Because Grace

Paul’s letter to his beloved Ephesians reveals that the church is part of God's eternal plan, being built by Christ Jesus through the power of His Holy Spirit. By the grace of God, the believer is in Christ and therefore part of His body, the church. This study will enable us to see our individual spiritual lives in the context of God’s purpose for the whole. In a world that screams for individual expression, God’s favor is poured upon the church so that believer’s together might fulfill His purpose for the world.

Super Powers for Everyday Heroes

 — David Niednagel

Message Notes

Ephesians 1:15  

Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere,

 

-strong faith - They trusted God in hard times.

-love for all believers - even those who were different

 

Ephesians 1:16  

I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God …

 

Paul thanked God and prayed for them.

He told them he thanked and prayed for them

He told them what he was thankful for and prayed for

 

He believed his prayers were necessary.  (James 4:2)

 

Luke 18:1

One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.

 

Why? Because we give up!

Why? Because we don’t see enough answers to our prayers.

Jesus knows that and says “Pray anyway!” There are other reasons to pray than the answers.

 

Ephesians 1:17

asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

Who is the God Paul prayed to?

 

Glorious  = “heavy”, significant, to be taken seriously. Not “the man upstairs”.

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ - If we knew Him like Jesus did, we would go to Him like Jesus did.

 

The One who gave us all spiritual blessings (John 16:23) We can ask in Jesus’ name.

He is a God who let His Son be murdered, and lets His children suffer.

He is also a God who raises the dead. (2Corinthians 1:8-9)

 

Ephesians 1:17

asking God… to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.

 

Why? Because they needed spiritual wisdom and insight.

What is wisdom?

Skill in making decisions about life. What is the best way to live?

 

What is spiritual wisdom?

 

James 3:13-17 

If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy (envy) and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. …17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.

 

Philippians 2:3-7

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

 

Spiritual wisdom = the mind of Christ = the mind/heart of a servant

 

Why did Paul pray that prayer every day for them?

Because it is opposite of everything else we have ever thought.

But it is what Jesus taught more than anything else: “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

 

Ephesians 1:17

“so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.”

 

Growth/maturity is not measured by head knowledge, but by conformity to the mind of Christ = servanthood.

 

Ephesians1:18 

“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—"

 

It takes divine light to “see” that choosing to be a servant leads to Life/satisfaction.

Even if conditions around us are hopeless, we have a “living hope” (1Peter 1:4) that Jesus is our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) and that He will raise us from death to be with Himself. (2Corinthians 1:9)

 

Ephesians 1:19-23

19  I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.

 

He gives power to keep choosing the mind of Christ - to live a life of servanthood.

 

Ephesians 1:23

“The church is His body,  - “the fullness of Christ”

 

The more we all have the mind of Christ (servanthood) the more fully we represent Christ.

 

For This I Pray

 — Dale Beaver

Message Notes

Ephesians 1:15-16a

15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, 16a I have not stopped thanking God for you. 

 

Faith and Love are Objective and Active 

 

Galatians 5:6b

What is important is faith expressing itself in love.

 

Ephesians 1:16b-17

16b I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 

 

1 Corinthians 2:12

And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

 

Faith is not blind but rooted in knowledge

 

Acts 9:17-18a

17 So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight.

 

Ephesians 1:18

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

 

Ephesians 1:19a

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him.

 

To know what God has done fuels our hope for what God will do

 

Philippians 1:3-6

3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

 

Philippians 3:10 

I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.

 

“The death and resurrection of Christ assault our world view and value system and replace them with a worldview and values that do justice to the God who gives life in the midst of death. Faith affirms the life-giving power of God, available both for living and dying, and looks beyond death to resurrection and future life.”  

-Ephesians, Klyne Snodgrass

Ephesians 1:15-16a

15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, 16a I have not stopped thanking God for you. 

 

Faith and Love are Objective and Active 

 

Galatians 5:6b

What is important is faith expressing itself in love.

 

Ephesians 1:16b-17

16b I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 

 

1 Corinthians 2:12

And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

 

Faith is not blind but rooted in knowledge

 

Acts 9:17-18a

17 So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight.

 

Ephesians 1:18

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

 

Ephesians 1:19a

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him.

 

To know what God has done fuels our hope for what God will do

 

Philippians 1:3-6

3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

 

Philippians 3:10 

I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.

 

“The death and resurrection of Christ assault our world view and value system and replace them with a worldview and values that do justice to the God who gives life in the midst of death. Faith affirms the life-giving power of God, available both for living and dying, and looks beyond death to resurrection and future life.”  

-Ephesians, Klyne Snodgrass

 

God's Guarantee

 — Dale Beaver

Message Notes

Ephesians 1:11

Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

 

Titus 3:7

Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.

 

Isaiah 19:23-25

23 In that day Egypt and Assyria will be connected by a highway. The Egyptians and Assyrians will move freely between their lands, and they will both worship God. 24 In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth. 25 For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will say, “Blessed be Egypt, my people. Blessed be Assyria, the land I have made. Blessed be Israel, my special possession!”

 

Ephesians 1:12-13

12 God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. 13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 

 

The birthmark of the Holy Spirit guarantees our identity.

 

Romans 8:16

For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.

 

“Seals indicated not only ownership but were also used as a guarantee of the correctness of the contents.” 

-The Exegetical Key to the N.T. 

 

The Holy Spirit is the guarantee that our future is secure.

 

Ephesians 1:14

The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.

 

“This guarantee, or pledge, indicates a deposit which in itself is the promise that a full amount will be paid. The deposit is of the same kind as the full payment.” 

-The Exegetical Key to the N.T.

 

2 Corinthians 1:21-22

21 It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, 22 and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.

 

“The first installment is a guarantee of the glory to come, a glory arriving not only when soul and body part but also and especially in the great consummation of all things at Christ’s return.”   

-Ephesians by William Hendricksen

 

God's Plan

 — Dale Beaver

Message Notes

The Results of Grace in Ephesians 1

Loved

Chosen

Adopted

Redeemed

 

In the doctrine of redemption, we see that:

Our Freedom is Secure 

Our Sins are Forgiven

Our Vision is Made Clear

 

Our Freedom is Secure.

 

Ephesians 1:7a

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son.

 

2 Samuel 7:23

What other nation on earth is like your people Israel? What other nation, O God, have you redeemed from slavery to be your own people? You made a great name for yourself when you redeemed your people from Egypt. You performed awesome miracles and drove out the nations and gods that stood in their way.

 

Matthew 20:28

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

Romans  6:6 

We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 

 

Our Salvation is in progression, away from sin’s penalty, power, and presence!

 

Our Sins are Forgiven.

 

Ephesians 1:7b

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.

 

Luke 4:18 (Isaiah 61:1)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free.”

 

Colossians 1:13-14

13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.

 

Our Vision is Made Clear

 

Ephesians 1:8-10

8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. 9 God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. 10 And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.

 

Philippians 2:9-11

9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

In the Family Way

 — Dale Beaver

Message Notes

Ephesians 1:1-6

1 This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus. 2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. 3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

 

doxology is for worship. It is an expression of praise to God.

 

The text before us concerns the worship of God who has blessed us because of our union with Christ. We are chosen by God for this purpose: God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy. God loves human beings and draws them to Christ purely by His extravagant grace resulting in a family relationship with God. The realization of this brings us to our knees in worship. 

 

Are you in Christ and one with him?

 

Ephesians 1:3

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.

 

Romans 8:15-17

15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

 

By knowing who God is, we can discover who we are.

 

Galatians 2:20

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

 

Our identity is set according to God’s purpose.

 

Ephesians 1:4

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.

 

Deuteronomy 7:7-8

7 “The Lord did not set his heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! 8 Rather, it was simply that the Lord loves you, and he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors. That is why the Lord rescued you with such a strong hand from your slavery and from the oppressive hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.

 

Romans 9:25

“Those who were not my people, I will now call my people. And I will love those whom I did not love before.”

 

Ephesians 1:1b, 4b

I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus.

 

God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.

 

Ephesians 1:5 

God decided in advance (Even before he made the world) to adopt us (loved and chose us) into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ (in Christ). This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

 

Blessed to be in the family way, we take the family way.

 

Ephesians 1:6

So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

 

Dear Church

 — Dale Beaver

Message Notes

Ephesians 1:1-2

1 This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.

I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus.

2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

 

What makes the most unlikely of men the most undaunted of messengers?

 

Acts 9:13-15

13 “But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! 14 And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”

15 But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel.”

 

Galatians 1:13-14

13 You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I violently persecuted God’s church. I did my best to destroy it. 14 I was far ahead of my fellow Jews in my zeal for the traditions of my ancestors.

 

1 Timothy 1:15

This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.

 

1 Corinthians 9:1-3

1 Am I not as free as anyone else? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes? Isn’t it because of my work that you belong to the Lord? 2 Even if others think I am not an apostle, I certainly am to you. You yourselves are proof that I am the Lord’s apostle. 3 This is my answer to those who question my authority.

 

What makes the most unlikely of people holy people?

 

Ephesians 1:1-2

1 This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus. 2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

 

Romans 9:25

Concerning the Gentiles, God says in the prophecy of Hosea, “Those who were not my people, I will now call my people. And I will love those whom I did not love before.”

 

Our identity as holy people is both geographical and positional.

 

Colossians 2:6-7

6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

 

Ephesians 1:2

1 This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus. 2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

 

The gospel is about the unifying work of grace and peace.

 

Galatians 3:27-29

27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.