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Ephesians 1:15-23

June 6, 2012 The first fourteen verses lay out the spiritual blessings that we have in Christ. We cant overstress the importance of in Christ because our position in Him is the point of the whole book. All of these spiritual blessings are based on thiseven our predestination. Look back at verse five:
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predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will Were adopted by (or through) Jesus Christ to God. Think of baptism. It symbolizes our death with him. Its not just that he died for us, but that were considered to have been there with him. Christ is Gods elect. Were one with Christ. When Christ died, we died. When Christ was raised, we were raised. As He lives, so we live even now with Him. Look at the next chapter: But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:4-7) Do you see our union with Christ? Look at the verb tenses: He hath quickened us together with Christ. He hath raised us up together with Him. He has already made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Pauls whole point is to show the Ephesians that we have an unshakable hope because were united to Christ as a husband is united to his wife. All of His success is counted as ours. His inheritance is our inheritance. His life is our life. And to help them understand this, Paul tells them about his prayer for them: Paul prays for the saints to better understand God, His purpose, and His power (:15-19)

Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, I understand this to be in reference to Jesuss humanity when He came to do the will of His Father (Jn. 20:17), the Father of glory, Or the glorious Father. I take this as a comfort knowing that Jesuss Father will give Him everything He promised. There wont be a single good thing left out of His inheritance, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: This first thing is that the Ephesians would have knowledge of God. Its more than just saving knowledge because they already have that. Paul asks that theyll have a spirit of wisdom; he prays that theyll have revelation. He wants them to see God sort of like how we might see a flower as it unfolds into full bloom. He says, I pray that God will give you a spirit of wisdom so that you can understand the revelation He gives you as He shows you more of Himself. This is sort of the milk-to-meat principle. We know more and more about God, and the more we know the more we want to know. He prays also that,
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eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, Your understanding is your way of thinking. I pray that the eyes of your understanding (the way you think) will be enlightened as you know more about God so that you may know what is the hope of His calling. If God has called us then we can be sure Hell see us through. His word always accomplishes what He sets it out to do (Is. 55:11), and He always brings His work to completion (Phil. 1:6). and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, How can we love the world if we know the riches of the glory of His inheritance? Its not hard to see ourselves as pilgrims if were looking for the city He has made. Death isnt really all that scary when we know we have eternal life.

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what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe,

Now dont miss this. Verse nineteen leads us into the verses that finish up the chapter. He prays that God will cause us to see the exceeding greatness of His power. The Greek word for exceed doesnt just mean a large portionit means something that goes beyond. Gods power is exceedingly great. It cant be measured or even comprehended. This is the one who spoke light into existence. The lightning responds to His command. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21) If He can do more than we can ask or think, then He must be more than we can ask or think. His power must be beyond what we can even imagine. Paul prays that the Ephesians will understand the exceeding greatness of His power to everyone who believes! Now, why is it to those who believe? Remember, the whole point of this writing is to show the believers how all our hope is in Christ. Gods power toward us isnt accidental or random: Paul explains how this power is in Christ (:19-23) His power toward us is, according to the working of his mighty power, 20Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, You can picture Christs body lying in the grave and then suddenly on the third day Hes filled with life. His eyes open and He get up and leaves the tomb. Well, thats no different than what Hes done for us. Paul prays that our way of thinking will be such that we realize the exceedingly great power of God towards us. We are alive by the same power God used to raise Christ from the dead! and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Remember what we read earlier in Ephesians 2:6? God hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Christ is seated at the place of honor and authority with the Father. He is,
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above all principality,

The Greek word here () is where we get our word for archaic. It means something thats first or oldest (the original), and in the context here it would say, He is above every first. and power, This Greek word () means to have power over something. Maybe that means freedom to choose or the physical strength to accomplish something. Sometimes it has to do with government or influence. Christ is above every authority and influence. and might, Youre probably familiar with this one: (). This is where we get dynamite, and it means power. Sometimes its in relation to physical strength or to the strength of the military, and sometimes its in relation to the power of wealth. Its a power of force. The idea is that Christ is mightier than every army and more powerful than all the wealthy. and dominion, We call Jesus our and this word is associated with it: . It means dominion and lordship. Governments have dominion over certain lands. Well Christ is over ever dominion. and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: Everything, everywhere, for all time! If you can think of it, Hes above it.
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hath put all things under his feet,

Look at Hebrews 2:6-8 (a quote from Psalm 8:6):

But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him? 7Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. So everything is beneath Him, but look at the special relationship He has with His church: and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. Now tie this back to the main point of Ephesians. Everything is in Christ. Were united to Him. We are His body and His bride, and He is loved by God. All our blessings and our good standing is because of this! http://newgracebaptist.blogspot.com/