[VB046 Podcast Notes]
Ephesians is the only letter Paul wrote that does not include some sort of correction for the church. Ephesians is power-packed and is the most concentrated teaching of Paul’s writings. Perhaps that is why we are studying the longest run-on sentence in the Bible.
In the Greek, chapter 1, verses 3-14 is one sentence. I am attempting to rightly divide it for study purposes. I love to study Paul’s lists. This colossal collection of fundamental Christian doctrine and terminology sets forth God’s plan for mankind, and Paul pens it in one breath.
We see an obvious outline of how our Triune God has blessed us;
- We previously learned how God The Father has blessed us (1:3-6)
- We are about to see how God The Son has blessed us (1:7-12)
- And how God the Holy Spirit has blessed us (1:13-14)
We Are Blessed in God, The Son (1:7-12)
He has redeemed us (v. 7a).
 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
The word “redemption” means to buy back. We were owned by the Lord at one time, and through sin we were lost to Him after Adam’s transgression. Jesus came into this world as the “last Adam” (1Cor. 15:45) to go the cross and pay the ransom price through the shedding of His blood.
When Adam sinned, he lost his relationship with God and brought slavery upon all mankind. Slaves of sin can only give birth to more slaves. Slaves cannot free slaves – they receive no wages to buy anything, let alone pay their own ransom. It takes a free man to free slaves, and the only free man since Adam has been Jesus. Jesus is the only hope of redemption.
He has forgiven us (v. 7b)
Once He redeemed us, He forgave us, “according to the riches of His grace.” There is no sin that is greater than His grace. If you had a bank account with unlimited funds, you could never have a bill or a debt that would bankrupt you. Don’t let the devil tell you that your sins have been so bad that God no longer loves you or will not forgive you. You tell Satan that your sins are forgiven by the blood of Jesus, “according to the riches of His grace.”
He has revealed God’s will to us (v. 8-10)
 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,
God made the riches of His grace abound toward us in everything that requires wise choices and good sense. Christians should be way ahead of the game when it comes to having commonsense and making wise decisions, especially in knowing God’s will. The wealth of His grace gives us the wisdom and understanding of the divine purpose of the church age.
The grace of God is available for everyday circumstances and problems we face. The church should be using this unlimited source of wisdom and insight to infiltrate every center of influence of the world in which we occupy till Jesus returns.
 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,  that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth–in Him.
A “mystery” is a divine truth known only by God’s people through revelation. In Christ we are a part of God’s eternal purpose to gather together “all things in Christ” (v. 10). Paul was speaking about the end of this dispensation of grace, or the Millennium, when Christ will rule supreme over all. This present world is falling apart with war, lawlessness, and sin. But one day God will usher in a new creation, with all things united in Christ.
The thought is that God is bringing everything together under the headship or Lordship of Jesus. That has always been God’s purpose and plan, and it will be accomplished. Those who do not make Jesus Christ Lord over their lives are totally out of focus with the eternal purpose of God.
He has made us an inheritance (v. 11-12)
 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,  that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
This inheritance is one of the blessings Paul mentioned earlier in Ephesians 1:3. This inheritance is ours now. It includes everything that belongs to Christ, because we are joint-heirs with Him (Rom. 8:17). Although we won’t see the fullness of this inheritance until Christ personally takes the reins of government (Rev. 11:15), we can pray for things to be done here on earth as they are in heaven (Mt. 6:10; 16:19). We must speak His Word in our proclamations and decrees. As much as we can release our faith, we can enjoy our inheritance now.
God has not only made us an inheritance in Christ (1Pet. 1:3-4), but He has made us an inheritance for Christ. The church is His body, temple, and bride; we shall some day share His glory.
We Are Blessed with God, The Holy Spirit (1:13-14)
Ephesians 1:13-14 (NKJV) – In Him you also [trusted,] after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
He has sealed us (v. 13)
God’s spiritual blessings for the believers are not only based on the sovereign election of the Father (vv. 3-6) and the redemptive word of the Son (vv.7-12), but also the seal of the Holy Spirit (vv. 13-14).
The word “gospel” literally means “the good news.” News is not something that is yet to happen. News is something that has already taken place. Salvation is news. Christ paid everyone’s debt thousands of years ago. There is nothing that has to happen on God’s part. That’s the good news. All we have to do is believe and receive what God has already provided.
The Greek word sphragizo, (sfrag-id’-zo) translated “sealed” here, means “to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation.” The meaning clearly relates to the Holy Spirit protecting our salvation.
At salvation, we each receive a brand-new spirit (see, 2Cor. 5:17). It is free from sin and totally pure. Then we are immediately sealed by the Holy Spirit. As if the King sends a package. He carefully packs the contents and stamps it with his signet ring in a wax seal. That seal guarantees a safe delivery to its intended destination. Nobody can break the King’s seal!
Nothing can tamper with our born-again spirits. When we sin, it is in the realm of the soul or the body. The born-again spirit doesn’t participate. It cannot sin (see, 1 Jn. 3:9).
Eph 1:14 (NIV) –who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Holy Spirit is our guarantee of inheritance (v. 14)
Jesus has purchased our future for us, but we have not yet entered into all the blessings. God has given us His Spirit as “down payment” to assure us that we will experience total redemption and receive His promised blessings in glory.
Wait a minute… Verse 7 said we already had redemption and now verse 14 says, “…Until the redemption…,” This is not a contradiction. Back in verse 7; Jesus purchased us out of the slave market of sin and set us free, never to be under that yoke of bondage again. Verse 7 is speaking of our present redemption – that He has delivered us from the penalty and power of sin. Verse 14 speaks of our future redemption when Jesus delivers us from the presence of sin at His return (Rom. 8:23; Phil. 3:20-21), the resurrection/rapture.
The key to understanding this is that verse 7 is speaking of the redemption that is already a reality in our born-again spirits. All of our sins, past, present, and future, have already been forgiven. This spiritual redemption is already complete. However, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God…” So the Holy Spirit living inside us is our guarantee for complete redemption including a glorified body like Jesus has.
Our souls and bodies have also been purchased by the blood of Jesus. And there will be a future redemption of those purchased possessions. That’s what this verse is talking about. Our mortal bodies will be changed into immortal, glorified bodies (see, 1Cor. 15:50-55).
To be continued:
God bless you my friend,