Ephesians Study 3

Ephesians Study Notes and Questions 1

Ephesians Study Notes and Questions 2

Ephesians Study Notes and Questions 3

Ephesians Study Notes and Questions 4

Epistle to the Ephesians
STUDY 3

Ephesians 1:15-18a

Ephesians 1:15: How does Paul introduce this section?

"For this reason" which is known as a term of conclusion.

Phrases like "for this reason" always beg the question of "For what reason?" The most reasonable association is the incredible verses that have showered blessing after blessing on these saints.

Ephesians 1:15: What had Paul heard (gone about 4 yr)?

Faith in the Lord Jesus and Love for all the saints - faith without love is stringent and love without faith is shallow. Their faith was shown to be real because of the agape love, the same love God demonstrated toward us on Calvary, was flowing forth to all the other saints.

Ephesians 1:13 How had they come to faith initially?

Listened to the Message of Truth, the Gospel of their salvation and they believed it.

Ephesians 1:13; 1:14: How sure was their salvation?

Sealed by Spirit of promise (ownership, security, authenticity)

What other assurance did they possess?

Pledge of our inheritance until our final redemption

Comment: Have you had a victory over sin this past week? If you are a believer surely you can remember some time when sin was tempting you to surrender and you were enable to say "no" because of the "pledge" that was indwelling you, the Spirit of the living God. You can mark it down that every spiritual victory you experience as a result of the Spirit of God living in you as God's "pledge" is one more indicator of the full payment that’s coming in the future. The Spirit is the first fruits, but a greater harvest is on its way at the return of Jesus Christ, when our redemption is finally completed.

What would this have done for Paul who was in prison?

Surely he would have been encouraged him but it also stimulated him as we see below.

Ephesians 1:16 What does Paul do for the saints?

Thanked God for their faith (in the Lord Jesus) and love (for all the saints) and prayed for them

What does he pray?

Father of Glory may give a spirit of wisdom and knowledge (this could refer to the Holy Spirit and/or to man's spirit) in the revelation of Him (of God)

What is "true knowledge"?

The Greek word epignosis speaks of experiential knowledge, that is, knowledge gained by experience. It means to not only know it but to understand but to experience God. In other words, it means to be drawn into God Himself and not just the facts about Him.

Ephesians 1:18 What did Paul pray for?

That the eyes of their heart would be enlightened (by Spirit) = illumination

What in simple terms is Paul praying for these saints?

His prayer in simple terms is a prayer for a deeper understanding. He has just told them what they possess because of God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit has done, but now he wants them to know God in a deeper, more intimate way. Paul begins to pray that the Gentile readers (including us today) would come to experientially and intuitively know God in a deeper way and to fully understand their resources in Christ so that they might live in His power to the praise of the glory of God's grace.

Paul is praying for a deeper spiritual understanding, that "Ah Ha" reaction we have when we begin to really understand and exclaim "I see it! I finally see what you’re telling me, Lord!" That's what Paul is praying for here. Why? Why would he be praying for this "Ah Ha" enlightenment? Remember that the first three chapters are doctrine but the last three begin with how we are to walk. Paul knows that as a man thinks in his heart, his spiritual interior, will determine how he walks. And so he prays that these saints might be able to grasp the breadth and length and height and depth of the great truths in this chapter, so that they might be enabled by the indwelling Spirit and the riches of God's grace to order their steps in a manner which is pleasing to the Lord.

Illustration - History tells us that when Crowfoot, the chief of the Blackfoot nation in southern Alberta, gave the Canadian Pacific Railway permission to lay track from Medicine Hat to Calgary, he was given in exchange a lifetime railroad pass. Reportedly, Crowfoot put the pass in a leather pouch and wore it around his neck for the rest of his life—but he never once availed himself of the rights and privileges it spelled out. What a tragedy it is when believers who have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ do the same thing with their "possessions" (their blessings), using them as a decorative badges of their Christianity, but never availing themselves of the wealth afforded to them in a true knowledge and deeper understanding of these spiritual blessings in Christ. That is what Paul is praying to prevent from occurring!

Ephesians 1:18b
The Hope

(Click related discussion)

What is the Biblical meaning of hope?

It is not like we commonly use it today "I hope it will rain", "I hope my favorite team wins this weekend".

Biblical hope in simple terms is an expression of the absolute certainty of future good, the absolute assurance that God will do good to me in the future.

In this case it is God's calling - it has "hope" as one of its components.

1JOHN 3:2-3

1John 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.

How does a 1John 3:2-3 help us understand the "hope of our calling"?

We are children of God (adopted as sons, possessors of an inheritance)

But it has not appeared as yet what we shall be ("the hope of our calling")

When He appears we shall be like Him

This hope motivates us to purify ourselves just as He is pure

ROMANS 8:28-30

Romans 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; 30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (See notes Romans 8:28; Romans 8:29; Romans 8:30)

Ro 8:29 What is the "hope of our calling" the absolute certainty in this verse?

Predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son = completely fulfilled when we see Him for we shall be like Him, perfect and glorified!

Ro 8:29-30 What is process and culmination of our salvation in these verses?

Believers have been foreknown > predestined > called > justified (declared righteous by faith) > glorified

Note: "Have been glorified" is past tense, because God "works all things after the counsel of His will" so what is future to us today is so certain to God that it is described as already accomplished!

PHILIPPIANS 1:3-6

Phil 1:3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (See notes Philippians 1:3; Philippians 1:4; Philippians 1:5; Philippians 1:6)

Philippians 1:6 What does Paul remind the saints at Philippi that relates to the "hope of our calling"?

The good (God) work had begun in them (and us) would just as certainly be perfected (completed, brought to its intended goal).

Comment: The verb “will perfect” points to the eternal security of the Christian, a component of our blessed hope. It is neither our responsibility nor within our capability to maintain ourselves in a state of salvation. God began this work in us (Ephesians 2:8), and He will see it through to its completion when we are finally like Christ, our "Hope" (1Ti 1:1) This is the basis of all confidence in the continuing nature of salvation.

G. Campbell Morgan told about a Christian woman who was struggling with giving her life fully to Jesus. The woman said to Morgan, “I know I will have to do all the things I most dislike, but I am determined to be a real Christian.” A year later, Morgan was visiting in her town and spoke with her again. “Do you recall,” she inquired, “What I said to you when I dedicated my life to Christ?” He told her he did. As she looked at him, the light of God appeared to be on her face. She exclaimed, “But it’s been so different, Dr. Morgan! I began to follow Christ, feeling that I would have to do all the things that were contrary to my desires, but now I do what I want every day because God has made me pleased with the things that please Him!”

When will this "good work" be finalized?

The day of Christ Jesus or as John explains "when we see Him, we will be like Him"!

PHILIPPIANS 1:19-21

Phil 1:19 For I know that this shall turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I shall not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ shall even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (See notes Philippians 1:19; Philippians 1:20; Philippians 1:21)

Philippians 1:21 What do you learn about the "hope of our calling"?

Whether we live or die it is gain for Christ is every believer's sure, final destination

Matthew Henry expressed this confidence in words he hoped would be read after his death by anyone who might unduly mourn his passing. He wrote:

“Would you like to know where I am? I am at home in my Father’s house, in the mansions prepared for me here. I am where I want to be—no longer on the stormy sea, but in God’s safe, quiet harbor. My sowing time is done and I am reaping; my joy is as the joy of harvest. Would you like to know what I am doing? I see God, not as through a glass darkly, but face to face. I am engaged in the sweet enjoyment of my precious Redeemer. I am singing hallelujahs to Him who sits upon the throne, and I am constantly praising Him. Would you know what blessed company I keep? It is better than the best on earth. Here are the holy angels and the spirits of just men made perfect. I am with many of my old acquaintances with whom I worked and prayed, and who have come here before me. Lastly, would you know how long this will continue? It is a dawn that never fades! After millions and millions of ages, it will be as fresh as it is now. Therefore, weep not for me!”

Warren Wiersbe offers a very practical understanding and application of this great passage…

Wiersbe says: Php1:21 becomes a valuable test of our lives.

“For to me to live is _____________
and to die is ______________.”

Fill in the blanks yourself.

“For to me to live is money and to die is to leave it all behind.”
“For to me to live is fame and to die is to be forgotten.”
“For to me to live is power and to die is to lose it all.

No, we must echo Paul’s convictions if we are going to have joy in spite of circumstances, and if we are going to share in the furtherance of the Gospel. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain!” No matter how you look at it, nothing can steal a man’s joy if he possesses the single mind! “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Php1:21). Maltbie Babcock, who wrote “This Is My Father’s World,” has said, “Life is what we are alive to.” When my wife and I go shopping, I dread going to the yard goods department, but I often have to go because my wife enjoys looking at fabrics. If on the way to the yard goods section I spot the book department, I suddenly come alive! The thing that excites us and “turns us on” is the thing that really is “life” to us. In Paul’s case, Christ was his life. Christ excited him and made his life worth living. (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

ILLUSTRATION - This following story beautifully illustrates the present value of our future blessed hope - "Isaac Asimov tells the story of a rough ocean crossing during which a Mr. Jones became terribly seasick. At an especially rough time, a kind steward patted Jones on the shoulder and said,

"I know, sir, that it seems awful. But remember, no one ever died of seasickness."

Mr. Jones lifted his green countenance to the steward's concerned face and replied,

"Oh, don't say that! It's only the wonderful hope of dying that keeps me alive."

There's more in Jones' words than a touch of irony. As a Christian, I hear echoes of Paul's words to the Philippians. He said that the wonderful hope of dying kept him going (Php1:21-23). Yet he wasn't merely looking for relief from his suffering. Paul's hope was rooted in Christ, who died on the cross for sinners, rose from the grave, ascended to heaven, and would one day take Paul into His presence. How did this hope of seeing Christ, either at death or at the Lord's return, keep Paul going? It gave meaning to every moment. It gave him reason to live for Christ. It also gave him incentive to focus on others who needed his encouragement. He said, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain". (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Father, thank You for the risen Christ. He is our reason for living.

A wonderful joy is now flooding my heart,
Giving assurance that will not depart.
My Savior is living and reigning above;
Life has rich meaning because of His love. —Bosch

Those who are prepared to die are most prepared to live.

2TIMOTHY 1:12

2 Timothy 1:9 Who (God) 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, 10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. 12 For this reason (what reason?) I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed (why not?) for I know (eido/oida = intuitively, beyond a shadow of a doubt) Whom (not "what" I believe, but "Who" - doctrine is important but must always lead to a greater love and intimacy with Christ) I have believed and I am convinced that He is able (has the inherent power) to guard (from loss = our hope has security) what I have entrusted to Him until that day. (See notes 2 Timothy 1:9; 2 Timothy 1:10; 2 Timothy 1:11; 2 Timothy 1:12)

2 Timothy 1:12 How did Paul (writing from a dank prison cell) encourage Timothy?

Paul despite the fact that he was in prison, had been deserted by others and knew that he was being poured out as a drink offering (going to die), had the inner strength in Christ to write that he was convinced Jesus would keep what Paul had entrusted to Him until the day when Paul would see Him face to face. Our hope is not "hope so" but is a certainty!

ILLUSTRATION: When Sir James Simpson, the discoverer of chloroform, was on his deathbed, a friend asked him, “Sir, what are your speculations?” Simpson replied: “Speculations! I have no speculations! ‘For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” That is the picture of a man who knows intuitively and beyond a shadow of doubt the truth about the "hope of his calling"! May his tribe increase in answer to Paul's prayer in Ephesians 1!

1 THESSALONIANS 5:23-24

1Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely (word implies entirety and the idea of completion); and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

1Thessalonians 5:23-24 How sure of the hope?

God is faithful to bring to pass what He has promised and that for which Paul prays for the saints at Thessalonica ( sanctified entirely, without blame at His coming).

Here are a few of many other aspects of the "hope of our calling" as recorded in the New Testament (See related in depth study of the Believer's Blessed Hope)

THE BLESSED HOPE OF CHRIST'S RETURN…

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. (See notes Titus 2:11; Titus 2:12; Titus 2:13; Titus 2:14)

HOPE THE ANCHOR OF OUR SOUL…

Hebrews 6:18-20 in order that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have strong encouragement, we who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

THE HOPE OF OUR FUTURE GLORY…

Romans 5:1 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

Ephesians 1:18b
The Riches of His Inheritance

(Click related discussion)

What is the second component of Paul's prayer for his Gentile readers?

That they would know the riches of the glory of God's inheritance in the saints

Note: There are two ways to interpret this phrase:

(1) The saints are His inheritance He considers a treasure of incomparable worth! Amazing grace! In Ephesians 1:14 Paul spoke of our inheritance, but here seems to speak of God's inheritance in believers. As saints, we’re God’s inheritance, His treasure, His prize!

(2) The other view is that the inheritance means all that we will inherit in Christ.

View (1) is probably the more valid interpretation although both truths are taught in Scripture and the Greek text does allow for both interpretations.

Ephesians 1:11 When did we obtain an inheritance?

Predestined = before foundation of world

Have obtained = past tense of something future! That is how certain the inheritance associated with "hope of our calling" is for believers and why Paul is praying for the saints to know beyond a shadow of a doubt about this truth so that they might lay hold of it by faith and might walk in the light (enlightened in their heart, the center of their being) of this life transforming truth.

Ephesians 1:11 How certain is our inheritance?

If it is according to God's purpose Who works all things out after the counsel of His will, it is absolutely certain.

Ephesians 1:14 What does this truth explain about the certainty of our inheritance?

God gave us His Spirit as a pledge (see Greek word study), the Holy Spirit representing the first fruits (the foretaste of the harvest to come) of our inheritance, and is in a sense God's "earnest money" or "down payment" representing His promise to give us the full amount in the day of Christ Jesus.

COLOSSIANS 2:2-3

Colossians 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (See notes Colossians 2:2; Colossians 2:3)

Colossians 2:3 What is a present aspect of our inheritance?

In Christ are hidden all treasures of wisdom & knowledge Christ Himself is our inheritance

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, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (See notes 1 Peter 3:3; 1 Peter 3:4; 1 Peter 3:5)

1Peter 1:3-5 What learn about future inheritance?

For those born again to a living hope

Imperishable, Undefiled, not fade away

Reserved in heaven

When? Until salvation ready to be revealed in the last time

ROMANS 8:16-23

Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and 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 future aspect, compare the past aspect in Ephesians 1:5), the redemption of our body (the future aspect of redemption = glorification, compare the past aspect of redemption in Ephesians 1:7). (See notes Romans 8:16; 8:17; 8:18; 8:19; 8:20; 8:21; 8:22; 8:23)

Ro 8:16-23 What explain about our inheritance?

Ro 8:16 children of God

Ro 8:17 heirs, heirs of God, fellow heirs w Christ > glorified with Him (see the "hope of His calling" above)

Ro 8:18 associated with incomparable glory

Ro 8:19 When sons of God are revealed

Ro 8:21 Glory of the children of God

Ro 8:23 Adoption as sons

Redemption of our bodies

TITUS 3:7

Titus 3:7 that being justified (declared righteous, "acquitted") by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (see note)

Titus 3: 7 What is the inheritance?

Hope (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?

James 2:5 What is the inheritance?

Heirs of the kingdom

Ephesians 1:19-23
The Power

(Click related discussion)

What is the third component of Paul's prayer?

How is the power described? To whom?

Surpassing greatness

Toward us who believe

What is this power according to (proportionate) to?

Working of the strength of His might

Working = energeia; Strength = ischus; Might = kratos

Ephesians 1:19; 1:20: How does Paul explain this power?

God raised Jesus from dead (resurrection power)

God Seated Him at right hand (ascension power)

In heavenly places

Ephesians 1:21 How is Christ's position explained?

Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion

Every name that is name

This age and the age to come

Ephesians 1:22 What authority did God give Christ?

Put all things in subjection under His feet

Ephesians 1:23 What is He the head over?

All things

To the Church = His Body

IN HEAVENLY PLACES…

Ephesians 1:3 Our blessings are there in Christ

Ephesians 1:20 Christ is there seated at the R hand of God

Ephesians 2:6 Believers are seated there in Christ

Ephesians 6:12 Spiritual forces of wickedness are there

What is the Christ's relationship to spiritual forces?

Far above all

What about believers?

Far above all

What did Luke record in Acts 19:15 that parallels the relationship between believers and the demonic powers?

Jesus I know and Paul I know but who are you?)

Warren Wiersbe sums up Paul's prayer for the saints to know the surpassing greatness of His power they possess noting that…

In the four Gospels, we see God’s power at work in the ministry of Jesus Christ, but in the Book of Acts, we see that same power at work in ordinary men and women, members of the body of Christ. What a transformation took place in Peter’s life between the end of the Gospels and the beginning of Acts. What made the difference? The resurrection power of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8). The greatest power shortage today is not in our generators or our gas tanks. It is in our personal lives. Will Paul’s prayer be answered in your life? Will you, starting today, begin to know by experience God—God’s calling—God’s riches—and God’s power? (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

Ephesians 2:1-3
Formerly

Ephesians 2:1; 2:2; 2:3 What was the former state of the Gentile believers?

Dead in trespasses and sins,

Formerly walked according to

1) World - course of this world,

2) Devil - the prince of the power of the air, spirit now working in sons of disobedience

3) Flesh - lived according to the lusts of the flesh, indulging desires b

Titus 3:3 What parallel truth does this verse teach about unbelievers?

We (Paul includes himself) also once were (cf "formerly) foolish ourselves (note)

Disobedient

Deceived

Enslaved to various lusts and pleasures (cf Redemption = pay a price to set slaves or captives free!)

Spending life in malice and envy,

Hateful and hating one another

How does God describe their spiritual legacy?

Sons of disobedience - sons who are characterized by disobedience

By nature children of wrath (By nature = born that way, see note Romans 5:12) - by their being born into Adam, they were destined for eternal wrath (unless God intervened)

EXCURSUS ON THE PRINCE
OF THE POWER OF THE AIR

1JOHN 5:19

1John 5:19 We know that we are (present tense = continually) of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

1John 5:19 What is scope of the devil's power?

Whole world lies in his power = rules world system

Comment: How is it we know we are of God? In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit of promise is our seal (authentication) and in Romans 8:16

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God

John says "we know" which is the verb (oida) expressing absolute certainty beyond a chance. God placed this awareness in our hearts when He transferred us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of His beloved Son. The use of the perfect tense conveys the truth that this knowledge is permanent in believers. The "world" is kosmos which in this moral or ethically use refers to the world system of evil of which Satan is the head, all unsaved people his servants, together with the pursuits, pleasure, purposes, people, and places where God is not wanted. Kosmos is the hostile world of men who are living alienated, apart from God and irrevocably opposed to Him. John minces no words in this passage emphasizing that there are only two spheres of spiritual existence - one is either in Christ (in His Kingdom - children of God) or in Adam (in the world - children of Satan), the latter "spiritual address" applying to every person who has never been saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. In sum, this evil world system is the domain of the evil one, Satan! Because the whole world belongs to Satan, Christians should assiduously avoid its polluting and corrupting influences.

JOHN 8:44

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.

John 8:44 How does Jesus describe him?

Jews father = devil = Murderer from the beginning = Adam

Does not stand in the truth = No truth in him

Speaks = lie = liar and father of lies

REVELATION 20:2

Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time. (See commentary on Rev 20:2)

Rev 20:2 What other names is the devil known by?

Dragon = Serpent of old (refers to Genesis 3 when he deceived Eve) = Satan

COLOSSIANS 1:12-14

Colossians 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 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. (see notes Colossians 1:12; Colossians 1:13;Colossians 1:14)

Colossians 1:13 What did God the Father do for us?

Delivered us (rescued) from domain of darkness (the ruler of which was Satan)

Transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son

Michael and His Angels Fight the Dragon
Click to enlarge
Michael and His Angels Fight the Dragon

REVELATION 12:7-9

And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (See commentary on Revelation 12:7; Revelation 12:8; Revelation 12:9) (Comment: The events described in this section transpire at the midpoint of Daniel's Seventieth Week)

Revelation 12:7-9: Who was with Satan? Where?

His angels = in heaven

What will happen to Satan and his angels in the future?

Wage war w/ Michael and his angels

Not strong enough = No longer a place in heaven

Thrown down to the earth (3x)

Deceives whole world

Comment: "Thrown down" is a key phrase occurring three times. This casting down is the first stage in the fulfillment of what was made possible by the triumph of Christ upon the Cross (Luke 10:18; John 12:31; 16:11; Col. 2:15; Heb. 2:14; 1Jn. 3:8). From a study of Revelation, this throwing down coincides with the midpoint of the seven year period of time - Daniel's Seventieth Week - this midpoint marking the beginning of the Great Tribulation. The next stage occurs with Satan's binding for 1000 years -- The Millennium -- in the abyss (see Rev 20:1-3 above) after which he is released for a short time to deceive again and then finally and forever he will be cast into the Lake of Fire (See commentary notes on Rev 20:10).

Who is not described as participating in this angelic struggle?

Jesus Christ - He is the Creator, while Satan is but a created being, which is an unbridgeable gap.

MATTHEW 12:22-28

What do you learn about Jesus and demons?
He has power over them (cf Ephesians 1:21, Acts 19:15)

Mt 12:22-28 Who is Beelzebul ("lord of the flies") and what is his realm of authority?

Devil = ruler of the demons

HEBREWS 2:14-15

Hebrews 2:14 Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

Heb 2:14-15 Who does "He Himself" refer to?

Jesus

Why did Jesus partake?

He had to be fully man in order to die as men's substitute

What did death of Jesus' do to power of devil?

Rendered powerless him who had power of death

What is the deliverance available to believers?

Freedom from fear of death

Comment: For many months after the close of World War II, Japanese troops were discovered hidden in the caves and jungles of the Pacific islands. Some of these stragglers were living like frightened savages because they did not know the war was over. Once they understood that it was no longer necessary for them to fight, they surrendered. Christians may rest in the truth that Satan is a defeated enemy. He may still win a few battles here and there, but he has already lost the war! Sentence has been pronounced on him, but it will be awhile before the punishment is meted out. (and in the meantime he is our mortal enemy and wages relentless war against us so that the WWII analogy is not completely accurate).

JOHN 12:30-33

John 12:30 (Context: The Father had spoken from heaven in answer to Jesus' request to "glorify Thy Name." The multitudes heard it but were confused thinking it might be thunder or an angel.) Jesus answered and said, "This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes. 31 Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself. 33 But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.

John 12:30-33 What does Jesus mean by "now judgment is upon this world"? (When in His life does this event occur?)

The judgment in context refers to God's judgment of Jesus on the Cross bearing the sins of all mankind. Sin was judged in the Substitute and the result was death for Christ but justification for the believer.

Who is the ruler of the world and what is his end?

The ruler of this world is Satan who will be cast down (cf Rev 12:7-9 where "thrown down" is used 3 times). (Comment: At the Cross "sentence was pronounced" against Satan, but it will not be until sometime future when this sentence is carried out. Revelation 12:7-9 describes the first "installment" of this sentence when Satan is thrown down from heaven to which he still has access. The second "installment" of the sentence is when Satan is bound in the abyss for 1000 years so that he is unable to deceive the nations, as described in Revelation 20:1-3. The final "installment" of the sentence occurs when he is cast into the Lake of fire at the end of the 1000 year period, as described in Revelation 20:7-10 - see notes Rev 20:7, 8, 9, 10).

John 12:32-33 How is Satan's power defeated?

At the Cross

A few other parallel passages on the fate of Satan…

Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." 18 And He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning."

(Comment: In fairness, it should be noted that the interpretation of this passage is considerably debated. In my opinion, Jesus is saying that the power of Satan was broken [at Calvary], and the success of the 70 over demons was proof of it. The disciple's success was a preview of the ultimate falling of Satan from heaven like lightning and so was descriptive of a still future event when he will be cast out of heaven once and for all by Michael and his angels. See comments on Revelation 12:7; 12:8; 12:9) (MacDonald, a conservative evangelical commentator, explains that Luke 10:18 "may mean that He saw in their success an earnest of the eventual fall of Satan… This fall of Satan is still future. He will be cast out of heaven by Michael and his angels (Rev 12:7-9). This will take place during the Tribulation Period, and prior to Christ’s Glorious Reign on earth. (Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)

1John 3:8 the one who practices (present tense = habitually) sin is (present tense = habitually) of the devil (his spiritual father, cf John 8:44); for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Ephesians 2:4-10
But God

Ephesians 2:4 How Paul introduce the contrast with their former state?

But God (see note)

Titus 3:4 How does Paul introduce the contrast?

But when (see note)

In short, God stepped out of eternity and into time and intervened in their dead lives

Ephesians 2:4 What motivated God to save us?

He was rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us

What does Paul explain in Titus 3:4?

Titus 3:4 – Kindness of God our Savior, love for mankind

Ephesians 2:5 (Titus 3:5) What did God do?

God saved us (See study of sozo, the verb for saved)

When?

He saved us when we were dead (note repetition which emphasizes that salvation is unmerited favor) in our transgressions - dead to spiritual truths of God and helpless to save ourselves!

Ephesians 2:5, 2:6 How does Paul describe the "process" of salvation "in Christ"?

Made us alive together with Christ (note)

Raised us up with Him (note)

Seated us in the heavenly place in Christ Jesus (note)

Comment: Each of the verbs made alive with, raised with, seated with has the identical prepositional prefix "sun" (syn) which mean "with" in Greek but is significantly different than the other Greek word for with (meta) which conveys the of beside, whereas sun speaks of an intimate, indissoluble union. Let's illustrate using a well known event, the crucifixion. Two criminals were punished with Jesus and both were crucified with (metá) Him, i.e., in His company, but only one was spiritually crucified with (sún) Christ, i.e., bound up or in union with Him while the other thief was not. The first thief entered paradise, while the second entered hell. And so we get a glimpse of the significance of Paul's three combination verbs used to explain our salvation. Clearly, he is driving home not only these basic truths of our salvation but that this salvation is irrevocable. The believer who has been made alive with Christ, raised with Christ and seated with Christ is eternally secure in Christ.

Ephesians 2:7 What will God do for believers in the future?

In ages to come will show surpassing riches of His grace in kindness to us in Christ Jesus -- Believers will be an eternal display of the grace of God. This miracle of transforming grace will be the subject of eternal revelation.

Constable writes that…

God’s ultimate purpose is to glorify Himself. The “ages” to come include all future ages. God will use the regeneration of believers to demonstrate the wealth and richness of His grace (cf. Ephesians 1:7). Specifically His kindness toward believers as displayed in all that we have in Christ is in view. We see God’s kindness in His giving life to those who were dead in sin. (Ephesians Expository Notes)

Ephesians 2:8 How does Paul describe salvation?

By grace = Grace is the foundation for our salvation.

Through faith = Faith is the instrument or channel or means by which one accesses the grace of God and receives salvation.

Constable writes that…

Faith is not an act or work that earns merit with God that He rewards with salvation. When a person puts out his hand to take a gift that someone else offers, he or she is doing nothing to merit that gift. The giver gets credit for the gift, not the receiver. Likewise faith is not a meritorious work. (Ephesians Expository Notes)

What is faith (or verb "believe") according to the respected lexicon authored by W E Vine? (Click for Vine's definition online)

It is not just mental assent

Firm conviction

Surrender to truth

Conduct resulting from surrender

Ephesians 2:5 What aspect of salvation does Paul emphasize (repeat)?

Our state of death (and helplessness to save ourselves) in transgressions

The contrasting truth that in spite of our being dead God saved us by grace - this serves to highlight the undeserved nature of grace and our inability to do anything to earn it.

Ephesians 2:8 What does Paul add to explain salvation "by grace through faith"?

That not that of yourselves

It is the gift of God

Comment: Many have debated what the "that" ("that not of yourselves") refers to, but the consensus is that it refers to neither grace nor faith but to the whole process of salvation. (See discussion of interpretation of "that")

Ephesians 2:9 How are are men not saved?

Not the result of works (note)

Salvation is not by works since its basis is grace and its means of reception faith. Paul's point is that no one will be able to boast that they have done anything to merit their salvation and the conclusion is that all the glory will go to God for "so great a salvation".

Titus 3:5 What does Paul add to explanation of salvation?

According to His mercy = washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit (note)

EXCURSUS ON GRACE

What is God's grace?
Ephesians 1:2
Paul begins and ends (Ephesians 6:24) this letter with a "benediction" of grace to his readers - since they were already saved by grace, this indicates the ongoing need of grace in our daily lives and speaks of enabling grace, grace which makes it possible for saved sinners to walk in a supernatural manner worthy of the calling to which they have been called

Ephesians 1:6

Grace of God has glory which is praiseworthy.

Grace is that which is freely bestowed on sinners in the Beloved (Christ Jesus)

Ephesians 1:7

Grace of God is rich and is that attribute of God which allows our trespasses to be forgiven

These Scriptures validate the familiar acrostic --

God's Riches At Christ's Expense.

Ephesians 2:7

As noted below believers will be an eternal testimony to the grace of God.

Grace is unmerited favor coupled with divine enablement.

Grace flows from God’s nature through Christ and is irrespective of the worth or merit of the one loved.

Vance Havner once said that someone spelled out "grace" as…

G stands for Gift, the principle of grace.

R [stands] for Redemption, the purpose of grace.

A [stands] for Access, the privilege of grace.

C [stands] for Character, the product of grace.

E [stands] for Eternal Life, the prospect of grace.

JOHN 1:1, 14-17

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was GodJohn 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John bore witness of Him, and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'" 16 For of His fulness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

John 1:1, 14-17 What do you learn about grace?

Grace and truth were realized in Jesus.

Gods grace is seen in the OT, but not realized until Jesus.

Note that OT believers were saved by grace through faith just as are NT believers. The difference is that the OT believers were looking forward in faith to the Cross, whereas NT believers look back in faith to the Cross of Christ.

Grace was manifested in the OT (Genesis 6:8 "But Noah found favor --grace -- in the eyes of the LORD."), but paled in comparison to the brightness of grace that appeared at the Incarnation (see note Titus 2:11 "the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men").

ACTS 15:6-11

Acts 15:6 (Context = The Jerusalem Council at which time the Jewish leaders debated the status of Gentile salvation) And the apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. 7 And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, "Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us 9 and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are."

Acts 15:11 What do you learn about grace from the context?

V7: Jews heard the word of the gospel and believed

V11: Grace excludes all human achievement ("the yoke") in relation to salvation. The Jews and Gentiles are saved through the same grace

ACTS 20:24

Acts 20:24 (Context: Paul after his third missionary journey on the way back to Jerusalem meets with the elders of the church at Ephesus for the last time) "But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

How is grace described?

Gospel of grace - The gospel has grace, grace to save. Paul earlier (Ephesians 1:13) had stated that his Gentile readers had listened to the message of truth, the gospel of their salvation, believed it and were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.

Illustration: This same commitment expressed above by Paul was beautifully evident in the life of James Calvert, a young pioneer missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands. En route the ship captain, a humane man, tried to dissuade him, finally crying in desperation, “You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages.” Calvert calmly replied, “We died before we came.” Karl Marx’s remark that “a Communist is a dead man on reprieve” is simply a base parody of this primal Christian principle.

ROMANS 3:23-24

How does Paul explain salvation?
Justified (declared righteous)
It was a gift
It was by God's grace - unmerited favor and divine enablement
It was made available to mankind through the redemption in Christ Jesus

How does faith affect one's walk?

Eph 2:10 what relation of salvation to works?
Believers = God's workmanship
Created in Christ Jesus
For good works
God prepared beforehand (in eternity past)
That we should walk in them

Has you life changed from the "former" things.
Why or why not?

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