Ephesians 1:1-2

An Overview of the Series: An elderly couple's body was discovered in their apartment several years ago. They both died of severe malnutrition, according to their autopsies. Several cash-filled paper bags were discovered when authorities searched their home; totaling around $40,000.00. When you have plenty of money to buy food, how foolish is it to starve to death?[i] Hettie Green died in 1916. When she passed away, it was discovered that she had left behind a $100 million estate. Today, that is a huge sum of money; In those days, it was an enormous sum. Despite her wealth, Hettie Green was regarded as America's greatest miser. Because it was too expensive to heat the water to cook the oatmeal, she frequently consumed it cold. When her son had a serious injury to his leg once, she spent so much time looking for a free clinic that the leg had to be amputated. Hettie Green was a woman with a lot of wealth, but she didn't know how to use it. She even sped up her own death by letting herself get enraged in an argument over skim milk, which was cheaper than whole milk.[ii]
Just like that, Ephesians was written to people. During Paul's imprisonment in Rome between 61 and 63 AD, this letter was written. On the east side of the Aegean Sea, the city of Ephesus was at the mouth of the Cayster River. It served as the Roman province of Asia's capital. It was a wealthy city that was known as a center for politics, business, and education. The city was known as "The Queen City of Asia." Ephesus was home to a massive Diana temple. It was one of the seven ancient world wonders. The city had a population of approximately 300,000 people when Paul lived there. However, it was a city that was deeply rooted in paganism, immorality, and wickedness. According to Acts 16:6, Paul considered going to Asia (Ephesus) before beginning his second missionary journey, but the Holy Spirit prevented him from doing so. Acts 18:18–19 reveal that Aquila and Priscilla probably carried the Gospel to Ephesus some time later. Paul finally made it to Ephesus at the close of his second missionary journey. There, he preached the Gospel and helped the young church establish itself. As the preaching elder in the Ephesian church, Timothy succeeded Paul. The false teaching of Hymenaeus and Alexander plagued the church under Timothy, 1 Tim. 1:20. Legalism, erroneous doctrine, and foolish disagreements among church members are additional issues. So, a young church with problems is here. They resemble the aforementioned elderly couple. Similar to Hettie Green, they They do not know that they are wealthy in the things of God. This book came to them to show them exactly what Jesus had to offer; what Jesus saw in them; and how to make use of what they had in Jesus! This book is addressed to "the saints who are at Ephesus" in verse 1. This letter was not written solely to this church. This was, in the opinion of many academics, a circular letter. Specifically, it was copied numerous times and distributed to all Asia Minor churches. The word "Ephesus" does not appear in a lot of ancient copies of this letter. The place where the name would go is often blank in many of them. This would explain why the letter does not include any personal or geographical references. It is a letter to "the faithful in Christ Jesus," not just to one local congregation, as stated in verse 1. This book was kept in touch with us as well! Ephesians was written to educate all of us about who Jesus Christ is. because of our relationship with Him, what we have. and how to make the most of what He has given us for God's glory. Today marks the beginning of a sermon series that will take us through the book of Ephesians paragraph by paragraph. In this first sermon, I want to talk about the book and some of the important truths we'll learn from it. Numerous enticing titles have been given to this book. It has been referred to as "The Alps of the New Testament"; The letter from heaven; The pinnacle and pinnacle of Pauline theology"[iii]; It was dubbed "The divinest composition of man" by Samuel Coleridge[iv]. Ephesians is divided neatly into two parts. The first three chapters are doctrinal, while chapters four through six are practical. We learn what we have in the first three chapters; We learn what to do with what we have in the final three chapters. Our riches in Christ are revealed in the first three chapters; The final three instruct us on how to use what Jesus has given us. Ephesians has been referred to as "the believer's checkbook." Imagine having a bank account that would never be depleted and on which you could write checks in any amount and at any frequency. According to Ephesians, the believer has that. The believer will learn how much God's grace is worth. It teaches us about our possessions as a result of our identity in Jesus. Then, Ephesians instructs us on how to use the gift of Christ. This book is about wealth. 1:7: "The riches of His grace"; 3:16: "The riches of His glory"; 3:8: "The unsearchable riches of Christ"; This book also talks about the fullness we have in Jesus. 3:6, "be filled with the fullness of Christ," 4:3, "to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ," and 5:18, "be filled with the Spirit" These riches and this fullness come from: · 1:2, 6, 7; 2:7: His grace; 1:2: His peace; 1:5: His will; 1:9: His pleasure and his proposal; 1:12, 14: His glory; 1:18: His calling; 1:19: His power and strength; 2:4: His love; 2:10: His workmanship; 3:16: His Spirit; 5:2: His offering and sacrifice; 6:11-13: His armor. In Ephesians, the word "riches" appears five times. Twelve times it is mentioned, "Grace." glory" is referred to eight times. Six times, "fullness" or "filled" is mentioned. twelve times, "in Him" or "in Christ." Thirty times, the words "in," "with," or "through" Christ are used. This book talks about how much we have in the Lord Jesus Christ and how much more there is. Because of their relationship with Jesus, believers are extraordinarily wealthy, Rom. 8:17; 1 Pet. 1:4. Ephesians is a book about wealth and abundance as well as a divine mystery. The Bible means "a truth previously hidden, but now revealed" when it talks about a mystery. There are numerous mysteries regarding God. There are three primary types of mysteries. First, there are enigmas that only God knows and will ever know. Deut. says that these are divine secrets that God keeps secret from anyone, anywhere, at any time. 29:29. The second kind of mystery includes things that most people don't know about but a select few do. Rom says that everyone knows something about God. 1:19–20, but they do not comprehend the more fundamental aspects of His nature and Word. They are dead and oblivious to the truths of God, so they cannot know these things, 1 Cor. 2:14. On the other hand, the redeemed do comprehend these truths and know more about God than lost people ever could. A third kind of mystery is one in which a secret truth is revealed to God's people after being kept hidden for some time. The book of Ephesians contains that kind of mystery. In Ephesians 1:9, the word "mystery" appears six times; 3:3, 4, 9; 5:32; 6:19. 3:1–6 reveal the enigma that Paul is referring to. The church's mystery is this. Messiah was what the ancient Jews were looking for. They were seeking a king who would establish himself in Israel. They were hoping that a king would come to free them from their enemies and establish a kingdom on earth that would last forever. Their Messiah did not meet their expectations when He appeared. John 1:11 records their rejection of Him and refusal to recognize Him as their king. According to John 19:15, when Jesus was in front of Pilate, they said, "We have no king but Caesar." The Jews then witnessed the execution of their king on a Roman cross. The Jews continued their search for a king and kingdom. Even now, they are still looking for Him. The modern era was something the Jews did not comprehend. The prophets of the Old Testament never saw this day. This day never occurred to Jewish scholars and scribes. We are amidst a divine mystery as we live. We are in a sovereign parenthesis at the moment. It was never imagined that at least 2,000 years would pass between the Messiah's birth and the establishment of His eternal kingdom. The truth is that the kingdom of God is real, active, and powerful, even though there is currently no physical kingdom of God on Earth. We are anxiously awaiting the Lord Jesus' arrival on earth to establish His kingdom here. However, the Lord Jesus reigns over His kingdom right now from heaven while we wait. He reigns over His kingdom through His people. Numerous metaphors were used to describe God's people in the Old Testament. Isa, they were referred to as vines. 5:2. Hosea referred to them as brides. Isa, they are known as a flock. 40. They were also known as an Ex. kingdom. 19:16. The people of God in this day also make use of those analogies. John 12:12: The church is a vine. His bride is the church, 2 Cor. 11:2. In Luke 12:32, the church is called a flock. Col. also refers to the church as a kingdom. 1:13. Ephesians uses a new name for the church that it has never used before. It is known as a body. The body of Christ is literally made up of believers, 1 Cor. 12:27. Through His Spirit, He resides within us. We are energized by His life. Jesus Christ is seen moving and working in the world today as we yield to Him and allow Him to live in us. He accomplishes His will in the world by rising up within us and living through us. The verses of this wonderful book reveal this mystery of the church as the body of Christ. Today, I want to examine the first two verses. Paul exemplifies what I was attempting to convey when I introduced this book in these verses. Paul's words as he begins to write are a vivid illustration of the richness and abundance that we can anticipate as we study this book together. Paul backs up everything he says as he writes. He wants his readers to know that God has given them a great deal of blessings. Let's take a look at the author. Paul is listed as his name. The word for this is "little." Saul was his original name. He was given the name Saul, the most famous of the Benjamites and the first king of Israel. Acts 22:3 says that Saul went to Gamaliel's school and got a good education. He was a member of the Sanhedrin and a rabbi. According to Acts 22:4-5, he was a prominent Jewish leader who detested Jesus Christ's followers. Acts 9:1–9 describes a first-hand encounter between Saul of Tarsus and the Lord Jesus Christ while he was on his way to arrest Christians. Saul of Tarsus was saved by the Lord, and God used him to spread the gospel throughout the world. Paul rose to prominence as the greatest Christian preacher. He is the author of 14 of the 27 books in the New Testament. Let's take a look at what Paul has to say in these first two verses now that we know a little bit about the author and what he is going to write about. I. A NOTE ON AUTHORITY Paul identifies two sources of his authority. He writes like he needs to be heard. He writes in the persona of someone who has been sent to proclaim new truth. Paul declares himself to be "an apostle of Jesus Christ." The Greek word "apostolos" is translated as "apostle." "A sent one" is what it means. The men who were selected to serve as the foundational leaders of the fledgling church Eph are referred to by the term in the New Testament. 2:20. They were the men who shared God's direct revelation with His people. They taught us what the apostles taught. Only fourteen men have ever been able to claim the apostleship. Before Judas left, there were originally twelve apostles. Mathias was chosen to succeed Judas in Acts 1:26. In 1 Cor. 14, Paul became the fourteenth apostle. 15:8. Paul fulfilled the requirements for being an apostle by seeing the risen Christ and being among them. 1 Cor. 9:1. Today, there are no apostles! A liar and a false prophet are those who claim to be apostles. Paul was a divinely appointed individual sent by God for a specific task. Additionally, he declares that he is an apostle "by the will of God." Paul's readers were reminded by this that he has not chosen this path for himself; He had been chosen by the Lord for this path. What Paul knew to be true about himself is revealed in his own testimony, 1 Timothy. 1:12-15. Paul uses the word not out of arrogance but rather out of a deep sense of humility at having been deemed worthy to serve as an apostle. Moreover, Paul was aware that serving Christ was his top priority, Rom. 1:1. However, God had called Paul to a special position of service and had extended His hand to him. Every one of His children receives the same treatment from Him. We all have a place in the body of Christ where we are expected to serve, even though none of us will ever be apostles. The body of Christ functions as it was intended to when we all serve the Lord in our respective roles, 1 Cor. 12:7. Paul does not use titles when he refers to his position as an apostle. He simply asserts his divine authority to impart truth to God's people. 1 Cor. says that Paul had to constantly defend his apostleship. 9:1ff; Gal. 1:1. I. A Note Concerning Authority II. A NOTE ON THE ADRESSEES Paul makes a dual designation regarding the recipients of his letter after describing the dual sources of his authority. He refers to them as "the faithful in Christ Jesus" and "saints." Let's take a moment to look at these two titles. We are referred to as "saints." When that word is mentioned, people often think of religious figures who have passed away and been venerated by the church. In times of need, you might think of statues to which you pray if you come from a religious background. Those concepts are far from what the Bible means when it refers to believers as "saints." A saint is defined as "a most holy thing." It refers to something that has been sanctified and designated solely for God's use. It illustrates how God sees us! A saint is every child of God. Every person who is saved by God's grace and washed in Jesus' blood is "a holy thing," designated for God's glory and His sole use in this world. The Lord's actions for us in Jesus are described by the word "saint." God saved our souls and credited our accounts with Christ's righteousness when we believed in Him, Rom. 3:21-22; 1 Cor. 1:30; Phil. 3:9. The saints are then referred to by Paul as "the faithful in Christ Jesus." While "faithful" refers to our actions in the world, "saint" refers to our standing before the Lord. We are new creatures in Jesus because God has saved and sanctified us (2 Cor. 5:17. Consequently, we lead lives that are distinct from the world around us. To put it another way, those who live obedient lives in a world that does not know the Lord are known as His holy saints. I. A Note Concerning Authority II. A Note Regarding the Addressees III. A MENTION OF ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Do you perceive the fullness that Paul is describing? He refers to complete authority. He refers to a comprehensive designation for believers. He then greets the recipients of this letter with a word of complete acknowledgment. Paul gives his readers two blessings at once. Paul begins his greeting with the words "grace to you." A word that means "good will, loving kindness, favor" is translated as "grace." We use the word to talk about the work that the Lord did to save us, keep us, and change our lives. We are all aware that "the underserved love and favor of God for lost sinners" is the meaning of the word "grace." It was a common greeting back then. We greet each other by saying, "Hello," How are you doing? or "What are you working on?" All of which have no bearing at all! In that culture, when people met, they would say "Charis," which means "grace." In other words, they said, "I pray for you the best God can offer" when they met. Isn't that far superior to what we have to say? The world could be changed if we learned to greet each other in that manner. It would be an opportunity to thank God for his grace in purchasing us. It would be a request to God for mercy toward those we meet. We would be able to witness to the lost as a result. Tomorrow, try that! After that, Paul says, "peace." According to John MacArthur, "grace is the fountain of which peace is the stream"[v]. We are able to have peace with God because of God's grace. We can live in harmony with others if we are at peace with God. Phil: It is God's grace that brings us to God, and when we do, His grace can give us unending peace in our hearts. 4:7; John 14:27. I. A Note Concerning Authority II. A Note Regarding the Addressees III. A Remark of Appreciation IV A NOTE ON THE AGENT: Everything Paul has said thus far has been derived from this source. Paul's calling and authority as an apostle; the faithfulness and sainthood of believers; Through our relationship with God the Father, we are granted both peace and grace. According to John 14:6, only faith in the Lord Jesus Christ can lead to a relationship with God. All of God's riches become ours when we put our faith in Jesus as our Savior. When we acquire God's things, we immediately become wealthy. In 2 Cor., Paul stated it in this manner: According to Romans 8:9, "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye may be rich through his poverty." Conc: As we work our way through this special book, we are in for a wonderful journey. As a result of this study, I have faith that the Lord will nourish our souls, test our lives, and transform our church. Come and rely on God to speak to you! You are aware of what you need to do if He has spoken to you today. Now that He calls, some!

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