Friday, December 07, 2012

NOTES FROM EPHESIANS 1:1-14

In Him We Have Redemption
Ep.1:1-14
 
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

- Eph 4:11-12  He (God) gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints…

To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

- This is an opening statement to "faithful...saints"
- This is not a statement about HOW they became faithful saints (their being predestined to salvation)
- This is a statement about HOW God has provided for salvation and WHERE this provision is found
- Notice, they are "...faithful IN CHRIST JESUS..."

3 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, 

- This is praise to God
- God has provided blessing
- Where is this blessing? IN CHRIST

4 just as He chose us in Him...

- Because we have been conditioned by certain doctrinal discussions, we automatically assume a certain concept of "predestination" when we see the word "chose"
- Paul's point is that it is IN HIM that we are chosen
- It's not that people are chosen (predestined) to be in Him
- Remember, he is talking about "faithful saints" and what is true of "faithful saints"
- It's that those who are IN HIM are chosen - how one gets in Him is not the point
- When did God decide that He would choose those who are IN HIM - when did God decide that He would bless us IN HIM?

...before the foundation of the world...

- What did He choose would be true of those who are IN HIM?

...that we would be holy and blameless before Him.

- The beginning of the next statement speaks of God's motive in all He has done when He says, "In love..."

In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 

- Caution, "predestination" ahead
- What is Paul NOT saying? He's not saying that God predestined certain people to be "faithful saints" /   adopted / saved
- Paul's NOT saying that God predestined WHO would be adopted, Paul is saying that God          predetermined HOW we would be adopted
- God predetermined that "faithful saints" ("us" in the text) would be adopted THROUGH JESUS     CHRIST
- AN IMPORTANT REMINDER: This must be view in light of the Jew / Gentile controversy - it has been predetermined by God that both Jew and Gentile receive blessing and adoption THROUGH JESUS CHRIST (Ep.2:13, 14, 18)

6 to the praise of the glory of His grace...

- God is to be praised for this self-inspired provision (grace)
 
...which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 

- This is an arrangement He freely bestowed on "faithful saints" IN THE BELOVED (Jesus Christ)
- The Good News is that anyone, Jew or Gentile, who set their lives apart unto (saints), place their faith in and live a faithful life IN CHRIST can partake of the blessing and adoption of God
- The Good News is NOT that some have been predestined to be saved and others have not 

7 IN HIM we (faithful saints - Jew and Gentile) have redemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD (a way of referring to the atonement),

- What does this redemption involve?

...the forgiveness of our trespasses...

- Paul makes clear, in other places, that salvation involves more than forgiveness bot it DOES involve a very much needed forgiveness for real guilt incurred due to our moral violations
NOTE: Redemption (being "bought" back) is just one phase of the larger work of salvation (recovery from all the complications caused by sin)
- Why or how did any of this take place or become a reality?

...according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight...

- It was God's idea and God's provision which He conceived of BEFORE the foundation of the world and has been working out FROM the foundation of the world

9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed IN HIM 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things IN CHRIST, things in the heavens and things on the earth. 

- God has revealed that He purposes to "sum up" all things IN HIM (Jesus Christ)

IN HIM 11 also we have obtained an inheritance...

- Straight forward and self explanatory

...having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 

- God, of His own initiative (working all of these things of which we speak according to His own will), predetermined that this would be the arrangement; that this is the way it would work
- This is NOT saying that everything that happens, including the predestination of salvation for a limited group of people, is the will of God

12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, 

- In this statement we have a glimpse of HOW one enters into Christ
- "...after listening to the message of truth...having also believed..."
- This is the consistent message of Scripture
- Paul's point is NOT that some were predestined to believe
- Paul's point IS that anyone (Jew or Gentile) that enters into Christ by faith (belief) is adopted,      redeemed, forgiven and blessed

...you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance...

- Not only are we adopted, redeemed, forgiven and blessed but we are given a seal, a pledge by way of the impartation, witness and presence of the Spirit in our lives
- "Sealed" does not refer to hermetically sealed, as though we are locked in (once saved always saved thing)
- This is reference to the seal a King would put on a document to validate that it is of him, to        authenticate that his authority is associated with it - a pledge of authenticity to encourage confidence

...with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

- Praising God for our ultimate destiny