Summary: Have we lost our spiritual authority and if so, how can we regain it? This begins a study of Ephesians.
What has become of the days of Charles Finney, Smith Wigglesworth, and Jonathan Edwards? Where are the days of the Welsh Revival, the Great Awakening, the Azusa Street Revival? Why do we have history but no present day application in the Pacific Northwest? Am I the only one asking these kinds of questions?
It is amazing how we lose the insight we have gained, how the God given power and authority given to us so quickly slips through our hands and instead of dissatisfaction, there seems to be a sigh of relief as if we are freed from a burden when in truth we burden ourselves by the lack of desire to go deeper into the truth of God. Empty and empting churches stand as a reminder of the spiritual climate which has ebbed away from the life of Christianity.
It seems larger and larger numbers of people are going through the motions of faith with disregard for the use of their time and energies in moving forward in Kingdom growth. But there is a remnant of people who are desiring something more meaningful, something more personal, something more supernatural. To this end, I want us to dedicate our time together each week in the evenings as such a time to reach out and reconnect with what we have allowed to slip away.
If we want to get back into the position of authority we need to get back to the principles of that authority and rediscover what God can and will do with people who are willing to set themselves aside for His greater purpose, and to connect with others of like mind and encourage them to dedicate themselves to become part of this 21st century journey.
I want to say at the onset, we have an authority available through God, and God is no respecter of persons, He gives liberally to all who will seek Him. God wants you to move into His authority.
The Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians becomes the foundation for our teaching. In this book we can rediscover our authority in Christ. We will start from the first chapter and glean our way to the sixth, recapturing what has been lost, applying truths that will lead us to a greater level of understanding in Christ, in ourselves, and in God’s unfolding plan for mankind.
As we read through these pages of God’s Word, I will be highlighting areas of understanding, and providing background to areas of significance.
Lets get into the word and moving forward into our journey.
Chapter 1: 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. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will to the praise of the glory of His grace.
Paul praises God and then points out we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. James said, Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights (James 1:17). God is the source of our blessing, and in Christ, our blessing is complete. The Greek word used here for spiritual pneumatikos, is always used in relation to the work of the Holy Spirit.
Far too many Christians take too much time asking God to give them something He has already bestowed. God is not looking to do something for us tomorrow, He wants to work in and through us today. God’s blessing is not a promise for another time, it is a blessing already possessed by believers right now. In Philippians 1:19, we have what Paul calls, the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. We have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, it is not a matter of receiving more, because there is no more to give, it has already been given, what we need to do is do something with what we have already got.
We are later going to see how we have been raised up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.
How many feel inadequate in their spiritual blessings? It is because we have failed to understand our authority given in the Word, and exercise our options as we walk out our life.
Paul said our blessings are in the heavenly places which includes more than just heaven. You do not have to die to function with what you already possess. The heavenly places encompass the entire supernatural realm of God, His complete domain, to the full extent of His divine operation.