Ephesians

"The Call and Conduct of the Church"

By Dr. Edgar Pierce

(c) 2005

  

I-  The Call of the Church: 1:1-3:21

1- Introduction to Ephesians

2- The Planning of the Church 1:1-6

3- The Purchase and Protection of the Church- 1:7-14

4- Prayers of Paul for the Ephesian Church- 1:15-23

5- The Building of the Temple (Part 1)- 2:1-7, 11,12 14-17

6- The Building of the Temple (Part 2)- 2:8-10, 13-22

7- The Mystery of the Church- 3:1-13

8- Paul's Second Prayer- 3:14-21

II- The Conduct of the Church: 4:1-6:24

9- Unity of the One Body- 4:1-16

10- From a Worm to a Butterfly- 4:17-32

11- Imitate God to Redeem the Time - 5:1-20

 12- Relationships of the Church Illustrated- 5:20-33

13- Obedience to Authority- 6:1-9

14- Ready or Not Here He Comes- 6:10-12

15- The Armor for the War- 6:13-17

16- Destined To Win- 6:18-20

17- Commemorations & Benediction of Paul- 6:21-24

Footnotes:

 

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1- Introduction To Ephesians:

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Welcome to the Book of Ephesians a very rich book of deep spiritual significance for today. Allow me to give us first a quick overview and some information concerning Ephesians that will be helpful in our study.

Author: We know without a doubt that the Apostle Paul is the human author of the book. However we must always remember that the human authors of scripture were merely the men that God allowed to pen His words to mankind. The true Author of this book is the Holy Spirit of God.

Date: The date the book of Ephesians was written was about 62 A.D. Some 30 years after our Lord had died.

Occasion of the Epistle: Paul was imprisoned in Rome (see Eph 3:1; 4:1; 6:20). About the year 53 A.D. Paul first ministered in Ephesus but did not remain there (see Acts 28:19-21) Two years later, while on his third missionary journey, Paul stayed in Ephesus for at least two years. During this time he saw this whole area evangelized for Jesus Christ. (See Acts 19:1-20) Acts 19:21-41 and Acts 20 give a description of the opposition of Paul's ministry in Ephesus. Nearly 10 years later Paul would write to his beloved friends in Ephesus.

The City: Ephesus was the capital of the Roman province of Asia. The city was large with a population of 300,000 people. It was an important commercial city because of its fine harbors. The amphitheater in Ephesus would seat 25,000.

The city was known mostly for it temple to Diana which was called one of the seven wonders of the world. Diana was originally an Anatolian fertility deity. TImothy and John the Apostle would be pastor of the church at Ephesus.

The Church of Ephesus was the church written to more than any others in the scriptures. John the Revelator also writes to this church. It is one of the prominent churches mentioned by Luke in the book of Acts.Paul also mentions Ephesus in I and II Timothy.,

The Major Outline:

The book of Ephesians can be naturally divided into two parts and in fact is divided as such by most who outline it. Chapters 1-3 is the doctrine portion of the book. I title this section The Call of the Church. Chapters 4-6 is the duty section of the book. I title this section The Conduct of the Church. The key word in the book is probably "Mystery."

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2- The Planning the Church 1:1-6

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In these first few verses of Ephesians we can see the work of the Triune God in planning, purchasing and protecting the church of God. I wish to outline verses 1-14, the first section of the book of Ephesians for us now. We will devote two lectures to this sessions.

Outline:

1- God the Father- The Planning of the Church 1:3-6

2- God the Son- The Purchase of the Church 1:7-12

3- God the Holy Spirit- The Protector of the Church 1:13-14

However, before we look at the planning of the church by God the Father there is something we need to understand.

"In Christ"

Eph 1:3 gives us an understanding of our salvation in only two words. The fact of us being, "In Christ." The little word "IN" occurs 130 times in the New Testament. J. V. Mcgee says "In" is the most important word in the New Testament. The reason for this is the way we define our salvation is that we are "In Christ." We are joined with Christ irrevocably and organically. John 15:4 put it this way, "Ye in me and I in you."

1- God the Father- The Planning of the Church 1:3-6

When did the church begin? Some say it was at the baptism of Jesus by John. Some claim it was when Jesus called the disciples to follow Him. Some claim it was when Christ spoke those often misunderstood word to Peter, "I will build my church." Matt 16:18 The most logically understanding of when the church began however is at Pentecost with the coming and empowerment of the Spirit. This is when the church began in our minds but when did it begin with God? How did God the Father plan the church form eternity past?

A- 1:4 He Chose us in Christ.

The scripture teaches us that salvation begins with God and not man. Notice John 6:44 "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him." Also, John 15:16 where Christ states, "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you." We might ask when did this choosing take place by God the Father. We see here it was,"before the foundation of the world." Before the world was hung in place and the stars were placed in there vastness God the father chose us in Christ. He did not chose us because of our goodness or because we were somewhat good. He chose us because of HIS grace. He knows the beginning from the end and nothing surprised God about the fall of man and man need of a Savior. Acts 15:18 says, "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world."

What was His purpose in choosing us? Paul says it was,, "That we should be holy and without blame before him in love." He chose us in order to sanctify us. Holy is the inner life of the believer. God said, "Be ye holy for I am holy." The thought of the words "without blame" is of the sacrificial animals that were brought to God without spot or blemish.

B- 1:5 He predestined us to be sons.

Now here is a keg of worms to open. Predestined if from the Greek word "proorisas and simply means to, "mark out before hand." Predestination is not used in connection with the lost man but in connection with the saved. The lost man is not and never will be predestined to hell.I Tim 2:4 says "..God would have all men to be saved." I remind us all also that He said, "Whosoever will may come." The lost man is like someone who is in a wagon which has broke lose and is headed over a cliff into eternity. Something must be done to stop him from going over the cliff. God in His grace is snatching out lost mankind and saving them. They are already going to hell.

Predestination is where God determined in eternity past that those who will accept Jesus as Savior will be full-fledged sons of His. Another aspect of predestination is also those sons will be conformed to the image of Christ. Rom 8:29 "...whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." (my underline for emphasis)

C- 1:6 He made up accepted in the beloved.

Who is the beloved Paul is talking about here? It can be no other than the Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot make ourself acceptable to God and include ourself in the body of Christ, the Church. God is the one who did this through the imputed righteousness He has given us. God love me just as He loves Christ because after all I am "In Christ." Remember our position is in Christ.

 

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3- The Purchase and Protection of the Church 1:7-14

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In Ephesians to this point we have seen the work of God the Father in planning the church. We look at the work of the other two parts of the trinity in this section.

2- God the Son- The Purchase of the Church 1:7-12

God the Fathers work in relationship to the Church was primarily in eternity past. We see that the work of the Son was "in the fullness of time." Gal 4:4 See three things with me concerning God the Son purchase of the church.

A- 1:7 He redeemed us by His blood. Forgiveness.

Redeem means, "to purchase and set free by paying a price." There were 6 million slaves in the Roman Empire. They were bought and sold as we would a piece of furniture. A man could purchase a slave however and set him free. This is what Christ did. He purchases us by His blood and set us free. We are free from the law, slavery to sin, the power of Satan, and the world. The cost of redemption was the blood of Christ. I Pet 1:18-19 "...ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver or gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."

The word forgiveness means "to carry away." Leviticus chapter 16 records an event that occurred each year on the day of atonement. There was a goat on which the sins of Israel was symbolically placed upon, by the laying on of hands and confessing their sins, that was then taken into the wilderness to die. This is a graphic picture of forgiveness.

B- 1:8-10 We receive the revelation of the mystery of His will. (Mystery of the Church)

He has revealed His will to us. We can see according to verse 10 that it was the mystery of the the church.. The word "mystery" has nothing to do with a eerie dark thing. It is in fact, "a sacred secret, once hidden but now revealed to God's people." The church was a mystery hidden by God from the prophets in the Old Testament. The thing that is amazing is that the Jews and the Gentiles would be united as one, "in Christ." Someone has said, "we are not part of God inner circle that He reveals His mystery to."

C- 1:11 We obtain an inheritance in Him.

In one wonderful way we are an inheritance to God. Now you might ask what could possibly make a sinful human being an inheritance to God. It is not our worth as sinners but our worth of the purchase price that makes us valuable. We are and inheritance because He purchased us by His blood. We are also heirs and joint heirs with Christ. Rom 8:17. The exciting thing about being a joint-heir with Christ is that Christ cannot claim His inheritance apart for his joint-heirs, us. Remember we are "...in Christ." Praise God.

3- God the Holy Spirit- The Protector of the Church 1:13-14

God the Father work was eternity past, the Sons was in the fulness of time and the Holy Spirit is working now in the lives and hearts of believers. God the Father and Son are today working through the Holy Spirit in the church. God the Son came to earth and completed the work God the Father gave Him and them the "Comforter" has come. We see the work of the Spirit is threefold.

A- 1:13 The quickening of the hearer.

The regeneration of the human soul is a spiritual birth as we all know so well. John 3:7 records that Jesus told Nicodemus that "Ye must be born again." our text says, "after that ye heard the word of truth."Remember that Paul said that "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God." Rom 10:17 How does he quicken the hearing? The Holy Spirit takes the word that is preached and quickens the heart of the lost man and the new birth is consummated when the lost man accepts Christ. The Holy Spirit makes the words come alive in the heart of the lost man.

B- 1:13 The sealing of the believer.

The sealing of the believer by the Holy Spirit speaks of several things. The sealing denotes:

1- A finished transaction. In much the same way we seal a legal document with a seal upon completion.

2- It shows ownership. God puts His seal of ownership on what He has purchased. He marks His property with the Spirit.

3- It brings security and protection. The roman seal on the tomb of Jesus was there for this purpose to secure it and protect it.

4- It verify authenticity. Rom 8:9 boldly states, "If any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." The sealing of the Holy Spirit verifies that we belong to Christ, that we are authentic.

C- 1:14 The down payment of our inheritance.

The key word here is "Earnest." It simply means, "the down payment or guarantee of final payment of a piece of property." The Holy Spirit is the down payment God has given us with the promise of more blessings to come.

Still another interesting point concerning the earnest of our salvation being the Holy Spirit is pointed out by Warren Wiersbe. He says the earnest also mean, "engagement ring." He says that in Greece today you will find the word used this way. This very fitting when we consider that we are the Bride of Christ and the Spirit is the seal that assures that the wedding will take place and we won't be jilted at the altar.

Conclusion:

Dr. Wiersbe introduced this topic as he said something I wish to use to conclude it.

"As far as God the Father is concerned, you were saved when He chose you in Christ in eternity past. But that alone did not save you. As far as God the Son is concerned you were saved when He died for you on the cross. As far as God the Spirit is concerned is concerned, you were saved when you yielded to His conviction and received Christ as your Savior. What began in eternity past was fulfilled in time present and will continue for all eternity." 1

 

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4- Prayers of Paul for the Ephesian Church...1:15-23

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There are two prayer sections in the book of Ephesians. Our text here and in 3:14-21. He has discussed the church and that leads Paul into praying for them. The Layman's Bible Book Commentary says, "It was customary to include a prayer for the readers in ancient letters, but this was more than a customary prayer...His prayer was continuous and intense. They were characterized by thanksgiving"2

Paul is not as much concerned that the Ephesians will have something additionally but he want them to realize what they already have. Much like the hymn we sing,

"Count your many blessings name them one by one.

And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done." 3

The point of this matter is that when we are born into the family of God we are born rich.

Additional Insight into the Church:

As we have previously stated the Ephesian church was a prominent church in the scriptures. In Rev 2:1-5 we see that the Ephesian church was noted for its faith and love. Love for God and for each other. It was not just a motto on the side of the church chariot (church van in early times) or a good sounding slogan on the top of the church letterhead but it was a way of life. J.V. McGee says, "Many expositors consider this the highest peak of scriptural truth, the very apex of Bible revelation" 4

You will find with a little search in the scriptures that the Apostle Paul loved the Ephesians deeply. He visited them on his second and third missionary journey's and spent 2 years in Ephesus on his last journey. Acts 20:17; 25; 36-38 records the emotional scene at this departure.

We however may not consider the Apostle to be a great prayer warrior. He after all is the great church planter, the apostle to the gentiles, the writer of the scriptures but him being a prayer warrior does not usually enter our mind as an outstanding characteristic of Paul. Certainly Paul is not up there with Moses the great intercessor on the mountain or David who wrote many of the Psalms and had the great confessional prayer. Daniel with the open window lead him to the lions den. Certainly Paul is not in this league of prayers. Elijah on Mount Carmel prayed the water down after 3 1/2 years before he had prayed for the drought. But Paul, not Paul, he was not a prayer warrior. Or was he? I submit that he was a great prayer warrior who talked with heaven on a regular basis and heaven listened. Notice with me what he prayed concerning the Ephesians.

Prayer for Illumination:

Allow me to give us this quote from the translation of J.B. Phillips for 1:18. "That you may receive that inner illumination of the spirit which will make you realize how great is the hope to which he is calling you." 5 Paul's prayer for them is that they would be enlightened, as KJV says in verse 18.

Who Illuminates Us?

First lets ask and answer the question of who illuminates us or who gives us spiritual insight into the things of God.

1- The Holy Spirit Gives Light. Notice what Christ said in John concerning insight for believers. John 14:26 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

John 16:12-13 "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."

The scriptures teaches us also that the Spirit of God must reveal the things of God to man for him to know them. 1 Cor 2:11 "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."

2- We see from 1:18 that the enlightenments comes to the heart of the believer and not to the mind. The heart in scripture refers to the inner man's emotions, will and mind. Someone can be brilliant intellectually but be spiritually not able to understand.

The Specifics of Paul's Prayer:

We will look at five specific things that Paul prayed for in his first prayer for the Ephesians. Allow me to personalize these. I want us to see what we should know about our relationship to God found here in Paul's prayer.

1- That God would give us, "the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him." 1:17b.

Paul's prayer is that they and us will know God personally. "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." Ps 14:1 The New Ager might tell us that he is god and we can be if we will only claim it. The Hindi and Buddist might tell you there are many gods. The atheists tell us there is no God to know. The Agnostic tell us we cannot know him. Acts 17:22-27 is a classic illustration from scripture of this fact. Paul is in Athens Greece which was the physiological capital of the world. The Greeks were the thinkers and the reasoners of the day, the intellects.

However, the scripture teaches there is a personal, loving, all knowing and self revealing God that can be known personally. As a matter of fact the Scripture records that God is not only interested in this relationship but is in fact the initiator. We need to not only know God as Savior but also as a friend, Father, comforter and all the different ways we can and should. Salvation is simply the introduction to the bridegroom after which the courtship begins. Ps 42:1 states it so poetically when he said, "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God."

2- What is the "Hope of His Calling." 1:18

The hope of his calling is that we will be one with Him, whom He raised from the dead and whom He gave glory, one with Christ. The one thing this world cannot live without is hope. The reason why the suicide is so wide spread is the perception of hopelessness. The word hope carries with it the assurance of the hope becoming a reality. I Pet 1:3 calls our hope in Christ "a lively (living) hope." Our hope will be complete with the return of Christ for His church.

3- That we might know "the riches of the glory of the inheritance." 1:18b

Notice this is not our inheritance but His inheritance. Not our inheritance in Him but His inheritance in us. God looks at us as part of His wealth. Warren Weirsbe rightly states, "God deals with us on the basis of our future, not our past." 6 God sees us not as a sinner we were but as the sons we are. Christ told Peter that "when he was converted" to lead the other disciples. Christ saw Peter as what he would become not what he was when he was denying Christ. We see the clay and God sees the finished vessel. God will bring glory and honor to Himself through us. He has invested in us and will see to it that He has a return on His investment.

4- The we might know, "the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe..." 1:19

We saw the power of God in Genesis with His spoken word creating all that is from nothing. The power of God was displayed for the nation of Israel when He delivered them from Egypt. His power was again demonstrated when He gave them the promised land. The power of God was greatly demonstrated to us with the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

This same power that raised Christ from the dead is to, "usward who believe." Paul stated in Phil 3:10, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being mad conformable unto his death." We do not have any trouble asking for the first part of this, the power, but we hesitate to accept the suffering that makes us strong in Christ.

We might ask why do we need to be empowered to do his work. First, we need to be empowered because we are weak in the flesh. We see this illustrated for us on the night that Christ went to the garden to pray and took along Peter, James and John. They fall asleep when Christ goes ahead to pray. Christ says to them, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (My underline for emphasis.) Second we need to be empowered because we are not in a physical battle but a spiritual battle. We will discuss this in Eph 6. Last, we also need to be empowed so that we might know just what it is God wants us to do. God gives us the energy and power to do his will in His strength, not ours. We are in the body of Christ, the church, and Christ is the head of the Church.

5- We might know who Christ Is: 20-23

While there is no preface of this point I feel that Paul emphases for us who Christ is so that we will know. Paul breaks out in a praise in Eph 1:20-23. We see that when Christ was raised from the dead that God set him on His right hand in heaven. He is far above all the creation of God. God has put everything under his feet and made him to be the head of the Church.

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5- The Building of the Temple (Part 1) Eph 2:1-7, 11,12

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The song our children sing says,

He's still working on me, to make me what I ought to be.

It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,

The birds and trees, jupiter and mars.

How loving and patient He must be, He's still working on me.

In Eph 1:23 the church is said to be like a body. In chapter 2 it is compared to a temple. In chapter two we will see how God made sinners saints and placed them in the body of Christ, the church. The Old Testament temple was made when they took living trees and hewed them into the parts needed for construction. The New Testament temple (the church) was made when God took dead wood (this is us) and made it into a living temple. The Old Testament temple was built upon a constant sacrifice for sin while in contrast the New Testament temple is built on the one time sacrifice and complete work of Christ. Another contrast in the two temples is that God has not given the New Testament temple a ritual of service as He did the Old Testament temple. In fact the church is made up of individuals within which God dwells and not a building that is the place of God's dwelling. Acts 17:24-25 says, "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands, Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, see he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things."

Allow me to offer the following outline for this complete chapter which will be given two lectures.

A- From Where We Have Come. 2:1-3, 11, 12

B- What God Did in Response to Our Condition. 2:4-6

C- God's Purpose. 2:7

D- How God Did It. 2:8-9,13

E- What We Now Are 2:10, 14-22.

A- From Where We Have Come. 2:1-3, 11, 12

Oh! God never let us forget from which we have come. We need to realize that apart from the grace of God we would still be lost and hopeless. Notice with me several things that described our condition prior to our salvation.

1- We were dead in trespasses and sins.2:1 Warren Wiersbe says,

"A corpse does not hear the conversation going on in the funeral parlor. A corpse has no appetite for food or drink; he feels no pain, he is dead. Just so with the inner man of the unsaved person. His spiritual faculties are not functioning, and they cannot function until God gives him life." 7

We know from the Old Testament account of creation and the fall of man that the Spirit of God breathed life into Adam. When Adam sinned the Spirit of God withdrew from Adam and he died spiritual and later physically.

2- We were obedient to Satan. 2:2 "ye walked according to the course of the world, according to the prince of the power of the air..." There are only two options of who we can chose to follow. If we are not following God we are following Satan and his scheme.

3- We were the children of wraft by nature and by choice. 2:3 Our sin nature is inherent within us. It is a spiritual genetic problem. We inherited it from Adam. Have you ever noticed you do not have to teach a young baby to cry and throw a fit to get its way. We are born into sin in this world. Ps 51:5 "Behold I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Also see Ps 58:3) We also are children of wraft by choice. We chose to do what is wrong also.

4- We were Godless and unclean. 2:3 "lust of flesh...desires of the flesh and of the mind." The depravity of man is clearly taught in the scriptures. Also notice I Kings 8:46; Prov 20:9; Jer 17:9; Rom 3:23.

5- We were separated from Christ. 2:12a The best definition of salvation we have already seen is that we are "In Christ." In contrast the best definition of being lost is being "Without Christ." I John 5:12 states it this way, "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." Eternal life is in the Son.

6- We were excluded from the commonwealth of Israel. 2:12b.

Thought some Gentiles were admitted into Judaism as proselytes, most Gentiles were excluded.

7- We were strangers to the covenant of promise. 2:12c. The promise of blessing was to Abraham and his descendants. We did not fall directly under this promise of future hope and glory.

8- We had no hope. 2:12d. We as Gentiles had not promise of Messiah and the blessing that would come through Him.

9- We were without God in this present world. 2:12e. "The Gentiles were in a desperate situation. They had no meaning, hope, purpose, or direction in life." 8

Ephesians 2:1-3 presents a very sad look at mankind and pictures the unregenerate person as deserving the wraft of God.

B- What God Did in Response to Our Condition. 2:4-6

Oh, my friends we can thank God for His grace and for the "But God" in 2:4. Notice that it says that He is "Rich in mercy." There is an old song that says, justice called but mercy answered.

1- God loved us in Mercy. 2:4 by God's very nature we know that "God is Love" according to I John 4:8. We are not saved by God's love however, we are saved because of God's mercy and grace. Mercy and grave are the result of God's love. God is rich in mercy and grace to us. In mercy God does not give us what we deserve. In grace God gives us what we do not deserve. All this is possible because of God's love.

2- God made us alive in Christ. 2:5. Beloved what a lost man needs is not revival but resurrection from the dead. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work raising lost men and women from spiritual death today.

3- He raised us up and seated us in heavenly places. 2:6. We were not raised to be left in the gravecloth. We were raised to be seated in the heavenly with Christ. Notice, while we are now physically on earth we are already seated with Christ in the heavenly, spiritual speaking in God's mind.. In Col 3:1-2 we are exhorted to think and to position our mind with Christ in the heavens. "If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set you affection on things above, not on things on the earth."

Notice Phil 3:20 in the NASV. "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." You have heard it said, "We are in the world but not of the world."

These responses of God toward us are merely the reflection in a mirror of salvation that God has done for Christ and now for us. Eph 1:20 shows He, "...raised him from the dead, and set him at his on right hand in the heavenly places." Whereas Christ died physically we were dead spiritually. While Christ was raised physically we were raised spiritually.

C- God's Purpose. 2:7

A lot of Bible scholars relate the teaching of this to us being on display as the trophies of God's grace, mercy and love in the ages to come. The word "show" is seen by many as meaning "to display or demonstrate." Consider the following quote by R.M. Edgar on this subject.

"For if we had never died in sin, God's mighty power in raising us would never have been appreciated. If the creature had never fallen, who would have known the wealth of God's love and power in lifting them up again? The physical universe can only illustrate a small part of the power and love of God. It requires the moral universe as a background to set off the brightness of his redeeming mercy. It is out of a sinful world the greatest examples of Divine power shall be forthcoming.; God is rich in mercy; how rich only sinners can illustrate and with some fullness appreciate. Every risen, ascended, and reigning soul is intended to be a fresh example of the exceeding riches of God's grace." 9

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6- The Building of the Temple (Part 2) Eph 2:8-10, 13-22

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As we are looking at the building of our spiritual temple we are following this outline. We looked at the first three parts in the last session. We will begin with D.

A- What We Once Were. 2:1-3, 11, 12

B- What God Did. 2:4-6

C- Why God Did It. 2:7

D- How God Did It. 2:8-9,13

We have stated that the theme of chapter 2 is the building of the temple. We know the scripture teaches that we are the temple of God and when we talk about God building a the temple we are talking about what He did and is doing in our lives.

1- By Grace through Faith. 2:8

How did God make us His temple? We know that through out the scriptures it is taught that it is through Grace by Faith.

By grace is how God places us in the body and starts the temple construction.. Remember that grace is "God's unmerited favor given to us." The opposite of faith is works. We see that Paul plainly makes a distinction between the two. Rom 5:1; Phil 3:9. Faith is tied to our righteousness in that we gain our righteousness, or right standing with God, by our faith in Christ. It is because of our faith in Christ that God imputes Christ righteousness to our account.

Faith in the dictionary is defined as, "Confidence in or dependence on a person, statement, or thing as trustworthy. Belief without need of certain proof. Belief in God or in the Scriptures or other religious writings." 10

We find God definition of faith found in Heb 11:1 "...faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Faith is not a shot in the dark. It is a belief in the God that reveals himself to us. It is not a last ditch effort to explain things. Faith is not a crutch for the weak and uneducated as some would have us believer.

However, the object of faith is critically important.. I can believe that I am all right with God because of a man made plan rather than what God reveals in His word. His plan is accepting Christ as Savior.

2- Totally Apart From Human Merit. 2:9

We are not saved because of our goodness or because of who we are or what we can offer God. We do not merit salvation on our goodness. It is totally apart from our worth we are saved. Matt 7:22-23 says that many will try to make it into heaven by doing works. Notice here these are works of Christianity. They looked like, talked like, preached like the real thing but they did not know Christ as Savior and were not accepted by God. Their works are even called works of iniquity. Anything done apart from faith, even good things, is still sin. They tried to get in on works.

Rom 3:20 says that by the "...deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight..." It is not by or works but by his grace apart from anything, and I do mean anything, we can merit.Titus 3:5 says, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit."

3- Through the blood of Christ. 2:13 "brought nigh by the blood." The blood of the sacrifices in the Old Testament could not forgive sin and put it away forever. It only reminded them continually of their sins. Heb 10:1-4. It took the perfect sacrifice of the Lamb of God who took on the likeness of man to forgive sin and put it away forever. God builds the temple on the foundation of the blood. By the way it was not the cross that saved us but the blood on the cross.

E- What We Now Are 2:10, 14-22.

We see that since He saved us by His grace through faith in the blood sacrifice of Christ that we are not the same. (See II Cor 5:17) So we ask what are we now?

1- The "workmanship" of God. 2:10

The Greek word for workmanship is "poema". We get our english word poem from this word. God has the poem or workmanship of His creation and the workmanship of our salvation. I guess we could say that Christ is the rhyme and the reason for our lives in Him.

Notice we were created "unto good works." Paul was not, nor are we, changing his mind here about works. He is not saying we work for salvation but because of salvation. Salvation is not the product of works but works is the product of salvation. We are not created to be idle for God but thought salvation is apart from works works cannot be apart from salvation. If you are a rooster eventually you will crow, if you are a child of God eventually it will show. Notice what James says in Jam 2:18 "But someone will say, 'you have faith; I have deeds.' Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do."

2- We Gentiles Are United with Israel. 2:16

One of the greatest mysteries of the Old Testament was how God could and would someday unite together in faith Jews and Gentiles. We know that the events in Acts at Corneilus house was the confirmation to Peter that the Gentiles were included into the church without them becoming Jews. God is in Christ uniting both the Jews and Gentiles into one body. Rom 10:12 "For there is no difference between the Jews and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him." We know that first church council in Jerusalem dealt with this topic also. (See Acts 15).

3- We Now Have Direct Access To God. 2:18

We need not worry about another man that we must go through to get to God. Direct access also carries the responsibility of being directly responsible to God also. We are told in Heb 4:16 to come, "Boldly to the throne of grace."

4- Our Foot Is On The Rock That Don't Roll. 2:20

We are built upon the apostles faith as a foundation not on the apostles themselves. Christ is the Chief Cornerstone and is the piece that hold the building together. Nebuchadnezzar in his visions saw Christ as, "...a stone cut out without hands..." My friends our foundation is sure because of Rock is steady.

5- We Are A Building Fitly Framed Together, A Temple. 2:16

This verse is our conclusion and our summary verse also. We are not only as believers indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God and thus a temple, but in another sense we as God people make up the Body of Christ and thus we make up in another way the Temple of God in which the Lord dwells. The presence of the Shekinah Glory of God was the way the Jews knew that God was indwelling the tabernacle and the temple. Indeed the glory cloud filled the temple on the day of dedication. Exekiel, the prophet, saw the glory of God depart Israel (See Ezek 9:3; 10:4,18; 11:23) We are the Temple of God because we are to manifest and show the glory of God. We are His trophies for His glory and grace in the future.

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7- The Mystery of the Church....3:1-13

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This is the third and final chapter in the outline section on the Call of the Church. The key verses in this section are 3:3-4. The key word is "mystery." The mystery of the church.

I wish to additionally break this section down into two parts.

A- The Mystery Defined. 3:1-5

B- The Mystery Revealed. 3:6-13

A- The Mystery Defined. 3:1-5

First let us understand the biblical meaning of the word mystery. Our meaning of mystery in one sense is a novel by a great mystery writer like Agatha Christy. The mystery is who done it. It is not the word here however. Here mystery is more than an intriguing episode of Matlock where he reveals the secret hidden until revealed by Matlock in the 11th hour of his clients life. In fact James Moffatt in his translation reads like this. "How the divine secret was disclosed to me by a revelation." 11

We might ask what is meant by mystery or divine secret. It is translated 27 times in the KJV as mystery or mysteries. Allow me to give you some information from Nelson's Bible Dictionary concerning the definition of Mystery.

"The hidden, eternal plan of God that is being revealed to God's people in accordance with His plan.

In the Old Testament, mystery occurs only in the Aramaic sections of Daniel (Dan. 2:18,27-30,47; 4:9). Some of God's mysteries were revealed to Daniel and King Nebuchadnezzar.

In the New Testament, mystery refers to a secret that is revealed by God to His servants through His Spirit. As such, it is an "open secret." Mystery occurs three times in the Gospels. Jesus told His disciples, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God" (Matt. 13:11; Mark 4:11; Luke 8:10). Jesus explained the mystery of God's kingdom to His disciples. But to others He declared, "All things come in parables" (Mark 4:11).

Most of the occurrences of the word mystery are in the Pauline Epistles. Mystery refers to the revelation of God's plan of salvation as that plan focuses in Christ. The gospel itself is a "mystery which was kept secret since the world began" (Rom. 16:25). This mystery was revealed by God through the prophetic Scriptures to Paul and the church (1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 6:19; Col. 4:3).

Mystery also refers to the future resurrection of Christians (1 Cor. 15:51), the summing up of all things in Christ (Eph. 1:9), the inclusion of Gentiles in the church (Eph. 3:3-9), (My underline and bold for emphasis) the future salvation of Israel (Rom. 11:25), the phenomenon of lawlessness (2 Thes. 2:7), and the godliness of Christ (1 Tim. 3:16)." 11

Strong Concordance defines it as,

"musterion (moos-tay'-ree-on); from a derivative of muo (to shut the mouth); a secret or "mystery" (through the idea of silence imposed by initiation into religious rites):"12

The only way that it is translated is mystery/mysteries in the KJV.

We can say that this mystery is the total lack of the church in the Old Testament revelation. It is seen only in typology and masked symbols. Eph 3:5. Rom 16:25 makes this even plainer. "Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began."

JV. McGee says, "The church was not revealed in the Old Testament..." 13 He goes on to say, "I would say that those who insist that the church is back in the Old Testament are more or less usurping the place of the Lord. They are telling something the Lord Himself didn't tell. They act as if they know something God didn't know. Mystery means that it was not revealed in the Old Testament. And since He didn't reveal it, it isn't there."14

Also notice Eph 3:9 which says, "...which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God." We therefore can make the statement that the church was a mystery until God revealed it and it had it's beginning at Pentecost. The church cannot be in no way understood as being Israel therefore, as some have seen it to be.

We might ask how is the mystery revealed. How is made know and to whom does God reveal His divine secret?

3:3 "By revelation" God revealed it to the Apostle Paul as well as the other apostles and prophets of the church as we see in 3:5. "It is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the spirit." Also according to Col 1:26 it "is now made manifest to his saints." Dear friends not only did God reveal His secret to Paul, Peter, James and John, He also revealed and is revealing it to us. 3:5 also makes it plain that it is revealed by the "Spirit."

B- The Mystery Revealed. 3:6-13

What is the mystery that is revealed? 3:6 states it is "That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel." The mystery that is now revealed is that the church which is the body of Christ would not only include the Jews but also the Gentiles. (Also see Eph 2:14-15.)

Of special note is that the mystery was not that the Gentiles would be saved. The Old Testament taught that when Messiah came Gentiles would be saved. Notice the following scriptures as evidence of this. Isaiah 11:10; 42:6; 60:3; Zech 2:11; Mal 1:11. Also remember Israel was always given the job of revealing God to all mankind and many Gentiles were proselytes to Judaism.

Then what is the mystery if it isn't the salvation of the Gentiles? The mystery was that the Gentiles and Jews would be included as equals in the church. Gentiles would not have to become Jews to become part of the church. Remember Acts 15 and the Council of Jerusalem is where the early church discussed this question and settled it. They concluded that Gentiles do not have to be circumcised to be a Christian or to be in the church.

Prior to Abraham, in fact going all the way back to Adam, there were only one distinction of man, Gentiles. With the calling of Abraham there became a twofold division, Gentiles and Jews. I Cor 10:32 teaches us that now there are three divisions, Gentile, Jew and the Church. It says, "Give none offense, neither to the (1) Jews, nor to the (2) Gentiles, nor to the (3) church of God." In one sense a Christian Gentile or a Christian Jew is no longer a Gentile or a Jew but now they are a Christian. A member of the body of Christ the Church.

3:8-9 Allow me to focus on one word in verse 8 and one phrase in verse 9. If you would allow me the liberty of reading it this way, "...preach...to make all men see..." Friends we hold the mystery or secret of the "unsearchable riches of Christ." Our job is to be busy telling the secret.

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8- Paul's Second Prayer 3:14-21

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This is the second prayer of Paul recorded in this epistle. (For first prayer see Eph 1:15-23.) We will explore it from a three fold order of service if you will allow.

A- Invocation of the Prayer 3:14-15

B- Petitions of the Prayer 3:16-19

C- Benedictions of the Prayer 3:20-21

D- Invocation of the Prayer 3:14-15

3:14 "Bow my knee" How do we begin our prayers? Do we begin on our knees, standing with our arms raised or in another poster? I submit that it first begins when our heart bends its knees, if you will. Notice in 3:14 Paul says, "For this cause." thereby indicating this is a heart felt concern of Paul's. He was concerned with the Ephesians and wanted them to understand the great spiritual truth in the new dispensation of grace.

"Unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Our prayers are addressed to God the Father through the Son and in the Spirit. Why don't we pray to Christ? If we pray to God the Father we allow Christ to be our intercessor on our behalf. John 14:13 "...whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

3:15 "...the whole family in heaven and in earth." We sometimes in our churches have been guilty of having the wrong attitude. We say a lot more by our actions than our words at times. "We four and no more" after all my church my clique is all that God is listening to anyway. JV McGee sees this phrase "the whole family" as being all the saints of all ages plus the other being created by God, namely angels.

This also gives us the opportunity to understand the scriptures teaching about the Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man. ALL MEN are only the sons of God in the sense they are creations of the Creator. We see this when Adam was spoken of in Luke 3:38 as "which was the son of God." To be a true or spirit son of God in the context of clear scriptural teaching is to be reborn into the family of God as a spiritual son. John 3:7 says, "Ye must be born again." I realize these words were from Christ to Nicodemus but are not any less true for every man, woman, boy or girl.

B- Petitions of the Prayer 3:16-19

In this second prayer of Paul we can see four request made by Paul to God through Christ for the believers in Ephesus. Paul request is that God will draw "according to the riches of his glory" to answer Paul's prayer. He says God open up the store house of your riches and pour them out.

1- 3:16 "be strengthened" Strength: Pauls first petition is for the inner man. He prays they would have strength. We often neglect the inner man and pray for the outer man. He prays that the inner man will surrender and be controlled by the Spirit of God and thereby have strength for the task at hand in the service of God. We must realize the outer man is dying while the inner man is being renewed. II Cor 4:16 shows this clearly. "...though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." Pauls states also in Eph 4:23 "be renewed in the spirit of your mind."

2- 3:17 "...that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith." Remember the phrase "in Christ" that we emphasized in lecture 1 (see page 3 of this work). It is a reoccurring thought that runs through the epistle. 2 Cor 13:5 teaches us to examine ourself as to whether we are in Christ. This is literally that Christ, " 'be at home in,' that is, at the very center of or deeply rooted in, believers' lives. They are to let Christ become the dominating factor in their attitudes and conduct." 15 William Hendriksen says, "It is in the hearts of believers that the principle of a new life has been implanted by the Holy Spirit...What the writer is praying for is therefore this, that within these hearts such a controlling influence may be exerted that they may be strengthened more and more with Spirit-imparted power."16

3- 3:18-19 Pauls prayer was that they might, "know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge." Paul prays they may know the dimensions of Christ love.

a- The "breadth"- The outstretched arms of Christ on the cross has been used by many to illustrate the breadth of Christ love. When asked how much do you love me he stretched out His arms and died is how it is often stated. THis idea also can include the far reaching arm of God for salvation. John 6:37 says, "all that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." Is 59:1 says, "...the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save..."

b- The "length"- The length of God's love begins in eternity past where it is said the "Lamb slain before the foundation of the world." This love continues until the end of the endless age to come, eternity. In other words the love of God has no beginning and no end.

c- The "depth"- How deep is the love of God. It reaches down into the sewers of life and brings men out. It also is shown in Christ descending into the earth to become a man. Phil 2:8 says, "being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Probably the greatest verse to show the depth of God's love is Ps 40:2 because it shows how far He reach down to raise us up. The palmist said so well "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay..."

d- The "height"- The height of Christ's love reaches into the very throne room of heaven. Christ Himself takes our prayer petitions into the presence of God. It also says we are to come boldly into the throne of grace.

4- That they, "be filled with the fulness of God." We measure our spiritual life by comparison shopping. We compare ours to other believers instead of what God wants for us. He wishes for us to move past the surface relationship with Him to a fullness with Him. In one sense we are complete in Christ as far as our salvation is concerned but still need to grow in our sanctification and become more like Him. Peter admonishes us to, "Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

Allow me to quote from Warren Wiersbe concerning this section for a summary.

"These four request are more like four parts of a telescope. One request leads into the next one, and so on. He prays that the inner man might have spiritual strength, which will, in turn, lead to a deeper experience with Christ. This deeper experience will enable them to 'apprehend' (get hold of) God's great live, which will result in their being 'filled unto all the fullness of God."17

C- Benedictions of the Prayer 3:20-21

It is doxology time. Paul burst forth in a praise song to God in these last two verses. We might also break forth when we understand that God is able to answer our prayers so well. David Dockery list 6 assurances of God's abilities. Notice them with me.

"1. God is able.

2. He is able to do all that we ask.

3. He is able to do all that we think.

4. He is able to do all that we ask or think.

5. He is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we can ask or think.

6. He 'is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us'."19

Dockery also says "Incredibly, God can do immeasurably more than we can thing or ask." 20 Now don't that make you want to shout?

JV McGee says, "This is a mighty outburst of spiritual praise, which any comment would only tarnish." 21  

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11- Imitate God to Redeem the Time 5:1-20

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Someone has apply said that the greatest form of flattery is imitation. We are in the section of Ephesians that deals with the conduct of the Church. There are two verses, 5:1 and 5:16, that sum up this section when we tie them together. Allow me the freedom to read them like this, "Be ye therefore imitators of God, as dear children;....redeeming the time..."

I offer the following outline for our use during this session. For us to imitate God and redeem the time we must:

A- Walk in Love: 5:1-7

B- Walk in Light: 5:8-14

C- Walk in Wisdom: 5:15-20

D- Walk in Love: 5:1-7

5:1 Two phrases that give us insight into this first verse.

1- "followers..." The Greek word for this is "mimetes" and according to Strong's means, "an imitator." 33 This is where we get our English word mimic from. The best form of flattery is to imitate or mimic someone, as we have stated. God wants us to imitate Him or mimic him. To be a follower of His is to do just that.

2- "as dear children..." Not just as His children but as His "dear" children. Rom 8:16 tells us that God's Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the sons of God. God has a very special love for His children.

5:2 "And walk in love..." Notice it says to "Walk" in love. When love become the deciding factor in our choices and the motivation in our actions we then will be walking in love. God is going to give us the greatest example of love anywhere.

"as Christ also hath loved us..." Remember in Eph 3:18 that Paul wanted them to know the dimensions of God's love. Now he exhorts them (and us) to practice it. John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." The love of Christ is seem most evident when we understand that He did not die for His friends but for His enemies. (That is us.) Rom 5:6ff says, "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Another good thought can be found in "Gave himself for us.." This is not only the be taken that Christ gave Himself for us for our benefit but that He died instead of us, substitutionary atonement. The innocent for the guilty. The innocent being Christ the guilty being us. Kenneth Wuest translates it this way, "Gave Himself up in our behalf in our stead." 34

Paul says this should be our motivation to walk in love, love to God and man. I John 4:20 says it with a negative note, "If a man, say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a lair: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen."

In addition to this we see in Matt 22:36-40 (please turn to this passage) Christ summed up the whole law of God in the nutshell of love, love of God and man.

5:3-7 is a section that give us an insight in to the conduct that should be exhibited as we walk in love to God. Some of these might seem strange because "after all we live in an age of enlightenment and higher knowledge" according to the worlds thinking.

"fornication" seems to be old fashioned in the modern light. After all man did not have the same problems in the biblical days as he has now. Or did he? In the time this epistle was written there were heathen festivals, concubines, and moral decay in which the matter of fornication was considered acceptable. Otherwise moral men would indulge in fornication without shame. Fornication refers to illicitly sexual activity in general. The times and men have not changed and neither has God's word concerning this sin. Paul said it should "...not be named."

5:4 "filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting." This is not a reference to good clean jokes and fun. Set in context we see it deals with talking course and lewd and revelry. I Cor 15:33 NJKV says, "Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits."

B- Walk in Light: 5:8-14

There is another interesting phenomenon in nature that illustrates us walking in the light. The firefly in it's original state is hatched in the water and comes upon the land as a worm. He next burrows into the dirt and sleeps until a metamorphous takes place. He then comes out to light the world with his light.

5:8 "For you were once darkness" NKJV. Notice it did not say once "in" darkness but "once were darkness." He again reminds them and us of their former estate, before Christ era of their lives.

"But now you are the light in the Lord." This means we are now the reflector of "The Light" which is Christ. Notice it says, "Walk in the light." To interpret this lets allow scripture to speak for itself. Lets turn and read I John 1:5-7; I John 2:8-11. Whow!

5:9-14 is where we find what it means to walk in the light. First in 5:9 it is identified as "goodness and righteousness." 5:10 says it is what is "pleasing to God." Again in 5:12-13 Paul reminds us not to speak of the evil things done in secret because they will be made known by the light. Is 29:15 says, "Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?"

John 3:20 lets us know plainly the light reveals the deeds of darkness and the world does not like it.

C- Walk in Wisdom: 5:15-20

Thus far we have seen the conduct of the church should be to walk in love and light. We see in this section we should walk in wisdom as well.

5:15 "Not as fools" Need I remind us again there is a wisdom of the world that is not wisdom at all but ignorance. James 3:13-17 (please turn) gives us the contrast of the two types of wisdom. One godly and the other worldly. The word "circumspectly" is the Greek word "akribos" and means "exactly" and is translated also as diligently, perfect, perfectly in KJV. I Tim 5:10 says, "Diligently (akribos) followed every good work" concerning a widows walk.

5:16 As we said this is a key verse in understanding this section. "Redeeming the time" (also see Col 4:5) is important because we know that time is short to work. We need to invest our lives in the things of God and not spend them on the things of the world. John 9:4 records Christ reminding us of this very thing when He stated "...the night cometh when no man can work."

5:17 "Understand what the will of the Lord is." As the train stays on the track to its destination we should strive to stay on the track of God's will to ours. Some said the greatest search in life is to find the will of God.

5:18 "Be filled with the Spirit" The first part of this verse admonishes them to not be drunk but to be fill with the Spirit. Remember on the day of Pentecost when the disciples were accused of being drunk when they were filled with the Holy Spirit. The world does not quit know what it is that is different about a Spirit filled Christian. Just as the drunk man is controlled by the liquor we should be controlled by the Spirit. This helps us to know God's will.

5:19-20 These two verses are fitting to close with. On of the things we will do because we are His child is praise Him and thank Him. It says to thank Him for "all things."

Conclusion: The conduct of the church is seen as walking in the love of God and of our fellow man, letting our light shine out to the darkness as we walk in the wisdom of God.

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10- Relationships of the Church Illustrated.....5:20-33

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We come to a passage that has been very narrowly interpreted and applied to only the wife obeying her husband. In fact if this is the only interpretation then we miss the whole point of it entirely. Christianity is not a woman hating, bigot religion.

Therefore, I wish to set forth a three fold outline and interpretation of this text. First, if does indeed teach the right relationship of the wife to "her" husband. Second, I think it teaches a far greater responsibility for the husband in regard to his wife and his Lord. Thirdly, I thing the greatest teaching of this passage is the love of Christ for His church and the submission of us to His headship as illustrated by the analogy of the way a husband and wife submission and love for each other.

A- Relationship of Wife to Her Husband- 5:22,23,33

B- Relationship of Husband to His Wife- 5:23,25,28,29, 31, 33

C- Relationship of Christ to His Church- 5:20-33

A- Relationship of Wife to Her Husband- 5:22,23,33

As we have already noted this is the minor point of this text when we interpret it in its fullest sense. We will explore the three commands given to the wife in relationship to her husband. Allow me to draw additional New Testament passages to help us to better understand what the word of God is teaching here.

a- Submit to husband as to Christ. 5:22

What doe sit mean to "submit" to a husband? Allow me to quote from The New Testament in Modern English by J.B. Phillips for verse 22. "You wives must learn to adapt yourselves to your husbands, as you submit yourselves to the Lord..." 35

This has been a verse that has been used to beat the wife into obedience and to make them walk the line. J.V. McGee says, "Submit is a very mild word. It is a loving word. It means to respond to your own husband as unto the Lord. The way we respond to the Lord is that we love Him because He first loved us." 36

b- Recognize headship of husband. 5:23

The husband is given the responsibility of being the head of the house by God in His sovereign order of things. This doesn't mean the wife is a junior member of the team however.

c- Reverence husband. 5:33

If a woman does not respect her husband she will before to long learn not to love him. This reverence is contentment and happiness in the one you are married to and thankful to God for him.

The next question is why should the wife so these things.I Pet 3:-12 One of the reasons is if she is married to an unbelieving man he will see her actions toward him and become a convert by her submission.

One of the reason that a lot of husbands do not want anything to do with the church or salvation is the constant nagging of the believing wife. Ladies may I say, relax, love them into the kingdom of God.

B- Relationship of Husband to His Wife- 5:23,25,28,29, 31, 33

Now it is time to put the shoe on the other foot, so to speak. It is time for the gentlemen now ladies. Husband the burden of the relationship is on us. The wife remember is to "Respond" to the husband. I want us to see some of the things we need to have in our relationships to our wives.

a- Be head of wife. 5:23 I don't feel we need to address this any farther as we have already said this is the order God gave. This also is laying the responsibility of leadership on the man's shoulders.

b- Love your wives as Christ loved the church. 5:25 God never ask any woman to submit to a man who does not love her. This is a deep love, a sacrificial love. The love we are given to emulate is that of Christ who died for the church.

c- Love wife as your own body. 5:28,33. "Agape" love.

If we would treat our wives the way we want them to treat us we we would have smoother sailing on the sea of love and life. This also gives us the true meaning of when the two becomes one flesh. Actually when a man love his wife he is loving his own body because they have become one. Eph 5:31 says, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh." This is a direct quote from Genesis 2:24. When a man loves his wife it is only an extention of his love for himself.

d- Nourish her- 5:29

The Greek word here is "Ektrepho" and means, "to bring up, care for protect." I Pet 3:7 says "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as heirs together of grace of life..."

e- Cherish her- 5:29

Again the Greek word here is "Thalpo" and means, "To foster, warm in one's bosom." Putting a wife on the pedestal of love and adorations the highest form of love.

f- Leave parents for wife. 5:31

You have heard of a hen pecked husband. There are many of those probably. My wife said to tell you I'm not hen pecked I just roost on the foot of the bed for comfort. What we have her however is not a hen pecked husband but a mom pecked husband. It says to leave the nest for the new nest. A man who loves his wife will not constantly stand against her and side with mom just because of who mom is.

Leave in the Greek is "Kataleipo" and means, "to leave behind,, depart from." The other thought here is to be "joined" to the husband or wife and this is "proskollao" in the Greek and means, "to glue upon, to glue to, to join one's self to closely, cleave to, stick to."

Again we ask why should we do this. The obvious which is it is commanded by God. Also we should do it for the spiritual life of the husband and wife which is directly linked to the relationship they have to each other. (See I Pet 3:7)

C- Relationship of Christ to His Church- 5:20-33

The main teaching of this section is the relationship of Christ and the church. The Holy Spirit uses the analogy of the husband wife relationship to help us to see this relationship.

We also see the full spectrum of salvation in these verses. Notice with me if you would.

a- Justification- 5:25 tells us what He did in the past. He gave Himself for the church. We are justified by this act.

b- Sanctification- 5:26 "That he might sanctify." This is the ongoing part of our salvation. He is in the process of making us like Jesus.

c- Glorification- 5:27 This verse clearly shows the future part of our salvation, glorification. He will present the church, that is us, without spot or blemish.

We can see the love of Christ for the church in the past, present, and the future. We know that Christ loved the church because He gave His life to purchase it. To have a proper relationship with our fellow man we must therefore have a right relationship to Christ as we submit to Him.

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11- Obedience To Authority......6:1-9

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Our society today has seen a massive erosion of the respect for authority. The rebellion of the 60's has permeated our society to the core. The authority of parents, school teachers, policemen, judges; just to name a few; has been damaged an in some modes of thinking become antiquated. If we are to have order in our nation and society as a whole we must have authority and the citizens must live in submission to that authority. The opposite of this is anarchy and we know that God is not the author of confusion. We know that living in submission to authority is ultimately living in submission to God because He has ordained the powers of government and authority. Paul, in Eph 5:19 said, "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God."

Allow me to use the following outline for our study of this section of Ephesians as we look at obedience to authority. There are four admonitions that are given to us here. They will carry us from the cradle to the grave in scope of life.

A- Children be obedient to your parents. 6:1-3

B- Parents bring them up as unto the Lord. 6:4

C- Servants be obedient to your masters. 6:5-8

D- Masters be obedient unto the Lord. 6:9

We begin our study where the respect and authority must begin to be taught in our society. This is the home and not the public schools or the church. These are just support organizations for the home. You will recall that someone has said, "As goes the home so goes the nation."

A- Children be obedient to your parents. 6:1-3

6:1 "In the Lord." The first thing we need to notice is that he is talking to the Christian homes. We try to apply this to all situation without understanding that we struggle to live by what we preach and condemn those who are lost when they do not do it. I Pet 4:17 I believe could rightly be applied here. "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"

This brings us to another question also which is prevalent in our society today. What if a boy or girls parents are not Christian and the child is. Do they have to submit to their unbelieving parents. May I say that the ultimate authority of the parent is God and a child should and indeed must submit to their authority unless it is in direct contradiction to God's word. In the case when the wishes of a parent directly conflicts with a clear teaching of scripture then the child should obey God rather than his parents. Examples of this is if a parent would wants to involve a child in a shoplifting scheme or a drug running operation etc.

"Obey your parents." Obey is a different word than the word found in the relationship of a wife and husband where she is told to be submissive. This is the Greek word "hupakouo" which means "To hearken to a command, to obey, to be obedient to, submit to." This is to be a habitual, constant obedience. The word of God says this is right in in the Lord, remember this is showing our obedience to God when we obey those in authority over us.

Christ gave us a wonderful living example of this obedience to His mother Mary and step father Joseph that is recorded in Luke 2:51. The setting of this event is that Christ is twelve years old and has spent three days in the temple. J.V. McGee says, "Disobedience to parents is the last and lowest form of lawlessness to occur on this earth." 37 My friends we can look around at any public place, such as the Mall, and see how lawless we have become.

We also see that Paul said the decay of obedience to parents was a sign of the end times. Notice the company that they are mentioned with. This makes the obedience to parents even more important because of the company it keeps.

II Tim 3:1-4 "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affections, trucebreakers, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God..."

6:2-3 "Honor thy father and mother..." This word honor is the Greek word "timao" which means, "To estimate, fix the value." This is the first of the ten commandments. (By the way all of the ten are repeated in the New Testament except the keeping of the Sabbath.) This commandment carries with it a promised blessing. Ephesians 5:3b says, "That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." The obvious implication is that disobedience to parents can cause short life.

Must the same way the responsibility is placed upon the husband to take the lead in the relationship it is placed on the parents to do what is right.

B- Parents bring them up as unto the Lord. 6:4

6:4 "Provoke not your children to wraft." This is an exhortation to parents, and especially fathers, not to treat their children unjustly, severely or any way that will make them rebel and not submit to authority. The father is addressed here because he represents the governmental head of the family and is responsible for the discipline of the children. The NIV translates this verse, "Fathers, do not exasperate your children..." J.B. Phillips says, "...don't overcorrect your children or make it difficult for them to obey the commandment." 38

"nuture" is the whole training and education of our children and the cultivation of mind and morals. It also includes the discipline of our children. Some commentaries in fact say that nurture means discipline. We find that indeed the scripture teaches the application of punishment for disobedience. In fact the word of God warns parents of the consequences if they do not physically discipline their children. Look at several verses that clearly teach corporal punishment.

Prov 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Prov 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

Prov 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

Prov 23:13-14 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Prov 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

Prov 29:17 Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

Next we come to a positive way of raising a child. We are told to bring them up in the "Admonition" of the Lord. This means training with words of encouragement, and word of reproof when necessary. However, we must also notice that the discipline and the training of our children is done as we are obedient to the Lord.

I found a recipe that I would like to share with you now. You might say why a recipe in the middle of an exposition of God word. Please indulge me.

C- Servants be obedient to your masters. 6:5-8

We enter into a section that deals with authority of a master.

6:5 "Servants" is the word "doulos" and means "slaves." We need to understand the social and economic environment the letter of Ephesians was written during. Slaves outnumbered freemen in Asia Minor. There were something like 60,000,000 (60 M) slaves in the Roman Empire and it seems natural for this question to arise in relation to authority. There is considerable consideration given in the New Testament to this subject. (NOTE: See I Cor 7:21-22; I Tim 6:1-2; Titus 2:9,10; Philemon 1:1-25; Col 3:22; 4:1; and I Pet 2:18-25 for additional study on this subject.) Notice that slavery is accepted as the social norm and is not condemned nor attacked as wrong per say in the scriptures. There is nothing to prompt revolutionary action in the scripture. We know that it is indeed wrong for one man to own another regardless of race or social status.

"be obedient" Instead of a revolution against authority those Christian slaves were to be obedient to their masters. The reason for this is the gospel will be the vehicle of revolution from social illness not protest. Get a man saved and walking with God and he will do what is right.

The obedience here is seen to apply today to the relationship of an employee and employer. Notice it says, "As unto Christ." When we do our jobs without oversight of the employer we are honoring God. It also says, "Not with eyeservice." 6:6 We have a thought in our workforce today that we will work when the boss is around so he will think us a good employee. We have the attitude of, "When the cats away the mice will play." We try to make ourselves look good in front of the boss but are lazy behind his back. This is eyeservice and not honoring to God. Again in 6:7-8 is the thought that when we do our job faithfully we are honoring God.

D- Masters be obedient unto the Lord. 6:9

Let those in authority thing they are above the law of God Paul includes a section for them also.

"Do the same things unto them" This is not say that master should be in obedience to the slave but that the master should practice the same principles and consideration of Christian treatment to their slaves or employees. The master has a right to expect the slave or employee to have their best interest at heart in their work. The slave or employee has the same right to expect the employer or slave owner to look or for their interest. This has been called the "principle of reciprocity." We would say, "what goes around comes around."

"Forbearing threatings" The masters were well know for the intimidation of slave with physical harm. A godly employee will not see to intimidate his or hers employees with unwarranted pressures. Notice I said unwarranted pressures. These verse do not in any way prevent an employer from dismissing an employee who is not doing their job.

The employer should act in a positive way saying such as, "because you are a good employee I am going to do such and such," not, "if you don't do this I'm going to do this" in a treating way.

"Your Master...is in heaven." This reminds the Christian master or employer they should remember that they to have a Master. The right treatment of those whom they have authority over is a sign of the Lordship of Christ in their lives.

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12- Ready Or Not Here He Comes...6:10-12

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In the section of Ephesians before us we have the warfare of the church presented. some expositors have outlined Ephesians six as the, "Army of God." or "The church as an army." Some of these who have outlined it this way have called the first nine verses boot camp. Well friends if the first nine verses of chapter six are boot camp them we go straight from boot camp to the front lines of the war in verses 10 and following.

This is a well know and greatly used section of the word of God. It concerns the armor of God and we could spend many days on this section. I will devote three sessions to it.

How many of us remember playing the game of hide and seek when we were small. Who ever was "it" would hide their eyes and count to a certain number to allow the others to hide and then shout, "Ready or not here I come." My friends we as God's church are in a battle and "ready or not here he comes." The most important thing we need to do in this war is to identify the enemy and learn as much about him as we can without glorifying him. We need to know his strategy of attack and be familiar with the battlefield we war upon. Allow me to offer the following simple outline for this study.

A- Our Enemy.

B- His Battle Strategy.

C- The Battlefield.

A- Our Enemy.

If you did not want someone to know you exist or to believe you were real what would you do? Disguise yourself, say you were someone else, make your character an unrealistic fantasy?

Some has said that one of the greatest tools that Satan uses is that he convinces people he does not exist. Disney portrays him as the guy in the red flannel underwear with a pitchfork and two horns. This however is not the biblical picture of our enemy, Satan. He is not an ugly creature but in fact is a fallen angel of great beauty.

"We wrestle not against flesh and blood" 6:12 These principalities, powers, and rulers are the different rank of demonic fallen angels of Satan.. They are the General, Colonels, Captains and privates in the army of Satan. Lets look at some scripture to see these ranks of angels. Rev 12:3-4 suggest that one-third of all the angels created fell with Satan. Dan 10:13 makes it clear there are demons in charge of different nations to carry on the disruption of godly work. Mark 5:9 indicates that demons heave group leaders.

Still there is a chief enemy of mankind. I Pet 5:8 says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour." Still we ask who is he?

a- Who was he?

To answer this question from the word of God we turn to Ezek 28:12-14. "Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire."

You will notice these verses show us that in fact our enemy was a creature, "perfect in beauty." 28:12. He also had a beautiful voice for which to praise God according to 28:13. He was the, "anointed Cherub." He has been called heavens choir leader to praise God. Satan was the most beautiful and perfect creature God created. He was the most powerful being in the universe second only in power to the godhead itself.

b- What happened?

We again turn to scripture to answer this question.

Ezek 28: 15,17 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee...17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

We see here that the heart of Satan was lifted up against God because of his great beauty.

Is 14:12-14 gives us additional insight. "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."

We see five "I will's" in these verses. I have taken the liberty of underlining them for us. Lets look at only one of these with a few comments. Satan said, "I will be like the most high." This word most high is "El-Elyon" and means, "the strongest strong one" and is a name of Jehovah God. This name selection is a clear picture of Satan in the fact that he did not chose to be "El-Shaddai" which is, "The breasted one" who feeds his children. Nor did he chose to be, "Jehovah-Rohi", "the shepherd God." He chose to be the strongest strong one because he wanted the glory and the worship without the responsibility of caring for those who worshipped him.

He was lifted up by the pride of his beauty and puffed up in who he was. I remind us Prov 16:18 says, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."

B- His Battle Strategy.

2 Cor 2:11 warns us, "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."

a- I don't exist. As we have previously mentioned this is a strategy of Satan. If he could convince man that he don't exist he could have free reign. He has done a good job of this by the way.

b- He reads the bible to interpret it wrong. Matt 4:6 records when Satan was tempting Christ. Notice what Satan says, "And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone." Satan reads the bible so that he can twist its meaning. We must rightly divide the word of God.

c- To confuse, divide and conquer. If Satan can get you and I as the body of Christ to bite and nip at each others he will have won the battle for a time. The body of Christ sometimes cuts off it's own legs and arms and then we wonder why we are bleeding to death.

d- To devour. Notice Luke 22:31 "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat..." I also remind us again of I Pet 5:8. Satan wants to destroy anything that is godly and of God.

C- The Battlefield.

As we have said, we need to know the battlefield so that we can fight the warfare. Where is the battle raging today? Allow me to offer three front lines of the war.

a- Heaven. Job 1:6-7 "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it." Rev 12:10 calls Satan, "The accuser of the brethren..." It seems from these verses that Satan still today has access to the throne room of God to bring railing accusations against the saints. This is why we have an advocate with the Father, Christ Jesus. Satan accuses and Christ defends, no contest to this because Christ always wins.

b- In the mind of men. 2 Cor 4:4 "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." Satan whispers in our mind and has us doubting our salvation and our purpose. He has us doubting God's love. If he can discourage us in our mind he renders us ineffective.

Not every thing that whispers in our mind is of God. John tells us in I John 4:1 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."

c- Inside believers. Paul called the old nature we have, "the old man" If is also referred to as the "adamic nature" or the "flesh" There is a warfare that rages inside believers with the old nature and the new nature we have as God's children. Satan will take advantage of this warfare within us. Paul says in, Rom 7:23, "But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members."

Just a few things that we need to not lose sight of in our war with the enemy. One, he is a defeated foe who has lost the war. Two, "Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world." Three, our flesh is really neutral and will respond to either the old man or the new man depending on our desire.

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13- The Armor for the War......6:13-17

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If we were to survey our community most of us would be against war. We don't like the thought of it. We as Christians are in the war of our lives and saddest thing about our spiritual warfare is that some of the soldiers don't even know there is a battle going on. The natural man cries out for an easy life, for a truce with the world, the devil and the flesh. In this sense our motto must be "War, not peace." In this sense Christ came, not to send peace on earth, but a sword.

Allow me to review just a moment before we discuss the armor.

Remember the Enemy:

1- Lucifer: 6:12 "Not flesh and blood." Lifted up because of pride in his great beauty.

2- His strategy: 2 Cor 2:11 "...for we are not unaware of his schemes." His strategy is to confuse, divide and conquer as he devours us.

3- The Battlefield: Heaven, our minds, our inner being.

The Armor for the War:

To understand the armor of the war we must first realize that Paul is chained to a Roman Soldier night and day. It is therefore a natural thing for him to make an analogy of the soldiers armor to make his spiritual point.

A- The Purpose of the Armor: 6:13

So that we can stand our ground and fight is the purpose of the armor of God. However, we should flee when we are tempted to do wrong. We must also remember it is not by our strength that we fight. As pilgrims we are walking to the other land, as witnesses we talk about Christ, as contenders we run the race, but as fighters we stand. The scripture here teaches, "Having done all stand." Leaning on the almighty strength of God also seems to imply effort on our part. Notice it says, "having done all..." To do all means we leave nothing undone on our part. I Tim 5:14 gives us insight into what this might be, "give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully." We need to guard against giving our adversary a place to accuse us through neglect.

The purpose of the armor is to protect us from Satan's schemes. He does not fight open warfare but fight by underhanded guerrilla tactics. Every part of us need protection. Is the armor of the warfare sufficient? Yes, we will find it so. (NOTE: I invite you to consult the front cover of the book for a picture of Romans soldiers armor as we study it.)

B- Belt of Truth.

6:14 "loins girth with truth." This is the belt (girdle) of the soldier. The belt held the sword and other equipment in place. Truth refers probably to the truthfulness found in us as Christians. We should not be deceitful and false. Not hypocritical. I heard about a Christian brother who's testimony was a joke at the place he worked among his fellow employees because they knew he was a liar and cheat. My friend it should not be so. Our word should be our bond. When we are girth with truth we should resist lying and falsehoods.

C- Breastplate of Righteousness.

6:14 "having on the breastplate of righteousness." This speaks of the right acts that we practice as God's children. It also shows the imputed righteousness the Christ gave us by faith.

The breastplate protected the heart of the soldier. Heb 10:22 says for us to, "...draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience." When we open our hearts up to the evil of Satan we expose ourselves to his evil. Prov 4:23 says, "...keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Proverbs 23:7 states, "For as he (meaning man) thinketh in his heart, so is he."

The breastplate also wrapped his whole upper body and reminds us that God's imputed righteousness covers us completely.

D- Sandals of the Gospel.

The Roman Soldier had sandals on his feet that were tied up and around his ankles and had spikes on the bottom of them for traction in battle. The readiness of the gospel of peace may be the assurance of knowing the truth about creation, salvation and eternity. Rom 10:15 says, "beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel." The opposite could be said about those who run to shed innocent blood.

The spikes also remind us that we need to be aware lest we slip by allow distractions to side track us from the purpose of evangelism.

E- Shield of Faith.

The shield of the Roman soldier was a large item in his armor. It was from 2-3 feet wide and from 3-4 feet long. It was used to protect him from the fiery darts of the enemy. We see several things related to the shield of faith for the Christian.

a- It is through the door of faith that we enter into salvation and Christ is that door and also our protection.

b- The shield of faith allow us to see that God uses even the bad things of life for a good purpose. We need only look for the grace of God.

c- The shield of faith allows us to know in our heart that the bible is the word of God. Though we cannot explain it all we know that science nor archaeology has ever proved on word wrong. We can hide behind our shield of faith till Satan runs out of ammo and the word of God will still be standing. Matt 5:18 says, "...till heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

F- Helmet of Salvation.

6:17 "Take the helmet of salvation." The helmet protects the head and the brain of the soldier. Remember on the the places that Satan attacks is the mind. This may also refer to the knowledge of the word of God that is stored in our memory. The helmet protects us from t he intellectual surrender and rationalized doubting also.

The best way to put on the helmet of salvation is to meditate on the things of God. Phil 4:6-8 says, "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be know to God. And the peace of God, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things..."

Paul also tells us in Rom 12:2 after he told us to present our bodies a living sacrifice to, "be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."

I recall going to boot camp many years ago. The first day or two the only things we did was get our hair cut and our uniforms issued. We thought when we put on the uniform that we were soldiers. We really strutted our stuff as we would fall into formation. Boy were we ever wrong. We need to be trained to be soldiers not just dressed to look like one. An army consists of not only men and women who have armor but are trained to use it. An unarmed army is nothing but food for the the enemies artillery, material for a dreadful massacre. Let us the professing Christian see that we is armed, and that we are making full use of the armor of God.

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14- Destined To Win.......6:18-20

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When the revolutionary war was fought with the British it seems that America was, "destined to win." When WW1 and WW2 came and went and God smiled on America as if we were again, "destined to win." During the 100 hours of war with Iraq it was certainly apparent that we were, "destined to win." there is an old saying that "everybody loves a winner."

But what about the spiritual war that we are involved in? Is there hope that we will be on the winning side? Is there hope for victory? Can we say that we are, "destined to win?"

We have seen the soldier of the spiritual war is protected by the armor of God. The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the sandals of the gospel, the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation.

You will have noticed up until now we have seen the weapons that are defensive in nature. The armor is on the front of the soldier and is used to defend him from the enemy. May I say that a Christian in retreat is of no value and is defeated and is open for an attack by the enemy. There is no protection for the back in our spiritual warfare either.

So how can we have this victory? How can we experience victory in our life now?

I- Victory in Our Daily Walk.

Lets explore sever ways we can experience victory today in our daily walk.

A- Victory With the Word of God. 6:17 says the sword of the Spirit is, "The word of God." The word of God is the offensive weapon of the soldier. Heb 4:12 says the word of God is, "quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the heart."

The word of God is our weapon that we can use to attack Satan. This does not mean that we go on a witch hunt. Jude 1:9 talking about Michael the archangel when he was contending with the devil for the body of Moses , "durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." We should spend our time doing right and not hunting evil to fight. We still have the weapon of the word for the battle however.

The word is the "Power of God unto salvation." Rom 1:6 It is the power of the word of God that bring salvation to the lost not our fancy words or power of persuasion.

NOTE: Please turn to Matthew 4 for a study of use of the word of God. We know that Satan will twist and distort the word. Matt 4:6 is an example of this. We however see that Christ used the word of God to withstand Satan during this time of temptation. Notice Matthew 4:4,7,10. Christ used the word of God here on the mountain of temptation. We also must remember that Christ is the Living Word of God and He is our weapon against Satan.

B- Victory in Prayer. 6:18 Prayer on all occasions, all kinds of prayer, for all saints. Someone said, "prayer is the largest untapped resource of power available to the Christian."

However I disagree strongly with the thought of pray being a way to tap into the unending resources of God just to satisfy our lust. There are condition to us having victory in prayer. While James 4:2 says we, "have no because we ask not" 4:3 says, "ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lust." How do we know what to ask that we can have victory in prayer? John 15:7 tells us the secret to this is to, "abide in Christ." When we are walking with Christ the way we should we will ask according to His will.

We also see that we must have persistence and faith. Acts 12:1,5,12 records when Peter was in prison the church prayed and then were amazed that God heard their prayers and answered them.

C- Victory in Witness. 6:19-20 Paul asks the Ephesian church to pray that he might have boldness in the gospel. To have victory in our witness we must be bold. Paul said to pray that he would be bold. Acts 4:13 records that even though Peter and John were unlearned and ignorant men that God used them in a bold way. My friends the social pressure today is for the witness of God's people to be silent. We must pray for boldness in our witness to have victory.

D- Victory by Fleeing. Sometimes the only way to win is to run. Not running because we are weak but because we are strong. Joseph is a good example of this as he flees Potipher's wife in Gen 39:6-14. We must remember that temptation is not sin. Temptation is something that keeps coming at us trying to induce us to sin. One of the options is to flee in the face of temptation instead of trying to stand when we are not strong enough to stand and are about to fall. Joseph did as recorded in 39:12.

E- Victory by Standing Firm. Now you will say I just told us to run now I'm saying to stand firm. We know that the situation determines our response. We see the three Hebrew children is a good illustration of standing firm. They stood firm and God delivered them. Dan 3:16-18. What if God had allowed them to be killed? Would that have been victory? Yes, we must remember that this death is not the death of the saints but a doorway into eternity.

F- Victory by Submitting and Resisting. James 4:7 says, "Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." We can have the victory by first submitting to God and then resisting the devil and he will flee.

Lets look back and remember Eph 4:22-27 teaches us to be renewed daily in the Spirit. 4:24 says to put on the new man. Now we are new creatures in Christ according to II Cor 5:7. 4:25 tells us the dos and don'ts. 4:27 says don't allow Satan a foothold. Don't give place to the devil.

May I say that a lot of the battle at times is simply recognizing the problem may not be physical but spiritual.

II- The Ultimate Victory.

A- Short Time for the Enemy. Rev 12:12 says that Satan knows he has "but a short time." Satan knows his time is limited. I believe the reason we are seeing an all out attack of Satan today, howbeit very sultry done, is because he knows his time is about to be over.

B- Victory is by Overcoming Death. I Cor 15:54-57 Death has not victory over us. I Cor 15:58 tells us to, "therefore...be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." My friends we can stand firm and not back up. We are protected by the armor of God, we have the sword of the Lord to fight with, and we are assured of ultimate victory even in death. It is only what we do for Christ that will last anyway. So we should stand watch and pray for we are destined to win.

C- Victory at Christ Return. Look with me at Rev 19:11,15,21. We see that Christ return brings victory. Rev 20:6 says we, "Shall reign with him..." for a thousand years while Satan our enemy is bound. This sounds like we are destine to win to me.

D- Victory at Satans Final Defeat. Remember that everybody loves a winner. After the 1000 year reign of Christ, Satan is loosed for a short season. Rev 20:10 however record that he is at last cast into the lake of fire and brimstone for eternity. Ours is the ultimate victory when our enemy is cast into this eternal place of torments. Christ enemies will them all be under His feet. Death and Satan are defeated. (See Ps 110:1 which is quoted in Matt 22:44 and Heb 10:12-13.)

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15- Commemorations and Benediction of Paul .....6:21-24

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We come now to the end of the letter of Paul the apostle to the Ephesians. We sometimes treat these type verses as found here as excess baggage tacked on at the end of a letter for no purpose. We however, see there is a lot of meat in these last few verses. We also have the benediction of the letter which alone contains enough to preach and teach on for many days.

I- Commemoration of Tychicus 6:21-22

Who is this man named Tychicus? He is like so many other obscure, faithful soldiers of the cross scattered through the pages of scripture. He is however, one of the most frequent mentioned helpers of the Apostle Paul in his work. He appears in at least five of the New Testament books. Friends even though we are in the battle against Satan we are not alone in the fight. There are many faithful soldiers who are there to encourage us and to bring joy to our hearts and strength for the battle. Tychicus was one of these friends for Paul.

We find Tychicus was from the providence of Asia in Act 20:4. He could have been from the city of Ephesus. J.V. McGee says he was, "the pastor of the Ephesian church." 40

Letter Carrier:

Tychicus was also the one who took the letter to the Colossians according to Col 4:7. He also was the bearer of the letter to Philemon written by Paul as he accompanied Onesimus the run away slave to Philemon. In all probability he carried all three letter, Colossians, Ephesians and Philemon, on the same trip. Not only did Paul have a lot of faith in Tychicus but we can see that God did also by allowing him the charge of the original letters (called autographs) of the Holy scriptures. We can only wonder if he was aware of his valuable cargo.

The Missionary:

Tychicus had accompanied Paul on his third missionary journey. It is assumed he accompanied Paul to Jerusalem when he took the collection for the saints to the church recorded in I Cor 16:1-4. We find him in our text in Rome after the arrest of paul ministering to him. He surfaces again years later in II Tim 4:12 when he was sent to Ephesus to replace Timothy who was pastor of the local church. In Titus 3:12 we again find him as a possible replacement for Titus in Crete as Titus joined Paul in Nicopolis.

News Bearer:

Paul sent him to inform those who would be praying for Paul of his condition. He also wanted them to be comforted that Paul was safe within the will of God. Most of all we know that Tychicus was a faithful soldier of the cross who was faithful and steadfast in his commitment to Christ..

II- Benediction of Paul- 6:23-24

General Douglas MacAuthur said that old soldiers do not die, they just fade away. In this section we find the farewell of the soldier of the cross Paul. Paul's "swan song" is recorded in II Tim 4:6-8 but still notice the words that Paul used as he closes this letter. "Peace... love with faith...Grace be with you..." J.V. McGee said, "Most of the great words of the gospel are contained in it: peace, love, faith, grace." 41

"Peace" is a tradition Jewish greeting and in fact is still used today. In the Hebrew it is the word, "Shalom."

"Love with faith" is love of the believers toward one another in faith. In Eph 5:24 we find another time the word love is used in connection with the love of the believers toward Christ.

"Grace" is the foundation of the steeple of the church letter to the Ephesians. Paul, as you will recall, begins the letter with "grace be to you." Eph 1:2 and it is considered to the subject of the epistle because of Eph 2:7-8 where he says, "That in the age to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace...for by gave are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." We find that it is with grace that this letter concludes also.

I would like to conclude the letter to the Ephesians by a quote of Warren Wiersbe as he referred to the Apostle Paul. He said, "He was a prisoner of Rome, yet he was richer than the emperor. No matter what our circumstances may be, in Jesus Christ we are 'blessed with all spiritual blessings." 41

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Footnotes:

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1 Weirsbe, Warren, Be Rich, Victor Books; Wheaton Ill. 1976. p18.

2 George, David, Layman's Bible Book Commentary, Volume 21, Broadman Press, Nashville, TN. p 102.

3 Baptist Hymnal (1975 edition) Convention Press,, p.231.

4 J. Vernon McGee, Through the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Vol V. 1983 p.204

5 Phillips, J. B. The New Testament in Modern English, The Macmillian Company, New York, 1958. p.412

6 Weirsbe, Warren, The Bible Exposition Commentary, Victor Books; Wheaton Ill. 1989. p16.

7 Ibid. p 18-19.

8 The Bible Knowledge Commentary, John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck editors, Victor Books, Wheaton, Ill. p. 625.

9 The Pulpit Commentary, Vol 20. Edited by H.D. Spence and Joseph S. Excell. Wm E.Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Mich. (The Epistle to the Ephesians) p.85.

10 Funk and Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary, A-M Funk and Wagnalls, Inc. 1980. p.228.

11 Moffatt, James, A New Translation of the Bible. Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York and London. 1922,1924, 1925, 1926, 1935. New Testament p. 242.

#9; 11 (from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary) (Copyright (C) 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

12 Strong, James, Strongs Exhaustive Concordance, Compact Edition, Baker House, Grand Rapids, Mich. 1992. Greek Dictionary p. 49.

13 McGee, p. 243-244.

14 Ebid.

15 The Bible Knowledge Commentary, p 631.

16 Hendriksen, William New Testament Commentary, Baker Books, Grand Rapids Mich., 1967. Ephesians p.171.

17 Wiersbe, Be Rich, p. 84-84.

18 Dockery, David, Ephesian: One Body in Christ. Convention Press, Nashville, TN. 1996. p. 64. NOTE: This is the course book for the Adult Winter Bible Study, 1996.

19 Ibid.

20 McGee, p. 248.

21 Wuest, Kenneth J., Wuest's Word Studies, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Compay, Grand Rapids, Mich. (Ephesians and Colossians) p. 93.

22 Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry's Commentary, Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, N.J.; Vol VI.-Acts to Revelation p.701.

23 Strong's p. 70.

24 Ibid p. 60.

25 Ibid p. 46.

26 Ibid p. 12.

27 Ibid p. 10.

28 Ibid p. 66.

29 Ibid p. 29.

30 Wuest, p.108

31 Ibid.

32 Hendriksen, William, New Testament Commentary, Baker Books, Grand Rapids Mich, (Exposition of Galatians, Ephesians, Phillipisans, Colossians, and Philemon), Ephesians p.218

33 Strongs, p. 48.. (#3402)

34 Wuest, p. 120.

35 Phillips, p. 418.

36 McGee. p.. 268

37 McGee. p.. 273

38 Phillips, p. 419.

39 The Bible Friend, as quoted in Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations, Paul Lee Tan, Assurance Publishers, Rockville, Maryland. p.234

40 McGee, p.284

41 Ibid.

42 Wiersbe, Be Rich, p. 175.

 

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© 2000 Dr. Edgar Pierce