The video for tonight’s Bible study… notes are below
We’ve been talking for the past several weeks about Jesus having made us WHOLE
- He did everything that needed to be done in order for ALL men to experience wholeness, health, peace, freedom and prosperity in EVERY area of life.
- Just because we’re not always experiencing it doesn’t make it any less true
The past two weeks we looked at several Scriptures in Ephesians, so I thought we’ll jump over and look at the whole book of Ephesians for a bit… it’s such a GREAT book regarding our wholeness in Christ.
- And I’m not even sure we’re going to study the whole book of Ephesians
So, the letter to the Ephesians was written by Paul sometime in AD 60-61
- He wrote it while in prison in Rome
One New Testament scholar calls Ephesians “the high road of New Testament revelation”
- Another calls it “the most excellent and majestic expression of the Gospel”
- It has also been called the Queen of the Epistles
- It was a letter most likely written as a circular letter to the church in Ephesus to be passed around to several younger churches in the region
- It doesn’t seek to correct errors as Corinthians and Galatians does – it’s not a problem centered epistle
It is also not the first epistle written to the Ephesians
- Paul mentions in Ephesians 3:1-3 that he wrote before to them in brief about the revelation of the mystery that he had received
- It is not considered a teaching letter – Ephesus was one of the most well taught churches that existed… Paul spent longer time there teaching than anywhere else and Timothy stayed on after Paul left
- This epistle simply draws your attention to the glory of God and who you are IN CHRIST
Paul talks a lot about the body of Christ in Ephesians – the ekklesia
But ekklesia doesn’t mean church in the sense of a building that we go weekly to worship
- It is from two words ek and kaleo
- ek denotes origin – meaning out of
- klesia comes from kaleo meaing to identify by name; to surname;
- the ekklesia is the expression of God’s image and likeness redeemed in human life
- ekklesia is the body of Christ as redeemed humanity — as the expression of God in the earth reflecting His image and likeness
So, this book is about our identity in Christ and the glory of God
Glory is the Greek word doxa meaning glory and the root of the word is dokeo which means personal opinion which determines value
- This book is all about God’s opinion of you – who He says you are, the value He places on you.
It’s His personal judgment or opinion – His first opinion or judgment of us is found in Gen 1:27
- He made us in His image and according to His likeness and gave us dominion over all things
- That’s who we are in His eyes
So let’s dive in….. tonight we’ll look at verses 1-6 in chapter 1
II. Grace and Peace
Ephesians 1:1-2: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: (2) Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy – first of all, holiness is NOT a process – you can’t become any more holy than you already are
- You can become more aware of it but you are already as holy as you can ever be
You are holy because God is holy and you were made in His image and likeness
- Col 1:21-22: once you were alienated from God and were hostile in your minds because of evil deeds. BUT now He has reconciled you by in the body of His (Jesus) flesh through death to present you holy, unblemished and blameless!
- You ARE holy – set apart from sin and death and separated unto God;
- Unblemished – without fault; without spot; without blame
- Blameless – unreprovable; not to be called to account for anything; unaccused;
- This is who you are!!
Who has He reconciled? Who are the ones that are holy, unblemished and blameless?
- 2 Cor 5:19: God was IN Christ (on the cross) reconciling THE WORLD to Himself not imputing their sins against them.
- He reconciled the world – and then calls that same world: holy, unblemished, blameless
It says to the faithful or we could say full of faith
Full of who’s faith?
- The Bible says there is only ONE faith – His faith (Ephesians 4:5)
We see the word faithful and typically ascribe it to something we do
- Faithful is pistos which comes from a word peitho meaning persuaded; the root is faith
- We have no faith apart from His, just as we have no righteousness, no holiness, etc. apart from Him
- Webster’s defines faith as loyal, steadfast, devoted and unwavering
- Faithful is not a pat on the back for staying true to Jesus, being loyal and unwavering in your Christian walk.
- NO, it is being persuaded IN and BY His faith
Paul was faithful – Gal 2:20 the life I now live in the flesh (in this earthly life) I live IN and BY THE faith OF the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.
- That’s faithful…. Being persuaded by His faith.
And yes, it does mean believing but we’ve made believing harder than it is
- We’ve made it something we DO to receive rather than just a response to what IS true
- Receiving is simply comprehending or identifying with what God says is already true about me
- So, believing is being fully persuaded in and by His faith and identifying with what He says is true about me and what is mine
As He is so are we – He is faithful and so we rest IN His faithfulness
- Because the bottom line is it’s not about our faithfulness it’s always about His
- Romans 3:3 What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness?
- v. 4 says Certainly Not!
- 2 Tim 2:13 if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He is not able to deny Himself.
- It’s His faith… and His faithfulness that we rest in
And then we have Paul’s customary greetings in his epistles
- Grace and peace to you
It’s a customary Greek and Jewish greeting… like when we say “Hello, how are you doing?”
- The Greeks greeted one another with “Charis (Rejoice)!”
- The Jews greeted one another with “Shalom (Peace)!”
- I love that He combined them – just like the Father combined Jew and Gentile into the one new man in Christ
And then he said from God OUR Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
- God is the Father of ALL men… Jew and Gentile’s alike
- He is also the source of both grace and peace
III. Our redemption
Ephesians 1:3-6: 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, (4) just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, (5) having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, (6) to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Verses 3-14 is actually one sentence in Greek
- But I only want to look at verses 3-6 tonight
These verses reveal a purpose and plan older than time
- An original design from eternity past
Verse 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
- I like the Mirror translation – Let’s celebrate God! He lavished every blessing Heaven has upon us in Christ!
The term In CHRIST is the cornerstone and foundation of Paul’s teachings
- It is said that it appears an estimated 160 times in the New Testament – and 36 times in Ephesians alone
He tells us that EVERY spiritual blessing in heaven is now available to us IN CHRIST
- It’s not something we’re waiting for or hoping for… it’s available NOW
- But it’s in the heavenlies in Christ where we are co-seated
In the heavenly places in Christ
The word “places” was added by the translators… some translations added realms or worlds
- But it really just reads in the heavenlies (epouranios)
The tabernacle was a type and shadow of heavenly things
- Hebrews 8:5: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
the most holy place in Moses’ tabernacle was the “heavenly place” of God’s presence
- in the holy place there was several pieces of furniture; a table of showbread, a candlestick, and an altar of incense.
- But in the holy of holies there was just one thing to look at — the Ark of the Covenant.
Josephus said the design of the tabernacle was the design of heaven and earth
- He said: When Moses distinguished the tabernacle into three parts, and allowed two of them to the priests, as a place accessible and common, he denoted the land and the seas, these being of general access to all; but he set apart the third division for God, because heaven is inaccessible to men.
- Of course, heaven was only inaccessible until the veil was torn
- After that we became the dwelling place of God
- 1 Cor 3:16: Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and the Spirit of God (Elohim – the Godhead) dwells in you?
- 2 Cor 6:16: For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.”
- Actually, in Greek that word “with” is en meaning IN
- I will dwell IN them and I will walk IN them (walk is a Hebraism meaning to conduct life)
- Eph 2:22: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through (en — IN) the Spirit.
- Col 2:9-10: for in Christ ALL the fullness of the Deity (Elohim – Godhead) dwells (10) and you are complete IN Him.
- The Greek says you are IN HIM complete
- It’s in the spirit realm NOT the natural realm
- It’s in the eternal realm – not bound by time, it’s always now in the spirit realm – NOT temporary, governed by time with a start and finish, beginning and end
- It’s in the finished work of Christ where everything is provided for you already; the realm of DONE
The heavenlies is IN you and you are IN CHRIST
- We’re always praying outward… looking for all the blessings to come down out of Heaven up there
- But all of those spiritual blessings are IN us
- Matt 6:21 where your treasures are there also is your heart
- v. 20 He talked about the treasures IN heaven
- those treasures are IN your heart
- in Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth that which is good
- brings forth is prophero in Greek meaning moving something to necessary manifestation!
- He has blessed us with ALL spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ
- All of those blessings are IN you… you bring it necessary manifestation
- How? Not by asking God to bless you! He already has!
- The rest of v. 45 says out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks
- Actually the way it looks in Greek is for out of (the source) of the heart’s abundance, speak his mouth
- Speak out those hearts abundances… those treasures in you… all those blessings that are already yours!
- Speak them forth to necessary manifestation!
v. 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
foundation in this verse is kataballo instead of “themelios” which actually means foundation and is always translated foundation
- kataballo means to cast down; to fall away, to put in a lower place;
- it is not a gentle verb; it implies force and power
- it is the forceful throwing down; or scattered something
- again it’s not a foundation – God’s foundation was not thrown down with force or scattered
- 1 Cor 13:10 says God laid the foundation (themelios)
- Laid is tithemi which means to establish, to purpose, to set; to place
- Katabole implies destruction rather than construction
so we could translate it fall of the world rather than foundation of the world
- The entire “fall” was a falling away in our minds from our true identity as image and likeness bearers of Elohim (God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit).
- 2 Cor 11:3: But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
- But it says – He chose us in Christ before the kataballo… before the fall of the world. We were in Christ before we were lost in Adam!
that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
The word before is katenopion which suggests the closest possible proximity, face-to-face!
- Nothing separating us… nothing between us
- I love the FULLNESS message of these verses 4-6… the FULLNESS of who we ARE right NOW!
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, (5) having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, (6) to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
- v. 3 – FULLY blessed!
- v. 4 – FULLY chosen! FULLY holy! FULLY blameless! FULLY spotless!
- v. 5 – FULLY sons! FULLY heirs!
- v. 6 – fully GRACED! fully LOVED!
I love these verses in the Mirror Bible: (4) He associated us in Christ before the fall of the world! Jesus is God’s mind made up about us! He always knew in his love that he would present us again face-to-face before him in blameless innocence. (5) He is the architect of our design; his heart dream realized our coming of age in Christ. (6) His grace-plan is to be celebrated: he greatly endeared us and highly favored us in Christ. His love for his Son is his love for us.
how do you know your body is redeemed? How do you know you are whole?
- the love of God!
He didn’t just save my spirit — He revivified my spirit
- He pushed that new life forward and when that life flows it flows into the entire being — our entire body
- we are redeemed right now
our bodies are whole right NOW!
- but we have so much false evidences that we see — and it becomes our reality
- but you may be ONE thought and ONE confession away from the manifestation… don’t quit now!
confession has gotten a bad rap over the years
- but confession is homologeo
- homou meaning together
- and lego means to speak to a conclusion
- confession is simply co-speaking with God… speaking forth His conclusions
But we have other voices speaking their own conclusions for us
our age – the number – wars against us in our heads — telling us we’re OLD
- telling us what we should expect from our bodies and our minds as we age
- but as He is so are we in this world – right NOW
- He is immortal – we are immortal
- He is the Health of our bodies – so we are FULL of Health
- Don’t let the false appearance of sickness and disease dictate what you think and say
Co-speak with God – Speak forth His conclusions
- He is the Health of your body
- He is the Source of your life
- FULLY redeemed – FULLY whole — FULLY full of the Godhead! NOW – not someday
we barely scratched the surface in these few verses
I encourage you to study it further… deeper… making it apart of your thoughts and your confession