Scriptures

Ephesians 1

Introduction

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the most encouraging letters he wrote, which is full of deep spiritual truths and a major source of rich blessings for the Christian today.

Within it, he reminds us that all Christians are united with Christ, no matter our gender, our race or our backgrounds. The law of Moses couldn’t and can’t save anyone from their sins, we’re all saved by the grace of God, if we remain in Christ.

Ephesus

Ephesus was a large important city on the west coast of Asia Minor where the apostle Paul planted a church. There were several factors which contributed to the importance of Ephesus. The first factor was economics, Ephesus was the most favourable seaport in the province of Asia and the most important trade centre west of Tarsus.

Another factor was size, Ephesus was the largest city in the province, having a population of perhaps 300,000 people. There were people from many cultures and nationalities, and it was a very immoral place. In Acts 19:8-9 we read there were also many Jews were who lived there and in Acts 19:32-34 we read about the tension between the Jews and others.

A third factor was culture, Ephesus contained a theatre that seated an estimated 25,000 people.

A fourth factor was Ephesus was politically important, it was a free city, in other words, they governed their own affairs, the city had a clerk, Acts 19:35, the city had officials who paid for the public games, Acts 19:31 and the city had courts and proconsuls, Acts 19:38.

Temple Of Diana

The fifth, and perhaps most significant, reason for the importance of Ephesus was religion. The Temple of Artemis or Diana, at Ephesus ranked as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. If you were around in Biblical times and thought of Ephesus, your mind would automatically think about the city where you would find the ‘temple of Diana.’

The Temple of Diana was 127 meters x 66 x 18 meters high, it had 127 pillars, each a gift of a king, 36 of them were overlaid with gold and were studded with precious stones. In the inner shrine was the image of Diana. The Ephesians thought she had fallen from heaven; she had many breasts, which was a sign of fertility and people though it was the most sacred thing in the world.

Priests of the temple were Eunuchs and women in temple were Melissa that is religious prostitutes. They had very emotional, sensational worship using the flute whilst dancing. There was an area of temple which was provided, the criminals could live in that area without being pursued from justice. The Ephesians liked their magic charms, they would use letters from some ‘official’ as they travelled, like a kind of lucky charm.

In Acts 19 we find in Ephesus, a silversmith by the name of Demetrius who made a living out of idol making, he was causing all sorts of trouble for Paul and the other disciples. And we have recorded in Acts 19:27 that Diana was loved and worshipped by people from all over the world. The original temple of Diana crumbled into the dust many centuries ago but when it was rebuilt, it became one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

And it was to this temple that Alexander the Great came too. He wanted his name carved on one of the 127 pillars and so he offered all the riches of his eastern campaign for the privilege, but the city fathers turned down the offer.

And so even the mightiest mortal on earth of the time, couldn’t even buy the privilege to have his name on a pillar in the temple of a god. No wonder years later the apostle Paul would write to the Ephesian church and tell them in Ephesians 2:19-22 that they were the temple, not of any old god but of Almighty God Himself.

History Of Christianity In Ephesus

The history of Christianity at Ephesus began around A.D. 50, perhaps as a result of the efforts of Priscilla and Aquila as we read in Acts 18:18. Paul came to Ephesus in about A.D. 52, establishing the church and stayed there for at least three years as Acts 20:31 tells us.

It was during that time that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians and was faced with many opportunities to share the Gospel but also faced many problems as Acts 18:23-41 tells us. We also know that it was in Ephesus that Paul baptised believers who apparently came to know the Gospel through disciples of John the Baptist, Acts 19:1-5, and he opposed the strong influence of magic, Acts 19:11-20.

By the time that John penned his words in Revelation 2:1-7, the church at Ephesus was busy working for the Lord but had no sincere love for Him. They had all the church programs but had no passion. They were a busy church with great statistics, but they were a church that was drifting away from their heartfelt devotion to Christ.

Ephesus was a busy church with high spiritual standards, the work had been difficult, but they had not collapsed. Looking from the outside, in every way this church is what we would call a successful church. And from the outside people would look in and think that this is a church that deeply loves their God.

Sadly, they would learn that Christ is more concerned about what they were doing with Him, rather than what they were doing for Him. To everyone else this was a greatly successful church but to Christ who is now walking amongst them, this church is in the process of falling.

The Letter

It’s never been really questioned as to whom wrote the letter to the Ephesians, it’s generally been accepted that the author was Paul. It was probably written around 61-21 A.D. and is known as a prison epistle. Ephesians 6:21-22 mentions Tychicus, he probably carried the letter. The letter itself was a circular letter, probably copied and send to other congregations.

Paul’s letter to the Colossians is very similar to his Ephesian letter, but they are still different, because they were written for different reasons. Colossians speaks about the Deity of Christ, Colossians 1, in Colossians 2:8-18 we read of warnings against Gnosticism and Judaism, and Colossians 4 we read his personal greetings.

In Ephesians 1:3-14 we read about divine election and what it means to be ‘in Christ’. In Ephesians 3:40-41 we read about the power of spiritual prayer, in Ephesians 5:23-33 we read about marriage and union of Christ, in Ephesians 6:13-17 we read about how Christians are soldiers who need to arm themselves with the armour of God.

Purpose Of The Letter

Paul’s main aim in this letter was to highlight the oneness of the church, which was the result of Christ’s work on the cross and to present Jesus as the head over all things, especially His church.

First of all, he reminds the Ephesian Christians of God’s eternal redemptive purpose through the church, Ephesians 1:4 / Ephesians 1:5 / Ephesians 1:9 / Ephesians 1:11 / Ephesians 1:13 / Ephesians 1:20 / Ephesians 2:4 / Ephesians 2:6 / Ephesians 2:10 / Ephesians 3:11.

Secondly, he reminds this largely Gentile church of the many blessings they have as a result of being in Christ, because of God’s grace, Ephesians 1:3 / Ephesians 2:1-10. God’s plan of salvation is summed up in the church which He will bring into eternal dwelling after the conclusion of the world when Jesus comes again.

Outline

Introduction and greeting. Ephesians 1:1-2
Paul illuminates the blessings we have in Christ, praise to God. Ephesians 1:3-14
A prayer for enlightenment of the readers of the book. Ephesians 1:15-23

Life from the dead. Ephesians 2:1-10
Remainder speaks about reconciliation in Christ. Ephesians 2:11-22

Privilege, mission, and the message. Ephesians 3:1-13
Prayer Ephesians 3:14-41

Unity in body of Christ. Ephesians 4:1-6
Unity in diversity. Ephesians 4:7-16
Off with the old, on with the new. Ephesians 4:17-5:20

New social relationships. Ephesians 5:21-6:9

Christian soldier, the armour of God. Ephesians 6:10-20
Final conclusion and greetings. Ephesians 6:21-24

Themes For The Book

The theme for the letter is fairly straightforward, ‘in Christ’, what does it mean to be ‘in Christ’? ‘In the heavenly places’, what does it mean to be ‘in the heavenly places’?

‘Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Ephesians 1:1-2

Paul says he is apostle which is a healthy reminder for some that doubt he is. Christ isn’t a name but merely a title, God’s anointed one. Christ comes from Christos and isn’t translated which would have been better.

Paul states exactly at the beginning of the letter who he is, so it should be a hard lie if someone else would have written it, he is an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.

To the saint’s means being holy ones, we’re holy ones when we are in Christ. We were washed and sanctified, set aside, by our Lord Jesus, 1 Corinthians 6:11 / 1 Peter 1:13. Someone is faithful when is he full of faith, faithfulness isn’t measured by church attendance, but our faith reflects on every minute of our life.

Faithfulness has to do with trusting God, Hebrews 11, and relying on His promises. Noah was obedient because he didn’t kill people, but as a great act of faithfulness he build the ark on dry land, he completely trusted God.

The main thrust about being a Christian isn’t only going to church, it should affect every aspect of life. We’re Christian 24 hours a day. The important thing is how we behave in our daily lives, not that I’m a good Christian, because I go to church on Sundays. If all you can do is go to church and that was it for 2 hours, then you better get rid
of the church and all the traditions. Why should we meet together?

To love, to provoke and to encourage each other to do more God works. It is vital to be in church, but it is a means to the goal, Hebrews 10:24-25.

We cannot declare someone as holy, only Christ makes someone holy. If someone is in Christ, they are holy. Calling someone ‘holy father’ like the pope could cause some to think he is God on earth. In fact, this is blasphemy, because nobody should call himself father. Saint means holy one, this name is generally abused. Calling someone holy with a circle around their head is an abuse. God is holy, this is His nature.

In Christ

We are baptized into Christ and we have clothed ourselves with Christ, Galatians 3:26-27. There are people that are in Christ and there are people that aren’t in Christ. For there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Romans 8:1. In Him we are saved. It’s in Christ Jesus we are new creatures and all things have become new.

To be in Christ speaks about are spiritual being. Proper habitat for fish is in water, for bird in the sky. The proper habitat for a disciple of Jesus is in Christ which is our spiritual environment. Jesus says,

‘I am the true vine, you are the branches’ John 15:5

We cannot bear fruit if we are not in Christ. In Ephesians 1:1-14 the words, ‘in Him’ are used 14 times. This seems to be the message or the theme of the book.

Grace, in Greek is Charis, God’s riches at Christ expense, an unmerited divine favour, it cannot be earned! In Galatians 5:4 Paul is concerned about legalism where they try to justify themselves with the law, but Paul tells them they have fallen from grace. We get a free gift and we only have to accept it.

Grace and peace, eirene, are the two words Paul uses in this letter, grace and peace are from the Father, all the blessings come from the Father through the Son.

‘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.’ Ephesians 1:3

The word praise is eulogétos in Greek, Luke 1:68 / Romans 1:25 and means blessed be the God and Creator, Romans 15:6 / 2 Corinthians 11:31. Some say that we cannot be in two places at the same time, however, we can be ‘in Christ’ and ‘in England’ at the same time. This is our physical and spiritual habitations.

What does it mean be in Christ?

It simply means to be in union with Christ, to be one with Him. We find in Him no condemnation, Romans 8:1, we find in Him salvation. We are immersed into Christ, Galatians 3:27. These are the people who are in Christ who have faithfully responded to the Message but didn’t earn it.

Was Abraham in Christ? No, but he was saved by faith. We however are new covenant people. How was John the Baptists standing before God, was he in Christ? Well, he lived in the Old Testament era, but he was also saved by faith.

1 John tells us if we’re in Christ we continue to sin and fall short. Are we then still walking in the light and are we still in Christ? Yes, God is merciful. Everybody sins and keeps sinning. We’re not walking in truth when we say we don’t sin anymore but if we confess our sins and ask for forgiveness, God will forgive us and we keep being in Christ, 1 John 1:8-10.

Being in Christ isn’t dependent on how good we are, if we would die today, would we not think, did we do bad things during the last days of our lives and did we go to church? But all this doesn’t matter, we cannot earn heaven. It’s only through grace that we are saved.

Because of the goodness in Christ we are saved. For there is no condemnation for he who is in Christ. Remember that we all are sinners, even if we repent, we don’t repent enough. We fall short at all sides.

Once Saved Always Saved!

You can rebel against God and walk away from Him. When we love to sin, again we are not in Christ anymore. But we turn from God, God never turns from us. Are you saved when you die now? If you say, I hope so, then this is almost an insult towards God.

John 10:27-30 tells us that nobody can get us out of Christ, but we can decide to remove ourselves from Christ, its then we become lost. As long as we believe and accept Christ’s grace we are in Christ and thus saved but we shouldn’t sin wilfully, 2 Peter 2:20 / Hebrews 6:4ff / Hebrews 10:26.

We will never be good enough, we will not be able to stop sinning, we will not repent enough. But it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t change our standing for the Lord. We cannot speak too much about grace, we can never speak too much about what God does for us. We don’t even speak enough about what God does for us.

To be in Christ speaks about the relationship with Christ. Although we are in Christ, we are not perfect but being in Christ is a growing process. Someone who is in Christ for 50 years should bear more fruit, John 15:4 / Galatians 5:22-23, than someone who just came into Christ. If you don’t bear fruit, nobody will know that you are in Christ, John 15:6.

In Christ we find every blessing, in Him we are blessed abundantly. You cannot be half in Christ, your either in or out, if you’re in Christ you have every blessing. Ephesians 1.20 and Ephesians 2:6 tell us that He gives blessings and we are at war in the spiritual realms, Ephesians 3:10 / Ephesians 6:12.

It doesn’t matter where you live, but what matters is where we are spiritually. It’s not a physical location, it’s our spiritual address and everybody has a spiritual address, Ephesians 6:12, our address is in Christ.

‘For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.’ Ephesians 1:4-6

He chose us, He picked us out, to be holy and blameless. He doesn’t want any person to perish and according to the Scriptures, God wants everybody to be saved, 2 Peter 3:9. God appointed those in Christ to be blameless and holy.

It’s not true that some of us are being predestined to be saved, God didn’t create us to condemn us. It’s God’s desire for us to be saved. Romans 9:14ff tells us that God is always just, God is always fair, God is supremely fair, but also supremely sovereign. In Him we are the chosen people of God.

Blameless, doesn’t mean sinless, it means we are acceptable to God, He accepts our sacrifices, Romans 12:1-2, our behaviour is to reflect that standing. This is valid only for people who are in Christ.

Predestined, God loves all people. Did He create some people to condemn them? How can God predestine? Because He is sovereign. We are adopted by Him as sons, some adopt a child and treat them as their own child.

If you’re a foster parent, you can withdraw any time when it becomes enough for you. But when you adopted a child, you are bound by it, you cannot withdraw. The child is now in equal standing with the new parents, He is in all the legal rights as their own son. God adopts us also and treats us as His own children, to make us His actual real child with all the legal rights, benefits and obligations.

Galatians 4:5 tells us He sent His son at the right time, to adopt us as sons. It wasn’t the right to be adopted, but by grace and it’s like becoming sons by natural birth. We aren’t guests in our Father’s house, we’re family and our Father’s house became our house, we have become joint heirs.

This all happened through Jesus Christ in accordance with His pleasure and will. Could you image that this loving God deliberately creates people to be destroyed? The One He loves is Jesus.

What does Paul mean by use of the word’s predestination and fore-ordination? Is this a passage which teaches that men are foreordained to eternal life? To whom does Paul refer when he says, ‘even as He chose us in Christ’? Ephesians 1:4

Three Possibilities

1. All Christians? A general statement.
2. Jews? Notice Ephesians 1:12, ‘first hoped in Christ.’
3. Apostles? Acts 9:15-16 / Galatians 1:15 / Ephesians 3:2.

If this passage is to be understood as referring to salvation, according to the plan of God from before the creation of the world, it would certainly apply to all Christians generally. Even if Paul is speaking about himself speaking, what is true of Paul, where salvation is concerned, is true of every Christian, And there are some people who simply take the passage as referring to the marvellous thing that God has accomplished in redemption.

Notice the contrast between the use of the words we and you in Ephesians 1:11 and Ephesians 1:13. Paul quite clearly puts two groups of people over against each other. He speaks of we, including himself and you also. It suggests that Paul is speaking of a special calling of the apostles. Read again verses Ephesians 1:9-12 and compare Ephesians 3:2-6.

In Ephesians 1:10 Paul uses the word in the KJV dispensation in the A.S.V. administration, Giving the idea of stewardship, household management, provision or arrangement. Here in Ephesians 1:10, it is in the sense of stewardship, ‘As you already know, God has given me this special ministry of announcing his favour to you Gentiles.’ Ephesians 3:2 / Galatians 2:7 / Colossians 1:1-25. Here it describes Paul’s election, selection, to apostleship.

Paul claims that he was, ‘set apart before he was born and called by the grace of God to the office of apostle.’ Acts 9:15-16. Chosen vessel, vessel of election. ‘Even before I was born, He had special plans for me.’ Galatians 1:5.

Perhaps he is thinking of His apostleship to the gentiles for Paul is writing to Gentiles. Paul reminds them five times in this letter that they were Gentiles 2:11, for example. No Hope, Without God.

Mystery, Ephesians 3:3-5, musterion, a secret, not a mystery because it cannot be understood but a secret which can be understood when revealed.

‘I became its servant according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known.’ Colossians 1:25-27

When Paul speaks of election, foreknowledge, predestination, choosing means something different from what the Calvinist means.

Calvinism says by decree of God, some foreordained to eternal life and others to eternal death, but Paul says by the will of God that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge, 1 Timothy 2:3.

Calvinism says neither are any redeemed by the Lord, but the elect only but Paul says Christ gave Himself a ransom for all. 1 Timothy 2:6.

Calvinism says God’s choice falls on men whilst they are still outside of Christ and in their sins, and unites them to Christ that they, the elect might receive forgiveness but Paul says, when men respond to the Gospel and obey it and come to Christ, it is then, that God’s choice falls upon them, that they become the elect, and enter into the blessings which before the foundation of the world, God had determined to bestow upon believers.

Calvin taught that some people who are still ‘children of wrath even as the rest’, are among those whom God has already chosen to be saved, and therefore they will eventually become children of God. Paul teaches that no man is elect until he is in Christ.

And all men are ‘non-elect’ until they accept the Gospel. Once in Christ we are caught up in the current of God’s eternal purpose, and being His children are blessed with every spiritual blessing.

‘In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.’ Ephesians 1:7-10

He purchased our freedom through the blood of His Son, and our sins are forgiven. Earnest, arrabon, pledge, Ephesians 1:13-14. More than an instalment handed over in advance, as a guarantee that the rest will follow.

Why Redemption?

Apolutroosin, means buying back that which was sold under sin, redeemed by His blood. Ransom, like a prisoner of war.

Justification, reconciliation, He released us, He set us free. Slaves during Roman times could purchase their freedom but here the metaphor ‘redemption’ carries with it the idea of being brought out by God because we couldn’t free ourselves, Exodus 6:6.

We have been purchased by the blood of Jesus out of the slavery of sin from which we couldn’t deliver ourselves by works of law or meritorious deeds, Colossians l 1:14. Jesus paid the ransom price in order to redeem us, and so, we are delivered from condemnation, Romans 6:23 / Romans 8:1.

The price that had to be paid was the cross, the blood offering of the Son of God, Matthew 26:28 / Acts 20:28 / Romans 3:24-26 / 1 Corinthians 6:20 / Colossians 1:14 / Colossians 1:20 / Hebrews 9:12 / 1 Peter 1:18-19.

Redemption necessitated being forgiven, the forgiveness of sins always comes with redemption by the blood of Jesus. A person receives the forgiveness of sins when they are baptised, Acts 2:38 / Acts 22:16. When a person is baptised, they receive the rich blessings of God which come by grace.

The Greek word ploutos is riches, Ephesians 1:7 / Ephesians 1:18 / Ephesians 3:8 / Ephesians 3:16. There is grace in wisdom and understanding. God poured out the riches of His grace upon His children and it was in the wisdom and understanding of God that His plan of grace was revealed to mankind, 1 Corinthians 1:24 / 1 Corinthians 1:30 / 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 / 1 Corinthians 12:8 / Colossians 1:9 / Colossians 2:3.

God revealed His mystery, musterion, through Christ, a secret that has been revealed. His plan of redemption was hidden from mankind until its revelation through Jesus, 1 Peter 1:10-12, it was revealed on the cross and written Down for all to read in the New Testament, Ephesians 3:1-5 / Ephesians 5:32 / Ephesians 6:19-20 / Colossians 1:26.

The very fact that His plan of redemption was planned before the creation of man, is proof to the fact that grace wasn’t earned by the obedience of mankind. Quite the opposite, the very fact that God fore-planed the cross is proof that He knew that we would sin, and so, would be in need of the grace of the cross.

Unlike what some people claim, Jesus dying on the cross was no accident, God had determined that He would reconcile men unto Himself through the cross of Christ, Revelation 13:8 / 2 Timothy 1:9.

We are now living in the times that are bringing to a close the history of this world. It’s God’s plan to unite all earthly and spiritual things in this era through Christ, Ephesians 3:10 / Galatians 4:4 / Colossians 1:27. Christ is the completion of all things and it was for Him that all things were created, Colossians 1:16.

Separation from God had come into the world because of sin, Genesis 3:22-24 / Romans 5:12 / 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 but in Christ we have been reconciled again to God through the blood offering of the cross. Jesus has now ascended to reign over all that exists, Ephesians 1:20-23 / 1 Peter 3:22, He is now King of kings and Lord of lords, 1 Timothy 6:15 / Hebrews 8:1 / Philippians 2:6-10.

‘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, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.’ Ephesians 1:11-14

God is always in charge and we have been appointed to obtain an inheritance. We have been adopted as sons and obtained our inheritance. We receive what is promised by the Father, the promised Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38-39. We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit. Like the sealing of an envelope, sealed with a seal stamp, this assigns ownership.

It’s Christ who approves us before God, Romans 8:9. If anyone doesn’t have the Spirit of God within them, they are not of Him. We know we belong to God, because we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, kind of like an engagement ring.

The deposit has been given, 2 Corinthians 1:21-24, that God is living within us, the Holy Spirit is the assurance and guarantee that has to come. What if God changes His mind? Well, we can be sure that we’re being saved, because God gave us His Spirit as a deposit, as a guarantee that we get our inheritance. If God gave us His Spirit, He will also give us the rest. In Christ we have this assurance.

The Holy Spirit is given as a pledge that delivery will be completed, the promise of full emancipation, freedom, a promise of that which God had already made possible. Bearing in mind that the one who is sent bears the authority of the one who sends.

Sealed By The Holy Spirit

In Biblical times, a seal was a guarantee, regarding the Holy Spirit Paul says,

‘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, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.’ Ephesians 1:13-14

A seal could be used to guarantee a document or letter, Esther 3:12, indicates ownership, Song of Songs 8:6, or protect against tampering, Matthew 27:66 / Revelation 5:1. The Holy Spirit is our seal in every sense of this word.

1. The Holy Spirit in the believer’s life helps to guarantee he or she is a child of God.

‘The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.’ Romans 8:16

2. The seal of the Holy Spirit serves as a mark that we truly belong to Christ.

‘You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.’ Romans 8:9-10

‘Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body.’ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

3. The seal of the Holy Spirit helps protect against tampering or attack.

‘For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.’ Romans 8:13

In a very real sense, God’s Spirit protects us and guarantees our eternity with the Lord.

At what point does the sealing of the Holy Spirit take place?

According to this passage, the seal of the Holy Spirit takes place at the point of salvation. It takes place when a person believes and responds to the Gospel, Acts 2:38 / Ephesians 4:30 / 2 Corinthians 1:21-22. At that point, God’s seal offers the promise of eternal life, John 3:16 because of salvation based on God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8-9.

The seal of the Holy Spirit offers a wonderful glimpse of God’s role in salvation. When we receive salvation in Christ, we are given a guarantee, exchange our ownership for His, and are protected against forces of evil. This seal should provide wonderful encouragement for the believer against the spiritual battles in this life, Ephesians 6:12 and anticipation for the life to come. It is a promise or guarantee of the Christian’s future, eternal inheritance with Jesus Christ.

The Greek word translated as ‘seal’ is ‘shragizo’ that means ‘to set a seal upon, mark with a seal.’

‘For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 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.’ Ephesians 1:15-17

Paul heard about their faith in Christ and their love for all the saints. Paul already left Ephesus for some time, after he lived there for three years, Acts 20:23-32, they were very loyal to the truth and they loved the saints. The Pharisees claimed loyalty to God but despised some people. If you have eye for the truth, you don’t automatically love.

‘The love we demonstrate is the proof of our faith in Christ.’ J.B. Philips

Paul was always concerned for other people. Not only when he was with them, or as he was writing to them but even in prayer, he remembered them to the Father. He keeps praying for Spirit of wisdom and revelation, James 2:1 / Acts 7:2.

This enables us to approach the circumstances of life in the Spirit of God. We cannot get to know God by reading books. Do you get to know somebody through writing? You really get to know the person when you meet them.

We are called to know God intimately and personally. He prays that the eyes of their heart may be enlightened. When we read about our heart, we speak about the seat of our feelings, not about a physical thing. The sign of a heart is the sign of love.

In the Parable of Sower, Matthew 13:1-23, we see it’s in our hearts where the seed grows. Our emotions working with the mind are in our heart. It’s that what makes us. To enlighten means to flood with light, to make clear.

‘I pray 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 his holy people.’ Ephesians 1:18

He prays for three things:
1. Hope
2. Riches of glory
3. What is the surpassing greatness of His power.

Elpis is the Greek word for hope, and it means more as our hope. I hope that the weather will be nice tomorrow. We just like it, but this is a confident expectation. We just don’t hope that we go to heaven like we hope the bus will come. But this is my hope, I am confident, and I know for sure that it will happen. The blessed hope in Christ, Titus 2:13. We are going to inherit far more than some gold on earth, nothing at earth can match what is in heaven.

The surpassing grace of God, 2 Corinthians 9:14, the surpassing love of God, 2 Corinthians 3:19. Dynamos is the Greek word for power, God’s tremendously mighty power.

‘And his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.’ Ephesians 1:19-23

Here we read about the supreme demonstration of Divine power, John 10:17-18 / Acts 2:24 / Acts 10:14. The same power that resurrected Jesus is at work in us today. The power that Jesus raised has placed Him above all authorities, all things are at His feet. Christ is the head and we are His body. His resurrection was the final prove of Jesus’ Deity. The resurrection gives us hope for later.

Some people say, ‘if someone would simply rise from the death,’ but Jesus has risen from the death, why not believe Him? Romans 1:3-4. The resurrection of Christ is essential in our belief, we couldn’t have the hope without the resurrection, 1 Peter 1:3-5.

The fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, Colossians 2:9 and Jesus made God His own Father, making Him equal with God according to Jews, John 5:18. We also call God our Father, we have been adopted. God and Jesus share Deity just as our parents and ourselves share humanity.

We cannot draw God, because He is Spirit. How can we draw the trinity on a board? It’s just not possible. The dead body in a coffin isn’t the person as they were alive, this is only the flesh and bones. The real you we never didn’t see.

How do we know that God did these things through Jesus? Because we read it in the Scriptures, by faith.

Heavenly realms

The account in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are focusing on the creation of physical things. There’s nothing said about the creation of the heavenly realms. We read in the Bible about Cherubim’s, Angels, heaven etc.

We don’t know when they came into being. Genesis 1 wasn’t written to give a full history. It’s only written that we know the creation in relation to God. A lot of people have no other thought than our physical existence here on earth. They think, when we die, it is done, there’s nothing anymore.

Because we don’t understand the heavenly realms and only think in physical things, God had to come to the earth in bodily form in order for us to understand.

Jesus now reigns and is seated on the right hand of God, this is the symbolic place of highest honour and authority, Psalm 110:1, Acts 2:29-35, 1 Corinthians 15:23-28, Mark 16:19, Matthew 28:18. The manifold wisdom of Christ made known through the church and rulers, powers, world forces, evil forces are in heavenly realms, Ephesians 6:12.

God has raised Him, exalted Him, Philippians 2:9 / Philippians 2:11, and made them head over the body. Christ is the head of the body and is also head over all other things and rulers, our Master is King of the universe. This leaves no room for other authorities like the pope, or my grandfather etc.

Fullness is the word pleroma in Greek, the fullness of God dwells within Jesus. Christians are supposed to be a picture of God to the world. God revealed Himself through Israel, but it wasn’t a clear picture of God. The church is to be a demonstration of God to the world. We are the fullness of Christ, but we aren’t in the world to pass judgment to others.

Go To Ephesians 2

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

Matthew 28:19

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