1 Ephesians 1F Tday we finally finish Paul s 270 wrd sentence in Ephesians 1 Frm vs.3-14 Paul has been explaining the ways in which the believer is spiritually blessed as a result f Gd s grace This sectin is merely Paul s intrductin t the tpic f grace Yet he purs it n in this passage, running frm pint t pint as if carried away by his amazement f all Gd is ding fr us We ve been studying this passage accrding t the utline Paul prvides Paul begins by explaining the rle f the Father in bestwing grace upn the believer Then Paul mves t the rle f the Secnd Persn f the Gdhead, Jesus Christ And then finally, Paul ends explaining the rle f the Hly Spirit in bringing us Gd s grace S far, we ve studied the grace fund in the Father and the grace given us thrugh the Sn S tday we mve t wrk f the third Persn, the Spirit f Gd, Wh plays a distinct rle in bringing us Gd s unmerited favr Last week I tuched n the Spirit s wrk as I explained the wrk f Christ summing up all things I said Christ sums up (r brings tgether) the wrk f Gd amng the Jewish peple with His wrk within the Gentile Church And the Spirit f Gd plays a part in that recnciliatin Let s g back int this passage, beginning in v.13, which starts Paul s explanatin f the Spirit s wrk Eph. 1:13 In Him, yu als, after listening t the message f truth, the gspel f yur salvatin having als believed, yu were sealed in Him with the Hly Spirit f prmise, Eph. 1:14 wh is given as a pledge f ur inheritance, with a view t the redemptin f Gd s wn pssessin, t the praise f His glry Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
2 Ephesians 1F 2 f 13 In v.13 Paul describes a prcess f srts He is explaining hw by Gd s grace we mved ut f unbelief and int the family f Gd As I lk at my English Bible, I see three steps in the prcess preceding in a certain rder The final step in this prcess is the sealing f the Hly Spirit, which is Paul s main emphasis in this verse But as we read v.13, we may find ur English translatin f the riginal Greek is misrepresenting what Paul is saying I say that because the list f steps in v.13 is nt sequential but rather simultaneus These steps d nt happen ne at a time They happen exactly at the same time Ntice hw this verse begins: with the phrase In Him Remember, we learned what this phrase meant in an earlier week We said the phrase In Him means smene wh is in Christ, that is smene wh is already saved S every step in v.13 refers t smene wh is in Christ Keeping that in mind, we then understand that the three steps described in v. 13 are cllectively ne mment happening instantaneusly We simply cannt separate them, spiritually speaking While we experience in a linear fashin (i.e., ne event fllwed by anther) Scripture says all three f the steps in v.13 happened t us because we were in Christ S the prcess f salvatin is nt ne but three steps all happening tgether in the same mment t place us in Christ The first step is after listening t the message f the truth The wrd after desn t appear in the riginal Greek language 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
3 Ephesians 1F 3 f 13 And the Greek wrd fr listen is aku, which means t heed, t give attentin t And the wrd message is the Greek wrd lgs, which means wrd Ntice Paul clarifies what wrd he s talking abut He says this wrd f truth is the Gspel f ur salvatin S clearly, Paul is referring t the testimny that Jesus is ur Messiah The Gspel message is a tw-part truth First, it declares that Jesus died n a crss as a payment fr ur sin t save us frm Gd s wrath Secndly, it testifies that He rse frm the dead t prve He is Gd and He has the pwer t grant us eternal life That in a nutshell is the Gspel message that brings salvatin S this phrase wuld be better translated having heeded the wrd f truth Our transfrmatin frm death t life, frm unsaved t saved, requires we heed the the Gspel message fund in the wrd f Christ The Gspel message cmmands all peple t repent f the sin f unbelief and turn t Christ in faith Many peple hear this message, in the sense that they encunter it But nt all give their attentin t it, t heed it We might ask urselves, hw many times did yu hear the Gspel befre yu seriusly gave attentin t it? Irnically, yu prbably have n idea hw ften yu heard it, because yu weren t paying attentin Yu weren t heeding it, s yu were cmpletely uninterested in what the wrd was saying I can remember the day I first gave my attentin t the Gspel message as I was sitting in a Bible-teaching church in my late 20s 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
4 Ephesians 1F 4 f 13 I had spent hundreds if nt thusands f hurs in churches f ne kind f anther ver the earlier years f my life Had I ever been expsed t the Gspel message during that time? I dn t remember hearing it, but perhaps I heard it yet simply wasn t heeding it I m sure yu have been n the ther side f this situatin as a Christian witnessing t an unbeliever, perhaps in yur family r wrkplace r schl Yu patiently explain the Gspel r perhaps just make mentin f Christ hping t see a respnse And it s as if the persn is asleep r suddenly is deaf I remember times I ve begun t explain the Gspel when almst immediately smething interrupts the mment The persn gets a phne call r anther persn jins ur cnversatin and changes the tpic When that happens, the persn has failed t heed the message This reminds us f Jesus teaching in Luke 8 in the parable f the seeds Luke 8:11 Nw the parable is this: the seed is the wrd f Gd. Luke 8:12 Thse beside the rad are thse wh have heard; then the devil cmes and takes away the wrd frm their heart, s that they will nt believe and be saved. Jesus says that the enemy is wrking behind the scenes at all times t prevent the unbeliever frm heeding the wrd Ntice Jesus says they have heard the wrd merely in the sense that the sund f the wrds hit their ears Or the light frm a page f text went int their eyeballs Physically, the message was delivered but the enemy prevented thse wrds frm making an impact S the persn culd nt heed it But fr the persn wh is in Christ, the Gspel message will always be heeded 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
5 Ephesians 1F 5 f 13 The Lrd was already wrking in the persn s heart t prepare them t heed the truth He remves thse barriers that earlier prevented them frm heeding the message Fr the persn wh is in Christ the enemy cannt steal away the see Fr the ne wh is in Christ the cnversatin will nt be interrupted, the phne will nt ring, the heart will nt be hard Fr that persn, the Lrd is already wrking t prepare eyes and ears and hearts t heed the wrd f the truth Fr such a persn, step 2 f v.13 will als happen Paul says having als believed The wrd fr believe in Greek can als be translated trusted S Paul says we having als trusted in this message If we read the first part f this verse tgether with the secnd part, it sunds like this: Yu, having heeded the wrd f truth...and having als believed in that wrd... Once again, Paul isn t describing a series f successive steps He s describing all the things that happened in a single mment fr the ne wh is in Christ Fr believers, the mment we truly heeded r heard the Gspel was the same mment we trusted what we heard T help yu understand what Paul is saying, imagine a 5-year ld child, Tmmy, playing at the park playgrund He s surrunded by ther children als playing in the park Kids are riding the carusel, swinging frm the mnkey bars, playing in the sand, etc. And arund the edge f the playgrund sit all the mthers and fathers diligently watching ver their children 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
6 Ephesians 1F 6 f 13 Peridically, a parent yells ut a child s name, getting their attentin t beckn them hme r crrect their behavir Tmmy s ears hear thse names being called, but the call never registers in his mind He never lks up nr stps playing He never heeds it It s as if he never heard it at all thugh he did hear it S it is fr the unbeliever when the call f Gspel finds its way t the unbeliever s ears Their ears hear, but they d nt heed It s as if they never heard it at all The vice speaking can be very persuasive, even insistent But like Tmmy, the vice isn t familiar and s it makes n impressin Then suddenly Tmmy s father calls ut his name His father s vice isn t luder than the ther parents, nr des he use fancy wrds He simply says Tmmy, let s g But this time when the sund waves hit Tmmy s ears, he heeds the vice And mre than heeding it, he trusts what it says The tw mments are inseparable fr Tmmy And s it is fr the ne wh is in Christ When the Gspel cmes calling, the persn hears, heeds it and trusts in it all in the same mment The Lrd prepares the heart t ensure that when His wrd cmes it finds a receptive audience Just as Jesus said, His sheep knw His vice and fllw 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
7 Ephesians 1F 7 f 13 Finally, Paul says the ne wh is in Christ will be sealed by the Hly Spirit f prmise Nw we ve cme t the first mentin f the Hly Spirit, yet He s been the One in view thrughut this verse The Spirit is the One bringing the wrd f Gd t the ears and hearts f thse in Christ He is the One giving us the ability t heed and trust in what we hear He is the Servant wrking in the wrld t find a Bride fr the Sn and the wrd f Gd is His swrd Cnsider what Paul says in 1Crinthians 1Cr. 2:6 Yet we d speak wisdm amng thse wh are mature; a wisdm, hwever, nt f this age nr f the rulers f this age, wh are passing away; 1Cr. 2:7 but we speak Gd s wisdm in a mystery, the hidden wisdm which Gd predestined befre the ages t ur glry; 1Cr. 2:8 the wisdm which nne f the rulers f this age has understd; fr if they had understd it they wuld nt have crucified the Lrd f glry; 1Cr. 2:12 Nw we have received, nt the spirit f the wrld, but the Spirit wh is frm Gd, s that we may knw the things freely given t us by Gd, 1Cr. 2:13 which things we als speak, nt in wrds taught by human wisdm, but in thse taught by the Spirit, cmbining spiritual thughts with spiritual wrds. 1Cr. 2:14 But a natural man des nt accept the things f the Spirit f Gd, fr they are flishness t him; and he cannt understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 1Cr. 2:15 But he wh is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by n ne. 1Cr. 2:16 Fr wh has knwn the mind f the Lrd, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind f Christ. Paul explains that the Gspel Paul shared is a mystery that the wrld didn t embrace in its natural state Why desn t the whle wrld embrace the message f grace and salvatin? Because the message is a spiritual mystery which has been prepared fr the glry f His chsen children 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
8 Ephesians 1F 8 f 13 We were predestined t receive it Which is why we were given the Spirit f Gd s that we might understand the message as it came t us Paul says the Spirit alne understands the thughts f Gd S Paul says we received the indwelling f the Spirit f Gd s that we can understand spiritual truths The Spirit in us wrks like a supernatural translatr revealing the truths f the Gspel message s we can receive it It s nt that the Gspel message is s cmplicated Paul says it s flishness t the unsaved wrld They can understand the wrds, in the same way that Tmmy culd understand what the ther parents were saying But he didn t heed thse wrds nr trust in them because they were nt familiar t him That s why Paul says that withut the Spirit f Gd, a natural man (i.e., an unbeliever) cannt understand nr accept the things f Gd S the Gd gives us His Spirit s that when He speaks t us with His message f salvatin, we will find it familiar and cmpelling Befre that mment, the message was a mystery which we ignred even when we heard it Nw we heed it, believe it All because the Spirit in us cnfirms the truth f what we re hearing, leading us t agree with it Therefre, all the steps listed in Eph 1:13 must happen in ne and the same mment, all dne the wrking f the Spirit in us Because the Father chse us, the Spirit came t dwell with us t give us understanding f the message 2Th. 2:13 But we shuld always give thanks t Gd fr yu, brethren belved by the Lrd, because Gd has chsen yu frm the beginning fr salvatin thrugh sanctificatin by the Spirit and faith in the truth Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
9 Ephesians 1F 9 f 13 The Spirit delivered the wrd f salvatin t ur ears and gave ur hearts the ability t heed it Rm. 10:17 S faith cmes frm hearing, and hearing by the wrd f Christ. And the Spirit lead us t cnfess ur belief in what we heard Gal. 4:6 Because yu are sns, Gd has sent frth the Spirit f His Sn int ur hearts, crying, Abba! Father! 1Cr. 12:3 Therefre I make knwn t yu that n ne speaking by the Spirit f Gd says, Jesus is accursed ; and n ne can say, Jesus is Lrd, except by the Hly Spirit. S the Spirit s rle in the grace f Gd is nt insignificant When we think f Gd s grace tward us, may usually think f the Father and the Sn first But the Spirit is the One wh brught these saving truths t ur hearts We culd cmpare the Father t a factry making grace available t us And the Sn is like ur credit card, purchasing that grace fr us Then the Spirit is like the UPS man delivering that grace t ur hearts Yu ll never lk at yur UPS man the same way again What s mre, Paul says we were sealed by the Spirit f prmise The term sealed refers t the way legal cntracts r agreements were secured shut by wax seals Sealing prtected the dcuments frm alteratin It als signified that the dcument wuld be enfrced by the magistrate And what is Gd s agreement with us, His prmise t us in Christ? That as Christ lived again, s shall we That death will nt be the end f us, that He will raise us int a new bdy never t die again 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
10 Ephesians 1F 10 f 13 Hw can yu be sure yu will be raised? Hw can yu be sure that the Lrd will keep His prmise? Because He has placed His Spirit in yu and me Paul says If we have been sealed by the Spirit, it means Gd s prmise t us is unalterable and will be carried ut by Gd s pwer We culd say that the Spirit f prmise has sealed the deal Mst imprtantly, this assurance cmes frm Gd, wh never changes His mind and cannt lie, scripture says This is the surest prmise that ever exist Gd never ges back n His wrd, and this is true n matter what may happen t us r even what we may d r say As Paul says 2Tim. 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, fr He cannt deny Himself. Gd cannt deny Himself in the sense that He cannt turn His back n His wn Spirit President Kennedy nce tld a stry abut an Irishman n a jurney thrugh the cuntryside when at he came upn a high wall blcking his way The wall seemed t high t climb and the man thught f turning back But instead, the man tk ff his cap and tssed it ver the wall And he thught t himself, nw that my cap is n the ther side, I have n chice but t find a way t fllw after it In a sense, that s hw I think f the Spirit as a pledge frm the Lrd The Lrd has thrwn His cap ver the wall, s t speak He has cmmitted His wn Spirit t ging the distance with us We may have bad days, days that call us even t questin whether the Lrd still lves us r even if we still lve Him But there is n turning back, nt fr Him and nt fr us 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
11 Ephesians 1F 11 f 13 But the grace f the Spirit ges even further, as Paul explains in v.14 The Spirit is a pledge tward ur inheritance he says We ve already lked at ur an inheritance in an earlier lessn We learned then that ur inheritance in the Kingdm will be a prtin f Christ s inheritance which He grants t each f Gd s children Our inheritance is a glrius thing awaiting each f us simply because we are fellw heirs And the Spirit living in us is Gd s pledge t us tward that future inheritance The wrd pledge culd be translated payment, as in a dwn payment The Lrd wants us lking frward t ur inheritance with anticipatin He desn t want us distracted seeking the wealth that perishes T give us a taste f hw gd things will be in the Kingdm, the Lrd gives us a dwnpayment n that cming inheritance Therefre, the Spirit f Gd cme int ur life t bring us t faith, and then the Spirit remains even after as a guarantee tward ur inheritance Nw fr sme f us, the Spirit f Gd living in us may nt seem like a dwnpayment n heavenly riches Speaking as a guy, If yu can t drive it, eat it, sht it r date it, what gd is it? But is that s hw yu see the gift the Hly Spirit, then yu haven t scratched the surface f what Gd has given yu And maybe that s why yu re nt very excited abut what Gd has in the stre fr yu in the Kingdm The gift f Spirit wrking in us is nthing shrt f miraculus He causes us t think, act and live in cmpletely new and better ways 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
12 Ephesians 1F 12 f 13 He equips us t serve thers with strength and insight beynd anything we culd d n ur wn He gives us the pwer t pray with anther, and see Gd respnd T share wrds f wisdm with smene hurting, and see them healed T speak the truth f the Gspel and watch a new life enter int eternal life Paul says that these little miracles the Spirit des in us frm day-t-day are merely a dwnpayment f what Gd has in stre fr us in the Kingdm Cnsider what Paul says in 1Crinthians 1Cr. 2:9 but just as it is written, Things which eye has nt seen and ear has nt heard, And which have nt entered the heart f man, All that Gd has prepared fr thse wh lve Him. If Gd s wn Spirit living in us is just the beginning f what we will knw in the Kingdm, can yu imagine what mre is cming? Actually, Paul says in 1Cr 2 that n yu can t imagine Friends, that s grace The life Gd has planned fr us in the Kingdm is s beynd ur experience here, that we literally can t imagine it S that even the marvels dne by the Spirit can t fully prepare us fr what marvels await us in the Kingdm Gd created humanity and placed Adam and Wman in a perfect Garden But then Adam repudiated the Lrd s gd wrk He refused t trust in Gd s wrd and he plunged Gd s perfect Creatin int ruin Gd culd have left it there...leaving humanity in its sins and judging us all rightly fr that sin 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
13 Ephesians 1F 13 f 13 But by grace He elected t save us and bring us int a new life with Him By grace He sent His Sn Wh lived life withut sin yet willingly tk the penalty fr ur sin And yet His grace just keeps n ging He recnciles all things, giving us a new bdy, a new Creatin and a new wrld smeday Meanwhile, in His grace He gives us His wrd s we can knw Him and fllw Him ways By His grace He has pledged us future riches in a prmised Kingdm And all these things He delivers t us by His Spirit Wh stays with us until all these things have been cmpleted When yu hear f Gd s grace, I hpe yu ll think back t Ephesians 1 remembering all the ways the Lrd has blessed us with His grace 2016 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.