The Book of Ephesians.....Exposed!
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both* which are in heaven and which are on earth — in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who* is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
When Paul was led to write the epistle to the Church of Ephesus, at first, there didn't seem to be any special reason why he did so. It appeared this letter was written to them out of his love for the people in the "Christ" fellowship and because of his earnest desire for the church to be fully instructed in the "profound" doctrines of the gospel. Yet, as you began to read and study the contents of this book, you will discover there are two important reasons why the Apostle Paul wrote this book.
First, Paul wrote to this church to reveal the purpose of God for the entire universe. The first revelation is shown by God showing his redemptive purpose through Jesus Christ, and beyond Jesus, God's overall "world purpose" is continuing to be worked out through advent of the Christian church. The church represents "His body" here on earth which is why Paul refers to the church as the "Body of Christ". The second reason Paul wrote this book was for it to be an encouragement to the church as God's body of believers on earth to continue to walk in a spirit of unity and oneness. it is in these 2 reasons that the great message of Ephesians is reconciliation and the great picture of same book is God’s redemptive purpose.
The Structure of the Book:
Ephesians is structured with a beginning salutation in the first 2 verses of Chapter one. Afterwards, Paul then gives us a general description of the revealed blessings contained in the gospel revelation. He outlined in detail the source of their blessings, the ways or means they are attained, God's purpose for why they are bestowed upon the church, and the ultimate result of being blessed in the manner God chose to bless them.
From the 3rd verse of Chapter one to the 10th verse of Chapter 2, Paul fervently prays for further spiritual enrichment of each Ephesian member. Chapter 3 is a record of that marked change in spiritual position which the Gentile believers now possessed, ending with an account of the writer's selection to and qualification for the apostolate of heathendom. Paul writes: "Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus".
Exposition on Certain Doctrinal Truths Within the Book of Ephesians:
Does the Bible teach that some people are predestined for hell and heaven before they are born?
No, it doesn't and those who maintain this view are Biblically incorrect. According to Matthew 25: 41, Satan, and the fallen angels were the only ones originally predestined for the Lake of Fire because they, being the highest order in correction chose to follow Lucifer in open rebellion to God's throne. The Scholars and critics that openly teach this is falsely misrepresenting the principle of "Predestination. It.is unscriptural because God made both the angels and human as "free moral agents".. Hell was in fact prepared for the Devil and his demonic angels as punishment for their rebellion and choosing to follow Lucifer, (now Satan) rather then Yahweh.. While it is true that God does have foreknowledge of who will and won’t accept Him, He has not in any way taken away our freedom to freely make the choice concerning who we will serve as our god. In lifting up Jesus Christ, all men can be drawn toward him. Whether that person or people accept Jesus Christ is solely up to them as individuals.
"Concerning Being a "Saint"
What is the Biblical definition of a "Saint"?
By definition, "Saints" are people who have been "spiritually" separated from the world and consecrated By God and indwelled by the Holy Spirit to the worship and service of God. Followers of the Lord are referred to by this phrase throughout the Bible, although its meaning is developed more fully in the New Testament. Consecration (setting apart) and purity are the basic meanings of the term. Believers are called "saints" in Romans 1:7 and "saints in Christ Jesus" in Philippians 1:1 because they belong to the One who provided their sanctification.
A saint is called such because he of she has chosen Jesus Christ as their Savior and they have accepted the call from God the Father through their acceptance of Jesus to be set aside and life "spiritually" apart from the world's system and societal mores which promote a carnal way of life. It's important to do so in order that they would better live their life for Jesus in faithfulness, and worship Him in spirit and in truth. They choose to live according to Romans 12:1-2; first by presenting their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God. The saint realizes there is nothing unreasonable about living the kind of life that promotes purity and health physically as well as spiritually.
A saint is challenged by the Scriptures as a child of God to be a "non-conformist" to the social mores of a corrupt and sin filled society. In order to accomplish this, you must have a totally different mindset that sees life from God's perspective, not the world's. We must as Paul said in Romans 12:2 have a 'renewed" mind that enables us to prove that good, and acceptable, perfect will of God. Our lives are dedicated to living according to the will of God and serving humanity from an evangelistic perspective.
Finally, a saint is called such because he has chosen Jesus Christ as his savior and has accepted the call to be set aside or apart from the world in order that they would live their life for Jesus in faithfulness. It means also that they choose to take on the mind of Jesus Christ as the Apostle Paul admonishes us to do in Romans chapter twelve. He or she also follows the directive of Hebrews chapter twelve to lay aside every weight and the sin that thus so easily besets us. He or she has received the “new nature” that only God himself can give us through the “new birth” because we chose to follow after the righteousness of God and denounce through our new living arrangements with God the ways of the carnal world that has enmity with God.
What role does "Adoption" play as it pertains to "Salvation"?
"Adoption" is that part of the salvation process that started when God sent Jesus Christ into this world to be born into our human condition as our condition applied under the “Law”. God did this to redeem us from the Law that all of us could be adopted into the “son-ship” of God. According to John 1:17, the Law was given to us by God through Moses to set the parameters of condemnation that being enslaved sin would bring about. Sin brought about death and alienation from a wholesome and spiritual relationship with God. Just like the plan of salvation, God already had His “adoption” plan in place before the foundation of the world. In the process and progression of time, God set His plan in place and in His godly love for the world, God sent Jesus Christ into this world to die on a cross in order to redeem mankind from the curse of what the sin of Adam placed upon the whole race.
The adoption process rescued us from the enslavement of sin to not only so the Lord would make us “sons” and "joint-heirs" of the promises of Almighty God. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we immediately change our life status from being alienated and condemned in God's judgment to an eternal death (Lake of Fire) and residing in hell, to a more positive status and eternal position with God as His adopted children. Because we are now “adopted” by God, having been saves and cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, we have within our very being the presence of God’s Spirit and now being "sealed" by the Holy Spirit unto the day of our eternal redemption, we are now subject to His directions for our lives. With this new position in life, we also have to submit our will to His will and be subject to His chastisement, His total control, but by doing so we also receive the rewards of all of the inheritance that goes with being adopted into His heavenly family.
"Concerning Jehovah (Yahweh) in the Bible being seen as a "Mystery"
The Biblical term “mystery” means that the plans that God had for the world in whole was not publicly revealed but “locked up” and away from us throughout the ages until God Himself was ready to reveal His plan to all of mankind through various messengers. sometimes, He chose Prophets and Priests. Sometimes, He chose angels like Gabriel and Michael. Other times, He chose to manifest Himself like the way He appeared to Abraham in visions and on 2 occasions as "men". Most
This "mystery" is eternal in nature and would be revealed in progression through out ancient and modern history. It is these truths that were never revealed by God before concerning this world and the world to come. When the “fullness of time” came for God to reveal His truth, He revealed it through the Gospels, more so, through the “risen” Christ. Part of the mystery was the plan of salvation that would redeem man from the wages of sin and reconcile him back into the graces of God through the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He also revealed this other mysteries in progression through the prophets of old. Each prophet or spokesperson God anointed in the writing of the Bible gives in some way an “inkling” of the “total” revelation that God not only chose the Jews as His “chosen” people, but He also has chosen the Gentile people as well through the formation of His church. The mystery also includes the future resurrection of the Christians, the summing up of “all things” in Jesus Christ, the phenomenon of lawlessness, the future salvation of Israel, and the godliness of Jesus Christ.
"Concerning "Divisiveness": How is Jesus Christ the "Solution"?
Christ is the answer to every form of divisiveness that can occur between family members. God created the family as a complete harmonious unit. Jesus shows us that the family being a unit is an example of Christ ultimate love for His church. Within the infrastructure of the family, the Bible spells out clearly that each person has a specific purpose and a sacred duty to uphold their position with love and to strive for harmony and not disunity. This is why in Ephesians 5:22 to Chapter 6:1-2 the Lord in comparison to the structure of a "harmonious" church explain the role and duty of every one in the family unit, including the children.
Notice God admonishes the husband to “love” his wife as Christ also “loved” the Church and gave Himself for her. In the same manner, the husband is required to give himself totally and sacrificially to his own wife. When the husband walks in the obedience of love toward his wife and shows that love in his actions, it makes it easier for the wife to become submissive to him, yet as unto the Lord. In other words she walks out her role as helpmate in following the leadership of her husband as he follows he leadership of the Lord. Yes, in every aspect Jesus Christ is the ultimate and only solution to bringing about harmony and unity and putting an end to Divisiveness of any kind. let me share other ways Jesus is the only solution:
Christ is also the answer to divisions that occur between slave and master or employee and employer by putting each one on equal footing. Take note to what the Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:5-9: "Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also* is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him". The servant or employee is to render due service as an employee to the employer, but the drive and dedication and motivation to do great work is to please he Lord. Thus, God gets the glory and the employer is a benefactor of great work from a dedicated employee.
Finally, the Apostle Paul shows us that Christ is the answer to every type of divisions that wedges itself between man in relationship with the "cosmos". Division is ever present because of the tremendous spiritual warfare that goes on between the powers of darkness and the kingdom of God and those of us who have chosen to live according to God's principles, precepts, and truth. This world is infiltrated with evil, demonic spirits, false doctrines and Satan , who through cunning craftiness, blatant falsehoods that appear to represent the truth.that causes the "unbelieving" man that refuses to believe the Word of God to become more prone to error and be prone to sin, causing that man or woman to constantly fall away from God. Paul said that man's security blanket is in putting on the “whole armor” of God man can stand against the “wiles” of the devil. Ephesians 6:11-19 show us our "warfare clothing" and we are to put on the "Whole armor Of God" so we can stand up against the "wiles" of he Devil. As Paul explains why the we must wear this armor, remember: "We are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against powers, principalities, rulers of darkness in this world and spiritual wickedness in high places."
Dr. William Edward Boddie