THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS
J. Deering, AncientPath.net
We will break chapter one down into four sections. First, the Address; From Paul to the Ephesians; Second, the giving to believers every spiritual blessing from the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; Third, Paul's prayers for the Ephesians to have Wisdom and Knowledge of the Father; and finally, the exalted position that Jesus Christ has been placed into by the Father.
We should not miss, during this study, the emphasis that Paul has placed upon the workings of The Father. Chapter one is constantly reminding us that it is The Father who has done all of these wonderful things for us in Christ Jesus. His (The Father's) glory is the focus of this chapter, not the Ephesians to whom all these things have been done, but to The Father who has done them. The Spiritual gifts that are given are given by the Father. The prayers that Paul prays for the Ephesians is that they would know The Father. It is The Father who has raised Jesus from the dead, Seated Jesus at His right hand in the heavenlies, Put all things under Christ's oversight, and Put all things of the "set-apart ones" (believers) under the headship of Jesus the Christ.
Looking back at this list should give us the clue that the Ephesian believers were not well taught in these issues, otherwise, "Why bring these things up?" Paul puts his blessings upon this group of believers for their faithfulness in the Lord Jesus Christ and their love that they have for all the saints. Paul gives his public thankfulness for such a group as this - but still, like every group of believers everywhere, they need reminders of their spiritual shortcomings. These reminders are not in the form of chastisement, but in loving encouragement to continue to mature in Christ Jesus.
Chapter one sets the stage for the first half of the book. The first three chapters tell us "What we have in Christ Jesus" and "Where we got it from." The second three chapters tell us "Now that we have it, here's what to do in response."
Chapter one builds us up. It tells us of our spiritual blessings and spiritual position "In Christ." It also gets us ready to be introduced to "The Mystery" of the Church (Gk - ekklesia), the "set-apart ones", the "called-out ones."
While studying Ephesians it would be good to not use the word "Church," but instead substitute "the set-apart ones." Today when we hear that word "Church" we think of programs, buildings, worship services, and a host of other cultural ideas. Instead try to limit your understanding of the word translated in the Ephesian studies as "Church" to the principles of a special people who have been "set-apart" by God the Father, "set-apart" to God the Father, and "set-apart" In Christ Jesus.
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