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#381

We need a broken will, confidence in God, communion with Him Who has suffered for us, in order to be able to glory in sufferings.

EPHESIANS 1, Verses 1-8

The Old Testament book we have just left has given us pictures of the teachings of the New Testament book we begin. Today we can learn the immense lesson that the believer has been given every blessing he will ever receive (even in heaven). We have them now. But we are only going to enjoy them if we listen to God, and live in our life each day the things we have learned and understood. Then, and only then, will the Spirit of God teach us more of the glories of Christ (Luke 8:18). Joshua 1:3 does not say "... I shall give you". What it does say is the key to understanding Ephesians. We are going to have the joy of our blessings if we learn this point. It is not something we learn intellectually. Scripture never can be truly learned through the head. It is always through the conscience.

Eph 1:1-14 The highest truth in the entire Bible. Notice that the words "have" "having", are used about ten times. Verses 3-6 are the work of God the Father; 7-12 the work of the Lord Jesus and 13-14 the work of the Holy Spirit. Notice that each section ends with praise and glory!

Eph 1:3 The position in which every true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is, whether we understand it and enjoy it or not. This is what God has done. So we can only thank Him, and that is what "blessed" means.

Eph 1:4 Every believer was chosen in Christ before the world was made! Just believe it, and you will thank Him. This was in the past.

Eph 1:5 He chose us for adoption into His family. This is present.

Eph 1:6 Christ, still a Man, has been accepted into heaven. We are accepted in Him.

Eph 1:8 God has made known to us all these secrets.

#382

The truth in the Word brings the soul to God, for in it He has revealed Himself.

EPHESIANS 1, Verses 9-23

Eph 1:10 This is future. All this fits in perfectly with what He is going to do at the end... the whole creation (spoiled by Satan and sin) is going to be brought back into one sweet unity, and the Head of it all is Christ.

Eph 1:12 All this has been done for us, so that we would be singing His praises for ever.

Eph 1:13-14 And every believer after he believed, has had a seal, a stamp put on him. This is the Holy Spirit. He is in every believer for ever. He is the pledge (promise) given by God until Jesus comes for us, and changes our bodies to make them fit for heaven, God's presence.

Eph 1:15-23 Paul tells us what he prayed on two occasions in this book. The first one is here, the second in the third chapter. I like to call the first one the "then" prayer, the second, the "NOW" prayer. The first takes our thoughts to the future in glory.

You'll see in this prayer that Paul's thoughts rise right up into heaven. God has the title of the GOD of our Lord Jesus Christ; because Christ is looked at there as the glorified MAN, Who has been down here on earth, suffered died and been raised again. The church, (all believers) is looked at as "the fulness of Him that filleth all in all". It's a short prayer, but has so much in it.

Eph 1:22-23 The church is the body of Christ. It is made up of every believer in Him. Just pause and realize that the Lord Jesus is not complete without us.

#383

Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it only empties today of its strength.

EPHESIANS 2

Eph 2:1-3 All of us were dead in sins toward God, both Gentiles and Jews. (But to all believers God has given life. "Quickened" means "given life").

Eph 2:4-7 Both Jew and Gentile believers are now one in Christ (not with Him yet). God has done all this so that He might show His great grace toward us in Christ Jesus in the ages to come.

Eph 2:8-9 We have been saved by faith (believing). And then it goes on to explain that even the faith, (ability to believe), is a gift too. This is proved in the next verse, that it is no credit to us. Everything is of God. These two chapters are telling God's side of the story of salvation. It has nothing to do with our responsibility. Remember that.

Eph 2:10-13 For we are God's handiwork. Why? So that we may be able to live on this earth to please Him. We used to be Gentiles or Jews before we were saved. At that time, we were separated from Christ, completely away from Him, and with no right to any help or blessing. But now in Christ Jesus; brought to this place of nearness by the blood of Christ.

Eph 2:14 In Christ, all believers are united.

Eph 2:19-22 All believers are now in one family, one household. We are built on the apostles and New Testament prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the corner-stone. In Christ, all this building fits perfectly together and grows to be a holy temple, or dwelling place of God.

#384

As sure as God ever puts His children in the furnace, He will be in the furnace with them.

EPHESIANS 3

The "mystery" is a secret that God kept in His heart until He told it to Paul! This secret is that God was going to have a bride for His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus.

Eph 3:6 The mystery is here divided into three things. (a) That the Gentiles should be heirs (a person who inherits something) with the Jews. (b) They and the Jews who believe are in one body. (c) They would share together the promises made by God in Christ in the gospel.

Eph 3:7-13 Paul had been given the wonderful work of making known the gospel, that good news of God. To tell of the unsearchable riches of Christ!

Eph 3:14-21 So now we come to Paul's second prayer - the "NOW" prayer. Let's listen in on what he said. To begin with, he starts differently, "the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ". Why? Because the Lord Jesus is there as the Son of God. The emphasis here is on the intimacy of communion, and as our NOW being "filled even to all the fulness of God" (v. 19). It is God filling us NOW with Himself. This closeness is overwhelming but its real. Verse 16 tells us we are strengthened with might by His Spirit Who is in us NOW. "That Christ may dwell in your hearts" NOW.

Eph 3:17 We're "rooted and grounded in love" NOW. We're inside a cube, "breadth, and length and depth and height" with God NOW. We "know the love of Christ" which is beyond knowledge! NOW.

Eph 3:19 He is able to do "exceeding abundantly above all we could ask or think" NOW.

Eph 3:20 "According to the power that works in us" NOW. Does this cause you to overflow with thanksgiving and praise giving HIM the glory, NOW? (v. 21)

#385

There is a preparation of the soul that must go before reception of any truth in power.

EPHESIANS 4, Verses 1-7

Now Paul goes back to where he left off speaking of himself as a prisoner (3:1).

Eph 4:2-3 If we walk humbly, meekly, patiently, putting up with one another, because we love each other, then we will be able to keep the unity of the Spirit. This unity of the Spirit is not the unity of the body. God keeps that unity. But we are to do all in our power to keep the oneness of fellowship. We don't establish it, we maintain it. Satan has succeeded in making many denominations which call themselves Christian. And there may be true believers in them, but the Spirit of God could not guide 2 believers into 2 different fellowships. God would then be confusing people. The Spirit of God wants to gather all believers around one Centre. And that Centre is Christ. How can we find that one Centre? In the same way as we did when we got saved. We surrendered our will and our own ideas of our goodness. Then the Spirit of God will gather us to Christ.

Eph 4:4-6 There are three circles here. The first in verse 4. Within this circle are only true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ... Being born again is the door into this circle. The second circle is in verse 5. To say "I am a Christian" does not make me one. This circle is made up of true believers and also those who only say they are. In other words, there are professors and possessors in this one. Baptism is the door into it. The third is in verse 6 and has all the people in the world in it. Being born as an infant is the door into it. The end of verse 6 brings us back to believers again.

Eph 4:7-16 Every believer can do something for the Lord. And grace and the ability to do it are given to everyone to do it. The Lord Jesus gives these gifts to the believers to help them.

#386

He Who was perfect light, always dwelling in light, endured three hours of unspeakable darkness, that we who dwelt in darkness might be brought into His glorious light.

EPHESIANS 4, Verses 8-22

Eph 4:8-10 A quote from Psalm 68:18, imagine! The Lord completely destroyed Satan's power, and has gone up to heaven as a Man, the enemy is now His captive. The Lord is the same One Who went down to the lowest point possible. Now He can give gifts to His body, the church.

Eph 4:11-16 These gifts are people. One person doesn't have more than one function usually. These gifts continue till the church is taken to heaven. Some Christians take on jobs to do which require four or five abilities which Scripture never tells us of a person having.

Eph 4:17-19 A warning not to live like the unbelievers. Then a description of what the unbeliever's life is really like.

Eph 4:20-21 Our life should show we are true believers.

Eph 4:22-32 Many different things we are not to do.

#387

It is better to be struggling against the tide than going down the stream with the world.

EPHESIANS 5

Eph 5:1-2 God and Christ are set before us as Examples. But notice the contrast which follows.

Eph 5:3-5 It is hard to believe that we believers could sink so low. But God knows us better than we know ourselves.

Eph 5:10-21 Many different warnings and encouragements. From verse 22 to verse 9 of chapter 6, are important instructions for each class of people.

Eph 5:14 We believers are to wake up. The "dead" are the unbelievers around us. Christ will then shine upon us.

Eph 5:16 We have not much time to live for the Lord.

Eph 5:22-32 God now gives us perfect instructions for a marriage.

Eph 5:22-24 Wives are to be submissive, to adapt themselves to their own husbands.

Eph 5:25-33 Husbands are to love their wives, and the example is given.

Eph 5:32 Marriage is a picture of the mystery, that is, of the Lord and His bride, (we who are believers).

#388

My seeking first the removal of the trial shows that I need the continuance of it.

EPHESIANS 6

Perfect instructions for a happy family.

Eph 6:1-3 Children are to do everything they are told to do by their parents, so long as it is not something which the Scripture forbids. (This applies to the wives in verses 22-24 of chapter 5).

Eph 6:4 Fathers are not to tease or irritate their children so that they get angry. But they are to bring them up tenderly, pointing them to Christ.

Eph 6:5-9 Servants (slaves in those days) are to be obedient to their masters, as if doing all for the Lord. Masters are to return the kindness in the same way.

Eph 6:10 Instruction for perfect protection, by putting on God's armour.

Eph 6:11-19 It protects us from Satan's schemes to deceives us. He even deceives us into thinking we don't need it. Our struggle is against spiritual wickedness of many kinds. We'll be able to STAND if we use it!

Eph 6:14 A good conscience.

Eph 6:15 Our walk will prepare us to speak to those who are lost.

Eph 6:16 Confidence in the favor of God in which every believer stands.

Eph 6:17 Using God's Word to protect our thinking. The sword is like the Word of God. This is for offence as well as defence.

Eph 6:23-24 Peace, love and grace... the believer's possessions!

 

by Norman Berry - 1911-2001
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