Friday, December 8, 2017

Ephesians, part 1, Pure Grace

Hebrew letter "hey"

Ephesians, another beautiful letter by St. Paul, is written to the saints in Ephesus. He covers the believer’s status in Christ through pure grace. He also writes about the walk, service and warfare of the Spirit-filled believer.
Hebrews is linked to the Hebrew letter hey which means “Behold!” so let’s behold what the Lord says. Turn in your Bible to Ephesians and read the first 14 verses of the first chapter. (Or if you're not near your Bible scroll down for the verses at the end.)
Ask yourself some questions. I’ve put the verse in parentheses to help you.
          1)      How many spiritual blessings do we get? (vs. 3)   
   
          2)     Does God see our sin? (vs. 4)
          3)     How do we have redemption? (vs. 7)
          4)     How are we marked or sealed? (vs. 13)
We get every spiritual blessing, God doesn’t see our sin, he predestined us to be adopted through Christ, redeemed by his blood and sealed by the Holy Spirit. The issue of predestination isn’t as hard as it sounds. It just means that God chose everyone, but not everyone chooses God.
Look at these verses again and check the punctuation in your translation. Would it surprise you to know that in the original Greek verses 3 through 14 are all one sentence? This one sentence is a doxology or a liturgical praise to God.
There are lots of wonderful verses in Ephesians, a few of which I’m going to pull out and paraphrase, but you should read them for yourself:
Ephesians 2: 8, 9: I don’t have to do anything to be saved.
Ephesians 3: 6: Jews and Gentiles get to share in the blessing through Christ.
Ephesians 4: 4-6: Perfect unity in Christ – 7 phrases of oneness: 1 body, 1 Spirit, 1 hope, 1 Lord, 1 faith, 1 baptism, 1 God
Ephesians 5: 21 – 6: 4: There is a divine order to marriage and family. Love, respect and sacrifice for one another. There should be mutual submission.

Ephesians 6: 10 – 18: The “armor” of God is truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the word of God. Pray a lot.

Ephesians 1: 1-14Greeting1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.Spiritual Blessings in ChristBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing gin the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.