071814, Keys To The Bible – Ephesians – Chapter 4

INTRODUCTION: Paul equates the church to being a new creation.

I. Scripture Reading

Ephesians 4 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Live in Unity

1 I, therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live worthily of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you too were called to the one hope of your calling, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ.8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he captured captives; he gave gifts to men.” 9 Now what is the meaning of “he ascended,” except that he also descended to the lower regions, namely, the earth? 10 He, the very one who descended, is also the one who ascended above all the heavens, in order to fill all things. 11 It was he who gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, that is, to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God—a mature person, attaining to the measure of Christ’s full stature. 14 So we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes. 15 But practicing the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head. 16 From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament. As each one does its part, the body grows in love.

Live in Holiness

17 So I say this, and insist in the Lord, that you no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts. 19 Because they are callous, they have given themselves over to indecency for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn about Christ like this, 21 if indeed you heard about him and were taught in him, just as the truth is in Jesus. 22 You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, 23 to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image—in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth.
25 Therefore, having laid aside falsehood, each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on the cause of your anger. 27 Do not give the devil an opportunity.28 The one who steals must steal no longer; rather he must labor, doing good with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with the one who has need. 29 You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.31 You must put away all bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and slanderous talk—indeed all malice. 32 Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.

II. Outline. Ref: The Outline Bible, Dr. Harold L. Wilmington

A. In the first sixteen verses of this chapter, Paul is explaining the position of the new creation.

1. He describes, and appeals for, the unity of the new creation

a. One body; The body of Christ (vs 1-4a). We, the born again believers in Christ, are the body of Christ.
b. One Spirit, The Holy Spirit (vs 4b).
c. One hope, eternal life (vs 4c).
d. One Lord, The triune God (vs 5a).
e. One faith, The Christian Faith (vs 5b).
f. One baptism, The baptism of the Spirit into Christ’s body (vs 5c). The “one baptism” is not an argument to prove immersion over sprinkling. The Spirit baptism is accomplished when our spirit is immersed into the Spirit of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, per 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.”

g. One God and Father, The heavenly Father (vs 6).

(1) He describes the Unifier, which is the work of Christ, which brings all of the following parts of the new creation together.

(2) His gifts to believers. Henry Mahan’s Commentary vs 8.

(a) This is a quotation from Psalms 68:18, and it speaks of our Lord’s ascension to heaven from Mt Olivet in the sight of the apostles (Acts 1:9-11). In this he fulfills the type of the High Priest entering into the holiest to make intercession for his people, to prepare a place for them and to send down the Holy Spirit with His grace and gifts to them.

(b) He led captivity captive.’ He led a train of vanquished foes; he conquered those who had conquered us, such as sin, Satan and death. Christ conquered and triumphed over every spiritual enemy and those of his people.

(c) And gave gifts to men’ – the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and especially such as qualify men for the work of the ministry and make them useful for God’s glory and the good of the church (Romans 12:5-8).

3. The gifts were described as being:

a. Apostleship (vs 11a).
b. Prophets (vs 11b).
c. Evangelists (vs 11c).
d. Pastors (vs 11d).
e. Teachers (vs 11d).

4. His goals for believers.

a. To be equipped (vs 12).
b. To be mature (vs 13).
c. To be settled (vs 14-16).

4. The gifts are spiritual. The recipients are born again believers in Christ, who are spiritually equipped leaders of the church. They may have never been to a formal school of religious education. They may have never received a vote to place them in a position of church leadership, but they may have had such positions. The pastors and deacons that Paul addresses in his letters to Timothy and Titus are elected and appointed leaders of physical and visual churches, and may not posses the spiritual gifting for those positions. They may serve those positions well, but still may not have received the spiritual gifting of leadership that we see in this chapter. It is important to know that no scripture exists that deletes the spiritual gifts that Paul identifies in this chapter. It is also important to know that spiritual gifting is non-gender specific. The spiritual gifts are not specifically for males. Consider Galatians, 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” However, this verse does not take away from the requirements for Pastor and Deacon male leadership in the physical and visual church that Paul addresses in his letters to Timothy and Titus. These spiritual gifts are not temporary. See Romans 11:29,” For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” The spiritual church, the body of Christ, extends far beyond the doors of church buildings. The need for spiritual leadership is needed in areas where there is no established brick and mortar church. You and I, who are the born-again members of the body of Christ, the true church, don’t go “to church.” We are “the church.” We go to a building where we meet together as the church, with other members of the body of Christ.

B. In the remaining sixteen verses of this chapter, Paul discusses the disposition of the New Creation. We see that a new life requires a new lifestyle.

1. Believers in Christ should avoid immoral lifestyles, that are characterized as being the lifestyles of those who have not been born again. Examples are:

a. Confused thoughts (vs 17).
b. Closed minds (vs 18a).
c. Hardened hearts (vs 18b).
d. Impure and greedy thoughts (vs 19).

2. Believers in Christ should adopt spiritual lifestyles.

a. Renewed spiritual thoughts and attitudes (vs 20-23).
b. Removed the old self, which includes:
(1) Lying (vs 24).
(2) Anger that is uncontrolled (vs 26-27).
(3) Stealing (vs 28a).
(4) Grieving the Holy Spirit (vs 30).

3. Believers in Christ should put on the new self. Examples are:

a. Truthfulness (vs 25).
b. Honest labor (vs 28b)
c. Helping those in need (vs 28c).
d. Building up one another (vs 29b).
e. Kindness and compassion (vs 32a).
f. Forgiveness (vs 32b).

III. Selected Commentary. Ref: Reformation Study Bible, DR. R. C. Sproul

1. Verse 7. But grace was given to each one of us. All Christians share the grace of salvation through faith (2:5, 8). Each Christian is also given some particular gift of grace to benefit the church (Paul speaks of his own in 3:2, 8). See theological note “Gifts and Ministries.” RSB

2. Verse 8. Ps. 68 celebrates God’s triumphant march from Mount Sinai in the wilderness to Mount Zion in Jerusalem and His enthronement there. Paul regards this as prefiguring Christ’s victorious ascent into heaven.
captives. The spiritual forces of darkness were defeated at the Cross (Col. 2:15 and note). While Ps. 68:18 describes the victorious Lord receiving gifts from men, Paul pictures Christ as sharing His tribute with men. Paul may have thought of this psalm because it was associated with Pentecost. This was the day the ascended Christ poured out the Spirit on the church (Acts 2:32, 33).

3. Verse 9. Christ came to the exalted position He now enjoys through humiliation. His incarnation was His taking on a human nature here in “the lower parts of the earth”; cf. 1:20–23; Phil. 2:1–11. This pattern of service is to be imitated by believers.

4. Verse 11. Apostle And Prophets.

a. apostles. In a restricted sense, those who had been with Jesus and witnessed His resurrection (or received a special revelation of the risen Jesus) and who had been commissioned by Jesus to be founders of the church (Acts 1:21, 22; 1 Cor. 15:1–9). The word was also used in a broader sense of people sent out as delegates of particular churches (2 Cor. 8:23; Phil. 2:25), though these do not appear to be the ones Paul has in mind in this passage. See 2 Cor. 1:1 note.

b. prophets. The New Testament prophets conveyed special revelation to the early church. Their functions included prediction, exhortation, encouragement, warning, and explanation (Acts 15:32; 21:9–11; 1 Cor. 14:3). The teaching of the New Testament prophets and apostles laid the foundation of the church (2:20).

IV. Closing Thoughts. Ref: What Does Every Bible Chapter Say? John Hunt.

A. Main Themes.

1. God’s sovereign call to salvation (vs 1).
2. An exhortation to mutual love, unity, and unanimity (vs 2-16).
3. An encouragement to Christian purity and holiness of life (vs 17-32).

B. Main Keys.

1. Verse. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming (vs 14 NRSV).
2. Phrase. “joined and held together (vs 16 NIV).
3. Theme. The nature of the Church.
4. Thought. The gifts bestowed on us by the ascended Christ.
5. Thing to look out for. What we are to put on and put off.
6. Bible Cross Reference. Verse 8. See Psalm 68:18.
7. By Way Of Explanation. Verse 17. “futility of their thinking.” (NIV). Unbelievers possess unenlightened minds. Any life without God is meaningless and far from being intellectually satisfying.

V. What Is Religion?

A. Per Miriam Webster Dictionary.

1. the belief in a god or in a group of gods

2. an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods

3. an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group

B. Per Dr. R.C. Sproul, “Everyone’s A Theologian,” page 3.

1. Theology is the study of God.

2. Religion has to do with the worship practices of human beings in particular environments.

VI. Worship And Praise.

Consider the Presence of God in our lives. Consider the worshipful attitude that can be obtained as we listen to the music of worship and praise that is led by Terry Mac Almon.

To Him Who Sits On The Throne

Comments are appreciated, and are great sources of encouragement. In order to protect the privacy of bloggers who comment on my posts, no such comments will be shown on my blog. If you would like to have a private response from me, please put your email address in your comment. That data will not be shown anywhere in my blog. Please let me caution all bloggers to protect their privacy. That is why I have removed my community of bloggers and comments from bloggers from my blog.

071714, Keys To The Bible – Ephesians – Chapter 3 – Summary

INTRODUCTION: As we survey this chapter, we will see that the Apostle Paul equates the church to a mystery.

I. Scripture Reading

Ephesians 3 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

God has made me minister to you gentiles

1 It is in this great cause that I, Paul, have become Christ’s prisoner for you Gentiles.
2-6 For you must have heard how God gave me grace to become your minister, and how he allowed me to understand his secret by giving me a direct Revelation. (What I have written briefly of this above will explain to you my knowledge of the mystery of Christ.) This secret was hidden to past generations of mankind, but it has now, by the spirit, been made plain to God’s consecrated messengers and prophets. It is simply this: that the Gentiles, who were previously excluded from God’s agreements, are to be equal heirs with his chosen people, equal members and equal partners in God’s promise given by Christ through the Gospel.
7-13 And I was made a minister of that Gospel by the grace he gave me, and by the power with which he equipped me. Yes, to me, less than the least of all Christians, has God given this grace, to enable me to proclaim to the Gentiles the incalculable riches of Christ, and to make plain to all men the meaning of that secret which he who created everything in Christ has kept hidden from the creation until now. The purpose is that all the angelic powers should now see the complex wisdom of God’s plan being worked out through the Church, in conformity to that timeless purpose which he centred in Jesus, our Lord. It is in this same Jesus, because we have faith in him, that we dare, even with confidence, to approach God. In view of these tremendous issues, I beg you not to lose heart because I am now suffering for my part in bringing you the Gospel. Indeed, you should be honoured.

I pray that you may know God’s power in practice

14-19 When I think of the greatness of this great plan I fall on my knees before God the Father (from whom all fatherhood, earthly or heavenly, derives its name), and I pray that out of the glorious richness of his resources he will enable you to know the strength of the spirit’s inner re-inforcement—that Christ may actually live in your hearts by your faith. And I pray that you, firmly fixed in love yourselves, may be able to grasp (with all Christians) how wide and deep and long and high is the love of Christ—and to know for yourselves that love so far beyond our comprehension. May you be filled though all your being with God himself!
20-21 Now to him who by his power within us is able to do far more than we ever dare to ask or imagine—to him be glory in the Church through Jesus Christ for ever and ever, amen!

II. Comments

A. In the first thirteen verses of this chapter, Paul is explaining a special mystery.

1. He describes the recipient of the mystery, being himself.

a. Paul describes his mistreatment. Even though he was not guilty of any crime, he was imprisoned (vs 1a, 13).
b. Paul describes his mission.
(1) He is to preach God’s Word to the Gentiles (vs 1b, 4).
(2) He is to explain the divine secret to all people (vs 9).
c. In meekness, Paul looks upon himself as being the least deserving of all believers in Christ (vs 7-8).

2. Paul explains the time of the mystery.

a. He explains that the mystery was concealed in the scriptures of the Old Testament (vs 5a).
b. He explains that the mystery has now been revealed by the teachings of the Apostles and Prophets (vs 5b). Consider that the last Old Testament prophet was John the Baptist (Luke 7:28). In the next chapter we will see that God has spiritually gifted prophets for the time of the New Testament. Just as prophets were necessary to proclaim God’s Word during the time which proclaimed the life and ministry of Jesus, that same necessity was required to spread the Word of God prior to His written Word in the New Testament era (4:11).

3. Paul explains the nature of the mystery.

a. Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children (6a).
b. Both believing Jews and Gentiles are now joined to the body of Christ (vs 6b).
c. Both believing Jews and Gentiles enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus (6c).

4. Paul explains the reasons for the mystery.

a. So that God’s wisdom will be exhibited to the angels (vs 10a).
b. So that God’s wisdom will be experienced by the church (vs 10b-12).

B. In the remaining eight verses of this chapter, Paul offers a threefold prayer for the Ephesian believers. Notice the work of the Holy Trinity.

1. He prays that the Spirit will strengthen their inner beings (vs 14-16).

2. He prays that Christ might be more and more at home in their hearts (vs 17).

3. He prays that they might be able to grasp the full dimension of God’s love (vs 18-21).

III. Emphatic Thoughts Of Paul.

A. That he was appointed by God to be the apostle of the Gentiles (vs 1-13).
B. Of his devout and affectionate prayer to God for the Gentiles (vs 1-14).
C. That he was a prisoner for the testimony of Jesus (vs 1-6).
D. That he was made a minister by God (spiritually ordained), to tell of the unsearchable riches of Christ (the riches that can not be traced):
(saving riches, sanctifying riches, relational riches, practical riches, eternal riches). Christ always enriches life. He never subtracts from life. He always enriches life with untrackable riches (vs 7-12).
E. That He desires them not to be discouraged because of his tribulations (vs 13).
F. That they might be filled with all of the fullness of God (vs 14-19).

IV. Keys To Chapter 3.

A. Verse: 12, The Living Bible.
“Now we can come fearlessly right into God’s presence, assured of his glad welcome when we come with Christ and trust in him.”
B. Key Phrase: vs 4. NASB, “my insight into the mystery of Christ.”
C. Key Event: A revealed mystery.
D. Key Thought: Paul never tires of calling himself a servant.
E. Key Explanation:which surpasses knowledge (vs 19).
Paul is not saying that it is impossible for believers to understand the love of Christ, but that it is so profound that nobody fully understand it.

V. What Is Theology?

The word theology comes from two Greek words, theos (God) and logos (word). From them we can see that theology is the study of God which, of course, includes his attributes. God is the single supreme being in all the universe. He has such attributes as omniscience (all-knowing, 1 John 3:20), omnipresence (existing everywhere, Psalm 139:7-12), and omnipotence (He accomplishes whatever He desires, Jer. 32:17, 27). He is eternal (Psalm 90:2), holy (Isaiah 6:3), merciful (Psalm 67:1), and gracious (1 Pet. 2:3). All these things we discover about God from the Bible. Therefore, theology is very important because in it we can discover who and what God is and what He desires for us (1 Cor. 1:9).

VI. Worship And Praise.

Consider the Presence of God in our lives. Consider the worshipful attitude that can be obtained as we listen to the music of worship and praise that is led by Terry Mac Almon. It is amazing to know that the song was recorded during a worship conference that took place in the moral cess pool of the world, The Netherlands.

We Glorify The Lamb

Comments are appreciated, and are great sources of encouragement. In order to protect the privacy of bloggers who comment on my posts, no such comments will be shown on my blog. If you would like to have a private response from me, please put your email address in your comment. That data will not be shown anywhere in my blog. Please let me caution all bloggers to protect their privacy. That is why I have removed my community of bloggers and comments from bloggers from my blog.

071614, BCV, Tithe, Summary

As with most of my writings of scripture, I try to always refer to BCV, which is “Book, Chapter, and Verse.” Also, I try to start in the beginning, which I always heard is “a very good place to start.” Proper teaching of God’s Holy Word hinges on the following three passages. And, as we read in the third passage, parents are directed by God to teach their children, “diligently” (vs 7).

BIBLICAL SUPPORT

2 Timothy 3:16 New King James Version (NKJV) (66 AD)

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

Acts 17:11 New International Version (NIV) (53 AD)

11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 New King James Version (NKJV) (1451 BC)

4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

THE SITUATION OF THE BEGINNING OF GOD’S CREATION WAS VERY GOOD.

Genesis 1:31 King James Version (KJV)

31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 2:1-3 King James Version (KJV)

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Genesis 2:15 King James Version (KJV) (4004 BC)

15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

DUE TO THE FAILURE OF ADAM AND EVE, AND THINGS CHANGED GREATLY, BUT HE HAD ALREADY PLANNED REDEMPTION.

Genesis 3:15 (NCV) (4003 BC)

15 I will make you and the woman enemies to each other. Your descendants and her descendants will be enemies. One of her descendants will crush your head, and you will bite his heel.”

Genesis 3:23-24 King James Version (KJV) (4003 BC)

23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

THE BLOOD LINE TO THE SAVIOR OF MANKIND BEGAN, AND WORSHIP BEGAN.

Genesis 4:26 King James Version (KJV) (3875 BC)

26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.

Genesis 5:22-24 King James Version (KJV) (3875)

22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

THE SITUATION OF MANKIND WORSENS. GOD EXPLAINS HIS PLAN FOR DESTRUCTION.

Genesis 6:5-7 King James Version

5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

AFTER ONE HUNDRED TWENTY YEARS OF PREACHING (GEN 6:3), NOAH HAD ONLY SEVEN CONVERTS, HIS FAMILY, FOR A TOTAL OF EIGHT RIGHTEOUS SOULS.

Genesis 7:1 King James Version (KJV) (2448 BC)

7 And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

AFTER THE FLOOD, THE REPOPULATION OF EARTH BEGAN. GOD’S PLAN OF REDEMPTION BEGAN WITH ONE OF THE THREE SONS.

Genesis 8:15-16 King James Version (KJV) (2349 BC)

15 And God spake unto Noah, saying,
16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

FROM SETH TO NOAH, TO SHEM, TO ABRAHAM, GOD’S PLAN OF REDEMPTION FOR MANKIND IS ACTIVE.

Genesis 12:1-4 King James Version (KJV) (2126 BC)

1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
4 So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

THE TITHE IS ORIGINATED. IT IS NOT MENTIONED AGAIN UNTIL THE JEWS PREPARE FOR ENTRY INTO THE PROMISED LAND.

Genesis 14:18-20 King James Version (KJV) (1918 BC)

18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

Genesis 28:10-14 King James Version (KJV) (1760 BC)

10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
13 And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 32:28 King James Version (KJV) (1739 BC)

28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

SHEM’S DESCENDANTS ARE STILL ACTIVE IN GOD’S PLAN, BUT HAM AND JAPHETH ARE LOVED BY GOD TOO (JOHN 3:16).

Exodus 12:1-3 King James Version (KJV) (1491 BC)

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying,
2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:

THE SABBATH WAS GIVEN TO SHEM’S DESCENDANTS. HAM’S AND JAPHETH’S DESCENDANTS (GENTILES) WERE NOT RECIPIENTS.

Exodus 16:22-30 King James Version (KJV) (1491 BC)

22 And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
23 And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.
25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the Lord: to day ye shall not find it in the field.
26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
28 And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
29 See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

THE SABBATH AND TEN COMMANDMENTS WERE GIVEN TO THE DESCENDANTS OF SHEM. THE DESCENDANTS OF HAM AND JAPHETH WERE NOT RECIPIENTS.

Exodus 20:8-11 King James Version (KJV) (1491 BC)

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

GOD’S FEASTS TO ISRAEL (JEWS) DID NOT INCLUDE THE DESCENDANTS OF HAM AND JAPHETH (GENTILES)

Exodus 23:14-17 New King James Version (NKJV) (1491 BC)

Three Annual Feasts

14 “Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: 15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); 16 and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.
17 “Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God.

Leviticus 23:1-6, 44 New King James Version (NKJV) (1490 BC)

Feasts of the Lord

23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, theseare My feasts.
The Sabbath Had No Mention Of Corporate Worship To Keep It Holy.
3 ‘Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.
The Passover and Unleavened Bread Were Given Only To Jews.
4 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. 5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 44 So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.

THE TITHE WAS FOR THE JEWS. THE GENTILES HAD NO COMMAND OR INSTRUCTION FOR IT. THE TITHE WAS GREATER THAN TEN PER CENT.

Leviticus 27:26-32 New King James Version (NKJV) (1491 BC)

26 ‘But the firstborn of the animals, which should be the Lord’s firstborn, no man shall dedicate; whether it is an ox or sheep, it isthe Lord’s. 27 And if it is an unclean animal, then he shall redeemit according to your valuation, and shall add one-fifth to it; or if it is not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to your valuation.
28 ‘Nevertheless no devoted offering that a man may devote to theLord of all that he has, both man and beast, or the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted offering ismost holy to the Lord. 29 No person under the ban, who may become doomed to destruction among men, shall be redeemed,but shall surely be put to death. 30 And all the tithe of the land,whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is theLord’s. It is holy to the Lord. 31 If a man wants at all to redeemany of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. 32 And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord.

THE TITHE WAS GIVEN TO THE LEVITES, BECAUSE THEY HAD NO INHERITANCE IN THE PROMISED LAND.

Numbers 18:24-28 New King James Version (NKJV) (1471 BC)

24 For the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer up as a heave offering to the Lord, I have given to the Levites as an inheritance; therefore I have said to them, ‘Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.’”
The Tithe of the Levites
25 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 26 “Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: ‘When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to theLord, a tenth of the tithe. 27 And your heave offering shall be reckoned to you as though it were the grain of the threshing floor and as the fullness of the winepress. 28 Thus you shall also offer a heave offering to the Lord from all your tithes which you receive from the children of Israel, and you shall give the Lord’s heave offering from it to Aaron the priest.

18:1–24 The duties and support of the priests and Levites are detailed. Only Aaron and his family could go near the furnishings of the sanctuary or the altar; the other Levites answered to the priests and were to do all the work at the tent of meeting (vv. 1–7). The males of Aaron’s family were to receive the parts of the most holy offerings that were kept from the fire (vv. 8–10). All members of this family who were ceremonially clean were to share the wave offerings (v. 11; Ex. 29:24–27; Lev. 7:30–34) and the firstfruits (vv. 12, 13; Ex. 23:16–19; 34:22–26; Lev. 23:20;Deut. 18:4; 26:10). Support for the Levites came from the tithes offered by the people (Deut. 13:22–29 and notes).

Daily Offerings
28 Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Command the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘My offering, My food for My offerings made by fire as a sweet aroma to Me, you shall be careful to offer to Me at their appointed time.’

Deuteronomy 12:11-12New King James Version (NKJV) (1451 BC)

11 then there will be the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice offerings which you vow to the Lord. 12 And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion nor inheritance with you.

12:12 no . . . inheritance. The gifts of the worshipers were, in part, to support the priests and Levites, who were allotted no farmland of their own (10:6–9).

TITHE’S PURPOSE – THE LEVITES HAD NO INHERITANCE IN THE PROMISED LAND. THEIR INHERITANCE WAS GOD (VS 8-9)

Deuteronomy 10:6-9 New King James Version (NKJV) (1451 BC)

6 (Now the children of Israel journeyed from the wells of Bene Jaakan to Moserah, where Aaron died, and where he was buried; and Eleazar his son ministered as priest in his stead. 7 From there they journeyed to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land of rivers of water. 8 At that time the Lord separated the tribe of Levi to bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister to Him and to bless in His name, to this day. 9 Therefore Levi has no portion nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance, just as the Lord your God promised him.)

THE TITHE WAS ALSO GIVEN TO THE NEEDY.

Deuteronomy 26:11-13 New King James Version (NKJV) (1451)

11 So you shall rejoice in every good thing which the Lord your God has given to you and your house, you and the Levite and the stranger who is among you.
12 “When you have finished laying aside all the tithe of your increase in the third year—the year of tithing—and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your gates and be filled, 13 then you shall say before the Lord your God: ‘I have removed the holy tithe from my house, and also have given them to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed Your commandments, nor have I forgotten them.

2 Chronicles 31:4 New King James Version (NKJV) (726 BC)

4 Moreover he commanded the people who dwelt in Jerusalem to contribute support for the priests and the Levites, that they might devote themselves to the Law of the Lord.

(See the Mac Arthur Study Bible note on 2 Chr 31:6. The total giving of the Jews was 23 percent.)

Nehemiah 10:37-38 New King James Version (NKJV) (445 BC)

37 to bring the firstfruits of our dough, our offerings, the fruit from all kinds of trees, thenew wine and oil, to the priests, to the storerooms of the house of our God; and to bring the tithes of our land to the Levites, for the Levites should receive the tithes in all our farming communities. 38 And the priest, the descendant of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive tithes; and the Levites shall bring up a tenth of the tithes to the house of our God, to the rooms of the storehouse.

ROBBING GOD?

Malachi 3:8-10 21st Century King James Version (KJ21) (397 BC)

8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me! But ye say, ‘Wherein have we robbed Thee?’ In tithes and offerings.
9 Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and put Me to the proof now herewith,” saith the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open to you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

3:10 storehouse. This term refers to a room in the temple designated for the storage of gifts (2 Chr. 31:11; Neh. 10:38, 39;12:44; 13:12). 2 Chronicles 31:11-12, NKJV, Follows

11 Now Hezekiah commanded them to prepare rooms in the house of the Lord, and they prepared them. 12 Then they faithfully brought in the offerings, the tithes, and the dedicated things; Cononiah the Levite had charge of them, and Shimei his brother was the next.

put me to the test. This is a reversal of the ordinary biblical pattern, in which God typically tests human beings (Ps. 11:5;26:2; 66:10; Prov. 17:3; Jer. 11:20; 12:3; 17:10). Only in a few instances are humans invited to test God (i.e., to prove His claims and justify His commands, Is. 7:11, 12; 1 Kin. 18:22–46).
vs 10: The whole tithe (NASB) (Mac Arthur Note).When the tithes were unpaid, the priests were deprived and had to give up their ministry and to begin farming. The nation’s religious life was hindered and the poor and the strangers suffered. The real iniquity was that such disobedience was robbing God, who was the true King of the theocracy of Israel. Storehouse. A room in the temple to store the tithes of crops and animals brought by the people. This was the temple treasury.

Leviticus 27:18-32, (1491 BC) Tithe, MacArthur Note: This general tithe was given to the Levites (Numbers 18:21-32. This is the only mention of tithe or ten percent in Leviticus. However, along with this offering, there were two other OT tithes which totaled about 23 per cent annually (the second tithe – Dt 14:22; and the third tithe every 3 years – Dt 14:28, 20; 26:12)

THE TITHE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.

During the events of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), Jews continued temple worship, so tithing continued for the Jews. In Acts 2:46, the new Jewish believers in Christ continued temple worship, as well as meeting in their homes, as believers in Christ. It should be a matter of fact that these “born again” Jews would not be disrespectful to their Jewish heritage. Therefore, they would continue to pay their tithes in the temple. But, there is no mention of the tithe being a part of the Christian times of worship, in either Acts 2:42 (33 AD), Acts 20:7 (59 AD), or 1 Corinthians 11-16 (59 AD). When the gospel was spread to the Gentiles, by Peter (Acts 10:34), and Paul (Acts 13:46), the apostles began telling the story of “Salvation By Grace Through Faith” (Ephesians 2:8), to Gentiles, who were the descendants of Japheth and Ham. Gentiles had never been required to pay tithes, or even know about it; they had no relationship to the Levitical priesthood. The apostles did not give the Gentiles a crash course in Judaism; it was irrelevant to the new covenant.

Jeremiah 31:31

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

Hebrews 8:8

For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

Hebrews 8:13

In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Paul discussed the situation in Acts 15 and in his epistle to the Galatians about the Gentiles not needing to become Jews or follow the Jewish laws. Jesus fulfilled the Law (Matthew 5:17).

GOD’S INTERACTION WITH MANKIND IN NEW TESTAMENT

INSTANCES OF CORPORATE WORSHIP

Acts 2:42 21st Century King James Version (KJ21) (33 AD)

42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread and in prayers.

No tithe mentioned.

Acts 20:7, 21st Century KJV, (59 AD)

7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow, and continued his speech until midnight.

No mention of tithe.

BENEVOLENCE GIFTS FOR FAMINE

Acts 11:27-30 NKJV (42 AD)

Relief to Judea

27 And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. 29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. 30 This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

1 Corinthians 16:1-4 NKJV (59 AD)
Collection for the Saints
16 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. 3 And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem. 4 But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.

16:1 Now concerning the collection. From 2 Cor. 8:1–4 and Rom. 15:25–27 it appears that one of the purposes of Paul’s third missionary journey was to raise an offering from the Gentiles for Jewish Christians in Judea who were in need, possibly as a result of persecution. Apparently, Paul had already told the Corinthians about this project in an earlier letter (5:9). They had asked for more information and perhaps expressed reservations about it (Introduction: Date and Occasion)

16:2 On the first day of every week. The reference is to Sunday, the day on which the resurrected Lord met with His disciples (John 20:19, 26; cf. also “the Lord’s day” in Rev. 1:10). Acts 20:7 indicates that the early Christians met on Sunday “to break bread” (part of their worship), and it would have been appropriate to designate that day for collecting the offering.

2 Corinthians 8:1-4 NKJV (60 AD)

Excel in Giving

1 Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. 3 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, 4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

Romans 15:27 NKJV (60 AD)

27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.

15:25–33 Paul now discloses his immediate plans to visit Jerusalem with the gifts the churches had raised for the Christians there. Jerusalem was an impoverished city in general; in addition, the Christians there would suffer particular hardship as a suspect minority. But Paul sees a significance deeper than charity in the gift. It is a duty (v. 27), a solemn obligation of the Gentiles in view of the privilege they have received in being grafted into God’s olive tree (11:17). This conforms to the general principle that those who receive spiritual blessings should share their own material blessings (1 Cor. 9:3–14; Gal. 6:6).

THE APOSTLE PAUL PROVIDES THE FOLLOWING SCRIPTURES WHICH ARE RELATIVE TO CHRISTIAN GIVING.

1 Corinthians 9:14 (HCSB) (59 AD)

14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should earn their living by the gospel.

1 Timothy 5:17-18 (JB PHILLIPS) (65 AD)

17-18 Elders with a gift of leadership should be considered worthy of respect, and of adequate salary, particularly if they work hard at their preaching and teaching

1 Corinthians 9:16-18 (AMPLIFIED BIBLE) (59 AD)

16 For if I [merely] preach the Gospel, that gives me no reason to boast, for I feel compelled of necessity to do it. Woe is me if I do not preach the glad tidings (the Gospel)!
17 For if I do this work of my own free will, then I have my pay (my reward); but if it is not of my own will, but is done reluctantly and under compulsion, I am [still] entrusted with a [sacred] trusteeship and commission.
18 What then is the [actual] reward that I get? Just this: that in my preaching the good news (the Gospel), I may offer it [absolutely] free of expense [to anybody], not taking advantage of my rights and privileges [as a preacher] of the Gospel.

CONCLUSION. The Tithe is not a requirement for the Church. But, there is a need to financially support the work of the church. The words of 1 Corinthians 16:2 are a gauge for giving, “As God has prospered you.” However, we should also remember the words of Psalm 24:1,”The earth is the Lords’ and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” In other words, all that we have belongs to God.

Consider The Presence Of God In Our Lives. Consider the worshipful attitude that can be obtained as we listen to the music of Terry Mac Almon.

Holy Are You Lord

071514 – Keys To The Bible – Ephesians – Chapter 3 – Commentary

This middle post on Ephesians Chapter 3, consists of comments from two highly respected writers of Biblical commentaries. Dr. C.I. Scofield and Dr. R.C. Sproul provide excellent “food for thought” for the scriptures that are addressed. Wherever I may add a thought, I will precede such a comment with the notation of, “My Note.”

Scofield’s Notes, C. I. Scofield’s Study Reference

For over 90 years people have relied on this reference work in their daily study of God’s Word. Written originally in 1909, C. I. Scofield’s intent was to provide a concise but complete tool that would meet the need of someone just beginning to read the Bible. Cyrus Scofield was born in Lenawee County, Michigan, but during the American Civil War after his conversion to evangelical Christianity in 1879, Scofield assisted in the St. Louis campaign conducted by Dwight L. Moody and in 1883 Scofield was ordained as a Congregationalist minister, and he accepted the pastorate of small mission church founded by that denomination.

Ephesians 3 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Mystery Revealed

3 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— 2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power. Purpose of the Mystery 8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Appreciation of the Mystery

14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3

Scofield’s Reference Notes
Verse 2
grace
Grace (imparted). Ephesians 3:2-8; Ephesians 4:7; Ephesians 4:29;Romans 6:1; 2 Peter 3:18.
Verse 3
mystery
(See Scofield “Matthew 13:11”).
Verse 6
That the Gentiles
That the Gentiles were to be saved was no mystery Romans 9:24-33;Romans 10:19-21. The mystery “hid in God” was the divine purpose to make of Jew and Gentile a wholly new thing–“the church, which is his Christ’s body,” formed by the baptism with the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 12:12; 1 Corinthians 12:13 and in which the earthly distinction of Jew and Gentile disappears; Ephesians 2:14; Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 3:10;Colossians 3:11. The revelation of this mystery, which was foretold, but not explained by Christ Matthew 16:18 was committed to Paul. In his writings alone we find the doctrine, position, walk, and destiny of the church.
Verse 9
mystery
(See Scofield “Matthew 13:11”).

Dr. S.C. Sproul, Reformation Study Bible

Ephesians 3 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Mystery of the Gospel Revealed

1 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the (S)unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

Prayer for Spiritual Strength

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Comments By R.C. Sproul In The Reformation Study Bible:

3:1 Paul begins a prayer that his Gentile readers will be filled with the presence of Christ and be able to grasp the truth about their Redeemer’s love and power (vv. 14–21). Paul interrupts himself to explain the nature of his own ministry and insight into the union of Jew and Gentile in Christ (vv. 2–13).
prisoner. Paul is under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:16, 30).
3:3 as I have written briefly. See 1:9, 10.
3:5 as it has now been revealed. The Old Testament’s silence about Paul’s mystery—the union of Jews and Gentiles in the church (v. 6)—was relative, not absolute. It was anticipated by the prophets (“Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance,” Is. 19:25). If the idea had been altogether absent from the Old Testament, Paul could not have said, as he did in Rom. 4, that the Abrahamic covenant included all who were of a like faith with Abraham, including Gentiles. Paul told Agrippa that his proclamation of light to both Jews and Gentiles did not go beyond what had been promised by Moses and the prophets (Acts 26:22, 23).
3:6 Gentiles are fellow heirs. Although the Old Testament gives occasional glimpses of a unified human race, only in the light of Christ’s sacrifice does God’s plan become clear: in one magnificent act He removed the enmity between Himself and humanity and also took away the divisions that fracture humanity (2:14–18). Paul had reflected before on the unusual way God included Gentiles among His people: contrary to the rules of agriculture, the Gentiles were a wild branch grafted into a cultivated tree (Rom. 11:11–24).
3:8 Compare the progression of Paul’s self-description from 1 Cor. 15:9 to Eph. 3:8 to 1 Tim. 1:15, 16.
3:14 bow my knees. Jews normally prayed standing (Matt. 6:5; Luke 18:11, 13). Kneeling appears to have been an expression of humility and urgency (Ezra 9:5; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:59, 60). This verse returns to the prayer Paul had begun introducing in v. 1 (note).
3:15 every family in heaven. Jewish intertestamental and rabbinic literature refers to families of angels.
3:16 in your inner being. This is some of Paul’s most pointed language about the work of the Holy Spirit within individuals (2 Cor. 5:17). Much of Ephesians addresses believers’ corporate identity (e.g., 4:3–6, 12–16). But Christ also dwells in individual hearts. Christianity is neither a common confession to the exclusion of individual experience, nor a private piety without corporate vision.
3:18 breadth and length and height and depth. These measures of space recall the temple image of 2:21. As the “living stones” (1 Pet. 2:5) are linked in love, God’s dwelling grows and is filled with Christ Himself. God uses the love among “all the saints”—Jew and Gentile alike—to build a whole that is greater than any of its individual parts. The spatial language exalts Christ’s love for His people—a love that is inclusive, inexhaustible, and self-sacrificing.
3:20 the power at work within us. See 1:19–23; 2:5, 6. The first half of the letter climaxes as Paul considers the overwhelming power of God, who carries out His gracious (2:7) and all-wise (v. 10) plan for the reconciliation of the human race.
3:21 glory. Because of the power that God has given to the church, Paul gives glory to Him.
in the church and in Christ Jesus. In this letter Paul uses a variety of images to describe the mutual relationship between the church and Christ: the body and the head (1:22, 23), the reconciled and the reconciler (2:14–18; 4:3), and the bride and her groom (5:22, 33).

My Comments:

Consider The Majesty Of God:

Ephesians 3:20: (NIV)

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

My comment: Consider the vastness of this statement. God can do things for His saints that defy imagination. He can not only do more than we can ask of Him; He can also do more than we can ever imagine. We can see in these inspired Words that God knows all of the things that we need, even if we don’t even know that we need such things. This statement of God’s power, as it relates to His saints, is made possible and true because of the fact that the Spirit of God indwells the spirit of every born again believer in Christ.

Consider Humility In Worship And Reverence Of God In Scriptures Past:

1 Kings 8:54 (NIV)

When Solomon had finished praying this entire prayer and supplication to the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread toward heaven.

Psalms 95:6

Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.

2 Chronicles 6:12-13 (NIV)

12 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. 13 Now he had made a bronze platform, five cubits long, five cubits wide and three cubits high, and had placed it in the center of the outer court. He stood on the platform and then knelt down before the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven(and the he prayed, my note).

2 Chronicles 7:1-3, 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

1 Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house.
2 And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house.
3 And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

Nehemiah 8:5-6 (KJV)

5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:
6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

Ephesians 3:14: (NIV)

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father,

Consider Humility In Worship And Reverence Of God In The Future.

Philippians 2:9-10 (NASB)

9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Summation of Humility: Solomon, the king of Israel, Ezra, a priest of Israel, and the people of Israel, showed reverence and humility to God, At a time, yet to be determined, all people who have ever lived in this world will kneel to God in reverence, and confess that Jesus is Lord. What should be our attitude of worship now?

Consider The Presence Of God In Our Lives. Consider the worshipful attitude that can be obtained as we listen to the music of Terry Mac Almon.

In The Presence Of Jehovah

071414, Keys To The Bible – Ephesians – Chapter 3 – Preview – You Are There

Opening paragraphs I, II, III, and IV are taken from my Blog Post 070414, and explain the background of this post. Paragraph IV also identifies the chapter that will be studied. Paragraph V provides the scriptures that are contained within that chapter. Paragraph VI announces the worship and praise music video that will conclude this post.

I. “You Are There” was a thirty-minute weekly television series that ran from 1953 through 1957. During each episode, CBS reporter Walter Cronkite hosted the reenactments of historical events. Shows included, “The Landing of the Hindenburg”, “The Salem Witchcraft Trials”, “The Gettysburg Address”, “The Fall of Troy,” “The Battle Of Alamo,” and other significant happenings. Consider what it would have been like if you had been in Ephesus when Tychicus arrived with the letter that had been written by the Apostle Paul. The epistle may have been read to you, and to other believers in Christ, by Tychicus or by one of the elders of the church. But, before we get to that reading, let’s consider the things that had been going on in that area of present-day Turkey.

II. Ephesus was located was on the southwest coast of the Aegean Sea, and was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation. The Gospel of John may have been written there, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, may have died there. Paul’s second and third missionary journeys led him to Ephesus. His second journey lasted from about 49-52 A.D. (Acts 15:39-18:22). His third journey lasted from about 53-59 A.D (Acts 18:23-21:16). A record of the Apostle’s time in Ephesus is shown in Acts 18:19-20:38, and included that total time frame of the two journeys. Paul wrote his first epistle to the Corinthian church from Ephesus during his third missionary journey (1 Corinthians 16:5-8, 9, 19). Some of the events of Paul’s stay in Ephesus are listed below.

III. Ephesus (49 A.D. – 59 A.D.) (Acts 18:19-20:38)

18:19 – Reasoned with the Jews in the synagogue.
19:1-7 – Taught disciples of John the Baptist on the Baptism of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
19:8-10 – Taught in the synagogue about the Kingdom Of God
19:11-20 – God worked miracles by the hands of Paul
19:23-41 – Taught against idolatry
20:13-38 – Bids farewell to the elders of the church in Ephesus
He encouraged them, saying the Holy Spirit had made them overseers and shepherds of the church that Jesus had purchased with His blood.
He cautioned them about conflict that would come from forces , within and without the church.
He reminded them of one of the key teachings of Jesus on benevolence,
Acts 20:35,21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
I have shown you all things, how that by so laboring ye ought to support the weak and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
The departure of Paul from the elders was one that was tearful.
Acts 20:36-38, 21st Century King James Version (KJ21),”And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down and prayed with them all. And they all wept sorely and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him,sorrowing most of all because of the words which he had spoken, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.”

IV. Getting back to “You Are There,” consider the words of the letter that you are hearing, as they are being read to you. Remember that you don’t have any of today’s favorite study Bibles, or commentaries, for reference purposes. You are hearing the inspired words of the Apostle Paul that he had written specifically to you, and for you, for the first time. You will notice that that the letter is addressed to those who have been born again, and that it is not evangelical. You will notice spiritual promises for you, as they intertwine with the purposes of God. You will also notice that the letter is spiritual, as it relates to the church and its leaders. Read the third chapter of the Ephesian letter, one verse at a time. Consider the words of each verse before you begin reading the next one. Remember that you have never, ever, heard these words. Put aside any preconceived ideas of what you may have thought, or what anyone else may have shared with you. Don’t use any outside study helps. Pray for God’s Holy Spirit to lead you to an understanding that has never been made known to you. Keep in mind that you’re not the tail that wags the dog. Remember, “You Are There!”

V. Ephesians 3, 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

1 For this cause I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles—
2 if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me toward you,
3 how by revelation He made known unto me the mystery (as I wrote before in a few words,
4 whereby when ye read this, ye may understand my knowledge of the mystery of Christ),
5 which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:
6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the Gospel,
7 for which I was made a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power.
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
9 and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ,
10 with the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known through the church the manifold wisdom of God,
11 according to the eternal purpose which He hath purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord,
12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.
13 Therefore, I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which are your glory.
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 from whom the whole family in Heaven and earth is named,
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man;
17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height,
19 and to know the love of Christ, which surpasseth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

VI. Now, let us worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus, as we are blessed by the Gaithers and friends.

The Hallelujiah Side

071214, A Matthew 25:40 Real Life Story

Matthew 25:35-36 (NKJV)

35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

Matthew 25:40 (NKJV)

40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Many of our churches provide food and clothing to people who may be classified as being, “indigent.” But, of course, indigent is a kind word that means, “lacking food, clothing, and other necessities of life because of poverty; needy; poor; impoverished.” We can use kind words to describe people who lack food, clothing, and other necessities of life; and that is because they are needy, poor, and impoverished. But, the truth of the matter is that such people who lack food, clothing, and other necessities of life, because they are needy, poor,and impoverished, are not any less, in need of food, clothing, or other necessities of life, because we assign them a category that makes them appear to be other than in need of food,clothing, or other necessities of life? (a definite run on sentence that is needed for emphasizing the importance of the situation)

It is easy for us to take our extra food and clothing items to a central drop-off point. That insulates us from the truth of poverty that surrounds the lives of those who will be receiving those items. Do we give our throwaway clothing to those who are in need of clothing? Do we select food items that are “on sale,” but without proper nutrition for those who need such nutrition?

Have you ever given food to someone who was holding up a sign that reads, “Hungry, Need Food?” That is a situation that many of us face in today’s world, and all too often we may feel uncomfortable about the whole thing. That’s an easy one, when you consider the other situations that seem to pop up in our lives, especially when we’re not ready to face the truths of life that are a result of poverty, that affect the needy, the poor, and the impoverished.

Here’s a real hard situation, that of prostitutes, homosexuals, drug addicts, alcoholics, those who are homeless, and any other class of people that we would rather not bring into our world of ministry. It wasn’t by design, but rather by Providence, that I found myself in such “a pool of people” (Not kind words! But it gives attention to the situation). I have written about my personal experiences of ministry to each of those groups of people. Praying with a prostitute, and watching tears roll down her cheeks; watching homeless women, on Mothers’ Days, walking the streets, “with no place to go.” Knowing that some of these same women will sell their bodies because they have no money, no food, and no place to spend the night. Seeing people, families, living in their cars. Seeing men making a park bench “their bed for the night.” Going under a bridge and seeing a homeless city, with “those residents” storing all of their belongings in grocery store shopping carts, and sleeping in “make shift” beds that extend from one steel girder to another….. And so on, and so forth…..Such ministry requires serious prayer and planning, but is necessary. I could go on, but that is not my purpose. It is only my desire to provide spiritual food for thought, as it relates to our responsibility to minister to the needs of those who our Lord Jesus describes as being, “the least of these.”

Please consider the song that Mike Adkins sings in such a spirit of worship. Then, listen to the account of his relationship with “A Man Called Norman.” For those who may find themselves interested in “WWJD,” (what would Jesus do), I encourage you to read the book, “In His Steps,” that was written by Charles M. Sheldon.

Can we say the words of John 15:21 without also loving, and showing the highest degree of spiritual love for, the less fortunate of our society? I trust that God will move within you to seek and serve those who need the love of His people who may have, “slipped through the cracks” of life.

John 15:21, “…Yes Lord, You know that I love You…”

Adoration by Mike Adkins

Praise, we praise, praise, praise, Praise to the One who sent us His son
Praise, praise, praise, praise, In one accord we praise You oh Lord
There is no other name above You, Blessed Be Your Name
God of Jacob
Sheppard of Israel
Holy unto Your name, Holy unto Your name
Praise praise, praise, we praise, Praise to the One who sent us His son
Praise praise, praise, praise, In one accord we praise You oh Lord

Glory and Honour and Power, Unto the Lord our God, God of Abraham Faithful and True
Holy Holy are You, Holy Holy are You

Holy Holy is Your name

Holy Holy is Your name

A Man Called Norman – Mike Adkins (The four parts of the story are linked individually. The full story is also linked. Sometimes the full story begins with part four.)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Full

071114 – Book, Chapter, Verse – “Tithes And Offerings”

There is much confusion in the world of believers in Jesus, as it relates to the giving of tithes and offerings. Such questions that we may hear are: What percentage do I give? Is it before or after taxes? What has been the purpose of the tithe? Has the tithe become irrelevant for Christians?

As this study progresses, we will also touch on the subjects of the Sabbath and the feasts of the Jews. We may be asked if the feasts are for the Jews only, and is it for the church also?

How do the Gentiles, the descendants of Ham and Japheth, fit into the argument? Do the Jews, who are the descendants of Shem, get a free pass? Are they allowed to “not be born again” to be permitted to enter see the Kingdom of God?

My personal comments will be minimal. I will try to let scripture interpret scripture, as much as possible?

BIBLICAL SUPPORT

2 Timothy 3:16 New King James Version (NKJV) (66 AD)

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

Acts 17:11 New International Version (NIV) (53 AD)

11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 New King James Version (NKJV) (1451 BC)

4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

GOD’S INTERACTION WITH MANKIND IN OLD TESTAMENT

Genesis 1:31 King James Version (KJV)

31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 2:1-3 King James Version (KJV)

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Genesis 2:15 King James Version (KJV) (4004 BC)

15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

THE EXPULSION OF MAN FROM THE GARDEN///THE FIRST TIME OF MAN CALLING UPON GOD

Genesis 3:23-24 King James Version (KJV) (4003 BC)

23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Genesis 4:26 King James Version (KJV) (3875 BC)

26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.

Genesis 5:22-24 King James Version (KJV) (3875)

22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

GOD DESTROYS ALL LIFE WHOSE NOSTRILS WERE THE BREATH OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE (GEN 7:22)

Genesis 7:1 King James Version (KJV) (2448 BC)

7 And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

Genesis 8:15-16 King James Version (KJV) (2349 BC)

15 And God spake unto Noah, saying,
16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

THE WORLD STARTS OVER///SHEM, HAM, AND JAPETH POPULATE THE WORLD

GOD CHOOSES SHEM’S DESCENDANTS (Deu 7:6-9; Ezek 36:24-29; John 4:20-24)///GOD STILL LOVES THE GENTILES (HAM AND JAPHETH) John 3:16)///SHEM’S DESCENDANTS(ISRAEL) ALSO NEED A SAVIOR (ROMANS 3:23).

John 4:20-24, (NKJV) (31 AD)

20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

In the above passage, Jesus tells the Samaritan that the plan of salvation, as was announced by God in Genesis 3:15, had run its course through the descendants of Shem, who were the Jews. And, that spiritual worship of God was on the way for those Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles, who would “be born again,” (John 3:3-8), and have the Spirit of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit indwelling them (John 14:16-20).

GOD CHOOSES ABRAM

ABRAHAM BEGINS THE LINEAGE OF SHEM/HE HAD BEEN AN IDOL WORSHIPPER (Joshua 24:2)

Genesis 12:1-4 King James Version (KJV) (2126 BC)

1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
4 So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

THE FIRST TITHE/NO CHURCH, TABERNACLE, OR TEMPLE, YET

Genesis 14:18-20 King James Version (KJV) (1918 BC)

18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

GOD’S COVENANT WITH JACOB (CONSIDER TODAY’S WORLD)

Genesis 28:10-14 King James Version (KJV) (1760 BC)

10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
13 And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

JACOB CALLED ISRAEL BY GOD/CONSIDER TODAY’S WORLD VIEW OF ISRAEL

Genesis 32:28 King James Version (KJV) (1739 BC)

28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

GOD AND ISRAEL

Exodus 12:1-3 King James Version (KJV) (1491 BC)

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying,
2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:

SABBATH CHOSEN FOR ISRAEL/NO MENTION OF CORPORATE WORSHIP, OR OF HAM AND JAPHETH

Exodus 16:22-30 King James Version (KJV) (1491 BC)

22 And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
23 And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.
25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the Lord: to day ye shall not find it in the field.
26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
28 And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
29 See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

SABBATH AND 10 COMMANDMENTS/NO MENTION OF CORPORATE WORSHIP

Exodus 20:8-11 King James Version (KJV) (1491 BC)

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

GOD’S FEASTS TO ISRAEL/DESCENDANTS OF HAM AND JAPHETH NOT GIVEN THE FEASTS

Exodus 23:14-17 New King James Version (NKJV) (1491 BC)

Three Annual Feasts

14 “Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: 15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); 16 and the Feast of Harvest, the first fruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field. 17 “Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God.

Leviticus 23:1-6, 44 New King James Version (NKJV) (1490 BC)

Feasts of the Lord

23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.

The Sabbath

3 ‘Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.

The Passover and Unleavened Bread

4 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. 5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 44 So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.

TITHE CHOSEN FOR LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD AND BENEVOLENCE

Leviticus 27:26-32 New King James Version (NKJV) (1491 BC)

26 ‘But the firstborn of the animals, which should be the Lord’s firstborn, no man shall dedicate; whether it is an ox or sheep, it is the Lord’s. 27 And if it is an unclean animal, then he shall redeem it according to your valuation, and shall add one-fifth to it; or if it is not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to your valuation.

28 ‘Nevertheless no devoted offering that a man may devote to the Lord of all that he has, both man and beast, or the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted offering is most holy to the Lord. 29 No person under the ban, who may become doomed to destruction among men, shall be redeemed,but shall surely be put to death. 30 And all the tithe of the land,whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord. 31 If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. 32 And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord.

LEVITES HAD NO INHERITANCE IN THE PROMISED LAND

Numbers 18:24-28 New King James Version (NKJV) (1471 BC)

24 For the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer up as a heave offering to the Lord, I have given to the Levites as an inheritance; therefore I have said to them, ‘Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.’”

The Tithe of the Levites

25 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 26 “Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: ‘When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the Lord, a tenth of the tithe. 27 And your heave offering shall be reckoned to you as though it were the grain of the threshing floor and as the fullness of the wine press. 28 Thus you shall also offer a heave offering to the Lord from all your tithes which you receive from the children of Israel, and you shall give the Lord’s heave offering from it to Aaron the priest.

18:1–24 The duties and support of the priests and Levites are detailed. Only Aaron and his family could go near the furnishings of the sanctuary or the altar; the other Levites answered to the priests and were to do all the work at the tent of meeting (vv. 1–7). The males of Aaron’s family were to receive the parts of the most holy offerings that were kept from the fire (vv. 8–10). All members of this family who were ceremonially clean were to share the wave offerings (v. 11; Ex. 29:24–27; Lev. 7:30–34) and the first fruits (vv. 12, 13; Ex. 23:16–19; 34:22–26; Lev. 23:20;Deut. 18:4; 26:10). Support for the Levites came from the tithes offered by the people (Deut. 13:22–29 and notes).

Daily Offerings

28 Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Command the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘My offering, My food for My offerings made by fire as a sweet aroma to Me, you shall be careful to offer to Me at their appointed time.’

Deuteronomy 12:11-12 New King James Version (NKJV) (1451 BC)

11 then there will be the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice offerings which you vow to the Lord. 12 And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion nor inheritance with you.

12:12 no . . . inheritance. The gifts of the worshipers were, in part, to support the priests and Levites, who were allotted no farmland of their own (10:6–9).

TITHE’S PURPOSE

Deuteronomy 10:6-9 New King James Version (NKJV) (1451 BC)

6 (Now the children of Israel journeyed from the wells of Bene Jaakan to Moserah, where Aaron died, and where he was buried; and Eleazar his son ministered as priest in his stead. 7 From there they journeyed to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land of rivers of water. 8 At that time the Lord separated the tribe of Levi to bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister to Him and to bless in His name, to this day. 9 Therefore Levi has no portion nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance, just as the Lord your God promised him.)

Deuteronomy 26:11-13New King James Version (NKJV) (1451)

11 So you shall rejoice in every good thing which the Lord your God has given to you and your house, you and the Levite and the stranger who is among you.

12 “When you have finished laying aside all the tithe of your increase in the third year—the year of tithing—and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your gates and be filled, 13 then you shall say before the Lord your God: ‘I have removed the holy tithe from my house, and also have given them to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed Your commandments, nor have I forgotten them.

2 Chronicles 31:4 New King James Version (NKJV) (726 BC)

4 Moreover he commanded the people who dwelt in Jerusalem to contribute support for the priests and the Levites, that they might devote themselves to the Law of the Lord.

Nehemiah 10:37-38 New King James Version (NKJV) (445 BC)

37 to bring the first fruits of our dough, our offerings, the fruit from all kinds of trees, the new wine and oil, to the priests, to the storerooms of the house of our God; and to bring the tithes of our land to the Levites, for the Levites should receive the tithes in all our farming communities. 38 And the priest, the descendant of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive tithes; and the Levites shall bring up a tenth of the tithes to the house of our God, to the rooms of the storehouse.

ROBBING GOD? CONSIDER THE STOREHOUSE/CONSIDER THE PURPOSE OF THE TITHE

Malachi 3:8-10 21st Century King James Version (KJ21) (397 BC)

8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me! But ye say, ‘Wherein have we robbed Thee?’ In tithes and offerings.

9 Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation.

10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and put Me to the proof now herewith,” saith the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open to you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

3:10 storehouse. This term refers to a room in the temple designated for the storage of gifts (2 Chr. 31:11; Neh. 10:38, 39;12:44; 13:12). 2 Chronicles 31:11-12, NKJV, Follows

11 Now Hezekiah commanded them to prepare rooms in the house of the Lord, and they prepared them. 12 Then they faithfully brought in the offerings, the tithes, and the dedicated things; Cononiah the Levite had charge of them, and Shimei his brother was the next.

put me to the test. This is a reversal of the ordinary biblical pattern, in which God typically tests human beings (Ps. 11:5;26:2; 66:10; Prov. 17:3; Jer. 11:20; 12:3; 17:10). Only in a few instances are humans invited to test God (i.e., to prove His claims and justify His commands, Is. 7:11, 12; 1 Kin. 18:22–46).

vs 10: The whole tithe (NASB) (Mac Arthur Note).When the tithes were unpaid, the priests were deprived and had to give up their ministry and to begin farming. The nation’s religious life was hindered and the poor and the strangers suffered. The real iniquity was that such disobedience was robbing God, who was the true King of the theocracy of Israel. Storehouse. A room in the temple to store the tithes of crops and animals brought by the people. This was the temple treasury.

Leviticus 27:18-32, (1491 BC) Tithe, MacArthur Note: This general tithe was given to the Levites (Numbers 18:21-32. This is the only mention of tithe or ten percent in Leviticus. However, along with this offering, there were two other OT tithes which totaled about 23 per cent annually (the second tithe – Dt 14:22; and the third tithe every 3 years – Dt 14:28, 20; 26:12)

GOD’S INTERACTION WITH MANKIND IN NEW TESTAMENT

TIMES OF WORSHIP

Acts 2:42 21st Century King James Version (KJ21) (33 AD)

42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread and in prayers.

No tithe mentioned.

Acts 20:7, 21st Century KJV, (59 AD)

7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow, and continued his speech until midnight.

No mention of tithe.

BENEVOLENCE GIFTS FOR FAMINE

Acts 11:27-30 NKJV (42 AD)

Relief to Judea

27 And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. 29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. 30 This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

1 Corinthians 16:1-4 NKJV (59 AD)

Collection for the Saints

16 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. 3 And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem. 4 But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.

16:1 Now concerning the collection. From 2 Cor. 8:1–4 and Rom. 15:25–27 it appears that one of the purposes of Paul’s third missionary journey was to raise an offering from the Gentiles for Jewish Christians in Judea who were in need, possibly as a result of persecution. Apparently, Paul had already told the Corinthians about this project in an earlier letter (5:9). They had asked for more information and perhaps expressed reservations about it (Introduction: Date and Occasion)

16:2 On the first day of every week. The reference is to Sunday, the day on which the resurrected Lord met with His disciples (John 20:19, 26; cf. also “the Lord’s day” in Rev. 1:10). Acts 20:7 indicates that the early Christians met on Sunday “to break bread” (part of their worship), and it would have been appropriate to designate that day for collecting the offering.

2 Corinthians 8:1-4 NKJV (60 AD)

Excel in Giving

1 Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. 3 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, 4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

Romans 15:27 NKJV (60 AD)

27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.

15:25–33 Paul now discloses his immediate plans to visit Jerusalem with the gifts the churches had raised for the Christians there. Jerusalem was an impoverished city in general; in addition, the Christians there would suffer particular hardship as a suspect minority. But Paul sees a significance deeper than charity in the gift. It is a duty (v. 27), a solemn obligation of the Gentiles in view of the privilege they have received in being grafted into God’s olive tree (11:17). This conforms to the general principle that those who receive spiritual blessings should share their own material blessings (1 Cor. 9:3–14; Gal. 6:6).

CONCLUSION

When the people of Israel (the Jews) entered the promised land the Levites had no inheritance there. The tithe was instituted to support the Levitical priesthood so that they could provide ministry to the Jews, and represent the Jews to God. There were also benevolent needs that were met through the tithe. The storehouse is not the church. King Hezekiah, added a room to the temple “to store the tithe.” When the Jews didn’t properly tithe, the priests had to “go to work” so that they could support their families. The result was their inability to properly minister to the Jews. The New Testament Church has no example of a tithe being a part of a church service. In order for relief support to be provided to the church around Jerusalem, offerings were requested to provide that much needed support. However, there is no evidence that tithing was a part of the church’s weekly “church service.” Many times, 1 Corinthians 16 is used as a proof text for church tithing. But, please read the words of Paul very carefully. Also, consider that Paul’s letter to the Corinthians was not written until the year 59 AD. Nothing is mentioned in Paul’s letters to any of the churches that addresses tithing. Now, with this conclusion having been made, please know that pastors and staffs, and everything that brings about a ministry, must have regular financial support. The need of the church of Christ (not a denominational name) has never been greater than what we are experiencing in today’s world. There are too many young males, who need believers in Christ, to explain the love of Jesus to them. There are too many babies being destroyed in the wombs of their mothers. We need to teach our fellow believers in Christ, to teach others that such taking of life is murder. Homosexuality is being forced upon most of the world by governmental leaders who show no relationship to Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We must have teaching in our churches that is so effective that “the church” will stop voting for politicians who support abortion and homosexual marriage as being acceptable in our society. The church is necessary for such teaching because most parents are unable to do that teaching. Let me get back to the issue of money. “Just how important are our children?” Are we willing to support our churches with such financial means that we can, not only, send Christians to the mission fields around the world (Acts 1:8), but that we can also feel confident that we are “equipping those saints” (Eph 4:12) to be effective in their “works of service for the building up of the body of Christ.” We need to know that those believers, who are providing ministry in their places of employment, and other meeting places, are equipped for those much needed ministries. We need to understand that not just a tithe amount, or offering, are God’s, but that “all of our money” belongs to God. We need to understand that, “it’s all God’s!” Consider the Words of Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”

Now, let’s enter into worship and praise as we are blessed by the orchestra and 500 member of Prestonwood Baptist Church (Southern Baptist Convention). The Senior Pastor is Dr. Jack Graham. The church is located in Fort Worth, Texas, in the USA.

Prestonwood Baptist Church
“You Are Worthy”

071014, Dispensations Of The Bible – The Third Dispensation – Human Government – Genesis 8:15 – 11:32

Scofield’s Notes,C. I. Scofield’s Study Reference

For over 90 years people have relied on this reference work in their daily study of God’s Word. Written originally in 1909, C. I. Scofield’s intent was to provide a concise but complete tool that would meet the need of someone just beginning to read the Bible. Cyrus Scofield was born in Lenawee County, Michigan, but during the American Civil War after his conversion to evangelical Christianity in 1879, Scofield assisted in the St. Louis campaign conducted by Dwight L. Moody and in 1883 Scofield was ordained as a Congregationalist minister, and he accepted the pastorate of small mission church founded by that denomination.

Genesis 8:15-22 New King James Version (NKJV)

15 Then God spoke to Noah, saying, 16 “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 18 So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. 19 Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark.

The Third Dispensation, Human Government, began when Noah and his family left the ark. Under Conscience, as in Innocency, man utterly failed, and the judgment of the Flood marks the end of the second dispensation and the beginning of the third. The declaration of the Noahic Covenant subjects humanity to a new test. Its distinctive feature is the institution, for the first time, of human government–the government of man by man. Up to this time no man had the right to take another man’s life (Gen 4:10-11, 14-15, 23-24). In this new dispensation, although man’s direct moral responsibility to God continued (Mt 22:21, “Give …. to God what is God’s…”) God delegated to him certain areas of His authority, in which he was to obey God through submission to his fellow man (“Give …. to Caesar what is Caesar’s,” Mt 22:21). So God instituted a corporate relationship of man to man in human government.

The highest function of government is the protection of human life, out of which arises the responsibility of capital punishment. All other governmental powers are implied in that. It follows that the third dispensation is distinctively that of human government. Man is responsible to govern the world for God. That responsibility rested upon the whole race, Jew and Gentile, until the failure of Israel under the Palestinian Covenant (Deu 28.- 30:1-10 ) brought the judgment of the Captivities, when “the times of the Gentiles” (See) ; Luke 21:24 ; Revelation 16:14 began, and the government of the world passed exclusively into Gentile hands ; Daniel 2:36-45 ; Luke 21:24 ; Acts 15:14-17 .

Man failed to rule righteously. That both Israel and the Gentiles have governed for self, not God, is sadly apparent. The judgment of the confusion of tongues ended the racial testing; that of the captivities, the Jewish; while the Gentile testing will end in the smiting of the Image (Da 2.) and the judgment of the nations Matthew 25:31-46 .

Genesis 11:32 New King James Version (NKJV)

32 So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.
Now, let us worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus, as we are blessed by the orchestra and five hundred member choir of the Prestonwood Baptist Church.

You Reign

Prestonwood Baptist Church
Southern Baptist Convention
Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Senior Pastor Dr. Jack Graham

070914, Keys To The Bible – Ephesians – Chapter 2 – Summary

Introduction. Think spiritual! Repetition will be used to stress and reinforce this thought.

As we provide summary for Chapter 2 of Ephesians, it is important for us to remember that we are studying an epistle that is spiritual and relational in its focus. It is important to to acknowledge that “the church” may meet in a brick and mortar structure, but a building is only a building. It is the spiritual “body of Christ” that carries the banner of the message of Jesus and His love for a fallen world. The title of this chapter could be called “Things That God Has Done For Fallen Mankind.” Paul compares the church to a temple. He reviews the what, why, and how that relate to this spiritual temple of salvation.

I. Consider our spiritual past. (2:1-3, 11-12)

Ephesians 2:1-3,11-12,New King James Version (NKJV)

1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

Consider a life-saving act that God did for fallen mankind, that we could not have done for ourselves. He “made us alive;” we were dead in our trespasses and sin (vs 1). A dead man can’t give life to himself. Before we were “made alive,” we were:”

Dead in sin (2:1); Influenced by Satan (2:2); Controlled by lust (2:3a); Under God’s wrath (2:3b); Pagans without God (2:11); F. Separated from Christ (2-12a); Without hope in this present world (2-12b).

II. Consider what God did when He saved us (2:4-6).

Ephesians 2:4-6 New King James Version (NKJV)

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

Consider these actions, past tense, that God has done for us, who were formerly fallen mankind. He made us alive together with Christ; and, He did that by His grace (vs 5). By placing us in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, God caused us to be in the presence of Jesus, wherever Jesus might be. By placing us “in Christ Jesus,” we have also been placed, spiritually in the Presence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and anyone else who has also been placed in that Spiritual Presence. See the following words of John 17:20-23, NKJV:

20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

Consider the things that God did for us. He loved us (2:4); He liberated us (2:5); He lifted us (2:6).

III. Consider why God did these things (2:7). He did it so that he might display us as trophies of His grace.

Ephesians 2:7 New King James Version (NKJV)

7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

The note in the Ryrie Study Bible say, “Believers will be an eternal display of the grace of God.”
My note: God will be “showing us off.”

IV. Consider how God did saved us (2:8-9, 13)

Ephesians 2:8-9, 13 New King James Version (NKJV)

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Without the grace of God, fallen mankind would have remained in that fallen state. The salvation, the grace, and the faith are all a packaged gift of God. There is nothing that , in and of ourselves, could have saved us. Per Romans 12:3, NET Bible, “For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith.”

Our salvation was obtained: Through his special favor (2:8a); Through faith (2:8b-9); and Through blood (2:13).

V. Consider our present state, now that we are saved (2:10, 14-22)

Ephesians 2:10, 14-22New King James Version (NKJV)

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

We were created in Christ Jesus, “for good works.” God planned this action before the foundation of the world, and broke down the wall of separation that divided Gentiles and Jews. He created one man from the two, which is the spiritual body of Christ. We, who were fallen mankind, have now become the people of God; only God could have caused that to happen. We were made to be the dwelling place of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and all other saints of God.

Consider the following words of John 14:16-20, NKJV. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

We are now the products of grace (2:10). We have been created in Christ to do good works; this was planned before the foundation of the world. We are now the partners of Israel (2:14-18). Christ destroyed the barrier separating Jews from Gentiles. He has joined into one body, a new person, both Jews and Gentiles. We are mow the people of God (2:19). We are now the pillars of the temple (2:20-22), with the foundation being the apostles and prophets, and the cornerstone being Jesus, Himself. It is important for us to know that this “temple” is one of spiritual composition. There is not a denominational name that has been posted “above the front door.” This temple is the true body of Christ. It is composed of saved, born again, believers in Jesus. The true body of Christ may be identified as being mortal members of denominational congregations, but it may also be found in cell groups, home churches, and church plants. The key to this understanding is that this temple is a spiritual body of believers of Christ. There are no pews, altars, or pulpits. Neither are their any stained glass windows or statues. And, there is no steeple. The temple, the true church, is the spiritual body of Christ. It is made up of the people who have been born again and indwell the Spirit of The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Parting Thought.

Consider that salvation is by grace, and is a gift. Consider whether God will choose someone for salvation, whether He will not, and whether He will choose a person to be condemned to hell. You may very well be confronted by these questions. We need to be ready to provide answers that are based on scripture.

Now, let us enter into worship and praise, as we are blessed by the orchestra and five hundred member choir of the Prestonwood Baptist Church (Southern Baptist Convention), of Fort Worth, Texas (USA). The Senior Pastor is Dr. Jack Graham.

I Can Go Into the Holy Of Holies

070714 – Keys To The Bible – Ephesians – Chapter 2 – Commentary

This middle post on Ephesians Chapter 2, consists of comments from two highly respected writers of Biblical commentaries. Dr. C.I. Scofield and Dr. R.C. Sproul provide excellent “food for thought” for the scriptures that are addressed. Wherever I may add a thought, I will precede such a comment with the notation of, “My Note.”

Scofield’s Notes, C. I. Scofield’s Study Reference

For over 90 years people have relied on this reference work in their daily study of God’s Word. Written originally in 1909, C. I. Scofield’s intent was to provide a concise but complete tool that would meet the need of someone just beginning to read the Bible. Cyrus Scofield was born in Lenawee County, Michigan, but during the American Civil War after his conversion to evangelical Christianity in 1879, Scofield assisted in the St. Louis campaign conducted by Dwight L. Moody and in 1883 Scofield was ordained as a Congregationalist minister, and he accepted the pastorate of small mission church founded by that denomination.

Ephesians 2 New King James Version (NKJV)
By Grace Through Faith

2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Brought Near by His Blood
11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Christ Our Peace
14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Christ Our Cornerstone
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Ephesians 2
Chapter 2
2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

world
kosmos = world-system. Colossians 2:20 ; John 7:7 . (See Scofield “Revelation 13:8”) .

2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

dead
Death (spiritual), Summary: Spiritual death is the state of the natural or unregenerate man as still in his sins. Ephesians 2:1 alienated from the life of God Ephesians 4:18 Ephesians 4:19 and destitute of the Spirit. Prolonged beyond the death of the body, spiritual death is a state of eternal separation from God in conscious suffering. This is called “the second death.” ; Revelation 2:11 ; Revelation 20:6 Revelation 20:14 ; 21:8 .
saved (See Scofield “Romans 1:16”) .

2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

grace Grace (in salvation). Ep 5,7,8 Colossians 1:6 ; Romans 3:24 ; John 1:17 (See Scofield “John 1:17”)
saved
See note, (See Scofield “Romans 1:16”)

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.

created
(See Scofield “Ephesians 4:24”) .

2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

world
kosmos = mankind. (See Scofield “Matthew 4:8”) .

2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
new man
Here the “new man” is not the individual believer but the church, considered as the body of Christ in the sense of Ephesians 1:22 Ephesians 1:23 ; 1 Corinthians 12:12 1 Corinthians 12:13 ; Colossians 3:10 Colossians 3:11 . (See Scofield “Hebrews 12:23”) .

Dr. S.C. Sproul, Reformation Study Bible

Dr. R.C. Sproul is founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries, an international Christian education ministry located near Orlando, Fla. He is also co-pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Fla., chancellor of Reformation Bible College, and executive editor of Tabletalk magazine. He can be heard on the radio program Renewing Your Mind, which is broadcast on hundreds of radio outlets in the United States and around the world, and on RefNet 24-hour Christian internet radio. Dr. Sproul has contributed dozens of articles to national evangelical publications, has spoken at conferences, churches, and schools around the world, and has written more than ninety books, including The Holiness of God, Faith Alone, and Everyone’s a Theologian. He also serves as general editor of The Reformation Study Bible.

Ephesians 2 English Standard Version (ESV)
Reformation Study Bible

1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins

2:1 you were dead. See “Regeneration: The New Birth” at John 3:3.

2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—

3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

2:1–3 The natural state of all human beings is a kind of spiritual death. This spiritual condition is universal: both Gentiles (v. 2) and Jews (v. 3) are “by nature children of wrath” (v. 3; on Paul’s view of “nature” see Rom. 1). Second, they are in active rebellion against God; note the use of “walked” in regard to Gentiles in v. 2 and “lived” in reference to Jews in v. 3. Third, they are subject to the evil rule of Satan (called in v. 2 “the prince of the power of the air”; cf. Gal. 4:3; Col. 1:13). Fourth, they are totally unable to change themselves from rebellion against God (John 3:3). Fifth, they are exposed to the just anger of God (v. 3; 5:6; Rom. 1:18–20).

2:1 you were dead. See “Regeneration: The New Birth” at John 3:3.
Cross references:
Ephesians 2:1 : Col. 2:13; [Col. 1:21]
Ephesians 2:1 : ver. 5; [ch. 4:18]; See Luke 15:24
Ephesians 2:2 : ch. 4:17, 22; 5:8; Col. 3:7; See Rom. 11:30; 1 Cor. 6:11
Ephesians 2:2 : [ch. 6:12; Rev. 9:11]; See John 12:31
Ephesians 2:2 : ch. 5:6; [1 Pet. 1:14]
Ephesians 2:3 : Gal. 5:16
Ephesians 2:3 : See Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:12
Ephesians 2:3 : [2 Pet. 2:14]

4 But God, being rich in mercy because of the great love with which he loved.

2:4 But God. Paul paints this bleak portrait of the human situation to throw into relief God’s gracious and merciful response to it. “because of the great love” God loves His people of His own will. Paul excludes any consideration of merit, effort, or ability on the part of those who come to life (cf. Deut. 7:7, 8). The hopeless condition of sinners apart from Christ that Paul has described in vv. 1–3 is the basis for understanding his teaching on God’s election in 1:4–6, and on His gift of life here in vv. 4–10. Note the summary in Rom. 8:29, 30.
Cross references:
Ephesians 2:4 : ver. 7; Titus 3:5; See Rom. 2:4
Ephesians 2:4 : See John 3:16

5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved —6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus

2:5, 6 made us alive . . . raised us up . . . seated us. These are historical events in the life of Christ: His resurrection from the dead and enthronement at the right hand of God. But Paul also applies them to what has happened to believers. Paul teaches a union between Christ and those who come to trust Him (1:3; Col. 3:1–4), so that what is said of the Redeemer can also be said of the redeemed. What once happened to Jesus will one day happen to believers as well (2 Cor. 4:16): they will be resurrected to glory at His return (Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 15). For the present, there is a new mind (4:23, 24; Rom. 12:1, 2), a new identity as God’s children (Rom. 8:14–17), and a new ability to live free from the control of Satan (Rom. 8:1–4; 2 Cor. 5:17).2:5, 6 made us alive . . . raised us up . . . seated us. These are historical events in the life of Christ: His resurrection from the dead and enthronement at the right hand of God. But Paul also applies them to what has happened to believers. Paul teaches a union between Christ and those who come to trust Him (1:3; Col. 3:1–4), so that what is said of the Redeemer can also be said of the redeemed. What once happened to Jesus will one day happen to believers as well (2 Cor. 4:16): they will be resurrected to glory at His return (Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 15). For the present, there is a new mind (4:23, 24; Rom. 12:1, 2), a new identity as God’s children (Rom. 8:14–17), and a new ability to live free from the control of Satan (Rom. 8:1–4; 2 Cor. 5:17).
Cross references:
Ephesians 2:5 : ver. 1; [Rom. 5:6, 8, 10]
Ephesians 2:5 : Col. 2:12, 13; [John 14:19; Rev. 20:4]
Ephesians 2:5 : ver. 8; See Acts 15:11
Ephesians 2:6 : See ch. 1:20

7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

2:7 The ground of our salvation is God’s love and mercy, and its goal is the promotion of His grace and kindness (3:6 note).
Cross references:
Ephesians 2:7 : ver. 4
Ephesians 2:7 : Titus 3:4

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God

2:8 you have been saved. Salvation is a completed action that has a present effect. In his earlier letters Paul usually refers to salvation either as a future event (Rom. 5:9, 10) or as a present process (1 Cor. 1:18; 2 Cor. 2:15). One exception is Rom. 8:24, where Paul puts salvation in the past, but qualifies it as needing completion at Christ’s return: “in this hope we were saved.”
And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. This parenthesis is thought by many to refer to the whole complex of salvation by grace through faith as a gift of God. Others, however, take “this” as referring specifically to “faith.” Sinners are dependent on God’s gracious gift for their believing response to Christ from the moment of conversion. Paul makes explicit here what is implicit elsewhere in the New Testament about the ultimate source of saving faith (Acts 13:48; Phil. 1:29).
Cross references:
Ephesians 2:8 : ver. 5
Ephesians 2:8 : 1 Pet. 1:5; [Rom. 4:16]
Ephesians 2:8 : [2 Cor. 3:5]
Ephesians 2:8 : [John 4:10; Heb. 6:4]

9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

2:9 works. Only faith, not works, can bring us acceptance with God. But good works are the vital consequence and evidence of life with God (Titus 2:14; 3:8, 14; James 2:14–26). God chose us to make us holy sons and daughters (1:4, 5), and He has now fashioned us to be new bearers of His image (4:24), designed for the kind of life that conforms to God’s character (4:1–6:20). Also see “Antinomianism” at 1 John 3:7.
Cross references:
Ephesians 2:9 : 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5; See Rom. 3:20, 28
Ephesians 2:9 : 1 Cor. 1:29; [Judg. 7:2]

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

2:10 that we should walk in them. See 4:1; 5:2, 8, 15; note the ironic comparison with 2:2; 4:17.
Cross references
Ephesians 2:10 : Deut. 32:6, 15; Ps. 100:3
Ephesians 2:10 : [ch. 3:9; 4:24; Col. 3:10]
Ephesians 2:10 : ch. 4:24
Ephesians 2:10 : [ch. 1:4]
Ephesians 2:10 : Col. 1:10

11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,

2:11 made in the flesh by hands. The opposite of this circumcision is the spiritual circumcision of the heart (Deut. 10:16; Jer. 4:4), applied to Gentiles as well as Jews (Rom. 2:28, 29; Phil. 3:3; Col. 2:11–13).Cross references:
Ephesians 3:11 : See ch. 1:11

12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.

2:12 at that time. Contrast with “But now” in v. 13; see also 5:8. In Rom. 9:3–5, Paul lists the privileges of Jews. Here he lists five disadvantages of Gentiles.
alienated . . . strangers to the covenants of promise. They were not citizens of the nation with whom God was in covenant relation. Though God’s relationship with Israel included a promise to bless the nations (Gen. 12:3), Gentiles had no awareness of that hope.
without God in the world. God had revealed Himself to all humanity in nature and in the conscience. But Gentiles had suppressed what truth they did know, turning instead to idolatry (Acts 17:22–31; Rom. 1:18–2:16).
Cross references:
Ephesians 3:12 : Heb. 4:16; 10:19
Ephesians 3:12 : See ch. 2:18
Ephesians 3:12 : 2 Cor. 3:4
Ephesians 3:12 : Mark 11:22; Phil. 3:9

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ

2:13 in Christ Jesus . . . by the blood of Christ. There are two dimensions to Gentiles’ being brought near to God. The first is their experience of spiritual union with Christ (vv. 4–10); the second is the historical basis of that experience in Christ’s sacrificial death (vv. 14–16; 1:7).
far off . . . near. See v. 17.
Cross references:
Ephesians 3:13 : ver. 1
Ephesians 3:13 : [2 Cor. 1:6]

2:14–16 See 4:22–24; Col. 3:9–12 and notes.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility

2:14 the dividing wall of hostility. This refers to the courts of the temple in Jerusalem. A wall separated Gentiles and Jews, and signs were posted excluding Gentiles from the inner courts where sacrifices for sin were performed.
Cross references:
Ephesians 2:14 : Ps. 72:7; Mic. 5:5; Zech. 9:10; [Col. 3:15]; See Luke 2:14
Ephesians 2:14 : See Gal. 3:28
Ephesians 2:14 : Col. 1:21, 22; [Rom. 7:4]

15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,

2:15 abolishing the law of commandments. Christ offered in His own body the final sacrifice to which the temple’s sacrifices merely pointed. The ceremonial laws of the Old Testament that separated Jews and Gentiles are no longer appropriate after their fulfillment in Christ.
Cross references:
Ephesians 2:15 : Col. 2:14, 20
Ephesians 2:15 : See Rom. 6:4

16 And might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
Cross references:
Ephesians 2:16 : Col. 1:20-22; [1 Cor. 12:13]

17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

2:17, 18 Isaiah had prophesied a day when God’s peace would be proclaimed to those “far” and “near” (Is. 57:19). Through the gospel of Christ the Spirit brings Gentiles (“you who were far off”) and Jews (“those who were near”) together before the Father, in fulfillment of Isaiah’s promise.
Cross references:
Ephesians 2:17 : Isa. 57:19
Ephesians 2:17 : ver. 13
Ephesians 2:17 : Deut. 4:7; Ps. 148:14
Ephesians 2:18 : [John 14:6]
Ephesians 2:18 : ch. 3:12; [John 10:7, 9]; See Rom. 5:2
Ephesians 2:18 : ch. 4:4; 1 Cor. 12:13; [John 4:23]

2:19–22 These verses describe the reversal of the Gentile disadvantages outlined in vv. 11, 12 (cf. 3:6). The building of a new spiritual temple replaces the outmoded one in Jerusalem.

19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

2:19 no longer strangers. The kingdom of God is now international.
Cross references:
Ephesians 2:19 : ver. 12; [Heb. 11:13; 13:14]
Ephesians 2:19 : Phil. 3:20; [Heb. 12:22, 23]
Ephesians 2:19 : See Gal. 6:10

20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,

2:20 The foundation of God’s house was laid once for all by the New Testament apostles and prophets. The cornerstone is Christ (1 Cor. 3:10, 11).
Cross references:
Ephesians 2:20 : [Jer. 12:16]; See 1 Cor. 3:9
Ephesians 2:20 : Matt. 16:18; Rev. 21:14
Ephesians 2:20 : [1 Cor. 3:11]
Ephesians 2:20 : Ps. 118:22; Isa. 28:16

21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

2:21, 22 grows . . . being built. God’s house grows through the continued addition and integration of people as “living stones” (1 Pet. 2:5). The house is also a temple because God Himself lives in this new building of people.
Cross references:
Ephesians 2:21 : ch. 4:15, 16
Ephesians 2:21 : See 1 Cor. 3:16, 17
Ephesians 2:22 : 1 Pet. 2:5
Ephesians 2:22 : [ch. 3:17; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Tim. 3:15]

My Note: Consider the things that God has already done for us (past tense) in the following verses. Nothing can change or undo the things that God has done for us; not any of us, who have been born again, or anyone else.

1. Before we were born again, we were spiritually dead. After we were born again, God gave us eternal spiritual life, past tense.
6. God has put us in the Presence of Jesus, in Jesus, past tense.
8. It was only by the grace of God, due to His mercy and love (vs 4), that He put us in the Presence of Jesus, in Jesus, past tense.
10. We were created in Jesus for good works, past tense.
13. We are “now” in Christ, past tense to whenever we were born again.

The following song of worship and praise was sung by Rodney Brooks during the 1998 Pastors’ Conference that was held at the First Baptist Church, in Jacksonville, FL. (Southern Baptist Convention). Dr. Mac Brunson is the present Senior Pastor of the church. Consider the strength of your spirit being anchored in the Spirit of our Lord and Savior, Jesus; once it is there, it can not be removed.

The Anchor Holds

070614 – Keys To The Bible – Ephesians – Chapter 2 – You Are There

Opening paragraphs I, II, III, and IV are taken from my Blog Post 070414, and explain the background of this post. Paragraph IV also identifies the chapter that will be studied. Paragraph V provides the scriptures that are contained within that chapter. Paragraph VI announces the worship and praise music video that will conclude this post.

I. “You Are There” was a thirty-minute weekly television series that ran from 1953 through 1957. During each episode, CBS reporter Walter Cronkite hosted the reenactments of historical events. Shows included, “The Landing of the Hindenburg”, “The Salem Witchcraft Trials”, “The Gettysburg Address”, “The Fall of Troy,” “The Battle Of Alamo,” and other significant happenings. Consider what it would have been like if you had been in Ephesus when Tychicus arrived with the letter that had been written by the Apostle Paul. The epistle may have been read to you, and to other believers in Christ, by Tychicus or by one of the elders of the church. But, before we get to that reading, let’s consider the things that had been going on in that area of present-day Turkey.

II. Ephesus was located was on the southwest coast of the Aegean Sea, and was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation. The Gospel of John may have been written there, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, may have died there. Paul’s second and third missionary journeys led him to Ephesus. His second journey lasted from about 49-52 A.D. (Acts 15:39-18:22). His third journey lasted from about 53-59 A.D (Acts 18:23-21:16). A record of the Apostle’s time in Ephesus is shown in Acts 18:19-20:38, and included that total time frame of the two journeys. Paul wrote his first epistle to the Corinthian church from Ephesus during his third missionary journey (1 Corinthians 16:5-8, 9, 19). Some of the events of Paul’s stay in Ephesus are listed below.

III. Ephesus (49 A.D. – 59 A.D.) (Acts 18:19-20:38)

18:19 – Reasoned with the Jews in the synagogue.
19:1-7 – Taught disciples of John the Baptist on the Baptism of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
19:8-10 – Taught in the synagogue about the Kingdom Of God
19:11-20 – God worked miracles by the hands of Paul
19:23-41 – Taught against idolatry
20:13-38 – Bids farewell to the elders of the church in Ephesus
He encouraged them, saying the Holy Spirit had made them overseers and shepherds of the church that Jesus had purchased with His blood.
He cautioned them about conflict that would come from forces , within and without the church.
He reminded them of one of the key teachings of Jesus on benevolence,
Acts 20:35,21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
I have shown you all things, how that by so laboring ye ought to support the weak and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
The departure of Paul from the elders was one that was tearful.
Acts 20:36-38, 21st Century King James Version (KJ21),”And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down and prayed with them all. And they all wept sorely and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him,sorrowing most of all because of the words which he had spoken, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.”

IV. Getting back to “You Are There,” consider the words of the letter that you are hearing, as they are being read to you. Remember that you don’t have any of today’s favorite study Bibles, or commentaries, for reference purposes. You are hearing the inspired words of the Apostle Paul that he had written specifically to you, and for you, for the first time. You will notice that that the letter is addressed to those who have been born again, and that it is not evangelical. You will notice spiritual promises for you, as they intertwine with the purposes of God. You will also notice that the letter is spiritual, as it relates to the church and its leaders. Read the second chapter of the Ephesian letter, one verse at a time. Consider the words of each verse before you begin reading the next one. Remember that you have never, ever, heard these words. Put aside any preconceived ideas of what you may have thought, or what anyone else may have shared with you. Don’t use any outside study helps. Pray for God’s Holy Spirit to lead you to an understanding that has never been made known to you. Keep in mind that you’re not the tail that wags the dog. Remember, “You Are There!”

V. Ephesians 2, 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

1 And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins,

2 wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.

3 Among these also we all had our manner of living in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love wherewith He loved us,

5 even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved),

6 and hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God—

9 not by works, lest any man should boast.

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath beforehand ordained, that we should walk in them.

11 Therefore, remember that ye, being in times past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by those who are called the Circumcision in the flesh so made by hands—

12 remember that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

13 But now in Christ Jesus, ye who once were far off have been brought nigh by the blood of Christ.

14 For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us,

15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that He might make in Himself one new man out of the two, so making peace,

16 and that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.

17 He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were nigh;

18 for through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

19 Now therefore, ye are strangers and foreigners no more, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.

20 Ye are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,

21 in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord,

22 in Whom ye also are built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.

VI. Now, let us worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus, as we are blessed by the orchestra and five hundred member choir of Prestonwood Baptist Church.

Precious Blod

Prestonwood Baptist Church
Senior Pastor Dr. Jack Graham
Southern Baptist Convention
Fort Worth, Texas, USA

070514, Keys To The Bible – Ephesians – Chapter 1 – Summary

For the believer in Jesus, as Lord and Savior, a clear understanding of Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians is foundational. It is important to see it as a writing that is Inspired by God, and is spiritual and relational in its focus. The title of this chapter could be called “The Choosing.” Following this study of Ephesians, I will discuss similar topics, such as “The Calling” and “Reprobation,” not as specific studies but as they are contained within other books or letters that I will be addressing.

We see the creation of the body being planned, purchased, and preserved in 1:1-14.

An effective method of understanding is a three-step process, as follows. (1) “Tell them what you’re going to tell them. (2) Tell them. (3) Tell them what you told them.” This procedure of study is now in the third step of the discussion of Chapter 1 of Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians.

The Apostle Paul’s writing of Ephesians 1 can be contained in an outline, where he opens his letter to the “spiritually born again” body of Christ in Ephesus, which is the true church. A building is not the church, but is a location where the church meets. The totality of the Trinity can be see at work in the creation of His body. (1:1-4).

The body was planned by the Father (1:1-6), whereby He blessed us, who are the spiritual body of Christ (1:1-3), and He selected us (1:4). God chose us “before He made the world” (1:4a). We were chosen so that we would be “holy and without fault in his eyes” 1:4b). Holiness is the spiritual state of those of us who have been “spiritually” born again, and which was performed by God’s Holy Spirit (John 3:8). Because of our depraved state, God chose us so that we could choose Him. Before we were “born again,” there was nothing within our “unholy spirit” to draw us to the Holiness of God (1 Corinthians 1:18, 2:14). And, God adopted us, whereby He made us to be a part of His holy and spiritual family. (1:5-6). It is important of us to know that the term “in heavenly places” (1:5, 1:20) relate to the presence of God. After we have been born again, we are in the spiritual presence of God, in the heavenly places where God dwells.

The body was purchased by the Son, Jesus (1:7-12). He redeemed us by His blood (1:7-8). Someday, He will gather us in His Name (1:9-10). He purchased us so that we might give praise to God (1:11-12).

The body is preserved by the Spirit, by His Presence (1:13-14). The Holy Spirit serves as a special seal (1:13). He guarantees our eternal security (1:14).

We can see the consecration of the body, as it is shown in 1:15-23. Consecration means the separation of a believer from things that are unclean, and would impair a believer’s relationship with our Holy and perfect God. Consecration also relates to sanctification, holiness, or purity. The Apostle Paul prays that God will allow His church, which is the spiritually born again body of believers in Christ, to understand the following things about Himself.

God wants His church to understand His person, “so that you might grow in your knowledge of God (1:15-17). And, God wants His church to understand His promise, “so that you can understand the wonderful future he promised to those he called” (1:18). Also, God wants His church to understand His power, “and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,” (1:19-20). God also wants His church to understand His position in heaven and on earth. In Christ’s position in heaven, “He occupies the exalted place at the right hand of the Father (1:20-23). In Christ’s position on earth, “He has been named head of the church (1:22-23).

Please consider the following food for thought. Consider the fate of those people who are unable, for one reason or another, to choose God. Remember that all of us are created with the presence of a depraved spirit. Let your mind roam.

Now, let us worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus, as we are blessed by the orchestra and 500 Member Choir of Prestonwood Baptist Church.

Jesus Saves

Prestonwood Baptist Church
Southern Baptist Convention
Senior Pastor Dr. Jack Graham
Fort Worth, Texas, USA

070414, Keys To The Bible – Ephesians – Chapter 1 – You Are There

“You Are There” was a thirty-minute weekly television series that ran from 1953 through 1957. During each episode, CBS reporter Walter Cronkite hosted the reenactments of historical events. Shows included, “The Landing of the Hindenburg”, “The Salem Witchcraft Trials”, “The Gettysburg Address”, “The Fall of Troy,” “The Battle Of Alamo,” and other significant happenings. Consider what it would have been like if you had been in Ephesus when Tychicus arrived with the letter that had been written by the Apostle Paul. The epistle may have been read to you, and to other believers in Christ, by Tychicus or by one of the elders of the church. But, before we get to that reading, let’s consider the things that had been going on in that area of present-day Turkey.

Ephesus was located was on the southwest coast of the Aegean Sea, and was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation. The Gospel of John may have been written there, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, may have died there. Paul’s second and third missionary journeys led him to Ephesus. His second journey lasted from about 49-52 A.D. (Acts 15:39-18:22). His third journey lasted from about 53-59 A.D (Acts 18:23-21:16). A record of the Apostle’s time in Ephesus is shown in Acts 18:19-20:38, and included that total time frame of the two journeys. Paul wrote his first epistle to the Corinthian church from Ephesus during his third missionary journey (1 Corinthians 16:5-8, 9, 19). Some of the events of Paul’s stay in Ephesus are listed below.

Ephesus (49 A.D. – 59 A.D.) (Acts 18:19-20:38)

18:19 – Reasoned with the Jews in the synagogue.
19:1-7 – Taught disciples of John the Baptist on the Baptism of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
19:8-10 – Taught in the synagogue about the Kingdom Of God
19:11-20 – God worked miracles by the hands of Paul
19:23-41 – Taught against idolatry
20:13-38 – Bids farewell to the elders of the church in Ephesus
He encouraged them, saying the Holy Spirit had made them overseers and shepherds of the church that Jesus had purchased with His blood.
He cautioned them about conflict that would come from forces , within and without the church.
He reminded them of one of the key teachings of Jesus on benevolence,

Acts 20:35, 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

I have shown you all things, how that by so laboring ye ought to support the weak and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

The departure of Paul from the elders was one that was tearful.

Acts 20:36-38, 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

“And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down and prayed with them all. And they all wept sorely and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him,sorrowing most of all because of the words which he had spoken, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.”

Getting back to “You Are There,” consider the words of the letter that you are hearing, as they are being read to you. Remember that you don’t have any of today’s favorite study Bibles, or commentaries, for reference purposes. You are hearing the inspired words of the Apostle Paul that he had written specifically to you, and for you, for the first time. You will notice that that the letter is addressed to those who have been born again, and not to unbelievers. You will notice spiritual promises for you, as they intertwine with the purposes of God. You will also notice that the letter is spiritual and relational, as it relates to the true church, the body of Christ, and its spiritually ordained leaders. Read the first chapter of the Ephesian letter, one verse at a time. Consider the words of each verse before you begin reading the next one. Remember that you have never, ever, heard these words. Put aside any preconceived ideas of what you may have thought, or what anyone else may have shared with you. Don’t use any outside study helps. Pray for God’s Holy Spirit to lead you to an understanding that has never been made known to you. Keep in mind that you’re not the tail that wags the dog. Remember, “You Are There!”

Ephesians 1 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

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, even as

4 He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

5 having predestined us to be His own adopted children by Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will,

6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in His Beloved:

7 in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace,

8 wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence.

9 He hath made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself,

10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in Him.

11 In Christ also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will,

12 that we, who first trusted in Christ, should be to the praise of His glory.

13 In Christ ye also trusted after ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation, in Whom also after ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

14 which is the pledge of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.

15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,

16 cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.

17 I pray 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,

18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power,

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,

21 far above all principality 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.

22 And God hath put all things under His feet, and hath given Him to be the head over all things to the church,

23 which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.

Now, let us worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus, as we are blessed by the 500 Member Choir of Prestonwood Baptist Church.

No More Night

Prestonwood Baptist Church
Senior Pastor Dr. Jack Graham
Southern Baptist Convention
Fort Worth, Texas, USA

070314, Keys To The Bible – Ephesians – Chapter 1

Scofield’s Notes, C. I. Scofield’s Study Reference

For over 90 years people have relied on this reference work in their daily study of God’s Word. Written originally in 1909, C. I. Scofield’s intent was to provide a concise but complete tool that would meet the need of someone just beginning to read the Bible. Cyrus Scofield was born in Lenawee County, Michigan, but during the American Civil War after his conversion to evangelical Christianity in 1879, Scofield assisted in the St. Louis campaign conducted by Dwight L. Moody and in 1883 Scofield was ordained as a Congregationalist minister, and he accepted the pastorate of small mission church founded by that denomination.

My thought. The letter to the Ephesians was a general letter, as opposed to one that was addressed to any one specific congregation. Notice that the focus of Paul’s epistle was that of a spiritual body of Christ, as opposed to a brick and mortar housed congregation. As this letter is studied, it is important to remember that scripture should interpret scripture. The New Testament had not yet been written. The references to “scriptures,” as were written in Acts 17:11 and 2 Timothy 3:16, referred to the Old Testament. The Gentiles would have had nothing of similar Inspired teachings. Also, notice the use of tense. God “has done,” which is “past tense” in the things that He has already done. He did those things, and no one can undo anything that God has done; not even we, who are the recipients of the gifts and spiritual blessings of God. Additionally, it is an aspect of intellectual integrity to not try to make a word of scripture match our preconceived understanding. The Apostle Paul addressed an area of Inspiration that should be taken as it was written. I will show some scriptures that support the teachings of this Epistle, but remember that those at Ephesus didn’t have access to The Mac Arthur Study Bible, The Ryrie Study Bible, The Scofield Study Bible, The Reformation Study Bible, or any of the many other highly respected study Bibles of our day. It appears that Tychicus read this Epistle, and nothing else, while he was with this particular “spiritual Body of Christ.” As it relates to God’s Holy Bible, we need to know how the books of the New Testament were put into the canon. The Ryrie Study Bible has a very good description of that process. (1) Was the book written or approved by an apostle? (2) Were its contents of a spiritual nature? (3) Did it give evidence of being inspired by God? (4) Was it widely received by the churches? (Ryrie Study Bible, “The Collection Of The Books,” page 1499 of my copy) The credentials of Dr. Charles C. Ryrie can easily be found via internet searches. Notice, also, that positions of spiritual leadership will be identified, as opposed to the physical and visible positions that Paul also identifies in his letters to Timothy and Titus. Here is a final thought that I will share before the commentary begins, which deals with our not always understanding God’s Word. In Deuteronomy 29:29 we read, about the “secret” things of God, and the “revealed” things of God. In Isaiah 55:8 we read that “God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and that God’s ways are not our ways.” In Romans 8:28 we read, “those who are called according to God’s purpose.” Therefore, as we read God’s Word, let us always look for the purposes and promises of God. Comments, from other than Dr. Scofield, will be added when they may be advantageous for greater understanding. It has served me well to use the ideas of biblical scholars, as opposed to my own views. As you read any of my own articles, please know that I have no “ax to grind” other than the “ax of truth.”

Note: The Reformation Study Bible uses the English Standard Version translation, and is edited by Dr. R.C. Sproul.

Ephesians 1

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:

In Christ

The believer’s place as a member of the body of Christ, vitally united to Him by the baptism with the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 12:12 1 Corinthians 12:13 .

My note: Paul was an apostle by the will of God, not of Paul’s own doing, prior to his birth. Galatians 1:15 (NASB).

15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased

My note: Jeremiah had the same calling on his life prior to his birth. Jeremiah 1:5 (21st Century King James Version).

5 “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

My note. The purposes of God are clearly shown in the examples of Paul and Jeremiah.

Ryrie Study Bible note: Saints were Holy ones, consecrated to God, sacred. All Christians are saints.
My note: Holiness occurs through a person’s being born again.

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:

in heavenly places
Literally, the heavenlies. The same Greek word is used in John 3:12 where “things” is added. In both places the word signifies that which is heavenly in contradistinction to that which is earthy. In Ephesians “places” is especially misleading. “The heavenlies” may be defined as the sphere of the believer’s spiritual experience as identified with Christ in nature. 2 Peter 1:4, life, ; Colossians 3:4 ; 1 John 5:12, relationships ; John 20:17 ; Hebrews 2:11 service, ; John 17:18 ; Matthew 28:20, suffering ; Philippians 1:29 ; 3:10 ; Colossians 1:24 inheritance Romans 8:16 Romans 8:17 and future glory in the kingdom ; Romans 8:18-21 ; 1 Peter 2:9 ; Revelation 1:6 ; 5:10 . The believer is a heavenly man, and a stranger and pilgrim on the earth. ; Hebrews 3:1 ; 1 Peter 2:11 .

Reformation Study Bible

1:3 in the heavenly places. Two of the other five instances where this phrase appears in Ephesians have a bearing on its meaning here. Christ was raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of the Father “in the heavenly places,” from where He governs “all things to [for the sake of] the church” (v. 22). Moreover, believers have also been raised up and seated with Him “in the heavenly places” (2:6). Christ’s victory over death has won believers a series of benefits for which Paul blesses the Father.

My note. Believers in Christ “have received” “all spiritual blessings,” “past tense.” The term, “in Christ,” literally means that believers have their spiritual dwelling and presence, “in Christ.” This is a result of the new birth.

1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love(NASB)

Reformation Study Bible

1:4 he chose us in him. See “Election and Reprobation” atRom. 9:18. Paul rejoices that God chooses people for a relationship with Himself (Rom. 8:29–33; 9:6–26; 11:5, 7, 28;16:13; Col. 3:12; 1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; Titus 1:1). Some suggest “in him” means God foresaw who would have faith in Christ and elected them. Not only does this add a thought that is not in the text, but elsewhere Paul teaches that the very state of being “in Christ” is something to which one is chosen (1 Cor. 1:26–31). Paul says explicitly that the ground of God’s predestinating love is His own good pleasure (vv. 5, 10; cf. Deut. 7:7, 8), not anything we have done or will do (Rom. 9:11, 16). “In him” means that God’s choice always had in view a fallen people in union with their Redeemer (2 Tim. 1:9). See also 1 Pet. 1:18–21; Rev. 13:8.

holy and blameless. See 5:27; Col. 1:22. God intends to bring His elect all the way from spiritual death in sin (2:1–5) to the forgiveness of sins in Christ (1:7), and finally to the elimination of all sin from their experience (Rom. 8:29, 30).

In love. If “in love” belongs with the preceding phrase, it helps explain the nature of the holiness and blamelessness to which believers are called; this is consistent with the use of the phrase elsewhere in Ephesians (3:17; 4:2, 15, 16; 5:2). If it belongs with v. 5, the phrase explains predestination not simply as a matter of God’s decision, but as an act of His love (Hos. 11:1). This understanding is probably better. It is consistent with 2:4, 5.

Note: Mac Arthur Study Bible. The doctrine of election is emphasized throughout Scripture. “Chose” indicates that God not only chose by Himself, but for Himself. God’s election, or predestination, does not operate apart from, or nullify, man’s responsibility to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Acts 2:21 (NASB), “And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
Note: John Calvin. “God invites everyone to himself for salvation, without exception (see Romans 10:13 and Psalm 65:2). Only our unbelief stops us from calling on God. I am talking about everybody to whom God makes Himself known through the Gospel.” As those who call on the name of the Lord are certain of salvation, so we must think that those without the Gospel are destroyed. Faith alone is our only ground for calling on God.

My note: God is proactive in delivering the message of Christ to the lost world. All of mankind was in need of the Light of God to be “enlightened,” to be born again. 1 John 1:5 says that “God is light, and there is no darkness in Him,” so we needed to be enlightened, to no longer be darkness, to be born again, to indwell Him.

John 1:9 (NASB) There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. (My note: All of us were darkness.)
Luke 19:10 (NASB) For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (My note: all of mankind was lost.)
1 Timothy 2:3-4 (NASB), “(3) This good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, (4) who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (My note: consider the aggressive nature of “desire.”)

My note: This discussion so far has been made to make a point, which is, “we’re not the tail that wags the dog!” I once heard one of my favorite preachers, Tony Evans, say: “on the day that we were saved, we weren’t having a good day!” Please let me explain that thought. After the fall, everyone who has ever been conceived (yes, there is life in the embryo!), we have had no desire within us to be like God. Until we were born again, we were as happy as “a pig in slop.” We were having so much fun in our lifestyle, “in the muck and the mire,” that we had no desire do anything else that would “clean us up.” The Apostle Paul wrote some scriptures that relate to our pre-new birth lifestyles, as follows.

1 Corinthians 1:18, ” For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 2:14, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”

My note: Those who are perishing are those who have not been born again. The natural man, or woman, is someone who has not been born again. The message of Jesus means nothing to those who have not been born again. A natural man can not understand spiritual things. He is not spiritual. He does not have the Spirit of God indwelling him to help him to discern spiritual things.

My note: God loved the world of unsaved people so much that He was aggressive in providing a Savior, Jesus, to make a way for the lost people of the world to be saved from their destiny of judgement and condemnation.

John 3:16New American Standard Bible (NASB)
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Reformation Study Bible

3:16 God so loved the world. Some have insisted that God sent Jesus to die for the purpose of bringing salvation to everyone without exception, but only as a possibility. However, Jesus makes clear that the salvation of those whom the Father “gives me,” and only those, is not a mere possibility but an absolute certainty; “will come to me” (6:37–40; 10:14–18; 17:9). The point made by “the world” is that Christ’s saving work is not limited to one time or place but applies to the elect from all over the world. Those who do not receive the remedy God has provided in Christ will perish. It remains true that anyone who believes will not die (be separated from God) but live in God’s presence forever. See “God Is Love: Divine Goodness and Faithfulness” at Ps. 136:1.

See the following description of the love that Jesus had for the lost world (John 12:31-33)

John 12:31-33 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
31 Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” 33 But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.

Reformation Study Bible

12:31 Now is the judgment of this world. By His coming death, Jesus will end the power of sin over Adam’s race, judging and condemning it.

the ruler of this world. Satan (cf. 14:30; 16:11; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; 1 John 4:4; 5:19). Satan has power in fact, not by right. When God destroys Satan’s power, He is not violating his rights, or breaking any agreement made with him.

12:32 lifted up. This refers to the Crucifixion (v. 33), but also to the glorification of Christ. As Mediator, He will be “lifted up” to the right hand of God (3:14 note).

will draw all people. The Cross exerts a universal attraction, and people of all nationalities, Gentiles as well as Jews, will be saved through it. “All” means all kinds of people without distinction, not all members of the human race without exception.

1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

predestinated
Predestination is that effective exercise of the will of God by which things before determined by Him are brought to pass. See Election,(See Scofield “1 Peter 1:2 Foreknowledge) (See Scofield “1 Peter 1:20”)

adoption
Adoption (huiothesia, “placing as a son”) is not so much a word of relationship as of position. The believer’s relation to God as a child results from the new birth John 1:12 John 1:13 whereas adoption is the act of God whereby one already a child is, through redemption from the law, placed in the position of an adult son. Galatians 4:1-5 .
The indwelling Spirit gives the realization of this in the believer’s present experience Galatians 4:6 but the full manifestation of the believer’s sonship awaits the resurrection, change, and translation of saints, which is called “the redemption of the body” ; Romans 8:23 ; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 ; Ephesians 1:14 ; 1 John 3:2 .

1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

Reformation Study Bible

1:6 The thought of God’s almighty love leads to an extravagant outpouring of praise (vv. 12, 14) to God, who has not only the power but the will to overcome all obstacles in bringing the spiritually dead into a living relationship with Himself (expanded in2:1–10).

grace . . . blessed us in the Beloved. This recalls the language of Col. 1:13, but also brings into view the Redeemer as Himself an object of God’s electing love (1 Pet. 1:18–21; Rev. 13:8). The language of grace dominates vv. 6–8.

1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

sins
Sin. (See Scofield “Romans 3:23”) .

grace Grace (in salvation). 1:6 1:7 ; 2:5 2:7 2:8 ; Romans 3:24 . (See Scofield “John 1:17”) .

Reformation Study Bible

1:7 See notes Col. 1:14; 2:13.

redemption. This means deliverance, as from slavery or captivity, by paying a price or ransom. For the redemption that is yet to come, see v. 1.

1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

mystery
See, Romans 16:25 Romans 16:26 ; Ephesians 3:3 . (See Scofield “Matthew 13:11”) .

1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

dispensation of the fullness of times
The Dispensation of the Fulness of Times. This, the seventh and last of the ordered ages which condition human life on the earth, is identical with the kingdom covenanted to David. 2 Samuel 7:8-17 ; Zechariah 12:8

Summary;
Luke 1:31-33 ; 1 Corinthians 15:24, and gathers into itself under Christ all past “times”:
(1) The time of oppression and misrule ends by Christ taking His kingdom. Isaiah 11:3 Isaiah 11:4 .
(2) The time of testimony and divine forbearance ends in judgment. Matthew 25:31-46 ; Acts 17:30 Acts 17:31 ; Revelation 20:7-15 .
(3) The time of toil ends in rest and reward. 2 Thessalonians 1:6 2 Thessalonians 1:7 .
(4) The time of suffering ends in glory. Romans 8:17 Romans 8:18 .
(5) The time of Israel’s blindness and chastisement ends in restoration and conversion. Romans 11:25-27 ; Ezekiel 39:25-29 .
(6) The times of the Gentiles end in the smiting of the image and the setting up of the kingdom of the heavens. Daniel 2:34 Daniel 2:35 ; Revelation 19:15-21 .
(7) The time of creation’s thraldom ends in deliverance at the manifestation of the sons of God. Genesis 3:17 ; Isaiah 11:6-8 ; Romans 8:19-21 .

Reformation Study Bible

1:10 the fullness of time. This does not refer simply to the future. Christ has already come to bring redemption and adoption (Gal. 4:4). By virtue of His death and resurrection, He has already assumed headship over the church, and, though behind the scenes, He already rules the universe (Acts 2:32–36; Col. 1:15–20). Still, a future emphasis dominates. The visible unity of the church is a foretaste of Christ’s eventual visible rule over all things. This is why Paul stresses the unity of Jew and Gentile in the church (vv. 11–14; 2:11–22), and the practice of love among Christians (4:2, 15; 4:32–5:2, 21–23). The theme introduced here in vv. 9–12 is expanded in 3:2–12.

1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

Reformation Study Bible

1:11 all things . . . his will. A sweeping statement on the extent of God’s will.
Reformation Study Bible

1:13 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,

sealed
The Holy Spirit is Himself the seal. In the symbolism of Scripture a seal signifies:
(1) A finished transaction Jeremiah 32:9 Jeremiah 32:10 ; John 17:4 ; 19:30 .
(2) Ownership Jeremiah 32:11 Jeremiah 32:12 ; 2 Timothy 2:19
(3) Security Esther 8:8 ; Daniel 6:17 ; Ephesians 4:30

Reformation Study Bible

1:13 sealed. Like the indelible impression made by a king’s signet ring, the Holy Spirit is an inward mark of God’s ownership of His people. See “Salvation” at 2 Cor. 6:5.

the promised Holy Spirit. As Jesus says in Luke 24:49, the Holy Spirit is the promise of the Father. Remarkably, this promise is extended to Gentiles, as well as Jews, on the basis of their trusting Christ (Ezek. 36:26, 27; Joel 2:28; John 14–16; Acts 1:4,5; 2:33, 38, 39; Gal. 3:14; 4:6).

1:14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Reformation Study Bible

1:14 guarantee. The Spirit is not only a fulfillment of God’s promise to indwell His people, but also is a guarantee that He will bring them to their final inheritance. As a down payment or first installment on their full redemption, the Spirit is a foretaste of the glory of the age to come (Rom. 8:18–23).

possession. The Old Testament teaches that God chose a people as His inheritance (Deut. 32:9; Ps. 33:12) and purchased them out of bondage to become a prized possession (Ex. 19:5;Deut. 7:6). Peter agrees with Paul’s striking application of this idea to Gentiles as well as to Jews (1 Pet. 2:9).

1:15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints,

Reformation Study Bible

1:15 because I have heard. See Introduction: Date and Occasion. Paul had ministered in Ephesus for over two years, but the time of writing may be as much as five years later. The church had grown considerably since then. It may be that Paul mentions people whose faith and love he knows only by report because Ephesians was a circular letter for several churches.

1:20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

Reformation Study Bible

1:20 seated him . . . in the heavenly places. See “The Ascension of Jesus” at Luke 24:51.

1:21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

Reformation Study Bible

1:21 above all rule and authority. See note 3:10.
this age . . . the one to come. See 1 Cor. 15:24.

1:19-23 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Reformation Study Bible

1:19–23 These verses distill the New Testament’s teaching on the resurrection and enthronement of Jesus (Col. 1:18 note). They also make two vital contributions to understanding Jesus’ resurrection and the status of believers. First, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in believers (2:4, 5; 3:16, 17). Second, Christ enjoys His position as head over everything for the sake of the church. Not only is Christ at the most exalted position in the universe, He is there representing believers (2:6; Col. 3:3) and governing the universe for their sake. The principles of conduct in Ephesians emphasize that authority exists for the sake of service. Jesus’ majestic use of power and authority in the interest of His people is the Christian’s model (4:1, 2, 7–13; 4:32–5:2, 22–33). Paul reminds his Gentile readers of two specific ways Christ’s power has blessed them: He brought them from death to life (2:1–10), and from alienation from God’s people to inclusion with them (2:11–22).

Now, let us worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus, as we are blessed by the 500 Member Choir of Prestonwood Baptist Church.

Victor’s Crown

Prestonwood Baptist Church
Southern Baptist Convention
Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Dr. Jack Graham, Senior Pastor

070214, Considering The Dispensations Of The Bible – Second Dispensation, Conscience (Moral Responsibility), Genesis 3:7

Book of Genesis

Genesis 3:7 King James Version (KJV)

7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

The Second Dispensation: Conscience. By disobedience man came to a personal and experimental knowledge of good and evil–of good as obedience, of evil as disobedience to the known will of God. Through that knowledge conscience awoke. Expelled from Eden and placed under the second, or ADAMIC COVENANT, man was responsible to do all known good, to abstain from all known evil, and to approach God through sacrifice. The result of this second testing of man is stated in Genesis 6:5 and the dispensation ended in the judgment of the Flood. Apparently “the east of the garden” Genesis 3:24 where were the cherubims and the flame, remained the place of worship through this second dispensation.

Genesis 6:5 King James Version (KJV)

5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Genesis 3:24 King James Version (KJV)

24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Now, let us worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus, as we are blessed by the five hundred member choir of Prestonwood Baptist Church. Consider the holiness of the song, and of the scripture that follows the song.

Lord, You’re Holy

Prestonwood Baptist Church
Southern Baptist Convention
Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Dr. Jack Graham, Senior Pastor

Psalm 99:5King James Version (KJV)

5 Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.

070114, Keys To The Bible – Ephesians – Introduction

The scripture that we, as believers in Jesus, have come to recognize as “the gospel in a nutshell,” is John 3:16, New American Standard Bible, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” That scripture reflects the nature of God, per 1 John 4:8, New American Standard Bible, “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” The event of John 3:16 occurred in the year 30 A.D. John’s Gospel was not written until the time of 85A.D. to 90 A.D. The event of 1 John 4:8 occurred in 90 A.D. That epistle was written in 90 A.D. As you can see in the following paragraph, the first handwritten English language Bible was not available until the 1380s. Both of those scriptures, which are keys to understanding the Bible, cover the period of time from eternity past to eternity future. Consider the evening that Jesus spoke the words of John 3:16. Even if all of the disciples, and Nicodemus, had been killed by the roof caving in, thereby preventing the Apostle John from writing his Gospel, the truth of John 3:16 would have always been truth. Even if John 3:16 had not been written by the Apostle John, the truth of John 3:16 would have always been truth. Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians was written 34 years after the event of John 3:16, but 21 years prior to the writing of John’s Gospel. The letter was addressed the true church, the body of Christ, and not the physical and visible church at Ephesus. The letter was taken to Ephesus by Tychicus, who also delivered Pau’s epistles to the Colossians, Philippians, and to Philemon who was a key figure in Colosse. It is unknown as to whether the people in Ephesus knew the words of John 3:16, but they were still affected by that passage. Because of the effect of the dispersion on Israel, (722 BC to 586 BC), the members of the church at Ephesus probably were both Jew and Gentile, but were now “believers in Christ,” as their Lord and Savior. The study which follows will make reference to scriptures from other books of the New Testament, because they are available to us. But, we have to remember that the Ephesians had no such tools available to them. That is because the New Testament that had been written, published, and distributed, at that time.

The first hand-written English language Bible manuscripts were produced in the 1380’s AD by John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor, scholar, and theologian. Wycliffe, (also spelled “Wycliff” & “Wyclif”), was well-known throughout Europe for his opposition to the teaching of the organized Church, which he believed to be contrary to the Bible. With the help of his followers, called the Lollards, and his assistant Purvey, and many other faithful scribes, Wycliffe produced dozens of English language manuscript copies of the scriptures. They were translated out of the Latin Vulgate, which was the only source text available to Wycliffe. The Pope was so infuriated by his teachings and his translation of the Bible into English, that 44 years after Wycliffe had died, he ordered the bones to be dug-up, crushed,

Book Introduction – Ephesians

WRITER: The Apostle Paul (1:1)

DATE: Ephesians was written from Rome in A.D. 64. It is the first in order of the Prison Epistles. Acts 20:1 to Acts 27:44. (See Scofield “Acts 28:30”) and was sent by Tychicus, concurrently with Colossians and Philemon. It is probable that the two greater letters had their occasion in the return of Onesimus to Philemon. Ephesians is the most impersonal of Paul’s letters. Indeed the words, “to the Ephesians,” are not in the best manuscripts. Colossians 4:16 mentions an epistle to the Laodiceans. It has been conjectured that the letter known to us as Ephesians is really the Laodicean letter. Probably it was sent to Ephesus and Laodicea without being addressed to any church. The letter would then be “to the saints and the faithful in Christ Jesus” anywhere.

THEME: The doctrine of the Epistle confirms this view. It contains the highest church truth, but has nothing about church order. The church here is the true church, “His body,” not the local church, as in Philippians, Corinthians, etc. Essentially, three lines of truth make up this Epistle: the believer’s exalted position through grace; the truth concerning the body of Christ; and a walk in accordance with that position.

There is a close spiritual affinity between Ephesians and Joshua, the “heavenlies” answering in Christian position to Canaan in Israel’s experience. In both there is conflict, often failure, but also victory, rest, and possession Joshua 21:43-45; Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 3:14-19; Ephesians 6:16; Ephesians 6:23. As befits a complete revelation, the number seven is conspicuous in the structure of Ephesians.

The divisions are, broadly, four:
1. The apostolic greeting Ephesians 1:1-2
2. Positional; the believer’s standing “Christ” and “in the heavenlies” through pure grace, Ephesians 1:3 toEphesians 3:21.
3. Walk and service, Ephesians 4:1 to Ephesians 5:17
4. The walk and warfare of the Spirit-filled believer, Ephesians 5:18 to Ephesians 6:24

Now, let us worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus, as we are blessed by the Youth Choir of Prestonwood Baptist Church.

Mercy Seat

Prestonwood Baptist Church
Southern Baptist Convention
Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Dr. Jack Graham, Senior Pastor