Ephesians—Bodybuilding for the Church
April 11, 2010
This morning we’re going to start a study through the book of Ephesians. This book can be divided into two parts: in the first three chapters we’ll see the multitude of spiritual riches we have in Christ through the grace of God. In the last three chapters we’ll see how we’re supposed to live in light of these riches. These two together are designed to build up the body of Christ—hence the title.
Beginning in chapter one verse one we read:
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
You can see from the first two verses that this book is a letter written by the apostle Paul and addressed to the church at Ephesus. This is to the saints who are faithful in Christ Jesus.
Note that these blessings are for “the saints” “who are faithful in Christ Jesus.”
Right away we begin to read about the spiritual riches that make up the first half of the book:
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
First, the blessings are spiritual, not physical.
Second, it’s inferred that all believers share in these blessings equally.
Third, these blessings have been given in the past tense.
What follows is a specific list of these spiritual blessings.
1. Believers stand “blameless before Him.” (:4)
4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.
We were chosen before the foundation of the world was laid. Just like Jacob, we were chosen before we had done anything good or bad (Rom. 9:11).
We were chosen to stand before Him both holy and blameless. Compare that to Romans 3:10. God chose us while we were unholy and totally guilty. God chose us while we were sinners and incapable of saving ourselves (Rom. 5:6-8).
The result is blamelessness before Him.
2. We have been adopted into His family as sons. (:5)
In love 5He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
First let’s point out that adopted sons are chosen.
Second, in the Old Testament an adopted son had all the rights and privileges of a natural son. The case of Jacob and Joseph in Genesis 48 is a great example. Jacob adopted Joseph’s two sons (Manasseh and Ephraim) and in the end they share in the inheritance the same as the other sons of Jacob.
Look at the map of the 12 tribes in back of your Bible. You’ll see that all the sons are there except Levi and Joseph. Levi was given no land because he was to serve as priest. Joseph got a double portion through his two sons! They had every much of a right to the inheritance as the natural sons because they had been adopted!