I am halfway through Eph! I started Jan 15 and the halfway point was Feb 25 2012. The main point that really struck me was that Ephesians is about God bringing us all – Jews, Gentiles ,blacks ,whites, rich, poor – together. We are one in Christ!! I use the KJV Bible. It is my bible of preference. 🙂
VS.1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Paul starts Eph off with stating that it was the will of God that Paul was an apostle. It has been stated that Paul was the apostle to the gentiles. You can confirm that statement here: he was an apostle to the saints at Ephesus and to the faithful. “The faithful” has no specific place but to ALL the faithful!! I believe this was a letter to all of us written by the hand of Paul because it was God’s will. God’s will that we know the love and unity and the price of what Christ has done!
VS. 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
“The good pleasure”. Doesn’t that just fill your soul with joy!! God wanted to, foresaw. and made a way for us to be adopted!! It was his pleasure that we be his children. Think of the joy you felt when you first realized that you were pregnant or that you were going to adopt -nothing compares to that joy that God felt when he knew there was a way back to his arms!! AMEN!
VS. 9Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: (VS.10)That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; [even] in him: (VS.11) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Here he makes know to us the mystery of his will. Plus again we find that it is his good pleasure that he purposed (intended ,had a goal ,determined) in himself that we should know. What is that mystery? Vs. 10 sums it: “gather in one all thing in christ” – unity!! His will – that was so long a mystery -is that everyone is the same in Christ!! Man makes divisions and denominations, man makes us separate with our religion but God makes us one in Christ. If you have received Christ and believe on him then you and I are one!! You and I may go to different churches, read different Bibles, have different convictions but IN CHRIST we are one. We should be able to put aside our differences to have sweet fellowship through Christ. 🙂
AND while we are talking about mysteries:
VS. 3How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, (VS.4)Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) (VS.5)Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; (VS.6)That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
Mystery of Christ revealed!! Paul let’s us know that this mystery was revealed to him and not to him only but to God’s holy apostles and prophets. Therefore Paul know has knowledge of it and wants to share it with us. Then He gives us the mystery : That the Gentiles should be 1)fellowheirs -children of God, be of the same body, and be partakers of Christ’s promise by the gospel. What a sweet and refreashing thought that I, as a gentile, can be equal to what the Jews had – a relationship with God!!
VS 9And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
This verse let’s us know that it is the FELLOWSHIP of the mystery. fellowship = 1)friendly relationship; companionship: the fellowship of father and son. 2)community of interest, feeling, etc. 3)communion, as between members of the same church. We can have a friendly relationship with others, we can have common interest through Christ, and we can come together in a church and have something in common!! All is possible through the works of Christ!!
Grace, Riches, and Glory
These three words seem to be popping up in different phrases. I want to list the various phrase for you:
1:6 to the praise of the glory of his grace
1:7 to the riches of his grace
1:12 to the praise of his glory
1:14 unto the praise of his glory
1:18 the riches of his glory
1:19 exceeding greatness of his power (not one of the three words but exceeding)
2:7 the exceeding riches of his grace
3:2 the grace of God
3:7 the gift of the grace of God
3:8 the unsearchable riches of Christ
3:16 the riches of his glory
These verses just touch my heart!! It was the grace of God that saved me!! It was the grace of God that set my feet on a rock and established my going!! It was the grace of God that saw through my sinful nature and loved me!!
I don’t know about you but I can always use more riches -yes the material kind 🙂 Here, though, we have something far more better -the riches of God. The unsearchable riches -unsearchable, never ending!! They will always be there when you need them. No matter what we have eternal riches abiding within us. WE also have the riches of his glory and the riches of his grace!! I don’t think I can add anymore to that then I am so glad I am a multimillionaire a billion times over!!
Praise of his glory! we should praise God. It should be there on our tongue in good times and bad times. why? Cause the eternal riches of his glory has been given to us. Sometimes we lose sight when we face physical time, when we focus on this world and our troubles only. Yet we should look inward and upward. Christ dwells in our heart yet resides on the throne in heaven!!
I am so happy for these first few chapters. they have been a balm to my heavy soul these last few weeks!! Praise the Lord! Thank you Jesus for all you have done -saved my soul, given me riches beyond compare, loved me when I was yet unlovable!!