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Ephesians Bible Study - Introduction

The following is a series of sermons on the book of Ephesians. Beginning with chapter 1, we will walk through the entire book verse by verse and complete a Bible Study of Ephesians. This opening message will provide a brief introduction, followed by an insightful look into verses 1 to 6. This post will give a video message and notes for this study.



INTRODUCTION - Ephesians 1:1


About the Author

  • Paul - who wrote it while under house arrest.

  • Written to the church at Ephesus and believers everywhere.

  • Paul uses the phrase “in Christ” as one of his main points.


About the City of Ephesus

  • Ephesus, located in the region of Asia (Turkey)

  • Major seaport and business hub

  • An influential city in politics, commerce, and religion.

  • It was the location of the temple of (goddess) Diana, one of the seven wonders of the world of that day. It was filled with magic, the occult; it was highly sexualized and prostitution.


About the Church at Ephesus

  • Paul established the church during His second missionary journey.

  • Priscilla and Aquila were instrumental leaders in this church.

  • Timothy was also a leader/pastor in the church.




Ephesians Bible Study - Introduction



OPENING PASSAGE - Ephesians 1:1-2


  • Paul identifies himself to be an apostle.

  • The word “apostle” means one sent on a mission.

  • He makes known that his (call) apostleship did not originate with man. He was appointed by Jesus Himself and by God. They are the authority behind him.

  • Are there apostles today? Nowhere in scripture does it say this ministry office ceases to exist.

  • A standard greeting from Paul. He constantly desires those he addresses to remain in God’s grace and peace. Jesus Christ and God the Father are linked together as being the source.



SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS - Ephesians 1:3


One of the most complete and concise descriptions of the gospel.

  • Paul uses the word “bless” three times.

  • He pronounces blessing (praise) upon God the Father. God deserves our praises because of the blessings He has given us.

  • God has blessed (given to) us every spiritual blessing.

  • “Spiritual” refers to every work in our lives through the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit), in the activity of salvation and the eternal life we have received.

  • The work of God in us is always spiritual.

  • It may be revealed in the natural/physical, but it is not a natural work.

  • God is the source of everything we receive.

  • Blessed with EVERY spiritual blessing. - Colossians 2:10

  • In Heavenly Places In Christ - In the realm of the Spirit in Christ.

  • Not one of these gifts can be obtained by human power/strength.

  • Not one of these gifts is because of who we are.

    • not status, position, ethnicity, economic status

  • Not one of these blessings is a product of our own will/desire.

  • Every one of these has to be found in Christ


Many look for God’s blessing in everything but Christ, and it will not happen. God has placed His blessings for us in a specific person. In a relationship, in fellowship, in faith, in complete dependence upon Christ.



HAS BLESSED


  • It is complete (done).

  • The necessary actions of God for His goodness to be given to us have been accomplished.



SOME BLESSINGS WE HAVE RECEIVED


  • In Christ - we walk in hope, peace, salvation, victory, healing

  • When we are born again, old things are passed away, and all things have become new, because we are “in Christ” - 2 Corinthians 5:17

  • Romans 8:1 – There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

  • Life - 1 John 5:11 – God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God.


Other Examples: through Christ Jesus


2 Peter 1:3 - His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him (Christ) who has called us by His own glory and excellence,


Note: All spiritual blessings are in Christ. It follows that there are no spiritual blessings to those outside Christ.



CHOSEN AND PREDESTINED - Ephesians 1:4-5


Now Paul says that He (God) chose us before the foundation of the world and predestined (determined in advance) us to adoption as sons.


  • Before God laid the structure of creation, the earth, He set this plan in place.

  • The wisdom of God, love of God, intentional nature of God, nothing surprises God.


Question: Does God select some to be saved and some not to be saved? An idea in some holds that if God has chosen you to be saved, you will get saved; if not, nothing can be done, and you will not be saved.


There can be no doubt that we are chosen and predestined by God. The question is how this is accomplished. Are some pre-selected to be saved? Are some people pre-selected and destined for hell?


To answer this, we need to look at the passage's context.

  • It says that God's choice and predetermining was“according to the good pleasure of His will - because it pleased Him” - verse 5.

  • Verse 11 outlines this thought again, and verse 9 says all God did was according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself.

  • We know God’s purpose, will, and pleasure are revealed in the Scriptures.

  • We see in scripture that God desires all people to be saved, and He offers salvation to all through the gospel. - 2 Peter 3:9, Titus 2:11, 1 Timothy 2:3-6, John 3:16-17

  • What we see in these verses is God’s Will. He desires everyone to be saved. He provided the way of salvation, through Jesus Christ, to everyone. But there is a condition.

  • Further understanding of John 3:16 - whoever believes

  • Romans 10:13 - everyone who calls

  • God gave us the ability to choose, believe, and call upon Him.


The intention of God in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus was to offer salvation to everyone. God has allowed everyone to choose (by their will) to accept or reject salvation. The condition of receiving is calling out to Him in faith.


  • The impartiality of God - Romans 2:11

  • If God chooses to save some but not others, then God would display partiality of persons. He would not be just.


What does this mean?

  • God predestined or determined before the world began that humanity would accomplish His purposes.

  • This purpose involved offering salvation to everyone and saving those who would receive His this gift according to His will.

  • The result is that every individual is free to receive salvation.

  • God offers a choice to each one of us. But each individual must receive in faith Christ themselves.



ADOPTION AS SONS - Ephesians 1:5


  • We are chosen to be adopted as children of God and holy and blameless before Him in love.

  • He offers us the blessings of being His children in His Kingdom.

  • Adoption is a common illustration of becoming part of God’s family, the church.

  • An adopted child is not born into a family by natural birth but is individually chosen later.

  • That child receives the full privileges and blessings of membership in the family.

  • So when we are born again, God becomes our Father, and we become one of His children. We receive the full blessings and privileges of membership in the family.

  • Adoption is a theme throughout Ephesians.



HOLY AND BLAMELESS - Ephesians 1:4


  • To be Holy - Set Apart or Sanctified - We are chosen for salvation and holiness.

  • First - we are only made holy and blameless before God because of what Jesus did for us.

  • Second - we are only set apart (separated from) the world because we are in Christ.

  • Thirdly - Holy Spirit at work allows us to walk in holiness. The Holy Spirit will work in us to bring us to be blameless.

  • Fourth - God expects us to walk in a place of personal holiness and without blame (blemish). - Ephesians 5:26-27

  • The church and legalism, which is not beneficial.

  • Easy grace, anything goes, which is also very harmful.


There is a place in the Lord where, because of what God has done in our lives through Christ and the work of His Holy Spirit that a standard of ever-increasing holiness should be expected from our lives.



CLOSE - Ephesians 1:6



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