Summary: To establish the Ephesian’s conversion; mirrors the “pattern of conversion,” outlined in the Book of Acts. By their obedient faith: “God quickened them together with Christ; that, by grace they might be saved through faith.” This lesson dispels the notion, of "salvation by grace only."
1. Heard the Word of Truth
2. Believed the Gospel of Salvation
3. Sealed with the Holy Spirit
1. In our lesson today we are going to be discussing the theme the: “Ephesian’s Conversion.” Their conversion experience also aligns itself with others, who had obeyed the gospel of Christ. The Ephesian’s: “Heard the word of truth, the gospel of their salvation; and then, they were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,” Ephesians 1:13-14. It will be clearly established, that their “conversion experience;” mirrors all other believers, as outlined in the Book of Acts. These believers were: “Saved by grace through the faith; and not of themselves: it was the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast,” Ephesians 2:8-9. Paul describes in our text of consideration, the Ephesian’s Conversion to Christ.
2. First, we will consider how the Ephesian’s had: “Heard the word of truth.” This apparently occurred while he was preaching in the city of Ephesus. Luke wrote: “So that all they that dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks,” Acts 19:10. Recall to the Romans, he wrote: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” Romans 10:17. A similar mentioning of faith is written on behalf of the Corinthians. Luke wrote: “Many of the Corinthians hearing, believed and were baptized,” Acts 18:8. What they had heard, was the “word of truth,” Ephesians 1:13. What they believed, was the “gospel of the grace of God,” Acts 20:24.
3. Second, we will discuss how the Ephesian’s: “Trust in Christ... in whom also; after they had believed, the gospel of their salvation.” These Gentiles after they heard the word of truth; trusted in Christ; and became obedient to the gospel of their salvation. Their act of obedience; is consistent with others, outlined in the Book of Acts. Their faith, repentance, confession and baptism: can be seen in both the Book of Acts; and in his Letter unto them. These acts of obedience, clearly conveys the Ephesian’s true “conversion experience.” The word of truth is preached; the hearers believe the word, trusts in the promises of Christ; and become obedient to the faith of the gospel.
4. Lastly, we will investigate how the Ephesian’s were: “Sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” This promise takes us to Paul’s return into Ephesus, in Acts 19:1-7. Finding certain disciples, he asked: “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believe? They replied: We have not so much as heard whether there is any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them: Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said: Unto John’s baptism,” Acts 19:1-3. Paul here enjoins the gift of the Holy Ghost, with their faith in Jesus and baptism. It was then they were: “Sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” Peter commanded the Pentecostal to: “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,” Acts 2:38-41. With this brief introduction, let’s consider our first point.
BODY OF LESSON
I HEARD THE WORD OF TRUTH
A. They heard the word of truth. This apparently occurred while Paul was preaching in the city of Ephesus. Luke wrote: “So that all they that dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks,” Acts 19:10. Notice:
1. What they had heard, was the “word of truth,” Ephesians 1:13.
2. What they believed, was the “gospel of the grace of God,” Acts 20:24.
3. Paul begins his discussion of their salvation, by uncovering God’s divine revelation, to make known unto the world the mystery of his will, Ephesians 1:10-12.
4. The mystery of His will. This mystery of His will was revealed to the apostles; and, commanded by Christ for them to preach it unto the world. Notice, the mystery of His will....
a. First, the mystery of godliness: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory,” 1 Timothy 3:16.
1) Conceived by God, that cannot lie, before the world began.
2) Commissioned by God, to be manifested (made known) by preaching in due time, unto the world.
3) Committed by God, unto the apostles by His divine commandment, through our Savior Jesus Christ, Titus 3:4-7.
4) Illustrate: Side Bar in Heaven.
c. Finally, the mystery of Christ: The dispensation of the fulness of time. He also describes this time, as the: “Dispensation of the grace of God,” in this Letter. Notice:
1) Paul wrote: “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if ye heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: ... that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs,” Ephesians 3:1-7. Observe....