The Great Blessing from God to His People

 

Chapter 1.

(Verse by verse study.)

By Pastor Nick Bibile

Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Brief Introduction.

Apostle Paul is the author and written to the Church in Ephesus. Ephesus was a large city in Asia Minor. It was a rich city, famous for it's superstition and idolatry as the temple of Diana was here. They believed the image of her fell from heaven. They had the opened theatre containing 50,000 spectators Paul witnessed to these people who were lost. (Acts 19) As a result idolatrous heathens, were now converted to Christianity and received into covenant with God. There was a time that Paul stayed there for three years strengthening the church. Later on Apostle John lived there and he died in Ephesus, also it is believed that Luke also died there. Today it is very small village called Selcuk in western Turkey.

Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.

The author's name is Paul, Paulos means small or little. He is called to be an apostle.

2Co 10:10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.

The word apostle is a translation of the Hebrew word saliah, which means a person who acts as the fully authoritative representative of someone else.

Qualifications of an apostle is that he has seen Christ, been with Christ sent directly by Christ Jesus, he had the authority in doctrine directly by Christ.

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

The apostles were witnesses of the resurrection of our Lord and formed the foundation of the church. Their office was a first generation office and the highest rank.

There are no apostles today but we are all Disciples of Christ.

Ga 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto a holy temple in the Lord.

2Pe 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior.

The apostles were given power of working miracles and confirmation of the truth of Christ's authority and doctrine. His previous name was Saul but it was by the will of God that he received Salvation and to be an apostle and the name was changed to Paul, this all happened by the grace of God.

The letter was written to the saints in Ephesus. Who are the saints? According to Roman Catholicism since the 10th century has officially applied the standard of holiness of life to certain individuals who lived exemplary Christian lives and through a lengthy process of prayer and study have declared that the individual is in heaven. May be you heard the word canonization of saints. The word canonization means the act of ranking a dead person in the catalogue of saints. Who does this? According to Roman Catholic Church the Pope has the power to do this. The Roman Catholic Church remembers the dead saints and honors them on All Saints Day, which falls on November 1st. There are many Roman Catholics who pray for the saints to help them, the saints become mediators.

But what does the Bible say? The word of God is above tradition. The saints are not dead holy people where you can pray for help but true living Christians.

Saints are true Christians. Our English word saint comes from Latin sanctus, which means sacred. The word sacred is something or someone who is sanctified. The Greek word is hagios, which means holy. The Hebrew word for holy is quadash, which is derived from the root qad, which means to cut or to separate.

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

John Calvin said, No man, therefore, is a believer who is not also a saint; and, on the other hand, no man is a saint who is not a believer. Saints are true Christians who are separated from the worldly unbelievers. Paul is writing this letter not to dead people who are believed to be in heaven but to Christians who are alive in Christ, they are called saints who are redeemed by the blood of Christ. The difference is that the true saints are going to be faithful to Christ. Saints, which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.

If you are a Christian you are a saint, a holy person, Holy Spirit lives in you and you are separated to worship and serve God. If you are not a saint, then you are an un-holy person; means wicked, living in sin. You will be separated from the living God and you belong not to God but to the devil. Not to the light but to the pleasures of darkness. You may receive much comfort from this world but the Christian comfort is different.

The Heidelberg Catechism Question 1: What is your only comfort in life and in death?

Answer 1:That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ, who with His precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, that all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live unto Him.

All Christians must be saints; and if you are not a saint on earth, you will never be saint in glory.

Eph 1:2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

The apostolically benediction, wishing good and giving a blessing.

By grace we are to understand the free and undeserved love and favor of God, then we have peace. These blessings come from God as Father. Before we were enemies of God. Our Father was Satan.

Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Do you notice only in Christianity God is called the Father? Buddha is not called the Father, Allah is not called the Father and Krishna is not called the Father. Have you ever wondered why? The reason is their gods are impersonal gods. But the living God of Christianity is a personal God. There is a divine human relationship.

It was the Lord Jesus Christ who revealed us to the Father.

Joh 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Mr 14:36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

Jesus used the word Abba. When a Hebrew child is born and when he is able to speak one of the first words that come out of the mouth is abba means papa. Only the Christians can call Abba, as it is the affectionate and respectful.

God is our Father, who takes care of his children. As a Father he provides us, protect us, guides us and preserve us. The Roman Catholic Church calls Pope the Father, which is an insult to God.

Mt 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

Eph 1:2 and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

This divine human relationship comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the door to the Father. Because he is our mediator, he is our high priest, he is our prophet. In Jesus name we pray, in Jesus name we teach, In Jesus name we witness, In Jesus name we fellowship, In Jesus name we live and die. When the Father looks at Jesus he sees us as saints washed in the blood of Christ. In the same way we come to the Father through the sacrifice of Jesus the spotless Lamb of God now seated in heaven at the right hand of God.

All the blessings of grace and peace are communicated to us through Christ Jesus.

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

The word bless is here used in more than one sense, as referring to God, and as referring to believers. We are said to bless God when we offer praise to him for his goodness. Paul therefore blesses God, because he has blessed us.

and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Here we see there is a relation between Gods fatherhood and Christs Sonship. As Mediator, the Father was his God; as God, and the second person in the blessed Trinity Here we see Christ in his human nature as God appointed him to be the Mediator and made a covenant with him in heaven.

Ps 89:3 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,

4 Thy seed will I establish forever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.

5 And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.

(This is not referring to David but to Christ, son of David as Christ seed will be established forever and we will praise God for salvation)

Ps 89:20 I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him.

Ps 89:26 He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

27 Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.

28 My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him.

29 His seed also will I make to endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven.

Although Christ is God he kept the covenant which was made in heaven, he humbled himself and became obedient to the Father. Christ was anointed with the Holy Spirit above measure, and supported it under all his trials and sufferings, and Christ, as man, prayed to him as his God, believed, hoped, and trusted in him as such, and loved him as in such a relation to him, and cheerfully obeyed his commands. The first Adam could not obey the commandments and death came through him but Christ as a man kept all the commandments.

Mt 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

He satisfied the justice of God.

We cannot come to him in any other way, but through him; and because it is through him that all their blessings come to us, and therefore all their praises must go through Christ.

who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

For us to understand the word blessing let us turn to Numbers 6:23

Nu 6:23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,

24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:

25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.

The word blessing is to be in the presence of God, to have his face shine upon us. The opposite of blessing is the word curse. The curse is to be away from the presence of God.

Mt 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.

with all spiritual blessings.

When the word of God says with all spiritual blessings, there is a contrast to spiritual blessings and all spiritual blessings. The contrast is the blessing that came in the Old Testament through Moses and of Christ. The law came from Moses and it had its spiritual blessings but perfection is found in Christ, he gives a perfect revelation of the Kingdom of God, which leads us directly to heaven.

Earthly blessings are temporary. Heavenly blessings are eternal. When Christ was with the disciples they were blessed with all the spiritual blessings that came from him. It is word that blessed them. But many wanted physical blessings so they too followed Christ.

Joh 6:2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

Joh 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

"Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst; he promises
honor, and pays with disgrace; he promises pleasure, and
pays with pain; he promises profit, and pays with loss; he
promises life, and pays with death. But God pays as he
promises; all his payments are made in pure gold."
THOMAS BROOKS

For the Christian the word of God is so precious, more precious than all the money and the wealth of the world, there is no comparison. Because in His word we blessed spiritually daily. Money and education cannot change our nature. It can make a person rich on earth but death is at the corner. After death they have to face God. Spiritual blessing is that a sinner, God hater, an enemy of God can be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit to a saint, who will love, adore and worship God. Christ saves His people, not IN their sins, but FROM their sins. Oh! How amazing is this?

in heavenly places in Christ.

Also can be understood as heavenly benefits, which comes from heaven through Christ to us. Not talking that we get this spiritual blessings from the world, as it cannot come from a fallen world. So its distinguished from the world.

Christ is in heaven so we need to think of heaven as heavenly blessings come from heaven.

Col 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

In this world we live there are temptations from every direction to conform us to this world. We need the word of God more than ever and stay focused on the Lord more than ever, discipline our minds so we will not be caught up with the dazzled glare of wealth, power, and honors. Our soul, can be ensnared by the pleasures of the flesh, seeks its happiness on the earth. But we need to rise above them through the meditation and prayer of the word of God. Do not meditate on this earthly life but meditate on the future life, heavenly life which should be our priority.

A glorious termination!
(From Winslow's, "The Aged Christian")

Never forget that the Christian pilgrimage
has a glorious termination. We must keep
this fully in view.

We seek a city that is to come.  We are not
journeying to any uncertain, imaginary place.

We are going to our heavenly mansion!

We are traveling to the celestial city!

O solemn thought!

We are wending cur way to our glorious
inheritance, and in a little while, it will
burst upon us in its glory; blessed,
indescribable, inconceivable glory; and
we shall exchange an earthly pilgrimage,
for the heavenly and eternal rest that
awaits the people of God.

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