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Ephesians

Chapter One

Eph 1:1
CHAPTER 1

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
(NIV)
SaintóGr "hagios"órefers to the believers, not merely to persons of exceptional holiness or to those who, having died, were characterized by exceptional acts of saintliness.
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
(NIV)
Grace comes before peace. Everyone one wants peace, but it comes through Grace.

Paul always mentions grace first. Rom, 1 Cor, 2 Cor, Gal, Eph, Phil, Col, 1 Thess, 2 Thess, Titus. Not once is peace mentioned first.

The Father and Jesus are both needed for grace and peace.

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
(NIV)
"who has blessed us". Present tense.

Many pray wanting God to bless them, instead prayer should be accepting and taking Godís blessings.

"heavenly realms". This is the world that governs the earthly world. In the same way that our atmosphere is full of sound waves of which we are totally unaware until we tune in our radios, so the natural world is permeated with the unseen, unknown world of the heavenlies.

"Spiritual Blessings". All Godís blessings are spiritualóthat are they come from God. How about peace. Is peace a spiritual or emotional blessing? It is a spiritual blessing that effects the emotions.

All blessings originate in the spiritual realm.

Spiritual as opposed to carnal. Carnal is not material or earthly. Carnal is worldly, not earthly. "Father knows you have need of those things"

4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
(NIV)
"Chose". Denotes desire. You chose when you are under no force or obligation. This does not imply that God does not want to choose others. The Bible teaches General predestination--that God chose to have a family. 

Illustrations: Shot gun wedding. Groom has no choice. Soldier has no choice when drafted. God was not forced to save us. 

5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--
(NIV)
"Predestine" Gr "proorizo". This word used 6 times in the NT. (Acts 4:28, Rom 8:29, 30; Ep 1:5, 11; 1 Cor 2:7) No mentioned of double predestination. Free will is still intact. God Predestined a family, not forcing who will be in the family.

"Pleasure and will". Sometimes you may will to do good but it is not pleasurable. God both wills to adopt us because it is pleasurable to Him. You are not a burden to God. 

"Adopted". Proves that God wanted us as his child, verses a father who begat a child by accident.

6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
(NIV)
Paul is so overtaken by the words which he writes that he breaks out in praise.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace
(NIV)
Forgiveness is remission. Erasing. Delete. To take away so that it never existed.

"Grace". Justice administers what I deserve, Mercy delivers me from all that I deserve, Grace bestows upon me what I donít deserve. Prodigal son reveals Grace: Best robe, ring, fatten calf.

"Riches". Wealth of this grace. Grace is not an end to itself; it is the means to Godís riches and blessings.
8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
(NIV)
"Lavished" speaks of super-abounding in excess. Lavish suggests (sometimes excessive) generosity and openhandedness. 

"With all wisdom and understanding". Riches of the grace wonít do you any good unless you understand them and have wisdom about them.

Amp v. 8 "Which He lavished upon us in every kind of wisdom and understanding (practical insight and prudence.)

How do you apply this grace in a practical way in church, on the job, at home, among your children, etc.? God gives wisdom so you can have practical, workable principles in order to experience his grace.
9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,
(NIV)
"Made Known". God does not want to keep secrets. 
10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment-- to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
(NIV)
 
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,
(NIV)
 
12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
(NIV)
 
13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
(NIV)
Two views: 1. a believer is automatically sealed with the Holy Spirit the moment he believes, 2. a believer after believing is sealed with the Holy Spirit when he receives the Spirit.

Paul ministered the gift of the Holy to the saints in Ephesus in Acts 19:1-6.

"Seal". Confirms ownership.

14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession-- to the praise of his glory.
(NIV)
"Deposit". The baptism in the Holy Spirit is the down payment until the rapture. More is coming.

The Holy Spirit and his gifts are here until we possess everything God intended for us.

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, "love for all the saints." Not "believe" in all the saints. You do not have to believe in people, you simply need to love them.

No use to pray for anything else in a personís life until he has faith in the Lord and love for all the saints.

16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. Many stop praying when they hear that someone has faith and walks in love. But this is the time to pray, because they are targets of Satan.
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. "Revelation"óinsights into mysteries and secrets. Secrets of the unknown.

"Know" means deep and intimate. Not know about, such as know about one of the Presidents. Know him like a friend.

18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, "Hope" means you havenít arrived yet, but you know that soon you will get there.

"Inheritance in the saints". riches and not poverty. glorious Ė manifested, very apparent, not theoretical. inheritanceóany property, assets, goods passing at the ownerís death to the heir.

"In the saints". Start acknowledging all the good things which are in you.

19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, Incomparably greatónothing can come close to Godís power.

Poweró Gr dunamis; from force (literally or figuratively); specially, miraculous power (usually by implication, a miracle itself).

 

20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, Past shows Godís power. Resurrection and ascension. If this power raised Jesus from the dead then it can heal my body, if it could seat Christ in heaven, then it can give me a promotion on my job.

"Us who believe". Faith is the gauge that determines how much power will be released.

21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.  
22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,  
23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
(NIV)
The body of Christ is Godís fullness.

"Fullness" means container. We are containers of Godís hope, inheritance, and power. 

"Fills" means cram.

God has chosen to exercise His dominion through the body.

Chapter 2  

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