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What Happens In Christ. January 16, 2011. Recipients of the Letter. Ephesians 1:1-2 1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints [in Ephesus], the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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what happens in christ

What Happens In Christ

January 16, 2011

recipients of the letter
Recipients of the Letter
  • Ephesians 1:1-2
    • 1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints [in Ephesus], the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • In the earliest extant manuscripts, the phrase “in Ephesus” is not present
  • This, along with the absence of personal greetings in the letter, seems to indicate that it was not addressed to a specific church
    • Given Paul’s lengthy ministry in Ephesus, we might have expected a more personal letter
    • Some challenge Paul’s authorship on this basis
nature of the letter
Nature of the Letter
  • The letter may have been a “circular letter”, intended to be circulated among various churches in the Province of Asia
    • Some scholars envision a “fill-in-the-blank” letter where the name of each church would be filled in on a fresh copy
  • Some speculate that this letter could be the Letter to the Laodiceans mentioned in Colossians 4:16
    • 16After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.
  • Whatever the actual route, the letter can be assumed to be addressed to all believers – even us!
introduction
Introduction
  • Ephesians 1:1-2
    • 1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints [in Ephesus], the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • In what way(s) Paul an apostle by God’s will?
    • Paul may hold the greatest claim on that title
  • Paul uses both a Jewish and Greek greetings in his opening, indicating a broad audience
    • Greek: Grace - charis
    • Jewish: Peace – eirene or “shalom”
eulogia
Eulogia
  • Ephesians 1:3-14
    • 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. 11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
difficult stuff
Difficult Stuff
  • 1 Peter 3:15-16
    • 15Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
factoid
Factoid
  • These twelve verses (Ephesians 1:3-14) represent the longest single sentence extant in any ancient Greek manuscript
    • English translations break it into multiple sentences (eight in the NIV) for readability
  • Does it surprise anyone in the room that this particular record belongs to the Apostle Paul?
  • This passage is a eulogia – a sustained statement of praise to God
praise to god
Praise to God
  • Ephesians 1:3
    • 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
  • God has already blessed His children with every spiritual blessing
  • Paul goes on to name a few, but what are your thoughts?
    • Why do you see as spiritual blessings?
chosen by him
Chosen by Him
  • Ephesians 1:4-6
    • 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
  • Blessing #1: chosen to be holy and blameless
  • Blessing #2: adoption as sons
  • The original language in this passage indicates that it was the “desire of God’s heart” to choose us
  • Since we have a couple of hours to kill, what does Paul mean here by “predestination”?
redemption
Redemption
  • Ephesians 1:7-8
    • 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
  • Blessing #3: redemption through his blood
  • Blessing #4: forgiveness of sins
the mystery
The Mystery
  • Ephesians 1:9-10
    • 9And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
  • Blessing #5: knowledge of the mystery of his will
  • What is the mystery?
  • God’s plan involves the unity of all believers under one head, Christ
    • Paul speaks here to both Jewish and Gentile believers
we were chosen
“We” Were Chosen
  • Ephesians 1:11
    • 11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
  • Blessing #6: chosen for praise
  • “We” being the Jews, who had “first shot” at the kingdom of God
  • God’s plan was that Messiah would come from and to the Nation of Israel
    • However the “true” Israel would be those who obeyed
you were included
“You” Were Included
  • Ephesians 1:13-14
    • 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
  • The Gentiles were included in those chosen when they believe
circumcision of the heart
Circumcision of the Heart
  • Romans 2:29
    • 28A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.
  • The receipt of the Holy Spirit is the “earnest money” on the deal
  • In what ways does this manifest itself?
thanksgiving prayer
Thanksgiving & Prayer
  • Ephesians 1:15-23
    • 15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
factoid1
Factoid
  • These nine verses also represent a single sentence in the original Greek
    • It may hold the record for 2nd-longest sentence in ancient Greek
  • This passage represents an extended prayer of thanksgiving for and on behalf of the recipients
thanksgiving prayer1
Thanksgiving & Prayer
  • Ephesians 1:15-23
    • 15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
  • Paul’s prayer is for the believers to have a deeper relationship with God
  • This passage, by the way, is one that causes some to question that the church at Ephesus was the intended recipient
paul s desire for us
Paul’s Desire for Us
  • Ephesians 1:18-21
    • 18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
paul s desire for us cont
Paul’s Desire for Us (cont)
  • Paul wants us to be enlightened to know:
    • the hope to which we have been called
    • the riches of God’s glorious inheritance
    • God’s incomparably great power for us
  • Paul uses four Greek words for power in this passage:
    • “power” (dunamis) – capability or potential
    • “working” (energeia) - effective or active power
    • “mighty” (kratos) – force that overcomes resistance
      • Term used ONLY for God – never man
    • “strength” (ischus) – bodily or muscular strength
  • The proof of God’s power is in the resurrection
christ s kingship
Christ’s Kingship
  • Ephesians 1:22-23
    • 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
  • Possibly a reference to Psalm 110
    • 1The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” 2The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies ... 4The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” 5The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath. 6He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
in summary
In Summary
  • Paul writes to the believers in Asia (us) to remind them of
    • What happened when they (we) became joined with Christ
    • The intricacy of God’s plan of redemption for them (us)
    • The unity between Jews and Gentiles in Christ
    • God’s power at work for us
    • The indwelling of the Holy Spirit as a guarantee
  • In short, Paul writes to encourage
next week
Next Week
  • Saved By Grace
    • Ephesians 2:1‐10

Questions?