H O U S E o f W I S D 0 M
06 May 2013
Ephesians - Part 1
City of Ephesus: On his third missionary journey, Paul spent three years in
Ephesus, capital of the chief province of Asia. The temple of Diana (Artemis,
originally built by Greeks) was important to the commerce of the city. Much
of the Mediterranean world considered it to be such a sacred and impeccable
institution, that the city became the chief banking establishment in all of
Asia Minor. Idol worship was prevalent in all the east, and often addressed
by Paul. He had so much influence on the people in Ephesus that the craftsman
who manufactured silver shrines for Diana incited a riot against him, concerned
that his trade would become obsolete (Act 19:24-29). The major theme of this
letter is that the church is the body of Christ. He spoke metaphorically of
it as a building of which Christ is the chief cornerstone (Eph 2:20-22). Of
the seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation, estimated to have been
written about 20-25 years later, Ephesus is the first. The only rebuke mentioned
was that they had left their first love (Rv 2:4).
Salutation: Ephesians 1:1-2:
1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which
are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ
2. Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and (from) the Lord
Jesus Christ. In the beginning of Paul’s epistles he always mentions
the Father and Son as being separate individuals (cf Rom 1:7; 1Cor 1:3; 2Cor
1:1, 3; Phl 1:2; Col 1:2-3; 1Th 1:1; 2Th 1:1-2; 1Tim1:1-2; 2Tim 1:2; Tit
1:1, 4; Phm 1:3; Jude 1:1; Rv 1:1-2). This distinction of the Father and
clear in the letter to the Ephesians, as in other places: For though there
be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods
many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father (Jn 17:3),
are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all
things, and we by him. How be it there is not in every man that knowledge...
Ephesians Chapter 1:
Verses 3-4: 3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who
hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly (places) in Christ:
4. According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world,
that we (should) be holy and without blame (g299) before him in love: The
phrase in heavenly (places) should be translated in the heavenly (things)
as it is in John 3:12: If I have told you the earthly (things), and ye
believe not, how shall ye believe, if I might tell you of the heavenly
Nicodemus, a teacher of the Jews, did not understand the concept of being
born from above (modern expression - born again, verses 5-9). Earthly things
are those that come from man’s understanding, while heavenly things
are those that come from God’s understanding (cp Isa 55:7-9). Paul
considered the Ephesus church, at the time of his writing, to be blessed
with spiritual understanding which comes only from the Father through the
Son. Another way to say it, is that they were dwelling in the heavens mentally.
To be in the heavens is to be an overcomer sitting with Christ in His throne
(Rv 3:21), which is a figure of sitting at the right hand of the Father (Acts
2:33). Think about how awesome are these spiritual blessings, the same as
we can have today! God’s plan was for all humanity before the foundation
of the world, i.e. before anything was created.
The phrase without blame (g299) would be better rendered as without blemish.
Ephesians 5:27: That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not
having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and
without blemish (g299). A sacrifice was only offered for sins committed in
ignorance (Lv 4:27-28), and all animal sacrifices were to be without blemish.
In the tabernacle service, animals are a figure of the thoughts mankind has
(Ps 73:22; Ec 3:18) about God. It is by a correct understanding of the sacrifice
of Christ and in the study of the cross that the cause of our sin is revealed.
The sacrifice of an animal is a type for letting go of a thought of the heart
that is creating the problem. There was no sacrifice for intentional sin. The
only remedy was a broken and contrite heart (Ps 51:17).
Leprosy is also a symbol for sinful thoughts. It literally begins with a spot
in the flesh (Lv 13:1-4); or it could be in the warp or woof of the clothing
(Lv 13:51-52), a type for character based on thoughts manifested by actions;
or it may in the stones of your house (Lv 14:33-34), a type of the mind, the
stones of which are spiritual concepts. A person contacting leprosy was inspected
by a priest, declared unclean and had to dwell outside the camp.
Verse 5: Having predestinated
us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according
to the good pleasure of his will... Predestinated
from the Greek word proorizo (G4309) which means to determine before. Some
will quote this and other scriptures (Rom 8:29-30) to prove that God has
predetermined who will be saved and who will be lost. This idea is an error
which takes away
a person’s free choice. What is meant by proorizo is explained in
the same chapter: Verse 11: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance,
predestinated according to the purpose of him who works all things after
the counsel of his own will: It is the purpose or plan that predestinates
to be saved, 1Tim 2:3-4. The choice, however, is left to each individual.
Verses 6-7: 6. To the praise
of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
7. In whom we have redemption through his
the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Note the
underlined pronouns in verses 5-7. Throughout the book of Ephesians, as well
there is a clear distinction made between the Father and Son. The plan
predestinated by the Father was implemented through His only Son. The Son
is not the Father,
as taught by many. He is referred to as a father (Isa 9:6), and he is a
father in the sense that he created mankind. Redemption, which infers captivity
bondage, comes via the Son having given his life, when we accept the sacrifice
and understand it so that we are delivered from our sins. The underlying
Greek rendered redemption, carries the idea of being loosed from something.
Father is not keeping a record of our sins (2Cor 5:19), then He did not
send the Son so that we could be forgiven, but so that we could be delivered
the bondage to sin, part of which is a result of man’s understanding
of the law.
The riches, mentioned in verse
7, are a figure of knowledge. Riches are represented by a crown, and a
crown is a figure of knowledge (Pr 14:24, 18).
riches (Mt 13:22) are deceitful and choke out the word of truth, whereas
sanctified riches come only from God through Jesus Christ. The riches of
is the abundant knowledge and influence of His love as revealed by the
cross of His Son.
Colossians 2:1-3: 1. For I wish you to know how great a conflict (anxiety)
I have for you and those in Laodicea, and as many as have not seen my face
in the flesh, 2. that their hearts may be comforted, being united in love,
and to all riches of the full assurance of the understanding, to the full knowledge
of the secret (hidden things) of the God and Father, and of the Christ, 3.
in whom are all the treasures of the wisdom and the knowledge hid... (YLT)
When our hearts are knit together
in love, we will no longer condemn others, as we will understand that they
are just like us, knowing not what they
do. Do not let anyone beguile you with enticing words (verse 4) of false
about the Father and Son. Teachers of error destroy the concept of the
love as revealed through His only begotten Son, in whom are hid all spiritual
riches. Let your hearts be filled with true love. Amen.
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