians 1:11 (In Him) 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 should be to the praise of His glory.

What was the spiritual blessing in these verses?

An inheritance

Where was it made available?

In Him = in Christ

When was it originated? By Whom? Realized?

Predestined by God (implies before the foundation of the world from the context)

Realized when they believed on Christ

What was God's motivation?

According to His purpose

How certain was it to happen?

God works all things after the counsel of His will

What was His purpose?

That those who the first to hope in Christ would bring praise to God's glory

Let's look at the phrase "the first to hope in Christ"

Paul says "we" so he is included.

PHILIPPIANS 3:4-6

Phil 3:4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.

What is Paul according to Phil 3:4-6?

Jew (Hebrew of Hebrews)

ROMANS 1:16

Ro 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

What did he explain about the gospel in Romans 1:16?

Power of God for salvation

To everyone who believes

Everyone = Jew first and also Greek

MARK 7:26-29

Mark 7:26 Now the woman was a Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking (imperfect tense - pictures her asking Him over and over!) Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And He was saying to her, "Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs (not the same word Jews used to refer to Gentiles but "a little dog" in essence a household pet)." 28 But she answered and said to Him, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs (diminutive = "little dogs") under the table feed on the children's (diminutive = "little children") crumbs (diminutive = "little crumbs or scraps of bread")." 29 And He said to her, "Because of this answer go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter."

Mark 7:26-29 What did Jesus teach about who He was sent to?

The Gentile woman's question prompted Jesus to declare that the children (Jews) were to be satisfied first. He is speaking figuratively of those who would here the good news, but even His statement of "first" implies a "second" which in context of the NT writings would be the Gentiles. In fact He did acknowledge the Gentile, casting the demon out of her daughter.

Wuest has an interesting comment on Mark 7:27 "children… first" writing…

In answering the woman thus, He was just staying by His commission, to the Jew first, and then to the Gentile. And that order of procedure was not favoritism, but only the method of reaching the large number through a selected smaller group. The Jew was the chosen channel through which God has elected to reach the Gentiles. It would be just a wise efficiency to thus go to the Jew first. The Messiah, sent to Israel, was careful to preserve that order. And even when about to minister to a Gentile to whom His compassionate heart went out, He was careful to remind her of the fact that she came second, not first, in the great program of God. He uses the illustration of the children of the household at the table, and their little pets under the table. It is seemly, proper, (kalon), He says, to see that the children are fed first, then the little dogs, their pets. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)

MATTHEW 1:1

Mat 1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Mt 1:1 How is Jesus identified?

the son of David (so Jesus is a Jew), the son of Abraham.

JOHN 1:11

John 1:11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

John 1:11 Who are His own?

Jews

How did the Jews respond to Jesus?

Did not receive Him (for the most part)

Remember we are looking for the answer of the question who are "the first to hope".

ACTS 1:1-15

Acts 1:1 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. 3 To these He also presented Himself alive, after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. 4 And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said," you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water (John prophesied of the Spirit in John 1:33), but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." (The promise was that the Spirit would be sent and this promise was repeatedly stated during the Lord’s earthly ministry-- see Luke 11:13; 24:49; John 7:39; 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7; 20:22 -- a promise fulfilled just 10 days later on the day of Pentecost) 6 And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."

(Comment: God's plan had always been to the Jew first who would then fulfill her missionary call to be a "light unto the nations, the Gentiles", a charge Israel miserably failed at in the Old Testament. Now God would give these Jews the Holy Spirit Who would enable them to fulfill God's charge to the Jews. The believing Jews would take the gospel to Samaria and then throughout the Roman Empire, which is exactly what transpired especially as they were dispersed in Acts 8:1)

Acts 1:9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them; 11 and they also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven." 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away. 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. 15 And at this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said

What is the promise Jesus gave to His Jewish disciples (and of which John the Baptist had prophesied)? When did He say it would be fulfilled?

Promise = Baptized with the Holy Spirit

Not many days from when He spoke (Jesus was taken up after 40 days and Pentecost is 50 days after feast of first fruits = "Easter Sunday" = resurrection of Christ. Jesus is saying that in 10 days they would receive the promise of the Spirit.)

ACTS 2:1-5

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit (baptism of the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus had occurred) and began to speak with other tongues (evidence that the baptism had occurred), as the Spirit was giving them utterance. 5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation under heaven.

What happened? Who was there? What did this fulfill?

Spirit came, filled them and the spoke in tongues (as Spirit gave them the words)

Recipients of this first baptism of the Spirit = Jews from every nation

It fulfilled John the Baptist's and Jesus' prophecies of the promised Holy Spirit

ACTS 2:14, 36-41

Acts 2:14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: "Men of Judea, and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give heed to my words.

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know that God has made Him both Lord and Christ-- this Jesus whom you crucified." 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" 38 And Peter said to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 "For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself." 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation!" 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

Acts 2:14, 36-41 Who is Peter's audience?

Men of Judea (Acts 2:14) - House of Israel (Acts 2:36)

What was their response to Peter's message and how did Peter answer?

Pierced to the heart - what shall we do?

Peter declares repent - they will receive the promise = the gift of the Holy Spirit

Acts 2:39 How does Peter explain the gift of the Holy Spirit?

He reiterates it was a promise

He states the Spirit was for you (Jews) and your children + for all far off (Gentiles)

Comment: The promise of the Spirit actually was first given in the Old Testament in association of the promise of the New Covenant inaugurated by the Messiah. In Ezekiel God foretells of the New Covenant and the promise of the Holy Spirit…

Ezekiel 36:25: "Then I (Jehovah) will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances."

ACTS 10:1, 44-48

Acts 10:1 Now there was a certain man at Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian cohort, 2 a devout man, and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people, and prayed to God continually.

Acts 10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45 And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. (Comment: The six Jewish brethren Peter brought with him from Joppa were amazed that the Gentiles were saved and received the Spirit. That the church was not to be exclusively Jewish must have come as quite a shock to them. Yet they could hardly deny what was happening) 46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, 47 "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.

Acts 10:1, 44-48: (Time Context = these events transpired some 8 years after the Spirit came on the day of Pentecost and the church was born) Who is Cornelius and what happens to him (and others with him)?

Listened to message (implied that they believed - which Peter testifies in Acts 11:17 below) > gift of the Spirit upon the Gentiles

How did the Jews with Peter know the Gentiles had received the gift?

They heard them speaking with tongues and exalting God

ACTS 11:1,15-18

Acts 11:1 (Jerusalem council) Now the apostles and the brethren who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God… Acts 11:15 "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as He did upon us at the beginning. 16 "And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, 'John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' 17 "If God therefore gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?" 18 And when they heard this, they quieted down, and glorified God, saying, "Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life."

What transpired at the "Jerusalem Council" where believing Jews me to deal with the question of Gentile believers?

Peter reiterates his story (and of the 6 Jews who were with him) that the Gentiles received the Word, believed in the Lord Jesus Christ (v17) and the Spirit fell on them just as He did on the Jews at the beginning (Pentecost) = same way indicates they Gentiles spoke in tongues.

In addition Peter recalls his Lord's words that John baptized with water but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit (As happened to the Jews gathered in Jerusalem at Pentecost and then to the Gentiles in Caesarea)

Their conclusion in Acts 11:18: "God has granted the Gentiles also (cf Ephesians 1:13

Paul's phrase in "you also" referring clearly to the Gentiles) the repentance that lead to life"

SUMMARY

Eph 1:12 "we who were the first to hope in Christ" = believing Jews

Eph 1:13 "you also after listening to the message of the truth" = believing Gentiles

Ephesians 1:13-14

Ephesians 1:13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—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 God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

What is the blessing?

Salvation and sealing

Who is saved and sealed (in context)?

You also (Gentiles) imply you plus we believing Jews

Who seals and where is the sealing carried out?

Holy Spirit of promise seals believers in Christ

Why is He called the Holy Spirit of promise?

He was promised by Jesus, came at Pentecost on Jews and then 8 years later on Jews, just as had been promised.

What does sealed mean?

Sealing (sphragizo) in secular use referred to an official mark of identification that was placed on a letter, contract, or other important document. The seal usually was made from hot wax, which was placed on the document and then impressed with a signet ring. The document was thereby officially identified with and under the authority of the person to whom the signet belonged. Paul uses sealing figuratively to convey to believers the ideas of security, authenticity, and ownership. In the ancient world people would commonly brand or mark personal possessions just as they would seal a letter, and this seal would identify the sender. In this passage the seal conveys the idea that believers are marked as God's possession with the seal of the Holy Spirit.

How does this truth make you feel about the security of your salvation?

Ephesians 1:14 How else is the Holy Spirit described?

As a pledge of our inheritance

What is a pledge?

A pledge (arrhabon) in ancient Greece originally referred to a down payment or earnest money given to secure a purchase. Later it came to represent any sort of pledge or earnest. A form of this word even came to be used for engagement ring - this guarantees that a marriage will take place (In the future at the return of the Lord, what wedding are believers to participate in?) It was promissory first installment that guaranteed a full, final payment. Our modern terms "earnest money" or "down payment" give an accurate picture of the meaning of a pledge. Thus a pledge was part of the price paid beforehand to confirm a transaction and served as a down-payment in kind guaranteeing the full payment of the rest at some later time. It always implies an act which engages to something bigger. The idea is a part given in advance of what will be bestowed fully afterwards.

What is the spiritual significance of the pledge in this verse?

The Spirit is a pledge of our future inheritance - the Holy Spirit God has been given to believers in this present life so that we might have firm assurance of our future, eternal inheritance. He is like our "engagement ring"! He is the first installment, the guarantee and the foretaste of the full inheritance yet to come, culminating in the reception of our future glorified bodies.

Why does God give believers the Spirit as a pledge?

Paul says it is with a view to the redemption of God's Own Possession

Who is God's possession?

Believers -- the final redemption of His possession will come when we are glorified

What is God's ultimate purpose?

That it would be to the praise of His glory

EPHESIANS 4:30
2CORINTHIANS 1:21-22

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

2Corinthians 1:21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22 Who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.

What does Ephesians 4:30 reiterate?

Believers are sealed by the Spirit

It is for the day of redemption (future redemption of our bodies - see Romans 8:23 discussed above)

Speaks of security - even though we grieve the Spirit, we are are still sealed

What does 2Cor 1:21-22 teach that parallels Ephesians 1:13 and 1:14?

Observe 4 spiritual blessings: God (1) establishes us (stabilizes believers and places them on a firm foundation spiritually) (2) anoints us (priests, prophets and kings were anointed for service in the OT and believers in the NT) (3) seals (4) gives the Holy Spirit as a pledge (what God has begun, He will complete for again this speaks of a down payment which obligates the payer to make further payments!). Note also the clear reference to the Trinity in these 2 verses.

1PETER 1:3-5

1Peter 1:3 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1:4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 1:5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

What does Peter teach about our inheritance?

It is for those who have been born again

It is imperishable, undefiled and will not fade away

It is reserved in heaven

We are protected by the power of God

We look toward a future tense salvation (redemption of our bodies = glorification)

ROMANS 8:16-23

Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

Romans 8:16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23 What does Paul teach about our inheritance in this passage?

(v17) Heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ

(v18) Incomparable glory that will be revealed to us

TITUS 3:5-7

Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 3:6 Whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 3:7 that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

What does Paul teach about the inheritance?

Part of our inheritance (3:5) now is our hope (absolute certainty of future good) of eternal life (3:7) = we can have confidence now that we will inherit eternal life. In a word, the believer's inheritance is a certainty of eternal life.

JAMES 2:5

James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

What does James teach about the believer's inheritance?

We are heirs of the kingdom of God - there is a present as well as future component (Millennium and then the new heaven and new earth that follows)

1JOHN 3:1-3

1 John 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

What does John teach about this final redemption?

Although we are children of God now, we don't appear now as we shall appear someday

When we see Jesus we will be made like Him

This hope (certainty) should in the meantime motivate us to purify ourselves, even as a prospective bride (engaged) keeps herself pure for her husband and their wedding day (think of the church as the bride of Christ).

1CORINTHIANS 15:50-54

1 Cor 15:50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory.

1Cor 15:50-54: How does Paul describe the future redemption of our now decaying bodies?

All of our bodies will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye

Perishable puts on imperishable

Mortal puts on immortality

Death is no longer

1CORINTHIANS 6:19-20

1 Cor 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit Who is in you, Whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

What does Paul explain that relates to "God's own possession"?

Believers have the Holy Spirit in their bodies which are temples

We are not our own

We have been bought with a price (cf redeemed by the blood of Christ)

Our purpose now as believers waiting for our coming inheritance is to glorify God in our bodies, giving a proper opinion of Who he is by the way we use our bodies, taking care to avoid those things would profane that which is holy and set apart for God.

Ephesians 1:14 What is the ultimate purpose Paul of our mentions?

All that we are blessed with is to bring praise to His glory

Ephesians 1:3-14

In one magnificent sentence Paul paints a panoramic picture of God's incomprehensible, glorious, mysterious plan of salvation from eternity past to eternity future.

Several thousand years earlier Job aptly summed up the breadth and length and height and depth of one of the greatest single sentences ever penned when he declared…

"Behold, these are the fringes of His ways, and how faint a word we hear of Him! But His mighty thunder, who can understand?" (Job 26:14)

And so we come to understand a little better why Paul fell to his knees in prayer…

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, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers 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. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might. (Amen and Amen)

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