EPHESIANS - CHRIST AND THE CHURCH
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Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Note: These Study Notes roughly correspond with the 10 Lessons of the Precept Upon Precept study of the Book of Ephesians (ESV format, NASB format). They are not meant to replace your personal study of the Word, which is the most important thing you can do if you want to get the Word of Ephesians in your heart and live it out in your walk. (Samples of Lesson 1 Pdf ESV, Lesson 1 Pdf NASB)
- Ephesians Study Questions Lesson 1 - Covers Introduction - Author & Recipients
- Ephesians Study Questions Lesson 2 - Covers Ephesians 1:1-14
- Ephesians Study Questions Lesson 3 - Covers Ephesians 1:15-2:10
- Ephesians Study Questions Lesson 4 - Covers Ephesians 2:11-22
- Ephesians Study Questions Lesson 5 - Covers Ephesians 3:1-21
- Ephesians Study Questions Lesson 6 - Covers Ephesians 4:1-6
- Ephesians Study Questions Lesson 7 - Covers Ephesians 4:7-16
- Ephesians 1:1
- Ephesians 1:2
- Ephesians 1:3
- Ephesians 1:4
- Ephesians 1:5
- Ephesians 1:6
- Ephesians 1:7
- Ephesians 1:8
- Ephesians 1:9
- Ephesians 1:10
- Ephesians 1:11
- Ephesians 1:12
- Ephesians 1:13
- Ephesians 1:14
- Ephesians 1:15
INDEX TO QUESTIONS ON LESSON 2
- Questions on Ephesians 1:1-2
- Questions on Ephesians 1:3-4
- Questions on Ephesians 1:5-6
- Questions on Ephesians 1:7-8
- Questions on Ephesians 1:9-10
- Questions on Ephesians 1:11-12
- Questions on Ephesians 1:13-14
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.
Spurgeon -- The Epistle to the Ephesians is a complete Body of Divinity. In the first chapter you have the doctrines of the gospel; in the next, you have the experience of the Christians; and before the Epistle is finished, you have the precepts of the Christian faith. Whosoever would see Christianity in one treatise, let him ‘read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest’ the Epistle to the Ephesians.”
Who is the author of the letter?
What do we learn about Paul (see also Ephesians Study 1)? Who is he an apostle of? Why is he an apostle? To whom is he an apostle?
- An apostle cp Eph 4:11,
- Of Christ Jesus
- By will of God (not his own) (cf Acts 18:21, Jas 4:15+)
- Apply - Do I seek first His will (cf Mt 6:33+)
Who are the recipients? (Note Who, Where, Why, When, How questions in asking these questions)
- The saints.
What is a saint? Is it a special group?
- Every believer is a saint
Where are the saints? What are their two "addresses"?
- In Ephesus (note some manuscripts do not have Ephesus - thus thought by many to be a "circular" letter for several churches)
- In Christ Jesus
- How could we apply this truth? Life in Christ allows one to live in a pagan culture like Ephesus (or America circa 2022!).
Where is Paul writing this letter from?
- Prison, Rome (see Acts 28:16-31
- How doe he specifically describe his imprisonment in Ephesians?
Eph 3:1+ the prisoner of Christ Jesus (And for what purpose? for the sake of the Gentiles),
Eph 4:1+, "I, the prisoner of the Lord"
Eph 6:20+ "I am an ambassador in chains" (What is his purpose as ambassador? speak boldly the Gospel)
- House arrest for 2 years (Acts 28:30)
- Most agree 4 letters were written - Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, Philemon
What is his benediction? What is the significance of the order? What is grace? What is peace?
- Grace (charis) and peace (eirene) - grace always precedes peace. Know grace, know peace OR no grace, no peace!
- Grace - "unmerited favor," "G.R.A.C.E" - God's Riches at Christ's Expense. Saving grace (Eph 2:5,8). sanctifying grace (1Co 15:10)
- Grace -12x - Eph 1:2 Eph 1:6 Eph 1:7 Eph 2:5 Eph 2:7 Eph 2:8 Eph 3:2 Eph 3:7 Eph 3:8 Eph 4:7 Eph 4:29 Eph 6:24
- Peace - negative (no war/disturbance), positive - Root = eiro = join what was separated (cf "descriptive definition" in Eph 2:13-17 = most concentrated use of eirene in Bible!)
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 in Ephesians 1:3? What is he doing?
- Blessing God (Creature privileged to bless the Creator!)
- He begins with praise - a blessing to God. Some would call this a "doxology".
Why? What has God done?
- He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.
- 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.
Where is that blessing?
- In heavenly places.
What is the source of the blessing?
- Being in Christ Jesus.
- Where is Christ in Eph 1:20+? Where are we as saints according to Eph 2:6+?
- (So why is the blessing in heavenly places? because that's were Christ is seated)
What kind of blessings does Paul described?
How are spiritual blessings "energized" or distributed?
- By the Holy Spirit - The Greek word pneumatikos is most often used in relation to the spiritual work of the Holy Spirit (eg., used of spiritual gifts in 1Co 12:1)
- Note all three members of Trinity in this opening doxology.
- These spiritual blessings are from the Father electing, the Son redeeming, and the Holy Spirit sealing.
What is the theme of Ephesians 1? Or how would you title chapter 1?
- Every Spiritual Blessing in Christ
Ephesians 1:4 What is the first spiritual blessing Paul describes?
- Chosen - He chose us.
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
- In Him (Jesus Christ)
- Before the foundation of the world (you may want to stop and ponder this time phrase)
What was the Father's purpose in choosing us?
- That we would be holy (same word for saint = hagios) and blameless ( without spot - Jesus spotless in 1Pe 1:19+)
- Before Him (literally in front of His face!)
- Have you ever heard the phrase Coram Deo? Before the Face of God!
What is holy and blameless - our position or our practice?
- Primarily position but should motivate practice
- Position = Justified once for all; Practice = Sanctified progressively
- Application - Are you "practicing" your position?
John 15:16 “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.
CONTEXT - John 15:17-19 This I command you, that you love one another. 18“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.
What is the context of John 15:16? How does that help you understand Jesus' telling them they are chosen?
- Context predicts 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.
- Application - What are you suffering for the sake of Jesus? (not speaking of suffering in general) if God chose me, then I am His responsibility!
What do you learn about divine choice from 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
- 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
- What is some fruit we might bear? spiritual fruit of attitudes in Gal 5:22, 23, righteous behavior as in Php 1:11, praise Heb 13:15, and leading others to faith in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God Ro 1:13-16).
What does Jesus desire would be the lifespan of a disciple's spiritual fruit?
- Their fruit would remain (abide).
- How long? Forever
What is the privilege of the chosen?
- Free access to God in prayer
- What does Jesus mean by whatever you ask, you will receive? If you are abiding in Him, you will ask according to His will
- Look at an important qualifier of prayer in 1 John 5:13-14. What is it? Ask according to His Word.
- What should we seek to pray? His Word.
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 (prognosis 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 ( makes "chosen" holy and blameless 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.
What does Peter explain about God's choice of believers?
- The choice was according to the foreknowledge (prognosis) 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?
- That we would obey (literally means to "hear under" = listening and submitting to what is heard)
- That we might be sprinkled with His blood (difficult to be dogmatic -
- Background - Three times in OT blood was sprinkled on men:
 Cleaning of lepers Lev 14:1-7,
 Consecration family of Aaron to priesthood, Ex 29:20-21
 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 on entering New Covenant in Christ's blood
- THOUGHT: 1 Peter repeatedly emphasizes suffering of believers so he is writing to encourage them. He begins his "encouragement" with the truth that they are chosen.
- THINK ABOUT IT - It follows that God's means for this doctrine to be one that encourages and not that divides believers!
1 Cor 1:26-31+ For consider your calling, (SUPERNATURAL EFFECTUAL 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 to (PURPOSE - WHAT PURPOSE?) 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, that (WHAT PURPOSE?) He might nullify (make of no effect) the things that are, 29 that (WHAT PURPOSE?) 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."
Application - When you see a purpose word like that, so that, stop and ask what is the purpose?
How many times does Paul state God has chosen?
- Three times
According to 1 Corinthians 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?
- His doing that we are "in Christ Jesus"
- What attribute of God does this extol? His Sovereignty
What is the ultimate purpose of God's choice in the plan of salvation?
- That we would boast in God. 1Cor 1:31
- Paul says Eph 1:6 that it would be to the praise of His glory.
Extra - Why is the doctrine of election present in the Scripture?" Four distinct answers emerge from this passage:
- As long as the doctrine of election is in the Bible, salvation must be the gift of God alone. Predestination framed in God's foreknowledge assures us that salvation is from start to finish the work of God.
- The doctrine of God's elective purpose guarantees the perpetuity of salvation. Unthinkable is the idea that one of God's elect could forfeit his salvation. Those whom He has justified He will glorify. So certain is that sequence that "glorified" is an aorist tense in Greek, meaning that glorification is already a settled issue in the mind of God (Ro 8:30-39). How could God lose one of His elect?
- The doctrine of election assures a peculiar providence which attends the way of every believer. If God's heart is set on us in His elective purpose, we may be sure of His concern and providential intervention in our behalf (Ro 8:28).
- Finally, that same personal providence bound up in election extends throughout the entire course of history. There is no runaway world. God's hand is systematically guiding the age to its intended consummation (Ro 8:21, 22).
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 next spiritual blessing?
- Predestined to adoption as sons
- What surrounds predestined to adoption as sons = On one side "in love" and then "kind intention"
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).
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
- 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 Eph 2:12+)
- Separated from Christ
- excluded from the commonwealth of Israel,
- strangers to the covenants of promise
- having no hope
- without God in the world -- Now the Father has "adopted [us] as sons… to Himself"! Glory!
IF TIME LOOK AT (you won't have time)
- Romans 5:6, 8, 10 - helpless Ro 5:6+, sinners" Ro 5:8+, enemies of God - Ro 5:10+
- Col 1:21+ formerly alienated and hostile in mind engaged in evil deeds
Understanding who we once WERE helps us appreciate and be grateful for who we now ARE in Christ! This should motivate a desire to walk worthy of our high calling as sons of God seeking to be pleasing to our Father Who choose us 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 - 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)
- Note "according to" His kind intention = proportionate not a portion.
What is the result of our adoption? 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. (Ro 11:36)
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 "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 "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.
Predetermined - perfect tense - emphasizes a state of completion. God had willed the death of Jesus
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
- What is known ahead of time. But more than that - not just that He knew it would happen but that God set about a plan to make it happen.
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 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
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.
- What does it mean that Christians are adopted by God? | GotQuestions.org
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? How many truths do you learn about redemption
- In Him - Redemption
- Through His blood
- Forgiveness of our trespasses
- According to the riches of His grace
How did He accomplish redemption for us?
- Through His blood
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?
- How were we not redeemed? 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)
- What does precious blood as of a lamb suggest? 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.
- English dictionary definitions of redeem - To recover ownership of by paying a specified sum. To set free, as from slavery or kidnapping, by providing money or other compensation
EXTRA - 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 (1Pe 1:13-16+) 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."
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.
ILLUSTRATION - 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, 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.
What is the meaning of redemption?
- Redemption (see 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 wer1e 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.
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 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 1:13,14?
- Deliverance and transfer (AND forgiveness)
- What does this sound like? Think of saint (separated from world and to God)
- What is one of the primary results of redemption? forgiveness (to send away)
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!) (Ro 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
- according to = (kata) this does not mean a portion out of but a proportion of God's riches of grace. How rich is God in grace? Infinitely. 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 fr 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" (Ro 5:20+)
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 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 AND adoption both have 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.
- Same truth taught in Eph 4:30
- 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) Greek verb "Tetelestai" ="Paid in Full!"
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!
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 (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
- The combination of these words—prothesin, boulēn, thelēmatos—gives a forceful emphasis of God’s sovereignty for including the Jewish believers in the church, which is headed up by Christ. The purpose of God’s choice of the Jewish believers is that they might be for the praise of His glory, which parallels verse 6. The words “for the praise of His glory” serve as a refrain used after a description of the work of each Person of the Trinity
- Hoehner - The relative clause, who were the first to hope in Christ, further substantiates that verses 11–12 refer to Jewish believers as opposed to Gentile believers because the Jews did precede the Gentiles chronologically in the faith (Acts 1:8; 13:46; 28:25–28; Rom. 1:16 [see comments there]; 2:9–10).
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.
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)
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 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.
Mt 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 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
John 1:11 Who are His own?
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 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 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 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 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 (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"
- 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 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 Gentiles, 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 (arrabon) 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.
- In sum 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 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
2 Corinthians 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.
1 Peter 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 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 8:16-23 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 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 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)
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).
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
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
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)