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Ephesians Chapter One


Ephesians 1

The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ, having chosen us in Him. Chapter 1 unfolds (v. 4-7) these blessings, and the means of sharing them; verses 8-10, the settled purpose of God for the glory of Christ, in whom we possess them. Next, verses 11-14 set before us the inheritance, and the Holy Ghost given as a seal to our persons, and as the earnest of our inheritance. Then follows a prayer, in which the apostle asks that his dear children in the faith-let us say that we-may know our privileges and the power that has brought us into them, the same as that by which Christ was raised from the dead and set at the right hand of God to possess them, as the Head of the assembly, which is His body, which, with Him, shall be established over all things that were created by its Head as God and that He inherits as man, filling all things with His divine and redeeming glory. In a word, we have first the calling of God, what the saints are before Him in Christ; then, having stated the full purpose of God as to Christ, God's inheritance in the saints; then the prayer that we may know these two things, and the power by which we are brought into them, and the enjoyment of them.

But we must examine these things more closely. We have seen the establishment of the two relationships between man and God-relationships in which Christ Himself stands. He ascended to His God and our God, to His Father and our Father. We share all the blessings that flow from these two relationships. He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings; not one is lacking. And they are of the highest order; they are not temporal, as was the case with the Jews. It is in the most exalted capacity of the renewed man that we enjoy these blessings: and they are adapted to that capacity, they are spiritual. They are also in the highest sphere: it is not in Canaan or Emmanuel's land. These blessings are granted us in the heavenly places; they are granted us in the most excellent way-one which leaves room for no comparison-it is in Christ. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. But this flows from the heart of God Himself, from a thought outside the circumstances in which He finds us in time. Before the world was, this was our place in His heart. He purposed to give us a place in Christ. He chose us in Him.

What blessing, what a source of joy, what grace, to be thus the objects of God's favour, according to His sovereign love! If we would measure it, it is by Christ we must attempt to do so; or, at least, it is thus that we must feel what this love is. Take especial notice here of the way in which the Holy Ghost keeps it continually before our eyes, that all is in Christ-in the heavenly places in Christ-He had chosen us in Him-unto the adoption by Jesus Christ-made acceptable in the Beloved. This is one of the fundamental principles of the Spirit's instruction in this place. The other is that the blessing has its origin in God Himself. He is its source and author. His own heart, if we may so express it, His own mind, are its origin and its measure. Therefore it is in Christ alone that we can have any measure of that which cannot be measured. For He is, completely and adequately, the delight of God. The heart of God finds in Him a sufficient object on which to pour itself out entirely, towards which His infinite love can all be exercised.

The blessing then is of God; but moreover it is with Himself and before Him, to gratify Himself, to satisfy His love. It is He who has chosen us, He who has predestined us, He who has blessed us; but it is that we should be before Him, and adopted as sons unto Himself. Such is grace in these great foundations. This consequently is what grace was pleased to do for us.

But there is another thing we have to note here. We are chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. Now this expression is not simply that of the sovereignty of God. If God chose some out of men now, it would be as sovereign as if before the world: but this shews that we belong in the counsels of God to a system set up by Him in Christ before the world existed, which is not of the world when it does exist, and exists after the fashion of this world has passed away. This is a very important aspect of the christian system. Responsibility came in (for man of course) with the creation of Adam in this world. Our place was given us in Christ before the world existed The development of all the characters of this responsibility went on up to the cross and there closed; innocent, a sinner without law, under law, and, when every way guilty, grace-God Himself comes into the world of sinners in goodness and finds hatred for His love. The world stood judged and men lost, and this the individual now learns as to himself. But then redemption was accomplished, and the full purpose and counsel of God in the new creation in Christ risen, the last Adam, was brought out, "the mystery hidden from ages and generations," while the first man's responsibility was being tested. Compare 2 Timothy 1:9-11; Titus 1:2, where this truth is very distinctly brought out.

This responsibility and grace cannot be reconciled really but in Christ. The two principles were in the two trees of the garden; then promise to Abraham unconditionally, that we might understand blessing was free grace; then the law again brought both forward, but put life consequent on responsibility. Christ came, is life, took on Himself for all who believe in Him the consequence of responsibility, and became, as the divine Son and withal as risen Head, the source of life, our sin being put away; and here, as risen with Him, we not only have received life, but are in a new position quickened out of death with Him, and have a portion according to the counsels which established all in Him before the world existed, and are established according to righteousness and redemption, as a new creation, of which the Second Man is the head. The following chapter will explain our being brought into this place.

We have said that God reveals Himself in two characters, even in His relationship to Christ; He is God, and He is Father. And our blessings are connected with this; that is, with His perfect nature as God, and with the intimacy of positive relationship with Him as Father. The apostle does not yet touch on the inheritance, nor on the counsels of God, with regard to the glory of which Christ is to be the centre as a whole; but he speaks of our relationship with God, of that which we are with God and before Him, and not of our inheritance-of that which He has made us to be, and not of that which He has given us. In verses 4-6 our own portion in Christ before God is developed. Verse 4 depends on the name of God; verse 5, on that of Father.

The character of God Himself is depicted in that which is ascribed to the saints (v. 4). God could find His moral delight only in Himself and in that which morally resembles Him. Indeed this is a universal principle. An honest man can find no satisfaction in a man who does not resemble him in this respect. With still greater reason God could not endure that which is in opposition to His holiness, since, in the activity of His nature, He must surround Himself with that which He loves and delights in. But, before all, Christ is this in Himself. He is personally the image of the invisible God. Love, holiness, blameless perfection in all His ways, are united in Him. And God has chosen us in Him. In verse 4 we find our position in this respect. First, we are before Him: He brings us into His presence. The love of God must do this in order to satisfy itself. The love which is in us also must be found in this position to have its perfect object. It is there only that perfect happiness can be found. But this being so, it is needful that we should be like God. He could not bring us into His presence in order to take delight in us, and yet admit us there such as He could not find pleasure in. He has therefore chosen us in Christ, that we should be holy, without blame before Him in love. He Himself is holy in His character, unblamable in all His ways, love in His nature. It is a position of perfect happiness-in the presence of God, like God; and that, in Christ, the object and the measure of divine affection. So God takes delight in us; and we, possessing a nature like His own as to its moral qualities, are capable of enjoying this nature fully and without hindrance, and of enjoying it in its perfection in Him. It is also His own choice, His own affection, which has placed us there, and which has placed us there in Him, who, being His eternal delight, is worthy of it; so that the heart finds its rest in this position, for there is agreement in our nature with that of God, and we were also chosen to it, which shews the personal affection that God has for us. There is also a perfect and supreme object with which we are occupied.

Remark here that, in the relationship of which we here speak, the blessing is in connection with the nature of God; therefore it is not said that we are predestined to this according to the good pleasure of His will. We are chosen in Christ to be blessed in His presence; it is His infinite grace; but the joy of His nature could not (nor could ours in Him) be other than it is, because such is His nature. Happiness could not be found elsewhere or with another.

But in verse 5 we come to particular privileges, and we are predestined to those privileges. "He has predestined us unto the adoption, according to the good pleasure of his will." This verse sets before us, not the nature of God, but the intimacy, as we have said, of a positive relationship. Hence it is according to the good pleasure of His will. He may have angels before Him as servants; it was His will to have sons.

Perhaps it might be said that, if admitted to take delight in the nature of God, one could hardly not be in an intimate relationship; but the form, the character of this relationship depends certainly on the sovereign will of God. Moreover, since we possess these things in Christ, the reflection of this divine nature and the relationship of son go together, for the two are united in us. Still, we must remember that our participation in these things depends on the sovereign will of God our Father; even as the means of sharing them, and the manner in which we share them, is that we are in Christ. God our Father, in His sovereign goodness, according to His counsels of love, chooses to have us near Himself. This purpose, which links us to Christ in grace, is strongly expressed in this verse, as well as that which precedes it. It is not only our position which it characterises, but the Father introduces Himself in a peculiar way with regard to this relationship. The Holy Ghost is not satisfied with saying "He has predestined us unto the adoption," but He adds "unto himself." One might say this is implied in the word "adoption." But the Spirit would particularise this thought to our hearts, that the Father chooses to have us in an intimate relationship with Himself as sons. We are sons to Himself by Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will. If Christ is the image of the invisible God, we bear that image, being chosen in Him. If Christ is a Son, we enter into that relationship.

These then are our relationships, so precious, so marvellous, with God our Father in Christ. These are the counsels of God. We find nothing yet of the previous condition of those who were to be called into this blessing. It is a heavenly people, a heavenly family, according to the purposes and counsels of God, the fruit of His eternal thoughts, and of His nature of love-that which is here called the "glory of his grace." We cannot glorify God by adding anything to Him. He glorifies Himself when He reveals Himself. All this is therefore to the praise of the glory of His grace, according to which He has acted towards us in grace in Christ; according to which Christ is the measure of this grace, its form towards us, He in whom we share it. All the fulness of this grace reveals itself in His ways towards us-the original thoughts, so to speak, of God, which have no other source than Himself, and in and by which He reveals Himself, and by the accomplishment of which He glorifies Himself. And observe here, that the Spirit does not say "the Christ," at the end of verse 6. When He speaks of Him, He would put emphasis on the thoughts of God. He has acted towards us in grace in the Beloved-in Him who is peculiarly the object of His affections. He brings this characteristic of Christ out into relief when He speaks of the grace bestowed upon us in Him. Was there an especial object of the love, of the affection of God? He has blessed us in that object.

And where is it that He found us when He would bring us into this glorious position? Who is it that He chooses to bless in this way? Poor sinners, dead in their trespasses and sins, the slaves of Satan and of the flesh.

If it is in Christ that we see our position according to the counsels of God, it is in Him also that we find the redemption that set us in it. We have redemption through His blood, the remission of our sins. Those whom He would bless were poor and miserable through sin. He has acted towards them according to the riches of His grace. We have already observed, that the Spirit brings out in this passage the eternal counsels of God with regard to the saints in Christ, before He enters on the subject of the state from which He drew them, when He found them in their condition of sinners here below. Now the whole mind of God respecting them is revealed in His counsels, in which He glorifies Himself. Therefore it is said, that that which He saw good to do with the saints was according to the glory of His grace. He makes Himself known in it. That which He has done for poor sinners is according to the riches of His grace. In His counsels He has revealed Himself; He is glorious in grace. In His work He thinks of our misery, of our wants, according to the riches of His grace: we share in them, as being their object in our poverty, in our need. He is rich in grace. Thus our position is ordered and established according to the counsels of God, and by the efficacy of His work in Christ-our position, that is, in reference to Him. If we are to think here, where God's thoughts and counsels are revealed, if remission and redemption come of this, we are to think not according to our need as its measure, but according to the riches of God's grace.

But there is more: God having placed us in this intimacy, reveals to us His thoughts respecting the glory of Christ Himself. This same grace has made us the depositaries of the settled purpose of His counsels, with regard to the universal glory of Christ, for the administration of the fulness of times. This is an immense favour granted us. We are interested in the glory of Christ as well as blessed in Him. Our nearness to God and our perfectness before Him enable us to be interested in the counsels of God as to the purposed glory of His Son. And this leads to the inheritance (compare John 14:28). Thus Abraham, though on lower ground, was the friend of God. God our Father has given us to enjoy all blessings in heavenly places ourselves; but He would unite all things in heaven and on the earth under Christ as Head, and our relationship with all that is put under Him, as well as our relationship with God His Father, depends on our position in Him; it is in Him that we have our inheritance.

The good pleasure of God was to unite all that is created under the hand of Christ. This is His purpose for the administration of the times in which the result of all His ways shall be manifested. [1] In Christ we inherit our part, heirs of God, as it is said elsewhere, joint-heirs of Christ. Here however the Spirit sets before us the position, in virtue of which the inheritance has fallen to us, rather than the inheritance itself. He ascribes it also to the sovereign will of God, as He did before with regard to the special relationship of sons unto God. Remark also here, that in the inheritance we shall be to the praise of His glory; as in our relationship to Him we are to the praise of the glory of His grace. Manifested in possession of the inheritance, we shall be the display of His glory made visible and seen in us; but our relationships with Him are the fruit, for our own souls, with Him and before Him, of the infinite grace that has placed us in these relationships and made us capable of them.

Such then, with regard to the glory bestowed on Him as man, are the counsels of God our Father with respect to Christ. He shall gather together in one all things in Him as their Head. And as it is in Him that we have our true position as to our relationship with God the Father, so also is it with regard to the inheritance bestowed upon us. We are united to Christ in connection with that which is above us; we are so likewise with regard to that which is below. The apostle is speaking here first of Jewish Christians, who have believed in Christ before He is manifested; this is the force of "we who have first trusted in Christ." If I may venture to use a new word, "who have pre-trusted in Christ"-trusted in Him before He appears. The remnant of the Jews in the last days will believe (like Thomas) when they shall see Him. Blessed is he who shall have believed without seeing. The apostle speaks of those among the Jews who had already believed in Him.

In verse 13 he extends the same blessing to the Gentiles, which gives occasion for another precious truth with regard to us-a thing that is true of every believer, but that had special force with regard to those from among the Gentles. God had put His seal on them by the gift of the Holy Ghost. They were not, according to the flesh, heirs of the promises; but, when they believed, God sealed them with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the earnest of the inheritance, both of the one and the other, Jews and Gentiles, until the possession acquired by Christ should be delivered to Him, until He should in fact take possession of it by His power-a power which will allow no adversary to subsist. Remark here, that the subject is not being born again, but a seal put on believers, a demonstration and earnest of their future full participation in the heritage that belongs to Christ-an inheritance to which He has a right through redemption, whereby He has purchased all things to Himself, but which He will only appropriate by His power when He shall have gathered together all the co-heirs to enjoy it with Him.

The Holy Ghost is not the earnest of love. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost who is given unto us. God loves us as He will love us in heaven. Of the inheritance the Holy Ghost is but an earnest. We do not yet possess anything of the inheritance. Then we shall be to the praise of His glory. The glory of His grace is already revealed.

Thus we have here the grace which ordered the position of the children of God-the counsels of God respecting the glory of Christ as Head over all-the part which we have in Him as Heir-and the gift of the Holy Ghost to believers, as the earnest and seal (until they are put in possession with Christ) of the inheritance that He has won.

From verse 15 to the end, we have the apostle's prayer for the saints, flowing from this revelation-a prayer founded on the way in which the children of God have been brought into their blessings in Christ, and leading thus to the whole truth respecting the union of Christ and the assembly, and the place which Christ takes in the universe that He created as Son, and which He reassumes as man; and on the power displayed in placing us, as well as Christ Himself, at the height of this position which God has given us in His counsels. This prayer is founded on the title of "God of our Lord Jesus Christ"; that of chapter 3 on the title of "Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." There it is more communion than counsels. God is called the Father of glory here, as being its source and author. But not only is it said, "The God of our Lord Jesus Christ," but we shall see also that Christ is viewed as man. God has wrought in Christ (v. 20), He has raised Him from among the dead-has made Him sit at His right hand. In a word, all that happened to Christ is considered as the effect of the power of God who has accomplished it. Christ could say, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it up again in three days," for He was God; but here He is viewed as man; it is God who raises Him up again.

There are two parts in this prayer: first, that they may understand what the calling and the inheritance of God are; and secondly, what the power is that puts them in possession of that which this calling confers upon them-the same power which sets Christ at the right hand of God, having raised Him from among the dead.

First, the understanding of the things given us. We find, it appears to me, the two things which, in the previous part of the chapter, we have seen to be the saint's portion-the hope of the calling of God, and the glory of His inheritance in the saints. The first is connected with verses 3-5, that is, our calling; the second, with verse 11, that is, the inheritance. In the former we have found grace (that is, God acting towards us because He is love); in the latter, the glory-man manifested as enjoying in His Person and inheritance the fruits of the power and the counsels of God. God calls us to be before Him, holy and unblamable in love, and at the same time to be His sons. The glory of His inheritance is ours. Take notice that the apostle does not say "our calling," although we are the called. He characterises this calling by connecting it with Him who calls in order that we may understand it according to its excellence, according to its true character. The calling is according to God Himself. All the blessedness and character of this calling are according to the fulness of His grace-are worthy of Himself. It is this which we hope for. It is also His inheritance, as the land of Canaan was His, as He had said in the law, and which nevertheless He inherited in Israel. Even so the inheritance of the whole universe, when it shall be filled with glory, belongs to Him, but He inherits it in the saints. It is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. He will fill all things with His glory, and it is in the saints that He will inherit them. These are the two parts of the first thing to which the eyes of the saints were to be opened. By the calling of God we are called to enjoy the blessedness of His presence, near to Himself, to enjoy that which is above us. The inheritance of God applies to that which is below us, to created things, which are all made subject to Christ, with whom and in whom we enjoy the light of the presence of God near to Him. The apostle's desire is, that the Ephesians may understand these two things.

The second thing that the apostle asks for them is, that they may know the power already manifested, which had already wrought to give them part in this blessed and glorious position. For, even as they were introduced by the sovereign grace of God into the position of Christ before God His Father; so also the work which has been wrought in Christ, and the display of the power of God, which took place in raising Him from the grave to the right hand of God the Father above every name that is named, are the expression and the model of the action of the same power which works in us who believe, which has raised us from our state of death in sin to have part in the glory of this same Christ. This power is the basis of the assembly's position in her union with Him and of the development of the mystery according to the purposes of God. In person Christ raised up from among the dead is set at the right hand of God, far above all power and authority, and above every name that is named among the hierarchies by which God administers the government of the world that now is, or among those of the world to come. And this superiority exists, not only with regard to His divinity, the glory of which changes not, but with regard to the place given Him as man; for we speak here-as we have seen-of the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is He who has raised Him from the dead, and who has given Him glory and a place above all; a place of which no doubt He was personally worthy, but which He receives, and ought to receive, as man from the hand of God, who has established Him as Head over all things, uniting the assembly to Him as His body, and raising up the members from their death in sins by the same power as that which raised up and exalted the Head-quickening them together with Christ, and seating them in the heavenly places in Him, by the same power that exalted Him. Thus the assembly, His body, is His fulness. It is indeed He who fills all in all, but the body forms the complement of the Head. It is He, because He is God as well as man, who fills all things-and that, inasmuch as He is man, according to the power of redemption, and of the glory which He has acquired; so that the universe which He fills with His glory enjoys it according to the stability of that redemption from the power and effect of which nothing can withdraw it. [2]

It is He, I repeat, who fills the universe with His glory; but the Head is not isolated, left, so to speak, incomplete as such, without its body. It is the body that completes it in that glory, as a natural body completes the head; but not to be the head or to direct, but to be the body of the head, and that the head should be the head of its body. Christ is the Head of the body over all things. He fills all in all, and the assembly is His fulness. This is the mystery in all its parts. Accordingly we may observe that it is when Christ (having accomplished redemption) was exalted to the right hand of God, that He takes the place in which He can be the Head of the body.

Marvellous portion of the saints, in virtue of their redemption, and of the divine power that wrought in the resurrection of Christ, when He had died under our trespasses and sins, and set Him at the right hand of God: a portion which, save His personal session at the right hand of the Father, is ours also through our union with Him!


[1] It will be a grand spectacle, as the result of the ways of God, to see all things united in perfect peace and union under the authority of man, of the second Adam, the Son of God; ourselves associated with Him in the same glory with Himself, His companions in the heavenly glory, as the objects of the eternal counsels of God. I do not enlarge here upon this scene, because the chapter we are considering directs our attention to the communications of the counsels of God respecting it, and not to the scene itself. The eternal state, in which God is all in all, is again another thing. The administration of the fulness of tunes is the result of the ways of God in government; the eternal state, that of the perfection of His nature. We, even in the government, are brought in as sons according to His nature. Wonderful privilege!

[2] Compare chapter 4:9, 10: and this introduction of redemption, and the place Christ has taken as Redeemer, as filling all in all, is full of interest.

── John DarbySynopsis of Ephesians


Ephesians 1

Chapter Contents

A salutation, and an account of saving blessings, as prepared in God's eternal election, as purchased by Christ's blood. (1-8) And as conveyed in effectual calling: this is applied to the believing Jews, and to the believing Gentiles. (9-14) The apostle thanks God for their faith and love, and prays for the continuance of their knowledge and hope, with respect to the heavenly inheritance, and to God's powerful working in them. (15-23)

Commentary on Ephesians 1:1,2.

(Read Ephesians 1:1,2.)

All Christians must be saints; if they come not under that character on earth, they will never be saints in glory. Those are not saints, who are not faithful, believing in Christ, and true to the profession they make of relation to their Lord. By grace, understand the free and undeserved love and favour of God, and those graces of the Spirit which come from it; by peace, all other blessings, spiritual and temporal, the fruits of the former. No peace without grace. No peace, nor grace, but from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ; and the best saints need fresh supplies of the graces of the Spirit, and desire to grow.

Commentary on Ephesians 1:3-8

(Read Ephesians 1:3-8)

Spiritual and heavenly blessings are the best blessings; with which we cannot be miserable, and without which we cannot but be so. This was from the choice of them in Christ, before the foundation of the world, that they should be made holy by separation from sin, being set apart to God, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, in consequence of their election in Christ. All who are chosen to happiness as the end, are chosen to holiness as the means. In love they were predestinated, or fore-ordained, to be adopted as children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, and to be openly admitted to the privileges of that high relation to himself. The reconciled and adopted believer, the pardoned sinner, gives all the praise of his salvation to his gracious Father. His love appointed this method of redemption, spared not his own Son, and brought believers to hear and embrace this salvation. It was rich grace to provide such a surety as his own Son, and freely to deliver him up. This method of grace gives no encouragement to evil, but shows sin in all its hatefulness, and how it deserves vengeance. The believer's actions, as well as his words, declare the praises of Divine mercy.

Commentary on Ephesians 1:9-14

(Read Ephesians 1:9-14)

Blessings were made known to believers, by the Lord's showing to them the mystery of his sovereign will, and the method of redemption and salvation. But these must have been for ever hidden from us, if God had not made them known by his written word, preached gospel, and Spirit of truth. Christ united the two differing parties, God and man, in his own person, and satisfied for that wrong which caused the separation. He wrought, by his Spirit, those graces of faith and love, whereby we are made one with God, and among ourselves. He dispenses all his blessings, according to his good pleasure. His Divine teaching led whom he pleased to see the glory of those truths, which others were left to blaspheme. What a gracious promise that is, which secures the gift of the Holy Ghost to those who ask him! The sanctifying and comforting influences of the Holy Spirit seal believers as the children of God, and heirs of heaven. These are the first-fruits of holy happiness. For this we were made, and for this we were redeemed; this is the great design of God in all that he has done for us; let all be ascribed unto the praise of his glory.

Commentary on Ephesians 1:15-23

(Read Ephesians 1:15-23)

God has laid up spiritual blessings for us in his Son the Lord Jesus; but requires us to draw them out and fetch them in by prayer. Even the best Christians need to be prayed for: and while we hear of the welfare of Christian friends, we should pray for them. Even true believers greatly want heavenly wisdom. Are not the best of us unwilling to come under God's yoke, though there is no other way to find rest for the soul? Do we not for a little pleasure often part with our peace? And if we dispute less, and prayed more with and for each other, we should daily see more and more what is the hope of our calling, and the riches of the Divine glory in this inheritance. It is desirable to feel the mighty power of Divine grace, beginning and carrying on the work of faith in our souls. But it is difficult to bring a soul to believe fully in Christ, and to venture its all, and the hope of eternal life, upon his righteousness. Nothing less than Almighty power will work this in us. Here is signified that it is Christ the Saviour, who supplies all the necessities of those who trust in him, and gives them all blessings in the richest abundance. And by being partakers of Christ himself, we come to be filled with the fulness of grace and glory in him. How then do those forget themselves who seek for righteousness out of him! This teaches us to come to Christ. And did we know what we are called to, and what we might find in him, surely we should come and be suitors to him. When feeling our weakness and the power of our enemies, we most perceive the greatness of that mighty power which effects the conversion of the believer, and is engaged to perfect his salvation. Surely this will constrain us by love to live to our Redeemer's glory.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on Ephesians


Ephesians 1

Verse 1

[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 Jesus:

By the will of God — Not by any merit of my own.

To the saints who are at Ephesus — And in all the adjacent places. For this epistle is not directed to the Ephesians only, but likewise to all the other churches of Asia.

Verse 3

[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:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us — God's blessing us is his bestowing all spiritual and heavenly blessings upon us. Our blessing God is the paying him our solemn and grateful acknowledgments, both on account of his own essential blessedness, and of the blessings which he bestows upon us. He is the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, as man and Mediator: he is his Father, primarily, with respect to his divine nature, as his only begotten Son; and, secondarily, with respect to his human nature, as that is personally united to the divine.

With all spiritual blessings in heavenly things — With all manner of spiritual blessings, which are heavenly in their nature, original, and tendency, and shall be completed in heaven: far different from the external privileges of the Jews, and the earthly blessings they expected from the Messiah.

Verse 4

[4] According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

As he hath chosen us — Both Jews and gentiles, whom he foreknew as believing in Christ, 1 Peter 1:2.

Verse 5

[5] Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Having predestinated us to the adoption of sons — Having foreordained that all who afterwards believed should enjoy the dignity of being sons of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.

According to the good pleasure of his will — According to his free, fixed, unalterable purpose to confer this blessing on all those who should believe in Christ, and those only.

Verse 6

[6] To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

To the praise of the glory of his grace — His glorious, free love without any desert on our part.

Verse 7

[7] In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

By whom we — Who believe.

Have — From the moment we believe.

Redemption — From the guilt and power of sin.

Through his blood — Through what he hath done and suffered for us.

According to the riches of his grace — According to the abundant overflowings of his free mercy and favour.

Verse 8

[8] Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

In all wisdom — Manifested by God in the whole scheme of our salvation.

And prudence — Which be hath wrought in us, that we may know and do all his acceptable and perfect will.

Verse 9

[9] Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

Having made known to us — By his word and by his Spirit.

The mystery of his will — The gracious scheme of salvation by faith, which depends on his own sovereign will alone. This was but darkly discovered under the law; is now totally hid from unbelievers; and has heights and depths which surpass all the knowledge even of true believers.

Verse 10

[10] That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

That in the dispensation of the fullness of the times — In this last administration of God's fullest grace, which took place when the time appointed was fully come.

He might gather together into one in Christ — Might recapitulate, re-unite, and place in order again under Christ, their common Head.

All things which are in heaven, and on earth — All angels and men, whether living or dead, in the Lord.

Verse 11

[11] In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Through whom we — Jews.

Also have obtained an inheritance — The glorious inheritance of the heavenly Canaan, to which, when believers, we were predestinated according to the purpose of him that worketh all things after the counsel of his own will - The unalterable decree, "He that believeth shall be delivered;" which will is not an arbitrary will, but flowing from the rectitude of his nature, else, what security would there be that it would be his will to keep his word even with the elect?

Verse 12

[12] That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

That we — Jews.

Who first believed — Before the gentiles. So did some of them in every place. Here is another branch of the true gospel predestination: he that believes is not only elected to salvation, (if he endures to the end,) but is fore-appointed of God to walk in holiness, to the praise of his glory.

Verse 13

[13] In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

In whom ye — Gentiles.

Likewise believed, after ye had heard the gospel — Which God made the means of your salvation; in whom after ye had believed - Probably some time after their first believing.

Ye were sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise — Holy both in his nature and in his operations, and promised to all the children of God. The sealing seems to imply, 1. A full impression of the image of God on their souls. 2. A full assurance of receiving all the promises, whether relating to time or eternity.

Verse 14

[14] Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Who, thus sealing us, is an earnest - Both a pledge and a foretaste of our inheritance.

Till the redemption of the purchased possession — Till the church, which he has purchased with his own blood, shall be fully delivered from all sin and sorrow, and advanced to everlasting glory.

To the praise of his glory — Of his glorious wisdom, power, and mercy.

Verse 15

[15] Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,

Since I heard of your faith and love — That is, of their perseverance and increase therein.

Verse 16

[16] Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

I cease not — In all my solemn addresses to God.

To give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers — So he did of all the churches, Colossians 1:9.

Verse 17

[17] That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

That the Father of that infinite glory which shines in the face of Christ, from whom also we receive the glorious inheritance, Ephesians 1:18, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation - The same who is the Spirit of promise is also, in the progress of the faithful, the Spirit of wisdom and revelation; making them wise unto salvation, and revealing to them the deep things of God. He is here speaking of that wisdom and revelation which are common to all real Christians.

Verse 18

[18] The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

The eyes of your understanding — It is with these alone that we discern the things of God. Being first opened, and then enlightened - - By his Spirit.

That ye may know what is the hope of his calling — That ye may experimentally and delightfully know what are the blessings which God has called you to hope for by his word and his Spirit.

And what is the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints — What an immense treasure of blessedness he hath provided as an inheritance for holy souls.

Verse 19

[19] And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

And what the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe — Both in quickening our dead souls, and preserving them in spiritual life.

According to the power which he exerted in Christ, raising him from the dead — By the very same almighty power whereby he raised Christ; for no less would suffice.

Verse 20

[20] Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

And he hath seated him at his own right hand — That is, he hath exalted him in his human nature, as a recompence for his sufferings, to a quiet, everlasting possession of all possible blessedness, majesty, and glory.

Verse 21

[21] Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion — That is, God hath invested him with uncontrollable authority over all demons in hell, all angels in heaven, and all the princes and potentates on earth.

And every name that is named — We know the king is above all, though we cannot name all the officers of his court. So we know that Christ is above all, though we are not able to name all his subjects.

Not only in this world, but also in that which is to come — The world to come is so styled, not because it does not yet exist, but because it is not yet visible. Principalities and powers are named now; but those also who are not even named in this world, but shall be revealed in the world to come, are all subject to Christ.

Verse 22

[22] And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

And he hath given him to be head over all things to the church — An head both of guidance and government, and likewise of life and influence, to the whole and every member of it. All these stand in the nearest union with him, and have as continual and effectual a communication of activity, growth, and strength from him, as the natural body from its head.

Verse 23

[23] Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

The fulness of him that filleth all in all — It is hard to say in what sense this can be spoken of the church; but the sense is easy and natural, if we refer it to Christ, who is the fulness of the Father.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on Ephesians


Eph. 1:3

A man who had been a drunkard on Chicago’s Skid Row for many years came to a mission one night. He heard the message, ate the meal, and went to bed. That was his last night on earth. He died poverty-stricken and friendless, never to see another day. What he did not know was that he had an inheritance of over four million dollars waiting for him in England. The authorities had searched for him but were unable to find him because he had no address. Here was a man who had all the material wealth he could want, but he lived and died in poverty.

In this sense he was just like many Christians and non-Christians alike, who live in spiritual poverty because they are not fully aware of their wealth in Christ.


Chapter 1. God's Predestiny through Christ

Faith in Jesus
Love for Saints

I. An Apostle of Christ Jesus

  1. Paul's Blessing
  2. Bless for Whom
  3. How to Bless

II. The Grace of Redemption

  1. The Choice of the Father
  2. The Redemption of the Son
  3. The Seal of the Spirit

III. Prayer for Revelation

  1. His Call
  2. The Saints' Inheritance
  3. Incomparably Great Power
── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament
Chapter One General Review
1) To review the wonderful blessings God has provided in Christ
2) To understand what Paul desired the Ephesians that they know
3) To notice the greatness of God's power toward those who believe
4) To consider the exalted position of Christ and His church
Following a brief salutation (1-2), Paul begins this epistle with an
expression of praise to God for the spiritual blessings that are in
Christ (3).  In this doxology is a list of blessings divided into three
sections.  The first section describes those blessings related to the
Father, how He has chosen us in Christ, predestined us to adoption as
sons to Himself, and made us accepted in the Beloved (4-6).  The second
section focuses on those blessings in relation to the Son, e.g.,
redemption through His blood, forgiveness of sins, the revelation of
His will concerning Jesus Christ, and the inheritance we have obtained,
as predestined according to God's will (7-12).  The third section
describes blessings related to the Holy Spirit, how we are sealed with
the Spirit of promise, and how He serves as a "guarantee" (or deposit)
of our inheritance (13-14).  The key phrase throughout this section is
"in Him" (or "in Whom") which stresses the point that all spiritual
blessing come through Jesus Christ and enjoyed by those who are "in"
Him (cf. 1:1,3).
The last half of the chapter contains Paul's first of two prayers that
are in this epistle.  The prayer in this chapter is for their
"enlightenment", that their knowledge and understanding might increase.
Paul especially desires that they might know God more fully, what is
the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His
inheritance in the saints, and what is the great power of God toward
those who believe (15-19).  Regarding this "power", it is the same
power God used to raise Jesus from the dead and seat Him at His right
hand.  The exalted position now enjoyed by Christ includes authority
over all things, especially the church which is described as "His body,
the fullness of Him who fills all in all." (20-23)
   A. THE AUTHOR (1a)
      1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ
      2. By the will of God
      1. The saints (who are in Ephesus)
      2. The faithful in Christ Jesus
      1. Grace and peace
      2. From God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
      1. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is to be blessed
      2. For He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the
         heavenly places in Christ
      1. We are chosen by God (4)
         a. Chosen in Christ before the world began
         b. Chosen to holy and without blame before Him in love
      2. We are predestined by God (5-6a)
         a. Predestined to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself
         b. Predestined according to the good pleasure of His Will
         -- To the praise of His glorious grace
      3. We are accepted by God (6)
         a. Accepted by virtue of His glorious grace
         b. Accepted in the Beloved (Christ)
      1. God has redeemed us (7a)
         a. Redeemed in Christ
         b. Redeemed through His blood
      2. God has forgiven us (7b-8)
         a. Forgiven us of our sins
         b. Forgiven us according to the riches of His grace
            1) Which God has made to abound toward us
            2) Abounding in all wisdom and prudence
      3. God has revealed His will to us (9-10)
         a. Revealed the mystery of His will
            1) According to His good pleasure
            2) Which He purposed in Himself
         b. Revealed how He will gather together in one all things in
            1) Things in heaven
            2) Things on earth
      4. God has given us an inheritance (11-12)
         a. An inheritance predestined by God
            1) According to His purpose
            2) Who works all things according to His will
         b. An inheritance...
            1) For those who first trusted in Christ
            2) So they can be to the praise of God's glory
      1. The Holy Spirit is our "seal" (13)
         a. Having trusted in Christ after hearing the word of truth,
            the gospel of salvation
         b. Having believed, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of
      2. The Holy Spirit is our "guarantee" (14)
         a. The guarantee of our inheritance
         b. The guarantee until the redemption of the purchased
         -- To the praise of God's glory
      1. Having heard of their:
         a. Faith in the Lord Jesus
         b. Love for all their saints
      2. Resulting in his:
         a. Unceasing thanks for them
         b. Making mention of them in his prayers
      1. To whom addressed (17a)
         a. The God of our Lord Jesus Christ
         b. The Father of glory
      2. That God would...
         a. Give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation (17b)
         b. Enlighten the eyes of their understanding (18a)
      3. That they might know...
         a. The knowledge of God (17c)
         b. The hope of His calling (18b)
         c. The riches of the glorious inheritance in the saints (18c)
         d. The exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe
      4. Regarding this power toward us who believe...
         a. It is according to working of God's mighty power in Christ
         b. The same mighty power which...
            1) Raised Christ from the dead (20b)
            2) Seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places
               a) Far above all principality, power, might, dominion,
                  and every name
               b) Not only in this age, but also in that which is to
            3) Put all things under His feet (22a)
            4) Gave Him to be head over all things to the church
               a) Which is His body
               b) Which is the fullness of Him who fills all in all
1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Introduction (1-3)
   - Our spiritual possessions in Christ (3-14)
   - Paul's first prayer:  for their enlightenment (15-23)
2) Why is God to be blessed (praised)? (3)
   - Because He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the
     heavenly places in Christ
3) What blessings have we received that pertain especially to the
   Father? (4-6)
   - He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world
   - He predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ
   - He made us acceptable in the Beloved (Jesus)
4) What blessings have we received that pertain especially to the Son?
   - God has redeemed us through His Son's blood
   - God has forgiven us of our sins
   - God has revealed His will to us
   - God has given us an inheritance
5) What blessings have we received that pertain especially to the Holy
   Spirit? (13-14)
   - We have been "sealed" by the Holy Spirit
   - We have received the Spirit as a "guarantee" of our inheritance
6) What had Paul heard, that prompted his prayers in their behalf?
   - Of their faith in the Lord Jesus
   - Of their love for all the saints
7) Concerning what did Paul pray that his readers might know and be
   enlightened? (17-19)
   - The knowledge of God
   - The hope of His calling
   - The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints
   - The exceeding greatness of His power toward those who believe
8) According to what is God's power toward those who believe? (20)
   - The mighty power God worked in Christ, in raising Him from the
     dead and seating Him at His right hand
9) What is Christ's exalted position at God's right hand? (21)
   - Far above all principality, power, might, dominion, and every name
     that is named, both now and in the age to come
10) What has been placed under His feet?  Over what is He the head?
   - All things
   - The church
11) What is the church in relation to Christ? (23)
   - His body
   - The fullness of Him who fills all in all


Introduction To The Epistle (1:1-3)
1. Have you ever heard of "Hetty" Green, known as "America's Greatest
   a. She died in 1916, and left an estate worth over $100 million
   b. Yet, it is said that...
      1) She ate oatmeal cold, because it cost to heat it
      2) Her son's leg was amputated, because she delayed too long
         looking for a free clinic
   c. Sounds crazy, doesn't it?
      1) For someone who had such great assets, to go through life
      2) Living the life of a pauper, when great wealth was at her
2. But the same could be said of many Christians today...
   a. For in Christ Jesus, we have countless spiritual blessings! - cf. 
      Ep 1:3
   b. However, many of these blessings go unused
      1) Blessings that are wonderful, but unappreciated by many
      2) Resulting in some Christians living what Thoreau would call 
         "lives of quiet desperation"
3. God would have us to know about these blessings, or spiritual 
   "riches", and in the New Testament one book in particular describes 
   many of them . . .
   a. It is the book of Ephesians
   b. One expressed purpose of the book is that we might know "what are 
      the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints" - cf. 
      Ep 1:18
4. Lest we become the spiritual equivalent of "Hetty" Green, we begin a
   series devoted to the Epistle to the Ephesians, in which we plan to
   "mine" for the riches that are ours in Christ Jesus
[In Ep 1:1-3, Paul addresses the brethren at Ephesus and begins
immediately to speak of our "spiritual blessings".  Let's first more
closely consider...]
I. THE AUTHOR (1:1a)
   A. PAUL...
      1. Formerly, "Saul of Tarsus", the persecutor of the church - Ac
      2. But who became the "apostle to the Gentiles" - Ac 9:15
      1. His apostleship was not of his own choosing - cf. Ga 1:1
      2. He knew it was by the grace of God that he had been so called 
         - Ep 3:8a
      3. And his charge?  To "preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable
         riches of Christ" - Ep 3:8b
      1. First, for a short stay - Ac 18:19-21
      2. Then for over two years, one of his longer periods of service
         in one place - Ac 19:1-10
      3. He also met with the Ephesian elders at Miletus - Ac 20:17-38
      1. At the time Paul wrote this epistle, he was awaiting trial in
         Rome - cf. Ep 3:1; 4:1; 6:20
      2. This epistle was written about the same time as Colossians,
         Philippians, and Philemon, approximately 60-62 A.D.
      3. I.e., during the time period briefly described in Ac 28:30-31
[Now for a few thoughts on...]
      1. The recipients of this letter were called "saints"
         a. The word "saint" means "one who has been set apart"
         b. It is related to the word "sanctified" which means "set 
         c. ALL Christians were called saints in the New Testament, for
            in Christ Jesus even the vilest sinners are "sanctified" 
            upon their conversion - cf. 1 Co 6:9-11
      2. The recipients of this letter were those brethren "in Ephesus"
         a. This is called into question by some, for in a few
            manuscripts "in Ephesus" is omitted
         b. For a detailed examination of this question, cf. New 
            Testament Commentary, Exposition Of Ephesians, William 
            Hendriksen, Baker Book House, pp. 56-61
         c. Hendricksen's conclusion:  this letter was written to the 
            churches of Ephesus and surroundings
      3. Historical background concerning the work in Ephesus can be 
         found in Ac 18:19-28; 19:1-41; 20:17-38
      1. This describes the character of those "saints" in Ephesus
      2. They are "faithful in Christ Jesus"; that is, they trusted in 
         Him for their salvation - cf. Ep 1:13
      3. They were "faithful" in another sense, also, in that they were
         trustworthy in their stand for the truth - cf. Re 2:1-3, 6
      4. However, they were to be later rebuked for leaving their "first
         love" - Re 2:4-5
[To these "faithful saints", Paul give his customary greeting in which
he prays for grace and peace to come upon them from God and Jesus (1:2).
With the very next verse, Paul begins to praise God for the blessings we
have in Christ, which reveals to us...]
      1. They come from "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ"
      2. As revealed later, they come to us a result of the "riches" 
         of . . .
         a. God's grace - Ep 1:7
         b. God's glory - Ep 1:18
         c. God's mercy - Ep 2:7
      3. As James wrote, "every good gift and every perfect gift is from
         above, and comes down from the Father of lights" - Ja 1:17
      1. They include "every" spiritual blessing; not just a few, but 
         every single one!
      3. Blessings that are "spiritual" in nature; unlike many of the 
         blessings to the nation of Israel of old, which were but 
      1. First, they are "in the heavenly places"
         a. Lit., "in the heavenlies", a phrase found only in Ephesians 
            - 1:3; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12
         b. Referring to the spiritual realm, as opposed to the physical
      2. Secondly, they are "in Christ"
         a. It has been counted that this phrase "in Christ" occurs 27 
            times in this epistle
         c. Emphasizing that it is only by being "in" Christ that one 
            can have access to "every" spiritual blessing
[With verse three, then, we have the "theme" of this epistle stated, and
one would do well to think of it as the "key verse".
Before we close this introduction to Ephesians, it may be helpful to
consider the following outline of the book as presented in "The Bible
Exposition Commentary", Volume 2, Warren W. Wiersbe, p. 7...]
   A. DOCTRINE:  OUR RICHES IN CHRIST (chapters 1-3)
      1. Our spiritual possessions in Christ (1:4-14)
         a. From the Father (1:4-6)
         b. From the Son (1:7-12)
         c. From the Spirit (1:13-14)
         -- First Prayer:  for enlightenment (1:15-23)
      2. Our spiritual position in Christ (2:1-22)
         a. Raised and seated on the throne (2:1-10)
         b. Reconciled and set into the temple (2:11-22)
         -- Second Prayer:  for enablement (3:1-21; with verses 2-13 as 
            a parenthesis)
      1. Walk in unity (4:1-16)
      2. Walk in purity (4:17-5:17)
         a. Walk not as other Gentiles (4:17-32)
         b. Walk in love (5:1-6)
         c. Walk as children of light (5:7-14)
         d. Walk carefully (5:15-17)
      3. Walk in harmony (5:18-6:9)
         a. Husbands and wives (5:18-33)
         b. Parents and children (6:1-4)
         c. Masters and servants (6:5-9)
      d. Walk in victory (6:10-24)
1. In our next lesson, we will begin our study of this Epistle to the
   Ephesians in earnest, noticing immediately some of those
   "unsearchable riches of Christ"
2. But as we have already seen, the "sphere" in which these blessings
   (riches) are to be found is "IN Christ".  How does one get "into"
The answer is found in Ga 3:26-27, where we learn that those who have
been "baptized into Christ have put on Christ".  Are you in Christ...?


Blessings Involving The Father (1:4-6)
1. As suggested in the previous lesson, the "theme" of Ephesians is "The
   Believer's Riches In Christ"
2. After his brief salutation (1:1-2), Paul immediately begins in 1:3
   by praising God for the blessings (or riches) we have in Christ...
   a. This "doxology" actually continues throughout verses 4-14
   b. The spiritual "possessions" that are mentioned in this passage can
      easily be outlined as:
      1) Blessings involving the Father (4-6)
      2) Blessings involving the Son (7-12)
      3) Blessings involving the Holy Spirit (13-14)
3. In an effort to appreciate how spiritually blessed we are in Christ,
   we will examine this section (4-14) in three separate lessons
[With verses 4-6, then, we focus in on "Blessings Involving The 
Father", beginning with the fact that in Christ we are...]
      1. Comes from the Greek eklegomai {ek-leg'-om-ahee}, and means "to
         pick out, choose, to pick or choose out for one's self"
      2. Related to the idea of "election" which comes from ekloge
         {ek-log-ay'}, meaning "the act of picking out, choosing"
      1. "before the foundation of the world"
      2. Before the world was ever created, God made His "choice" or
      3. Just as with Christ Himself, who was foreordained "before the
         foundation of the world" - 1 Pe 1:20
      1. The Calvinist believes that this choice was...
         a. Individual (only certain select individuals have been
         b. Dependent solely upon God's gracious and mysterious will,
            without any foreknowledge of good or evil on the part of
            those selected
         c. Unconditional and final (there is no possibility of
      2. The Arminian believes that this choice was...
         a. Individual (certain select individuals have been chosen)
         b. Based upon foreknowledge of those souls who would respond to
            the gospel and persevere in the faith
         c. Unconditional and final, in the sense that God already knows
            those who will persevere to the end
      3. Paul says simply "...chose us in Him (i.e., Christ)", and I
         understand this election by God to have been...
         a. General, not particular; corporate, not individual
         b. The body of Christ, the church as a whole, which God chose 
            for His divine and gracious purposes He planned to carry out
            in Christ
         c. And that while in the "corporate" sense this choice is 
            unconditional and final, as "individuals" we must be 
            "diligent to make your calling and election sure" - 2 Pe
            1) Just as Israel (as a nation) had been chosen by God to 
               receive His blessings
            2) But individually, the Israelites also had to "make their 
               calling and election sure"
      1. "that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love"
      2. The goal of God's choice in eternity was to produce a people in
         Christ Jesus who would be:
         a. "holy" - set apart for a special purpose
         b. "without blame" - free from condemnation
         c. "in love" - walking before God in a "sphere" of love - cf. 
            Ep 5:1-2
[In Christ Jesus, then, we are blessed to be God's "chosen" people (cf.
1 Pe 2:9).  How God was able to carry out the "purpose" of His choice
when all He had to work with were sinners will be explained in verses
But first we also learn that in Christ Jesus we have been...]
      1. From the Greek word, proorizo {pro-or-id'-zo}, meaning "to 
         predetermine, decide beforehand"
      2. Thus this verse speaks of that which God "predetermined 
      -- WHO was it that God "predetermined"?
      1. Paul simply says "us"
      2. As with election, I understand Paul to speaking of the church 
         as a whole
      3. As B. W. Johnson says:  "The whole line of argument is general 
         instead of particular." (The People's New Testament)
      --WHAT was it that God "predetermined"?
      1. "adoption as sons"
      2. Quoting Johnson again:  God has "foreordained that we, the 
         church of Jesus Christ, should be adopted as his children."
      3. As Wiersbe points out, the word "predestination" refers 
         primarily to what God does for saved people:  "Election seems 
         to refer to people, while predestination refers to purposes" 
         (The Bible Exposition Commentary, Vol. 2, p. 11)
      3. So it is here, that Paul reveals that which had been 
         predetermined beforehand was the church (all those who are 
         saved) would be "adopted" into the family of God
      -- WHY did God "predetermine" this?
      1. "according to the good pleasure of His will"
      2. Putting it simply, the idea "pleased" God!
         a. It is something He wanted to do
         b. And by His Divine Will He has made it possible!
[What should our reaction be to all this?  To praise God for His 
glorious grace ("to the praise of the glory of His grace")!  For it is 
His "grace" by which we can now be...]
      1. Comes from the Greek word charitoo {khar-ee-to'-o}, and means:
         a. To be highly favored
         b. To peruse with grace, compass with favor
         c. To honour with blessings
      2. It is used in Lk 1:28 in reference to the virgin Mary 
         ("highly favored one")
      3. Like Mary, those in Christ are "highly favored" in God's sight!
      1. "in the Beloved" (Jesus Christ)
      2. As emphasized in 1:3 and throughout verses 4-14, all these 
         blessings are "in" and "by" Jesus Christ:
         a. God chose us "in Him (Christ)" - 1:4
         b. God predestined us to adoption as sons "by Jesus Christ" 
            - 1:5
         c. God has made us accepted "in the Beloved (Christ) - 1:6
      3. Therefore it is by our being "in" Christ that we are privileged
         to be "highly favored" by God, and showered by these wonderful 
1. And what should our reaction be?
   a. To praise God for His glorious grace! - cf. Ep 1:6
   b. Offering such praise is a form of "spiritual sacrifice" by which 
      we can say "thank you!" - cf. He 13:15
2. How can God afford to be so gracious to those who are sinners?  Our 
   next lesson will examine how in detail, but notice Ep 1:7
   a. Have you experienced this redemption through His blood, the 
      forgiveness of sins?
   b. To learn how, carefully read Ac 2:36-41...


Blessings Involving The Son (1:7-12)
1. We saw in the previous lesson that Paul starts his epistle to the 
   Ephesians with praising God for the spiritual riches (blessings) that
   we have in Christ - Ep 1:3
2. Throughout Ep 1:4-14 Paul lists some of these wonderful blessings
   that are ours, and in verses 4-6 we saw those blessings which 
   center around the Father, how that we who are in Christ are:
   a. "Chosen by God", to be holy and without blame before Him in love 
   b. "Predestined by God", to receive the adoption as sons of God 
   c. "Accepted by God", that is, to be highly favored by Him (1:6b)
3. How is it that we who are sinners are so blessed by God?
   a. The answer is hinted at in verses 4-6 by the repeated reference
      to Christ:
      1) "chose us IN HIM"
      2) "adoption as sons BY JESUS CHRIST"
      3) "made us accepted IN THE BELOVED"
   b. Thus it is only in and through Jesus Christ that we can receive 
      these wonderful blessings! (remember 1:3)
4. This becomes even clearer as we now consider verses 7-12, as Paul 
   expands upon "Blessings Involving The Son"...
   a. Please note that the distinction being made between blessings 
      involving the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is a narrow one
   b. For truly each of the blessings described usually involve two or 
      more Persons in the Godhead
   c. But for memorization purposes it can be helpful to divide up the 
      blessings in the way we have done
[The first blessing we notice in this section is that through His 
      1. The Greek word is apolutrosis {ap-ol-oo'-tro-sis}
      2. It means "a releasing effected by payment of ransom"
      3. As Hendriksen defines it, "deliverance as a result of the
         payment of a ransom"
      4. Hendriksen goes on to suggest that this "redemption" implies:
         a. "emancipation...from the guilt, punishment, and power of
            sin" - cf. Jn 8:34; Ro 7:14; Ga 3:13
         b. "restoration to true liberty" - cf. Jn 8:36
      1. The purchase price paid in order to redeem us was the blood of
         Jesus - cf. 1 Pe 1:18-19
      2. By His death on the cross, Jesus has paid the price to deliver 
         us from the bondage of sin, for which He deserves our highest 
         praise! - cf. Re 5:9, 12
[We now see how God could carry out His choice to have a people who are 
holy and without blame, adopted as sons unto Him, when all He had to 
work with were "sinners".  Through the death of Jesus and the shedding 
of His blood, God was just to "redeem" or "deliver" sinners from the 
bondage of sin!
There is another way to express what God has done to make it possible
for us to be "holy and without blame before Him in love", and that is, 
through His Son...]
      1. The Greek word is aphesis {af'-es-is}, and it's shades of 
         meaning include:
         a. "release from bondage or imprisonment"
         b. "forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they
            had never been committed), remission of the penalty"
      2. With the shedding of Jesus' blood, it is now possible to be 
         "forgiven", that is, "pardoned" so that we are no longer guilty
         of or imprisoned by sin
      1. The Greek word here is paraptoma, {par-ap'-to-mah}
         a. Lit., it means "a side-slip (lapse or deviation)"
         b. Thus it refers to (unintentional) error or (willful) 
      2. The very sort of things (faults, offenses, sins, trespasses) 
         that would keep us from being "holy and without blame"
      3. Through Jesus' blood, we can obtain "pardon" from such things,
         and be "holy and without blame"!
      1. "according to the riches of His grace" - 7c
      2. "which He made to abound toward us" - 8a
      3. As Paul told Titus, it is by God's mercy and grace we are
         justified - Ti 3:3-7
      4. This wonderful grace is manifested by God in all...
         a. "wisdom" - from the Greek word sophia, {sof-ee'-ah}
            1) Defined by Hendriksen as "that ability to apply knowledge
               to the best advantage, enabling a person to use the most 
               effective means for the attainment of the highest goal"
            2) In God's case, His wisdom is often beyond the capability
               of man to find out on his own - cf. Ro 11:33
         b. "prudence" - from the Greek word phronesis {fron'-ay-sis}
            1) Meaning "mental action or activity, i.e. intellectual or 
               moral insight: prudence, wisdom."
            2) With much thought God has chosen to show His grace toward
[According to His wisdom, prudence, and grace, God has provided 
"redemption" and "forgiveness" through the blood of His dear Son!
But there is more!  While God's wisdom is often beyond the ability of 
man to find out on his own, through His Son...]
      1. As explained by Paul later in this epistle (cf. Ep 3:3-5),
         this "mystery"...
         a. Was not made known to mankind in other ages - 3:5a
         b. But has now been revealed by the Spirit to the apostles and 
            prophets - 3:5b; Ro 16:25-27
      2. Making known the "mystery of His will" is due to "His good 
         pleasure which He purposed in Himself"
         a. It pleased God in planning to reveal His will to us
         b. Just as it please God in predetermining to adopt us as sons 
            through Jesus Christ - 1:5
      1. God's "plan" was to be carried out "in the dispensation of the
         fullness of the times"
         a. I.e., in the period of time when everything is right and 
            ready - cf. Ga 4:4-5
         b. Hendriksen suggests that the reference is to the entire New 
            Testament era...
            1) Particularly to the period which began with Christ's 
               resurrection and coronation
            2) But not ending until the Lord, upon His glorious return, 
               pronounces and executes judgment (New Testament 
               Commentary, Exposition of Ephesians, pp. 85-86)
      2. God's "plan" was to "gather together in one all things in 
         a. B. W. Johnson comments:  "He might gather in one all things
            in Christ. That the scattered families and tribes of men, 
            both Jews and Gentiles, should all be gathered and united 
            under one head, Christ. Nay, not only men, but angels..."
         b. Paul elaborates upon this thought in Ep 2:16, and in 
            Co 1:19-22
            1) By the death of Christ, Jew and Gentile can become one 
            2) By the blood of the cross, God is able to reconcile all 
               things to Himself
            3) The ultimate consequence of this "reconciliation" is that
               we might be presented "holy, and blameless, and 
               irreproachable in His sight" - Co 1:22; cf. Ep 1:4
[Finally, we also learn that through the Son....]
      1. Some translations and scholars understand that verse 11
         should read "we were made a heritage", speaking of God's 
         inheritance, with an appeal to:
         a. Ep 1:14b - where Paul speaks of "the redemption of the 
            purchased possession"
         b. Ep 1:18c - where Paul speaks of "His inheritance"
      2. Reasons for accepting the rendering found in the KJV and NKJV 
         are offered by Hendriksen:
         a. The immediate context speaks of "our inheritance" - Ep 
         b. In the NT "the inheritance" is ever said to be "ours" or 
            "intended for us" - Ac 20:32; Ga 3:18; Co 3:24; He 9:15; 
            1 Pe 1:4 (including Ep 1:18c, where "His inheritance" 
            can mean that which God is giving to us)
         c. Ep 1:5 speaks of "adoption as sons", and in Ro 8:15-17 
            Paul connects the idea of adoption with that of being heirs
         d. In an epistle with many similarities to Ephesians, Paul 
            certainly speaks of how we are "heirs" - Co 1:12
      1. Just as God "predetermined" that those in Christ would receive 
         "adoption as sons" (Ep 1:5), so He "predetermined" that His 
         "sons" would receive an "inheritance"!
      2. This is in accordance with God's grand "purpose", who has the 
         power to "work all things according to the counsel of His will"
      1. "that we...should be to the praise of His glory" 
         a. That "those in Christ" (and what God has made them) will be 
            a reason to give God glory
         b. As Paul wrote the Thessalonians:  "that the name of our Lord
            Jesus Christ may be glorified in you..." - 2 Th 1:12
      2. Some understand that Paul is now beginning to distinguish 
         between those like himself (Jewish believers) and those like 
         his readers (Gentile believers), for a reason that will become 
         clear later (cf. Ep 2:11-22)
         a. For Paul speaks of "we who first trusted" in verse 12...
         b. ...and then says "you also trusted" in verse 13
      3. Even if so, one cannot make too much of this distinction...
         a. Because all that is said in verses 3-11 (where "we" is 
            found) applies to Gentile believers
         b. And all that is said in verses 13-14 (where "you" is 
            found) applies to Jewish believers also
1. In Christ, then, we have every reason to praise God, knowing that...
   a. God has redeemed us (7a)
   b. God has forgiven us (7b-8)
   c. God has revealed His Will to us (9-10)
   d. God has given us an inheritance (11-12)
2. But there is even more!  And in the next lesson we shall examine what
   that is, as we consider "Blessings Involving The Holy Spirit"
For the time being, have you experienced that wonderful redemption, the
forgiveness of sins, through the blood of Jesus?  The apostle Peter
tells how we can in Ac 2:36-41...


Blessings Involving The Holy Spirit (1:13-14)
1. In studying verses 4-12 in which Paul is praising God for the
   "spiritual riches" in Christ, we have seen blessings which involve
   both the Father and the Son...
   a. Blessings involving the Father include our being:
      1) "Chosen by God", to be holy and without blame before Him in 
         love (1:4)
      2) "Predestined by God", to receive the adoption as sons of God 
      3) "Accepted by God", that is, to be highly favored by Him (1:6b)
   b. Blessings involving the Son also include the following:
      1) "God has redeemed us" through the precious blood of His Son 
      2) "God has forgiven us" of our sins by virtue of His grace 
      3) "God has revealed His Will to us" pertaining to His plan to 
         gather into one all things in Christ (1:9-10)
      4) "God has given us an inheritance" as part of His predetermined 
         plan (1:11-12)
2. Verses 13-14 close out this "doxology", by pointing out blessings 
   we have in Christ that relate in particular to the work of the Holy 
[What are these "Blessings Involving The Holy Spirit"?  The first one 
      1. The word is sphragizo {sfrag-id'-zo}, which means "to set a 
         seal upon, mark with a seal, to seal"
      2. A "seal" was used for various reasons, including:
         a. To guarantee the genuine character of a document (Esther 
            3:12), or, figuratively, of a person (1 Co 9:2)
         b. To mark ownership (Song 8:6)
         c. To protect against tampering or harm (Mt 27:66; Re 5:1)
      1. It could be in every sense of the word...
         a. In Ro 8:16, the Spirit Himself "bears witness" that we are
            children of God (i.e., guarantees our genuine character)
         b. In Ro 8:9, the indwelling Holy Spirit is considered 
            evidence that we are truly Christ's (i.e., a mark of 
            ownership, cf. also 1 Co 6:19-20)
         c. In Ro 8:13-14, it is by the Spirit of God that we "put to 
            death the deeds of the body" so we can live (i.e., to some 
            degree helping to protect against tampering or harm, cf. 
            also Ep 3:16)
      2. However, the context of Ephesians makes me think that "proof of
         ownership" is what Paul had in mind...
         a. He goes on to speak of the Holy Spirit as a "guarantee...until
            the redemption of the purchased possession" - Ep 1:14
         b. He later says that we were sealed by the Spirit "for the day
            of redemption" - Ep 4:30
         -- So until that "day of redemption", the Holy Spirit is given 
            to the Christian as evidence that we truly belong to God
      1. It is AFTER (not before)...
         a. One hears the word of truth, the gospel - Ep 1:13
         b. One believes the gospel - Ep 1:13; cf. Jn 7:37-39
         c. One becomes a son of God - Ga 4:6-7 (which occurs when a 
            believer is baptized into Christ - cf. Ga 3:26-27)
      2. Thus it is only when we obey the gospel of Jesus Christ that we
         are "sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise"...
         a. As Peter told the crowd on the Day of Pentecost - Ac 2:
         b. And as he told the Sanhedrin Council - Ac 5:32
[This "seal" as a "mark of ownership" is something that might be of more
significance to God (and to Satan, who would try to steal what belongs 
to God) than it does to us, but we can take comfort in knowing that God 
considers us His property, and that the work of the Holy Spirit in our 
lives is to be evidence of such ownership.
Paul describes the Spirit in this passage as "the Holy Spirit OF 
PROMISE", which could be understood in two ways:
   1) the promised Holy Spirit (cf. Ac 1:4-5; 2:33,38-39); or 
   2) the Holy Spirit which gives promise of what else lies ahead.  
In view of what we learn next about the Holy Spirit, I suspect Paul refers
to the latter, for...]
      1. The word is arrabon {ar-hrab-ohn'}
      2. It is used to refer to "money which in purchases is given as a
         pledge or downpayment that the full amount will subsequently be
      3. In the LXX (Septuagint Version of the OT), the word is
         translated "pledge" three times in Gen 38:17-20
      1. God has given the Holy Spirit in our hearts as a "deposit"
         ("earnest", KJV, and is the same Greek word) - 2 Co 1:22
      2. He is a guarantee of what God has prepared for us - 2 Co 5:1-5
      3. The blessing of the Holy Spirit working in our lives is only a
         foretaste of the glory that will one day be ours
      4. And yet, as an example of what the Holy Spirit can do for us 
         now, consider these passages: Ro 15:13; Ep 3:16; Ga 5:22-23
      1. While in one sense we have been redeemed (Ep 1:7) through the
         blood of Christ, in another sense God has yet to redeem those 
         who are truly His (Ep 4:30)
      2. Until that day, the Holy Spirit serves as a guarantee that the 
         FINAL redemption will one day take place
      3. Hendriksen comments:  "At the moment when believers receive 
         THEIR full inheritance, which includes a glorious resurrection 
         body (4:30), the redemption of GOD'S own possession takes 
         place, that is, the full release to him of that which is his
         by virtue of the fact that he both made it and bought it."
1. So we have the Holy Spirit as a "seal" and a "guarantee".  What 
   should our reaction be?
2. For the third time (1:6,12,14), Paul says these blessings are "to 
   the praise of His glory"!
3. Thus our reaction should be the same as Paul as stated at the
   beginning of this section...
   a. "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" - 1:3
   b. I.e., to praise God!
Are you praising God for His wonderful grace and mercy?  Later on, Paul
will tell us how we can "walk worthy of the calling with which you were
called" (Ep 4:1), but he sums it up very nicely in Ro 12:1-2...
   "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that
   ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto
   God, [which is] your reasonable service.  And be not conformed
   to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your
   mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and
   perfect, will of God."


Paul's Prayer For The Ephesians (1:15-20)
1. We have seen Paul describe how richly blessed we are in Christ in the
   "doxology" of verses 3-14 in this first chapter of Ephesians.
2. Paul now proceeds to reveal what sort of things he has been praying 
   for on behalf the Ephesians...
   a. Paul does the same thing in his epistles to the Philippians and 
      Colossians - cf. Ph 1:9-11; Co 1:9-12
   b. In noticing such prayers, I find it helpful to remember that Paul
      is writing by inspiration
      1) I.e., the things mentioned were not just Paul's desire for his 
         readers, but the desire of God as well!
      2) And in most cases, what concerns are expressed in these prayers
         are just as applicable to us as they were to the original 
         recipients of these epistles
3. With that thought in mind (i.e., Paul's prayer is God's desire for us
   as well), let's take a close look at this prayer...
[Beginning with a recognition of their faith and love (verse 15) and a
mention of his unceasing thankfulness for them (verse 16), Paul then
states that in his prayers his concern for the Ephesians is...]
      1. More important than human wisdom, glory, or might - cf. Jer
      2. It is eternal life itself! - Jn 17:3
      3. Failure to know God will lead to everlasting destruction! -
         2 Th 1:7-9
      -- Of course, we are speaking here of knowledge that comes through
         close and personal association, not casual awareness
      REVELATION" (17)
      1. Paul could have reference here to either the Holy Spirit 
         Himself, or a spiritual gift that the Holy Spirit gives
      2. In either case, it likely refers to that process that was still
         going on in the first century, where the Spirit of truth was 
         guiding the apostles and early Christians into all the truth 
         (cf. Jn 16:13; 1 Jn 2:20,27)
      3. Today, we have the full and final revelation in the pages of 
         God's Word, where we can go to learn the truth about God (e.g.,
         cf. Ep 3:3-4)
[Do you "know" God?  Many people know "about" God, but it is God's will
that we come to know "Him".  Through the Word of God as we have it
today, you can allow  the "spirit of wisdom and revelation" give you
that "saving knowledge" of God Himself!
We now observe that Paul's concern for the Ephesians included their
"eyes being opened"...]
      1. This "calling" occurred through the preaching of the gospel -
         2 Th 2:14
      2. God is "calling" us into His own kingdom and glory - 1 Th 2:12
      3. We have been "called" out of darkness into God's marvelous
         light - 1 Pe 2:9
      1. The word "hope" means "desire with expectation"
      2. What is the expectant desire of this "calling" by God?
         a. Paul has already revealed some of this hope in verses 4-5
            1) To be holy and without blame
            2) To be adopted as sons
         b. Paul will reveal more about it later in the epistle - cf. 
            Ep 2:19-22
      3. In this way, Paul is helping to fulfill his own prayer by the 
         writing of this epistle
[Do we appreciate the "hope" of God's calling?  Again, it is through the
revealed Word of God (like this epistle to the Ephesians) that we are 
able to have our own eyes enlightened.  There is no reason for us to be 
ignorant of our wonderful "hope"!
In addition to their knowing the "hope of His calling", Paul prays...]
      1. The fact that we were predestined to adoption as sons - Ep 1:5
      2. The fact that we have obtained an inheritance - Ep 1:11
      3. The fact that the Holy Spirit was given as a guarantee - Ep 
      1. Speaking of the exceeding riches of God's grace in the ages to 
         come - Ep 2:7
      2. Speaking of how Gentiles can be "fellow heirs" - Ep 2:12-13;
[Again we see how Paul by writing this epistle is attempting to help 
answer his own prayer for the Ephesians.
There is one more thing that Paul wanted the Ephesians, and if the way 
he elaborates is an indication of its importance then Paul more than all
else prayed...]
      1. Exceedingly great ("the exceeding greatness")
      2. Shown toward those who believe ("toward us who believe")
      3. In accordance with the same power that...
         a. Raised Jesus from the dead!
         b. Seated Him at the right hand of God in the "heavenly places"
            (cf. Ep 1:3)
      -- How can it be said that such power is available to us who 
         believe?  (The next section suggests how)
      1. Paul gives an example in Ep 2:1-6
         a. We who were "dead in trespasses" (2:1-3) were "made alive"
            (4-5) and "raised up" (6)
         b. I.e., in Christ we who were spiritually dead have been made 
            spiritually alive - cf. Co 2:12-13
         c. This may not sound as impressive as being raised from the 
            dead physically (as Jesus was), but it cannot happen without
            the same sort of Divine Power!
         d. As Jesus said when He raised the paralytic, "Which is 
            easier...?" - Mt 9:2-8
            1) To raise the sick (and the dead), or to forgive sins (and
               make the spiritually dead spiritually alive)?
            2) Both require Divine Power!
      2. Paul speaks of its source in Ep 3:16
         a. It is through God's Spirit in the inner man that we can be 
            "strengthened with might"
         b. Just as we were "renewed" by the Spirit upon our baptism - 
            Jn 3:5; Ti 3:5
         c. So we can be strengthened by the Spirit in our daily battles
            against sin - Ro 8:12-13
      3. Paul speaks of its greatness in Ep 3:20
         a. It comes from Him (God) "who is ABLE to do"
         b. With ability that is "exceedingly", "abundantly", "above 
            all" that we ask or think!
         c. Such ability is "according to the power that works IN us" 
            - cf. Ep 3:16 ("through His Spirit in the inner man")
      4. Finally, Paul charges the Ephesians to stand strong in this 
         power in Ep 6:10ff
         a. By putting on the "armor of God" - Ep 6:11a
         b. For we are in a battle against the devil and his forces - 
            Ep 6:11a-13 (dare we fight this battle dependent upon our 
            own strength alone?)
         c. The "armor of God" described - Ep 6:14-18
1. It appears that Paul followed that saying "Pray as though it all 
   depends upon God, but work as though it all depends upon you!"
   a. For while he prayed for the Ephesians that they might know...
      1) God
      2) The hope of God's calling
      3) The riches of God's inheritance
      4) The power of God
   b. Paul takes it upon himself (with the aid of inspiration, of 
      course) to write of these things in this epistle
2. How is our knowledge of God, the hope of His calling, His riches, His
   a. Certainly it is God's will that we increase in our understanding, 
      appreciation, and application of these blessings!
   b. With the help of God's Word, especially a book like Ephesians, we
      can grow in all these things!
But before growth can occur, there must be life.  Have you been "made 
alive together with Christ"? - cf. Ep 2:5-6; Co 2:12-13


The Exaltation Of Christ (1:20-23)
1. In expressing his prayer that the Ephesians might know "the exceeding
   greatness of His Power toward us who believe" (Ep 1:19), Paul makes
   reference to the working of God's power in...
   a. Raising Jesus from the dead - Ep 1:20a
   b. Seating Jesus at His right hand in the heavenly places - Ep 1:20b
   -- At this point, Paul digresses slightly to expand upon the idea of
      "The Exaltation of Christ" - Ep 1:21-23
2. This is a theme worthy of Paul's digression and our own careful 
   consideration for several reasons:
   a. Without "The Exaltation of Christ", none of the spiritual 
      blessings already described would be possible!
   b. There are some who say that Jesus...
      1) Has yet to start His "kingly reign" (e.g., some pre- and post-
      2) Or did not start it until 1914 (e.g., "Jehovah's Witnesses")
   c. Some amazing things are said by Paul in this passage, not only 
      about Christ, but about His church!
[Since the Holy Spirit saw fit to lead Paul into this "digression", we
will take the time to consider what is revealed, beginning with the 
      1. "received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of 
         God" - Mk 16:19
      2. "Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God" - Ac 2:33
      3. In the book of Hebrews...
         a. "sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high" - He 
         b. "seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in 
            the heavens" - He 8:1
         c. "after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat 
            down at the right hand of God" - He 10:12
         d. "endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at
            the right hand of the throne of God" - He 12:2
      4. "where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God" - Co 3:1
      5. As a point of interest, one passage has Jesus "STANDING on the 
         right hand of God" (at the martyrdom of Stephen) - Ac 7:55-56
      1. Fulfillment of prophecy - cf. Ps 110:1-7
      2. As indicated in this prophecy (and compared with 1 Co 15:25-
         26) Christ began His "kingly reign" when He sat down at the 
         right hand of God
         a. He shall "rule in the midst of [His] enemies"
         b. At the right hand of God He shall "judge among the nations"
         c. He shall reign  "till He has put all enemies under His feet"
      3. As Peter indicated in his sermon on Pentecost, by Christ's 
         resurrection and exaltation He has been raised to sit on 
         "David's throne", and is therefore truly "Lord" - Ac 2:30-36
[But how extensive is the "reign" or "authority" of Christ?  Does He 
have only "partial" authority?  As we return to our text, we find Paul 
saying that...]
      1. "all principality and power and might and dominion" - a likely 
         reference to angelic beings and evil spirits - cf. Ep 3:10; 
      3. "every name that is named" - this would include authorities 
         here on earth
      4. "not only in this age but also in that which is come" - both in
         the present dispensation, and in the one to be ushered in at 
         the consummation of all things
      -- Sounds like Christ's authority is all inclusive, doesn't it?
      1. As Christ Himself said:  "All authority has been given to Me in
         heaven and on earth" - Mt 28:18
      2. As Paul described Christ:  "the blessed and only Potentate, the
         King of kings and Lord of lords" - 1 Ti 6:15; cf. Re 19:16
      3. As Peter wrote:  "angels and authorities and powers having been
         made subject to Him" - 1 Pe 3:22
      4. As John wrote:  "the ruler over the kings of the earth" - Re
      -- Can anyone say that Jesus has NOT begun His "kingly reign" in 
         view of such statements?
[Indeed, Christ was granted all this dominion when He ascended to heaven
to sit down at the right hand of God, as prophesied by Daniel (Dan 7:
13-14), and as revealed by Jesus to the seven churches of Asia (Re 
2:26-27; 3:21).  Clearly, from the viewpoint of Christ and His 
apostles, He was reigning over all when the pages of the New Testament 
were being written.
But there is more amazing truth revealed in Paul's "digression" and that
      1. Christ exercises His authority over all things "in the 
         interest" of the church (Hendriksen); i.e., the rule of Christ 
         is for the benefit of His church!
      2. Because Jesus is Lord, all things work together for our benefit
         - cf. Ro 8:28
         a. This is not to say that Christ will prevent hardship,
            persecution, even death
         b. But through Christ all such things can used to our benefit
            and ultimate glory!
            1) "in all these things we are more than conquerors through
               Him" - Ro 8:35-39
            2) "...the world or life or death...all are yours" - 1 Co
            3) Even the sufferings brought on by Satan can be used by
               God to "perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle" us! 
               - 1 Pe 5:8-11
      1. It is "His body", i.e., the body of Christ - Ep 1:23
         a. Those who have been "called out" into the "assembly" of 
            God's people are like a "body" to Jesus - cf. Ep 5:28-30
         b. As such, Christ loves it and gave Himself for it - cf. Ep 
         c. Thus, He is not only the "head" of the body, but the 
            "savior" of it as well - Ep 5:23
      2. The church is also called "the fullness of Him who fills all in
         all" - Ep 1:23
         a. Hendriksen suggests that this means "the church is Christ's 
            complement...filling or completing Him who fills all in all"
         b. Hendriksen continues:  "As to his divine essence Christ is 
            in no sense whatever dependent on or capable of being 
            completed by the church.  But..."
            1) "as a bridegroom he is incomplete without the bride"
            2) "as a vine he cannot be thought of without the branches"
            3) "as shepherd he is not seen without his sheep"
            4) "and so also as head he finds his full expression in his 
               body, the church" (New Testament Commentary, Exposition
               of Ephesians, William Hendriksen, p. 104)
1. With this "digression" of Paul we have seen...
   a. The exalted position that Christ now holds, as "head over all 
   b. The exalted position of His Church, which is viewed by Christ as:
      1) His "body" (which He loves, nourishes, and cherishes - Ep 5:
      2) His "fullness" (the perfect complement to His being)
2. How can anyone say...
   a. That Christ is not yet "ruler over the kings of the earth"?
   b. That the church is not important, a non-essential concern for 
      those following Christ?
3. In view of such truths concerning Christ and His Church...
   a. Are we freely submitting today to His authority? - cf. Ps 110:3
   b. If you have not done so yet, will you allow Him who is "head over
      all things" ADD you to His church? - cf. Ac 2:47

--《Executable Outlines