The Book of Ephesians.
(Verse by verse study.)
By Pastor Nick Bibile
Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
†13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,
Previously we studied the spiritual blessings poured to us by God. What are these spiritual blessings? God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. (v4) We were predestined and adopted in him. But we received salvation in this life as we were purchased by the blood of Christ. God showed us the mystery of his will. What was it? A wretched miserable poor sinners like us being saved. How the gentiles who did not know God received salvation, this was the mystery revealed. We saw the inheritance we have obtained in Christ Jesus. Then we saw all this was done for us not because we deserved but because of Godís grace poured out to unworthy sinners like us. We saw last week all these things did not happen by chance or by accident but God planned all through eternity as it is written, the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will. We saw, as God is full of wisdom with intelligence all is planned and all was decreed by God.
Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Letís see if you are thinking Christian. I told you we do not just read the Bible but study the word of God. Study means to examine, dig deep and understand what it says.
Now let me test you by asking in verse 12 apostle says we should be to the praise of his glory who first trusted in Christ.
Who are Ďweí here? You say us. Then it should be Ďweí thatís us who first trusted in Christ right? Then let me ask the following question. Then why did apostle say in verse 13 in whom you also trusted?
V-12 who first trusted in Christ.
13 In whom ye also trusted.
See the above Apostle. Is the apostle speaking to the same person or two different people?† Verse 12 who first trusted in Christ were the Jews and verse 13 in whom you also trusted were the gentiles. Remember the mystery of his will we studied last week how the gospel was manifested to the gentiles.
Col 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
†Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
In verse 13, he makes the Ephesians (or rather all the Gentiles) equal to the Jews. If you are in Christ you are a true Israelite.
Israel was merely the nation that was chosen to bring forth the promised Messiah. It was this "Seed of Abraham" in whom all the nations of the earth (not only the Jews) would be blessed.
Ro 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
†29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Paul is speaking that we (himself and the Jews) give praise to God who first trusted in Christ. The gospel was first preached to the Jews. The apostles were Jews. They were the first to embrace the gospel. The we also heard the gospel and we saved and we too can praise God.
God is the author of salvation the beginner of all things and the end goes to the glory of God. The unbelievers cannot praise God. Why? They cannot see the grace and the goodness of God. Only when we realize a wretched wicked sinners like us who were heading directly to the lake of fire but God in his mercy saved us by his grace we give thanks to God. Then we study more on Godís word we see that we were elected by God, saved by God alone, redeemed, forgiven justified and pardoned, then adopted us to him and we can call the Father God by abba, oh! On account of all these things which he has done we give him praise and the glory. We keep thanking God for the rest of our lives.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed.
Now we know verse 13 is speaking to Ephesians church to the gentile believers.
Take a look closely as it says the word of truth the gospel of your salvation.† Gospel is not a truth but the truth. The gospel comes from God of truth, who cannot lie that is why it is the word of truth. The gospel has the power to save the most ungodly wicked person to a holy person a saint.† Only the gospel can save the nature of man. Education cannot do, morality cannot do, religions cannot do, wealth cannot do, good family background cannot do only the gospel can change a drug addicts, thieves, prostitutes, liars, murderers even religious people.
Ro 1:16 ~ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek
†It is sad that many who are called Christians have a very shallow understanding on the gospel. The gospel is being watered down, the gospel is being polluted, there is a worldly gospel being preached today, a gospel that would please the flesh, a gospel where people like to hear, a gospel that is being catered for the needs of people. There is the gospel of entertainment where the churches are packed and they mixed the truth with the opinions of men where people like to hear, they have all kinds of hi tech entertainment and water down the word of God instead of the truth and conviction of sin. I am going to emphasize the gospel today, as it is absolutely important.
There are big churches packed with people and are receiving a worldly gospel; the result is their lifestyle. They have a form of godliness but there is no true holiness and sanctification in them.
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
2Ti 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
The problem with the modern church today is that the gospel is presented to the sinner as a means to solve their immediate problems and to meet their practical needs. As a result there is no true repentance and holy living before the Lord. The God of the Bible is the almighty all-powerful God whom we need to worship in reverence. Today there is no fear of God and no respect for God. No wonder today's children do not have any respect for the parents, as they do not have a concept of God.
The church today is like the church of Laodicea.
Re 3:14† And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; these things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
†15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
†16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
†17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
They were rich, wealthy and had everything, seem to be from todayís standard they are blessed physically.† They had their programs going on, they had their clubs, gymnasiums, coffee shops and fellowships even showing mercy to the poor. Do you know even other religions help the needy? Yes, the church of Laodicea had a religion, they believed in Christ too. However they had a worldly polluted gospel. Though they are physically rich with big buildings and a lot of people they were spiritually poor. Without the true gospel people are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, thinking they know yet they donít and are naked.† How can you cover your nakedness? You need the righteousness of God.
Isa 61:10† I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
Do you know the heart of the gospel has to do with the righteousness of God, imputed to the believing sinner? We are going to see that later.
Paul in Ephesians is talking you heard the word of truth the gospel of our salvation. It is sad many who are in churches today are not hearing the word of truth and they have no idea of the gospel of salvation. Many people in these churches, they love their churches more than the truth of God. They are proud of their churches. They exalt their churches above the word of God. You need only to look at their websites. What do you find? You will see all their programs exalting how great their church is but not the word of God! Where are teachings on the word of God? Where is the gospel? Where are the articles? Where is the power and the greatness of the word of God? There are the apologetics defending the word of God against cults? They donít have it; instead they exalt their programs.
Remember in the Old Testament, the Jews trusted in the temple of God more than the truth of the word.
Jer 7:4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these.
Jer 7:8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.
†9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not.
Yes, they too trusted in their temples just like how people today trust in their churches but they were worldly their lifestyle is a proof of their walk, they are not holy before God they are worldly.
Now what is the gospel? The gospel is called the good news. Good news from what? Good news from the bad news. There is no good news without the bad news. What is the bad news? Bad news is that you are a sinner.
Ro 3:9 What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
†10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
†11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
†12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
All are born sinners and apart from that all have violated the commandments of God, the law of God.
The law is God's perfection. The law is the standard that all are going to be measured by. It is the perfection and the glory of God. How have we measured up to the glory of the law? Romans 3:23 say, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory God." The law is a double-edged sword that strips the sinner and shows him his sinfulness.
Let me tell you something very important. The law and the gospel go together. You cannot separate one from another. One side of the coin is the law and the other is the gospel. What does the law that is the moral law of God require? It requires righteousness. What does the law do? It shows you are a sinner.
1Jo 3:4† Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Ps 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul.
Many think that they are righteous before God and many will not admit they are sinners and violators of Godís law.
Ro 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
One day a man came to Jesus and said the following. And, behold, one came and said unto him, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" (Mt 19:16)
If this man came today and asked the same question from an average Christian what will the Christian say? Of course the modern day average Christian will say, "You want eternal life, that is very easy, just say the sinners prayer and you will be saved." But Jesus went to the law, and wanted to show his if he had kept all of the law. He saith unto him, "Which?" Jesus said, "Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." The young man saith unto him, "All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?" Jesus said unto him, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. (Mt 19:18-22)
Now what is the sin of the young man? He had violated the first commandment, "You shall have no other gods before me." The young man's god was his treasure. He thought he was a pretty good person, and then the law came and stripped him and showed his sinfulness. Remember Jesus exposed the sexual immorality and the adultery to the Samaritan woman at the well. †What does the law do? It strips the sinner and shows his sins. We become conscious of sin by the Law. In reality we have sinned against God in thought, by our speech, and by actions. Jesus exposed the law and the inability of man to keep the law when he said, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not commit adultery, But I say to you whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Mat.5: 27) Man sees the result of sin but God sees the cause for sin. The Law condemned us and showed us to be guilty before the Lord.†
Ro 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.
God is going to punish all sinners who have violated his moral law; this is called the wrath of God.
When we understand how seriously we have hurt God and we feel terrified of God's justice. How can he pardon my sins? Because my sins cry out for punishment. How can I escape his righteous wrath? God will punish the sinner. The door to heaven is shut, and waiting for the dreadful day of the judgment of God. A day will come when God will judge all the secret thoughts and actions of men. The Day of Judgment is coming. "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment..." (Heb. 9:27)
If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)
Now listen my friends, God is infinitely righteous and for you to be with God in heaven you need the same infinite righteousness. This righteousness is called the perfection of God. Sinners cannot live with an infinitely holy God. His eyes are too holy to look at evil.
Ps 5:4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
Hab 1:13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.
So how can we receive this infinite righteousness, which is not manís righteousness but Godís righteousness, his perfect ness?† I am going to show you why the gospel is called the good news.
Ro 1:16† For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
†17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.
This righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel! Wow! In the gospel there is the righteousness of God! Now we can go to heaven be with the righteous holy God because of the righteousness that is revealed in the gospel. This is the power of the gospel unto salvation.
Now to make it clearer, the gospel is centered on whom? The Lord Jesus. Without him there is no gospel.
1Co 15:1† Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
†2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
†3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
†4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.
So this righteousness of God that is revealed in the gospel is not our righteousness but as Martin Luther the reformer said it is an alien righteousness, that is a righteousness apart from us, which is the righteousness of Christ Jesus our Lord, and Savior.
Ro 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
All of the righteousness is found in Christ Jesus.
Jer 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Jesus was born without the inherited sin so he was holy by nature, he was righteous by nature. Added to that he fulfilled all the requirements of the law, which we have broken.
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 became righteous before the Father by fulfilling the law; he became righteous before the Father by his active and passive obedience.†
At the cross all the sins of the believing sinners were charged to Christ Jesus who had no sin. He became the sinner. Then the righteousness of Jesus was charged to the believing sinner so we can become righteous.
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Let me ask you a question, how were the Old Testament people get saved?
Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
They looked by faith to the Savior who was going to come and they too were saved by the same gospel, knowing they were sinners but looking forward to the Messiah by faith, the gospel of righteousness. In the same way we are saved by looking back to the cross, receiving the righteousness of the Messiah.
Ro 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
The word justify or justification means, acceptance of a sinner as righteous through the merits of Christ.† Right legal standing before God.
Martin Luther said, "Justification is the article where the church stand or fallsĒ The 16th century theologian Wilhelmus `a Brakel said, "Justification is the soul of Christianity and the fountainhead of all true comfort and sanctification. He who errs in this doctrine errs to his eternal destruction." Reformers saw that sola fide is vital and essential to the gospel. The modern evangelical church embrace the justification by faith alone, but they have departed from the true meaning, as it is not taught from the pulpit, as a result the common laymen have no idea of the glorious meaning of sola fide.
Once you understand the truth of the gospel, the heart of the gospel the righteousness of it, the result would be your sanctification.
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
We saw the significance of Godís righteousness and how it is found in the gospel, without it we are all lost. Once we receive the righteousness of Christ by the hearing the gospel by a preacher explaining it. Seeing the passion of Christ movie will not explain the righteousness of God that is required.
Ro 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
†14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
Once we understand and receive this wonderful righteousness of Christ that was in the gospel, then the true Christians will practice this righteousness and they will grow in their sanctification. We will know the hypocrites who call themselves Christians and the genuine true Christians by practicing righteousness.
1Jo 2:29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
1Jo 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
†8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
†9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
†10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
This is why many cannot see sin as the gospel sees it. Many are saying they are Christians but living under the darkness of ignorance and sin. They think they are in the right church with the right doctrine but not. The rich young ruler thought he was right as he had the commandments of God. But he would not take up his cross and follow him because the love of riches was in his heart.
People are deceived by their corruptions, as they have no sense of holiness required by God. Pride, ambition, covetousness, and love of the world, unseemliness, greediness, boasting and idleness are sins of indulgences and indulgence of one sin opens the door to other further sins.
But meekness, gentleness, self denial, mourning for sin, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, mercy, compassion, purity of the heart, honesty, forgive one another of injuries done, zeal for God, the fear of God and a contempt for the world are truly precious jewels of the heart which God is pleased.
The world thinks these are silly, even the worldly church makes fun of the holiness of God, as they do not realize the gospel holiness.
John Owen the great puritan said, ďan ignorance of Christís righteousness is the reason why men go about trying to establish their own righteousness, so ignorance of how to live continually by the grace and strength of Christ is the reason why many turn to a lower standard of holiness, which is no holiness at all.Ē
Once you see the glory in the gospel the hypocritical veil is torn apart and the grace of true repentance will come.† True repentance is the doorway to holiness and it keeps you in holiness. The true gospel holiness purifies the inward man and also leads to those good works, which God prepared before hand that we should walk in them.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
2Co 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.