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Ephesians Chapter 1

Memory verses for this week: 2 Pet 3:18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.  

Introduction:     We begin a new study this week on the book of Ephesians.  This book was written by Paul with the purpose to make us understand that the church is the body of Christ.  God planned the church from the beginning of time. The Son, Jesus Christ paid the price for the church when He died on Calvary.  The Holy Spirit protects the church, and we have the promise that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the true Church of the Living God. 


I. The Apostolic Salutation 

Eph 1:1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

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

In most of his greetings, Paul first announces his authority, being an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that he is doing such by the will of God.  The word apostle is seen quite often, and it signifies a messenger sent on some particular business.  This letter was sent to the saints there in Ephesus and more broadly to all faithful members of the Lord Jesus' churches throughout the ages.  Paul expresses his fervent desire that these Ephesians receive the glorious blessings offered to all in the gospel.   And the first of those is Grace and peace from God.  The world knows nothing of the peace that the child of God has when he or she lays down at night with the knowledge that if our eyes never open again in this life, we will go on to be with the Lord.


2 Cor 5:8  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

2 Cor 5:9  Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.


II.  Seven Elements of the Believers Position in Christ 

Eph 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Eph 1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 

We see that God has chosen us in Him.  Only those in Jesus Christ are the chosen of God.   When we accept Christ as our Savior, we become new creatures.  The new inner spiritual man is born to walk in newness of life.


2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 

We can not be born again until we first hear the gospel, repent of our sins, and by faith believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.   Many teach that God chose those who would be saved in eternity past.  But if you look deeper into the scriptures and let God's word be in total harmony like we should, I believe you'll find that Paul is teaching that before the foundation of the world, God fixed the plan of redemption which included Christ coming to pay the sin debt by His sacrificial death there on Calvary.    He chose all that would believe in Jesus Christ as His children, and then and there predestinated them unto the adoption of children to the praise of the glory of His grace.  In doing so, God made every one of them accepted in the Beloved.   There is no acceptance of any man or woman outside of Jesus Christ. 

2 Thessalonians 2:13  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

Here Paul was not speaking of 'beginning' as before the foundation of the world, but speaks of how they believed when they heard the gospel preached unto them and they were sanctified (meaning set apart) by the Holy Spirit to hear the gospel and believe the truth.   Think about what it would mean if election took place in eternity past.  That would lend us to have to believe that sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth would also have to have happened in eternity.  It follows logically that the elect would have been convicted of their sins by the Holy Spirit and believed the truth before they existed.  I know that election and predestination are two difficult topics to understand, but we need to know that the gospel has to be preached for a lost sinner to become saved.  If it was all preset in eternity, why ever preach the Gospel.  Everyone that would be saved would be whether we were involved or not.  But God did not do things this way.  He chose by the foolishness of preaching to reach the lost with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 1 Cor 1:21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.


Eph 1:5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Eph 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

 The bible says here that we are adopted by Jesus Christ to himself and then we are accepted in the beloved.

 I loved what J. Vernon McGee had to say about being predestinated, but for sake of space I'll just include a brief comment.

 God has done three things for us, however, in planning the church. First of all, we’ve seen that He chose us-and that’s a pretty hard pill for us to swallow. Secondly, the Father predestinated us to the place of Sonship. Thirdly, the Father made us accepted in the Beloved.

I cannot repeat often enough that election is God’s choosing us in Christ. I emphasize again that men are not lost because they have not been elected. They are lost because they are sinners and that is the way they want it and that is the way they have chosen. The free will of man is never violated because of the election of God. The lost man makes his own choice. Augustine expressed it like this: “If there be not free will grace in God, how can He save the world? And if there be not free will in man, how can the world by God be judged?” Here again is Paul’s strong statement, “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid” (Rom. 9:14). Now if you think that there is some unrighteousness with God, you had better change your mind.


Eph 1:7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

 We are not redeemed by the blood of bulls and goats, but by the precious blood of Christ.   All those sacrifices made of animals in the old testament could never take away one sin, but they pointed to the one who could, and that was the true Messiah of Israel, Jesus Christ. 

Hebrews 9:22  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Heb 9:6  Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.

Heb 9:7  But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:

Heb 9:8  The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

Heb 9:9  Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

Heb 9:10  Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

Heb 9:11  But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

Heb 9:12  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Heb 9:13  For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

Heb 9:14  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?


Eph 1:8  Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

Eph 1:9  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

Eph 1:10  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

 Believer have knowledge and wisdom through our Lord Jesus Christ.  We also have an inheritance in Him.  Truly all great and wonderful gifts come from God above.

 Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Eph 1:12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Eph 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Eph 1:14  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

 Believers are blessed with an inheritance in Christ, and because of Christ, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.  We have promise that God will not leave us nor forsake us, but God is the "earnest" of our inheritance.  Praise God it isn't up to us.. We couldn't keep ourselves for a day if your struggles match mine on a daily basis.   But it is not the flesh being  perfected.  It is the soul that is secure when we come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.   When we are saved, the property sealed is the 'purchase possession".  The saved soul is sealed until the body is redeemed in the resurrection.


III.  The Prayer for Knowledge and Power

 Eph 1:15  Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,

 Paul speaks of knowing about their faith in Christ.  It is a huge blessing to hear good things about fellow Christians who are really working and accomplishing things for the Lord.   I read this week in a magazine that all of us will be remembered for either the problems we helped to solve or the problems we caused.  I don't know about you, but I want to be known as being a positive worker in God's vineyard, not one that tears down and destroys.


Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.  5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.


The whole eleventh chapter of Hebrews is about people with faith doing great things for God.  And without faith, it is impossible to please the Lord.

 Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.


Eph 1:16  Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

Eph 1:17  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

Eph 1:18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

 Paul was a man who believed in prayer.  I doubt if any of us realize the great power we have available if we would but ask.   Paul said he prayed to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ and asks that they be given unto a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God.  All of us need that enlightenment that only God can give us.   Paul wanted these Ephesians to know the hope of His calling and understand the great riches of the glory of his inheritance.  God gives us greatness in Christ, and gives us power to accomplish His will in our lives.


Eph 1:19  And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

Eph 1:20  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Eph 1:21  Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

 Paul declares these verses that God raised our Lord Jesus from the dead and set Him at His own right hand.  We know that it speaks of Christ sitting down at the right hand of God after he offered His perfect offering of blood.  But one time we have record of Him standing to meet one of the saints who was coming home.

 Acts 7:56   And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

IV.  Christ Is The Head of the Church

 Eph 1:22  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Eph 1:23  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.


As I mentioned in the introduction, the church is Christ's body.  God made Christ head over ALL things to the church.


Christ should be the head of our Sunday School, our Song Service, as well as the head over the preaching and missions programs.   If Christ is not the head, then we are not doing things biblically.   And using physical man as an example, if we cut off our head, we die.   If Christ is cut off from His rightful place in the church, God will not bless.



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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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