Ephesians 1 - "IN CHRIST" Print E-mail

“IN CHRIST”

Ephesians 1

Sunday Evening,

February 13, 2011

Taught by:  Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

Ephesians 1: 1-3:  “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus.  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  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.”

 

In Christ” – this term occurs 77 times in the New Testament.  Paul had been caught up to the third heaven.  He saw the mystery of the Glory of God.  He understood the journey from Salvation and Baptism of the Holy Spirit when we receive Christ in us, the Hope of Glory; to being “in Christ”, the Presence of His Glory. 

 

It is believed that Ephesians was written around AD 62.  Paul is in prison and awaiting Caesar’s decision as to his execution.   Why the Ephesians for this great revelation?  The temple of Diana was in Ephesus.  The pagans in Ephesus at least had an understanding of the spirit realm.  Howbeit their knowledge was of demonic spirits.

 

Paul purposed to give us more understanding of what it means to be ‘IN CHRIST”.

 

THE WORD, Grace occurs 13-times in the epistle.  This is that which is totally undeserving on our part.  God confers fantastic spiritual properties on His saints.  It is an important word in this letter which seeks to explain some of our holdings in Christ.  But even the marvelous Greek language fails.  How can human language explain that which is unexplainable?

 

 

Jesus’ victory over satan was not merely physical, but extended to the spirit-world or heavenlies.  The heavenlies referred to here is not out in space, but just outside our skin---no more than a heart beat away.  The spirit realms are along side this physical world.  Paul reaffirms not only has God conferred on us all that is His in Glory, but the means for triumphing over satan and the demonic spirits.   

 

1:4: Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him, in love.”

 

Even before the foundations of the universes were established, God selected us from the envisioned human stream to become His beloved in Christ.  It was His intention to bring us to such holiness that He wouldn’t be able to find a single blemish.  It was love that moved Him to do this.  Since we are to spend eternity with a Holy God, then as His companions we cannot be anything but holy.   His plan included a means for bringing sinful men to perfection. 

 

For the pure pleasure it brought Him, He determined (predestined) ahead of time that we should be raised to adult son-ship (adopted) in Jesus Christ, fully capable of mature fellowship with Himself, according to the kind intention of His Will.

 

1:6: to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

 

Our minds continue to be staggered by what it really means to become an adult son of God.  Still, His Spirit witnesses that undreamed things are in store for those who love Him. (1 Cor. 2: 9, 10). 

 

1:7:  “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.”

 

Redeemed:  The Greek word points to rescue by ransom, regardless of price.  For our redemption, the stated price was the privilege of slaying the sinless Son of God.  Satan, who held us captive, asked this price thinking such a death would give him victory in his war with God.  Instead, it released us from his grasp providing total forgiveness for our sins.  Since Jesus was fully man, He could serve as our “Kinsman Redeemer” in paying the stated price (Lev. 25:48).  Satan, of course, never suspected Jesus’ death was also the central genius of God’s plan for our rescue (1 Cor. 2:8).

 

And if that were not enough, he lavishes still more grace (riches of His grace) upon us to know and understand the inner workings of His plan.  Now why should He shower such wondrous grace?  Because it gives Him extreme pleasure to have us understand His secret purposes in Christ in His wisdom and insight.

 

1:9:   He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which he purposed in Him.”

 

The simple truths of God are knowable only through revelation.  They remain concealed or veiled until God is ready to reveal them.  While these things remain hidden to those outside of Christ, it is His desire that we should be in on His plans.

 

God has poured out His spirit for the purpose of opening the book.  Jesus taught us that:

 

Jn. 14:26: “The comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you…when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak and He will show you things to come.”

 

God wants to open His Word!  The Book has been closed, But God in His timing planned to open the Book in this century.

 

Daniel was instructed to:  Shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased…the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.  Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”

 

The Lord spoke to Daniel that in the time of the end, there will be two kinds of people; the wise and the wicked.  Those who turn at the reproof of His Word and those who scorn His principles.  But one has prevailed to open the Book (Rev. 5:5).  Paul is telling us This is the Day that God has chosen to unlock the secrets of His heart!  We are the people upon whom the end of the age has come (1 Cor. 10:11).  When the brethren speak of an end-time message, they are declaring that the end of this age is upon us and a new age is dawning.  Even the devil knows that.  A New Day is upon us and we are glad! 

 

Is the Book open or closed to you?  Do you have a blinded mind or an open face? 

 

When God’s plan for the earth reaches its conclusion, that is, when His purposes in history have been fully worked out, all things will have been redeemed and restored to their original condition through Christ.

 

1:10:  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 upon the earth, In Him”

 

Not just things on earth, but in the heavenlies as well.  Then it will be seen that we ourselves are, in Him, the glorious consummation of it all.  The whole purpose behind God’s plan.

 

When history is ended, the redeemed of mankind will be the glorious result.

 

1:11:  “Also we have obtained an inheritance having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.”

 

This is so amazing.  The Lord inherits as His personal property all that he redeems.  And while this makes us His purchased possession, that is not all that happens, We inherit something too---Him and all that is His.  Nothing can frustrate the will of the Lord.

 

This scripture has a double meaning.  We are His and He is ours.  We becomes His property, purchased by His blood, yet since we are “in Him” we become joint heirs of all that is His in glory. (Rom 8; 17; 1 Cor. 3:21, 23).

 

1:12:  “To the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth the gospel of your salvation having also believed you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.”

 

Paul is saying that the Jewish saints were scheduled as the first to bring glory to His Name through trust in Jesus as Messiah.  But that priority in no way excludes you (the Gentile Christians), for you too, after hearing the message of the Truth, trusted in Him also.  So that now having believed the good new of your salvation, you too are embossed with the Great Seal of heaven, the promised Holy Spirit. 

 

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the sons of God” (Rom 8; 16).  At once, the Lord’s Spirit functions as might and seal:

 

(1)   Revealing the authority behind the transaction.  The fact this Seal is the Third Person of the Godhead forbids all tampering.

 

(2)   Unalterable nature of the transaction.  Once the seal is fixed, no changes can be made in the terms.  The matter is forever settled.

 

(3)   Ownership of the property.  Seals also serve as a burned-on or brand or I.D. tag.  As soon as God accepts the redeemed property, His Seal goes into place.  No one else can claim it after that.

 

1:14 “Who is given as a pledge of our inheritance with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”

 

Thus God has guaranteed that he will come into actual possession of His purchased property.  But here is something else to the praise of His Glory!  the Holy Spirit Is not only a Seal, but also a down payment guaranteeing our future inheritance!

 

The Holy spirit seals us, but He is also an advance on our future inheritance.  We can have heaven’s wealth right now.    Since the initial payment is a person, the balance of our inheritance is also a Person---Jesus!  He is our wealth, and we are His.  Our future satisfactions, glory and thrills and completeness are in Christ. 

 

1:15-17:  For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you, and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.

 

Paul says, I too play my part.  This letter is addressed to the lower ranks of society; slaves, artisans, uneducated people.  It is the work of the Holy Spirit to illuminate our minds and accelerate our understanding so that we may comprehend and revel in the mysteries of God.  As soon as we received Him this supernatural education begins.

 

1: 18-19:  “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believer.  These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might.”

 

Paul is praying they will be able to see in the Spirit, so they may behold the intimate details of His plan.  He is saying, I want you to be stirred by the fantastic glory he has in store for His people. 

 

Many see the plan of God, but few actually live in it.  That takes power.  Paul’s prayer includes a request for that divine supernatural power enabling the believer to:

 

(1) live a holy life in an unholy world.

(2) Stand fast against the cunning assaults of the devil

(3) Witness and win souls in obedience to the Master’s command.

 

All of these require the same dynamic power which raised the Lord to glory.  Jesus’ seat at the “right hand” bespeaks His absolute authority over the spirit world.

 

1:20-23:  “Which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.  And He put all things in subjection under His feet ,and gave Him as head over all things to the church.  Which is his body, and the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

 

Jesus is exalted over and above all governments and authorities, powers and lordships, and every name that is know, not only in this world but also in the one to come.  Everything has been placed under the dominion of Christ.  And God has given Him, Who is the head of all things, also to be the head of the church, which is His Body.  This makes the church, then, the actual fullness of a Person to Whom everything in existence owes its being. 

 

Everything that happens to Jesus happens to us.  You and I literally become partakers of

(a) the life

 (b) the power

 (c) the program.

 

Taught by:  Pastor Carolyn Sissom, Scripture from N.A.S.; Text paraphrased from C. S. Lovett’s Lights on Ephesians;  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those from whom I have gleaned.

 
< Prev   Next >
RocketTheme Joomla Templates