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May 1, 2012

Ephesians Study Chapter 1:1-2

Riches, is what Ephesians is about! Paul begins by clarifying that the Ephesians are a people who have all the inheritance of God. In other words they are joint heirs of Jesus BUT they do not understand what riches they have in Christ and that all those blessings are based on Him! His will ch1:5; His grace ch1:6-7; His glory ch1:12,14; His power ch1:19; His love ch2:4; His good pleasure ch1:9; His purpose ch1:11; His calling 1:18; His inheritance 1:18; His workmanship ch2:10. It's all because of Him.

To break it down the first three chapters tell the Ephesians about their blessings. The second three chapters teach how to use those blessings. The first three chapters give as the theology of the body and the last three chapters, the behavior. Its all ours because we are in the body of Christ-a key phrase (which will be discussed later).

  • Ephesians is about a mystery of the body of Christ being revealed and how God reveals things (through Paul to share).

  • Ephesians introduces a new metaphor the body and whereas we previously knew of many Old Testament and New Testament parallels and metaphors.
"Maybe the sum of it all is in chapter 3 ‑ “That you might be filled with all the fullness of God.” It's an incredible thought that literally the believer can be filled with all the fullness of God Himself. That we would know the unsearchable riches of Christ. That we would be able to do exceeding abundantly above all we could ask or think according to the power that works in us.‑ all in the book of Ephesians."

Verse 1. Why does Paul clarify and begin with his own name identifying himself as an Apostle? Because Apostles were a mouthpiece of Jesus Christ and selected as the foundation of the Church.
 1: Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus when he was blinded but he calls himself an Apostle because people want some kind of identification to whom he wrote his letters. He was an appointed apostle by Jesus Christ, he saw Jesus Christ!

2: Because Paul is establishing his authority. He's saying "I'm an Apostle, listen to me!"

3: Because of his relationship to the 12 Apostles. Did they accept him as a brother apostle?

4: Because of his relations to false teachers (Sanhedrin) who constantly persecuted him because he was not one of the original 12. (1 Cor. 4:9)

5. Because of his relation to Christ. He met Christ!

6. To express himself to the readers, his calling was to them (1Cor. 1:9).

7. Because of his relation to God. Paul is an ambassador and agent of God. 'By the will of God" means that he is giving and relaying God's judgement to the Ephesians. 

Who are the Saints? A saint is anyone who is a Christian. When you confess your sins to Jesus, ask for forgiveness, you are made holy. Paul calls them saints because they are made holy through Christ. But there is a second term Paul uses, faithful. This is the part of the person, they (we) exercise faith in the belief that we are made holy. 

Notice now that there is a double authority in the intro, Paul the Apostle (1) and by the will of God (2). Then a double designation term used: the saints (1) and the faithful (2). So why not expect a double blessing Grace (1) and Peace (2). Grace is the New Testament word karis, it means kindness of God toward undeserving people. Its a nice way of reminding us that we are saved by grace NOT works. And the second part is peace. Because I have grace from God I have peace with God. 

Verse 2. "Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" Why both God and Jesus Christ? Again this book is about the FULLNESS of God and Jesus Christ-complete and all encompassing riches. Its not from one part, God, or another part, Jesus Christ. It is both and its a double authority! Paul was appointed as an apostle with the authority of Jesus Christ and by the will of God.

It kinda like God is saying through Paul, 'in case you miss it I'll repeat myself so you can grasp what I'm about to share with you! I don't want you to miss out on my blessing, riches, and peace.' 

Grace to You,

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