Ephesians 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. 1:2 Grace be to you and peace from God, our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 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. 1:4 According as He hath chosen [decided from the very beginning to call some] us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.
God had determined a plan before the world began, that He would call out a certain number as his first fruits.
That the called out of God would be perfected in this world through sincere repentance, the application of the sacrifice of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit so that they would become perfect and blameless as God the Father and Christ are holy and blameless; through a lifetime of faithfully internalizing the very nature of God through a diligent learning, overcoming and keeping of the whole Word of God!
When we have sincerely repented and after our baptismal commitment to sin no more, the application of the sacrifice of Christ the Lamb of God, justifies us from our PAST sins and we can be given the gift of the Holy Spirit, which reconciles us to God the Father, bringing us into a Father son relationship with Him.
1:5 Having predestined us unto the adoption of children [by God the Father through the atonement of Jesus Christ] by Jesus Christ to himself according to the good pleasure of His will.
God the Father and the one who became Jesus Christ, determined before the very creation, that they would be calling out individuals to become the first fruits of the New Covenant. And that at a later time, there would be a resurrection of all of those first fruits. And later the rest of mankind would also be called into the Family of God.
The plan of God was carefully set up before the foundation of the world. Before the creation of anything, God started out with a plan. Part of that plan was that through the sacrifice of Christ the Implementing Creator, sin could be atoned for. That is why Jesus Christ is called the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world; because it was before the very foundations of the world that this was all planned out.
1:6: The praise of the glory of His Grace [properly MERCY], wherein He, hath made us accepted in the beloved. [The Father has made us acceptable through his Beloved Son.]
1:7 In whom, [Jesus Christ has redeemed us from sin through the gift of his own life], we have redemption through His blood, [His sacrifice]. And the forgiveness of sins according to the richness of His Grace; [His mercy — His compassion on us and on all humanity].
The wisdom of God is spiritual and passes the understanding of men, which wisdom he has made known to his faithful called out; who are passionately diligent, hungering and thirsting to learn and to live by every Word of God.
1:8 Wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 1:9 having made known unto us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure; which He hath proposed in Himself.
God has proposed through his plan, to gather all things unto himself through Christ, including the salvation of all the races of man.
1:10 That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, He might gather together in one, all things in Christ which are in heaven and which are on the earth even in Christ.
The called out who are passionately faithful to follow Almighty God and His Word in letter and in spirit; shall receive an inheritance of eternal life with Christ.
1:11 In whom, also, we have obtained an inheritance.
God predestined to call out a kind of first fruits; that their light of godliness should shine brightly as an example for all others. [Today our light of godly example has grown dim and is flickering out.]
1:12 Being predestined, according to the purpose of Him, who worked all things after the council of His own will, that we should be to the praise of His glory who first trusted in Christ.
This does not mean a specific individual was predestined, rather it is referring to the fact that it was predestined, according to the plan; that some would be called as first fruits.
However, it is also a fact that many are called, and in the end; few will overcome, few will be chosen. Many are called and few are chosen.
Once the Father calls us and we respond to that call and sincerely repent, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is applied to us. From that point on, we are given the Holy Spirit of God [which is the SEAL that we belong to God] to empower us to build a new person in Christ and in God the Father, and to put aside and get rid of and totally destroy that old sinful person.
Here the Holy Spirit is spoken of as something by which we are sealed. This is referred to in the book of Revelation where the 144,000 are sealed. This is referring to the Holy Spirit of promise and the sincerely repentant will be sealed with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit which the dedicated faithful have been given; is only an earnest, a small amount which was given as a small beginning, which we must use and work towards our full entry into the family of God.
To reach our goal we must then diligently study the whole Word of God and follow God’s Spirit to learn all the truth of God [God’s Word is Truth] and to keep it. We are to endure and to continually grow and overcome, rejecting error and embracing truth throughout our lives, and that earnest of the Spirit will grow being exercised by use in us!
1:15 Wherefore, I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 1:16 cease not to give thanks for you. Making mention of you in my prayers. 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.
Let us like Paul give thanks and pray for the faithful, who diligently learn and keep the whole Word of God with dedication and passionate love for all the things of our Father in heaven; that all might overcome and be accounted worthy of the great honor of the resurrection to spirit. Let us also pray for the spiritually lax that a zeal might be ignited for godliness in them.
1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Paul, is praying that God would pour out His Spirit upon these people, that the eyes of understanding be enlightened, that we may know what is the hope of God’s calling and the riches of the glory of the inheritance of the saints.
Paul reminds the Ephesians that as God the Father had the power to raise up Jesus Christ to spirit life: God the Father has the power to do the same thing for us.
Jesus Christ was a pioneer. He went through it first so that we could know that it can be done. We can trust in the Father’s power to keep His word and fulfill His promises!
1:21 Far above all principalities and power and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also, in that which is to come, [God’s power is far greater than all the power of all nations and peoples, today and in the future.] 1:22 And hath put all things under His feet, [under the feet of Christ] and gave him to be the head over all things in the Church, 1:23 which is His body. The fullness of Him that fills all in all.
The true church [Ekklesia] is not any corporate assembly of men, it is the body of Christ; it is those who have the seal [the Spirit of] GOD, and follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth. It is not any corporate organization. It is those people in whom the Spirit of God dwells.
Jesus Christ is the head of the Ekklesia and the true faithful know their head and they obey their head; not going aside after idols of men and false teachings.. They obey God the Father in Christ-like zeal, as Jesus Christ also obeys God the Father. And they also obey Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, as given by God the Father. For Christ and God the Father are united as one.
As the leg does what the head tells it to, and the arm and the foot obey the head; even so, the various members of the spiritual body, do what Jesus Christ tells us to do. We live by every Word of God. We do not follow any person contrary to any part of the Word of God, which is the sins of idolatry and spiritual adultery. We are to follow men ONLY as they follow Christ and God the Father!
God IS OUR FOUNDATION! If we are truly the people of God!
We look up to God FIRST, and we take the things that men tell us and we weigh them in the balance, to see if they are consistent with God’s Word or not. And, we test the words of men against the standard of God’s Word. If the words of men are consistent with the Word of God then we accept those words. If the words of men are not consistent with the Word of God, we are to reject such false words of men.
No man is to be our moral standard! God’s Word is to be our standard! We must test the words of all men against God’s Word, and hold fast only those things that are consistent with the whole Word of God
God’s Word is the standard. Jesus Christ and God the Father are the HEAD of the body: not some man! If any man teaches contrary to the HEAD he is not a part of the body. Consider if the foot say to the body: “Follow me contrary to the head,” will that body function properly? Should the other body parts follow the foot instead of the head?
By all means, test everything that you hear, and judge them against the whole Word of God; regardless of who is saying those words; and learn to discern between the holy and the profane, being aware of the twisting’s that are used to deceive.
Don’t be a respecter of persons, be a respecter of God and his Christ. Put God and Christ first in all things.