Friday, December 15, 2017

The Church Jesus Built 2 Ephesians The Ideal Church

The Church Jesus Built 2: Ephesians The Ideal Church

The Purpose of the Ideal Church

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 If the church is to know it's purpose it must first know it's position.   Eph. 1:3-4 says that we are blessed in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, this is our position.  This position is due to our being chosen in Him before the foundation of the world.  How according, to Ephesians 1:4, were we chosen?

We were chosen “in Him” This means that our being chosen was due to Jesus Christ and not a comic random lottery. The choosing was because we were foreknown by God to accept Christ as our Saviour and by that foreknowledge chosen to salvation. This is very different than foreordained by God to then choose Christ. One is free will the other is fatalism.

Verses 5-6 however says that we are foreordained, but what are we foreordained to?
To the adoption of children by Jesus Christ and through that adoption to cause praise of His glory.

Therefore, our purpose and position is to be to the praise of His glory. This is seen by what God has done in saving us through Jesus Christ. The idea is repeated in vs. 12 referring to the Jews who first believed.

Paul continues to keep Christ central in verse 7 by saying that we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sin according to the riches of His grace.

Verses 8-14 we are introduced to another of God’s blessings through Jesus Christ in all wisdom and prudence. What is the mystery of His will that has been made known unto the Church of Ephesus?

That God would include all mankind, not just the Gentiles, in the family of God through the nation of Israel first and then the church of the Gentiles.

In verses 11-12 Paul uses we and ye, 1st person plural and 2nd person plural. Who is he talking about?
The “we” is the nation of Israel of whom Paul was a member and the you is the church of Ephesus.

In verses 13-14 Paul says we have been sealed after our trusting in “the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation.”  What is the picture of sealing by the Holy Spirit and what does it mean to our salvation?
Sealing was a practice of Paul’s time where a purchase in the market place would have a seal placed upon it showing who had made the purchase and who would come back at the end of the day and redeem the purchased possession.

Sealing to us spiritually means that we have been marked by God through the gift of the Holy Spirit as belonging to him through the price of Jesus blood. We belong to him and no other can claim us. We wait for our redemption, our claiming by God at the end of life or this age once again bringing glory to God.

What is the meaning behind the phrase “the earnest of our inheritance?”
The earnest is the idea of the down payment, the earnest money that goes back to the market idea of sealing and redemption. God has given us a guarantee that we are His in the gift of the Holy Spirit. We cannot be taken or lost because the gift of the Holy Spirit guarantees we belong to God.

Eph 1: 15- 21 Paul's prayer for the church

The book of Ephesians contains many of Paul’s prayer for the church of Ephesus and by way of association for us as the church of Jesus today. Verses 15-21 contain the first of these prayers.

After reading the verses what is the goal and hope that Paul is asking from the Lord on behalf of the church?
Paul's prayer is that the church would receive a fuller revelation of Jesus Christ.

What specifically does Paul ask for the church?

  • Vs. 17. The spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (Jesus Christ)
  • Vs. 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened you may know the hope of your calling and riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.
  • Vs. 19 the exceeding greatness of his power to usward, who believe by the working of his might power.

How is that power shown according to verse 20-23?
In Christ, his resurrection, his ascension, his honor above all other names in this world and in eternity, his domination, his headship.

Finally, Paul ends his prayer by returning to the subject of the church. What is the culmination and greatest exhibition of Christ according to the last of Paul’s prayer?
Christ has been given to the church, His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.



Paul’s prayer for the church centers on the person of Jesus Christ. He could have prayed for growth, for influence or so many other things but what the church needed was not any of those things, things we often pray for today, but for one great, overwhelming, overpowering thing, more of the knowledge of Jesus Christ through  and in His church.

May we continue to pray with the eyes of our heart for exactly the same thing today.

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