Eph 1:1-14 - Take possession of your possesions!

Clare73

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Ephesians is the Mt. Everest of the whole Bible. Its scope is cosmic. It reveals God's purpose in Christ for the whole universe, and the central role of the church--the one olive tree of the one people of God, of both OT and NT saints (Ro 11:16-23, Heb 11:40, 12:22-23)--in that purpose. Ephesians is about us, the believers.
Whereas Colossians is about Christ and the sufficiency of Christ for the church, Ephesians is about us, about our relation to Christ, and what that means for us. In no other book of the Bible is the preciousness of the believer to God made so well known.
In Ephesians, Paul confirms what we have already been taught in the gospels--that the benefits which are brought to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are so excellent that we are extremely ungrateful if we are not satisfied with them and are always jockeying to get more of this world. He shows us the excellency of what we have in Christ so we will look to him and not seek help anywhere else, because Christ has taken care of everything for us. Christ has so well provided for us that if we use what he has provided, we shall have complete happiness. So let's look at the blessings God has provided for the church.

Eph 1:2:
Grace (to you) - God's unmerited favor, the source of all our blessings--our salvation is by God's grace, our power over sin is by God's grace, our spiritual growth is by God's grace, our wisdom and understanding is by God's grace, so when Paul prays for grace, he is praying for the fountain of all blessing.
and peace to you - peace with God (no peace without grace), we have laid down our arms against him, are no longer in rebellion against his will, have ceased our hostility, are in harmony and unity with him, reconciled to him, for I am his enemy (Ro 5:10) until his grace brings me to faith and I come out of rebellion against him.
from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ- no peace, no grace but from God the Father. Grace and peace do not come from God as Creator, but only from our special relation to God as Father, through saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Eph 1:3:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ - so great are the privileges of our faith that Paul gives them in the form of praise to God. Let's see why.
who has blessed us - past tense, done deal.
in the heavenly realms - he gave us everything there is to give, God has nothing more to give, from heaven (Christ), which includes all blessings that prepare us for heaven. And that means that our lives are grounded in the divine realm (sphere) and they are worked out in and from that realm, that as believers who are in Christ, our lives are not grounded on earth only--we live in a divine realm, and only those in Christ live in that divine realm, all others are excluded.
with all spiritual blessings - 1) those whom God blesses, he blesses with all spiritual blessings.
2) spiritual blessings, not material blessings. We have no promise of material blessings. Those to whom the Father gives Christ, the blessing, he gives all spiritual blessings, he holds nothing back. "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him for us (believers) all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" (Ro 8:32).
God does not bless that way with earthly blessings. Some he blesses with health, some with wealth, etc. But when he blesses spiritually; i.e., when he gives Christ, he is blessing with all spiritual blessings.
in Christ - all our blessings from God come down through Christ. Just as all our prayers and worship go to God through Christ--"no one goes to the Father but through me" (Jn 14:6b), so all our blessings from God come the same way, through Christ. He is the mediator, the go-between, between God and man--believing man.
 
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Clare73

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Eph 1:4:
For he chose us in him - that's election (Ro 8:29-33. 9:6-26, 11:5, 7 28, 16:13, Col 3:12, 1 Th 1:4, 2 Th 2:13),
from among all the fallen, lost, hopeless human race, he picked us for himself, to be his own, to be his treasure (Dt 7:6, 26:18, Mal 3:17).
ELECTION - God's choice to receive an eternal inheritance runs through the Bible. We first see it in
Abraham - and not his family (excluded); in Isaac - and not Ishmael (excluded); in Jacob - and not Esau (excluded); in Israel - and not the other nations (excluded)--to be their God and they his people. These were types (patterns) of God's election to salvation which was not revealed until the NT. God chooses to save some, and not others, and we'll learn why he chooses some in v.5.
before the creation of the world - that's "foreknowledge," those whom God "foreknew," he chose. Would that be choosing whom he "foreknew" would believe? Is "foreknew" knowing in advance what man is going to do? So that God knew in advance who would believe, and chose them? Consider:
FOREKNOWLEDGE - Ac 2:23: "This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men (Gentiles), put him to death by nailing him to the cross."
Ac 4:28: "They did what your power and will foreordained (beforehand) should happen."
**In these two verses, who determined the events God foreknew would happen to Jesus, man or God?
Is 48:3 - "I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them, I made them known; then suddenly I acted; and they came to pass."
Is 37:26 - "Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass."
**In these two verses, who caused the events that God foreknew and foretold would happen, man or God?
Ac 15:18 - "Known to the Lord from all eternity are his works." . . .Fill in the blanks with "man" or "God."
"God's foreknowledge concerns events that _________ caused to happen."
****So the elect "according to the foreknowledge of God" are elect because ________ causes (determines) them to be so.
God knows in advance what is going to happen because God has willed that it shall happen; God's foreknowledge is of God's actions, not man's actions. "Foreknew" in the Bible simply means those of whom God had (in love) determined their saving destiny in advance.
to be holy - so we are chosen "to be" holy, not because we "are" holy, for all those chosen for eternal happiness as their destiny are also chosen for holiness as the way. "For those God foreknew (in his love) he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified." (Ro 8:29-30).
There is no eternal happiness without holiness as the way (Heb 12:14), chosen not only for salvation, but also for holiness.
"Holy" = consecrated, set apart from sin and to God, to live for God. God's will is nothing short of my entire sanctification. This purpose of God will not be fully realized until the resurrection. However, when we are in Christ, it means that we have partaken of the divine nature (2 Pe 1:4), God's life in our spirit. Jesus Christ, through his Spirit within us, gives a new power to the cleansed and justified believer, so that he begins to live an increasingly holy life, without blame (for deliberate, willful wrong doing) before God.

and blameless in his sight. - not perfect, but above reproach, no cause for blame, no willful deliberate sin.
In love - God chose to love us, not because of anything in us, not because we were lovable or worthy, but simply because he chose us (Dt 7:7). God's love for us is grounded in his goodness, not our goodness. He loves us because he is good, not because we are good.

God's plan, before he ever created anything, was
from the corrupted fallen, hopelessly lost human race, headed for eternal destruction, of which you were a part,
he would save you (some, but not all).
So God chose us from all eternity before time ever began.
 
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Clare73

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Eph 1:5: Blessing #2
he predestined us - election is about choosing us, while predestination is about the destiny he has chosen us for. God decreed the destiny of each of us before the world was created. He has destined us in advance--predestined us, to be blessed in Jesus Christ, which includes
to be adopted - adoption. Paul chose the word "adopt" to express this relationship because in Roman law, adopted children had all the legal rights and privileges of natural children, they were equal to the natural children in all respects. God had only one natural (divine) son--second person of the Trinity. As God's adopted sons, we have the same right to the inheritance as Jesus does. We are co-heirs with Christ (Ro 8:17), inheriting all that Christ inherits--his glory, his position, his dominion.
as his sons - the full manifestation of all that it means to be the son of God will not come until Jesus returns. At that time the whole world will see that we are sons. "The creation (animate and inanimate, exclusive of human beings) waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. . .We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to (until) the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies." (Ro 8:19, 22-23)
in accordance with his pleasure and will - this is why God chooses some and not others.
1) To make sure we do not try to ascribe God's choice of us to anything other than himself, Paul says God's choice was based solely in
To show forth his glory, his pleasure and sovereign will, and not because of anything he saw you would do--like believe, but only because it was his sovereign will do so so, because it pleased him to do so. We have an example of this principle in Jesus' parable of the workers in the vineyard (Mt 20:1-15), where the workers began to grumble because those who had worked only one hour were paid the same as those who had worked all day, to which Jesus replied, "Do I not have the right to do what I want with my own money?"

Eph 1:6:
to the praise of his glorious grace - (unmerited favor, excludes necessity of belief)
2) To show forth his glory, not because of what you did. Paul explains why God chose us in 1 Co 1:26-29: where God chose the nobodies of this world because it shows forth his grace more, and where he chose the most needy because adopting them shows forth the most glory. Showing forth his glory is the reason for everything God does and, therefore, everything we do should likewise show forth the glory of his grace operating in us.
which he has freely given us - adoption is free, the result of grace, not merit. Grace is free, unmerited--totally free. If I contribute anything then it's not free, it had a price, however small. Grace is totally free - not because I chose to believer, for then I would be contributing something. Grace is free of works, including the work of faith, which is a gift. Grace is not the result of my choosing to believe. Grace is the cause of my chooing to believe. And God does not give grace to everyone. He gives it only to a remnant. It is God who sovereignly decides who is saved--we have nothing to to with it.
in the One he loves. - in Christ we have all spiritual blessings.
 
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Eph 1:7: Blessing #3
redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins - redemption (salvation) is the forgiveness of sin. How would you answer the question: "What is salvation?" Precisely what does God do when he saves us. The angel said, "You are to give him the name Jesus (Joshua), because he will save his people from their sin." (Mt 1:20-21) He saves us by forgiving our sin. It is because of sin that we were under the wrath of God (Ro 5:9). Our sin must be removed in order to remove God's wrath. But the justice of God must be satisfied, the debt we owe God must be paid. However, there is no removal/forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood (Heb 9:22). The religion of sinners requires the shedding of blood.
FORGIVE - an accounting term, meaning to cancel a debt because it's paid. God is just--all debts must be paid. Our debt for sin is cancelled because Jesus Christ paid it. What debt? What debt do we owe God that we did not pay. Well, God created me, therefore, he owns me. and therefore I owe him submission and obedience. Likewise, God created me for a purpose--to show forth his glory. When I do not show forth his glory, through submission and obedience of righteousness, I rob him of the manifestation of his glory that is justly due him.

We see this principle of debt of glory owed to God and not paid in Ro 1:18-27, where the sin which condemns the Gentiles is they neither glorified God nor gave thanks to him (Ro 1:21), therefore, God judged their sin with more sin (Ro 1:24), and always with a judgment that matches the sin. They refused to give honor to God, thereby dishonoring him, so God let them give dishonor to themselves. They would not honor God, so God gave them over to not honoring themselves. (Ro 1:27). Likewise, they chose to shut out of their minds the knowledge of God from creation (Ro 1:20), so God gave them over to a depraved mind (Ro 1:28). In punishing failure to glorify God and give thanks to him with unnatural perversion and a depraved mind, Paul is pointing out that God's judgment (Ro 1:24-28), in matching their sin, shows that in God's eyes not glorifying him is unnatural, perverted and depraved. So we see the gravity of the debt we owe God to manifest his glory.

So I am in debt to God because I have robbed him of the manifestation of his glory, a very grievous offence to God. And this is a debt I cannot pay. I am unable to give God true glory because of my corrupt heart which causes everything I do to be tainted with sin. Keeping in mind what the Bible says about the human heart: Ge 6:5 - "the LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time." Ge 8:21 - every inclination of his heart is evil since childhood." Jer 17:9 - "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure." Ro 3:10-12 - "As it is written: 'There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.' " (Ps 14:1-3, 53:1-3, Eccl 7:20). Mt 7:11 - "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts. . ."

So the Bible says I am too corrupt to manifest the true glory of God which I owe him. Man resists this truth.
My debt must be paid by someone else, for I am sold as a slave to sin (Ro 7:14), I must be redeemed/bought back out of slavery to sin.
And the purchase price for which I was bought back/redeemed from bondage to Satan and sin was the blood of Jesus, which Paul says is
in accordance with the riches of God's grace - the generosity of his favor. My redemption is from the riches of God's grace, because
God himself provided the payment. He gave his Son for the ransom (Mt 20:28, 1 Tim 2:6, Heb 9:15) which bought me back from slavery to Satan and sin. Stop and think about what we are saying: the one whom we have robbed is the one who pays our penalty for us. It would never have entered the mind of man to invent a religion where the God of that religion would personally pay for their injuries and offenses against him. All other religions, bar none, are about man giving to, or supplicating God and, because man would never have thought of such a religion, God had to reveal it to us from heaven. The first inkling of that revelation was when Adam fell, in the promise of the Seed of the woman (Ge 3:15). The next time we see it is when God called Abraham and promised a blessing to all nations. Then in Moses, where God begins salvation with the exodus, the Law and the sacrifices, all types/patterns, and finally the whole and complete revelation came in Jesus Christ. But because Christianity is the only religion revealed from heaven, Christianity is, therefore, the only religion where God provides everything we owe him!
 
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Clare73

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Eph 1:8:
And God providing us with everything we owe him is why Paul says
that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding - i.e., good judgment and prudence (KJV). Only the wisdom of God would come up with such a plan, and only the prudence of God would carry it out so well, against Satan and in an evil world. The glory of divine wisdom and divine prudence are shown in 1) a plan that renders mercy at the same time it satisfies justice, 2) a plan that upholds and honors God and his law at the same time that it rescues criminals and saves them from the law and its consequences of death for disobedience. Talk about wisdom (the best means to the best end)!

Eph 1:9: Blessing #4
And he made known to us the mystery of his will - divine revelation. In the Bible, "mystery" does not mean something we cannot understand, as we ordinarily use the word. It means something never before revealed by God, a secret that is temporarily hidden, a plan God is actively working out and revealing stage by stage. And the secret of his will which Paul is talking about (blessings 1 & 2) is God's election, predestination and adoption of some, not all, whose debt to God is cancelled by the blood of his own Son .The mystery (secret) is God's mercy and justice in the sacrifice of Christ, a secret which has been concealed until now. The revelation and declaration of God's mercy to those who believe and obey is what Jesus came to earth to declare.
according to his good pleasure which he purposed in Christ - in that phrase Paul gives us again the only source and the only reason for this secret plan of God to have mercy on some in Christ--God's good pleasure, simply because it pleased him to do so. God is sovereign, "He does as he pleases with the peoples of the earth." (Da 4:35) And his pleasure which he purposed in Christ is the plan of salvation for believers.

Eph 1:10: Blessing #5
to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment - his plan of redemption in Christ was put into effect only when all the preparations had been made through the law and the prophets in the OT, when the time was ripe, an exact time, prefixed and settled by God before the worlds were ever made (v.4). Luke tells us precisely when that time was--"in days of Caesar Augustus, while Quirinius was governor of Syria." (Lk 2:1-2). And this is the mystery, or secret, never before revealed:
to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. - He didn't just save us from Satan and sin. The climax of the secret (mystery) is union with Christ. "To bring all things together on earth" is to unite Jews and Gentiles (i.e., all men) in Christ, where in the OT they had been separated. But not only all men, also all creation will be liberated from its bondage (Ro 8:20-23). So all things on earth (the whole redeemed created order) will be brought together under one head, and all things that are not united to Christ will be cast out of the earth, cut off from it. Nothing will remain on earth that does not love and obey Christ.
And not only on earth, but all things in heaven are united under Christ. God and the church, angels and the church are united in Christ. All those who love God, in heaven and on earth, are gathered together in one body, under Christ, the head. All others are cut off and cast out.

So God's plan for creation is to have all redeemed creation gathered together into one body under Christ--angels, men, creation.
That makes Christ the whole plan of God, God has no other plan outside Christ. He is the beginning, the end and the center of God's plan.
Christ is truly the center of history, not just a part of history, or an important part of history. He is the reason for all history--everything is summed up in Christ.
What is not in Christ will be destroyed (not eliminated, but eternal destruction in hell)--Satan and all his works, children.
 
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Clare73

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Eph 1:11: Blessing #6
In him we were also chosen to be heirs - to receive an eternal inheritance; i.e., heaven, given to us as a father gives an inheritance to his children. On earth we are minors, we do not have full possession of our inheritance but will do so when we are grown, when we are raised from the dead. We have the title to it now, as sons, and we have part of it now, as in a trust, as we shall see in v.14, but full possession of our inheritance comes at the resurrection. We were chosen, past tense, done before we were created.
according to the plan (rule) of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will - which tells us three things:
1) God wills - which is the cause of his actions and my election, not anything in me, or anything I've done. I don't move or cause God in any way to choose me. His choice is based purely in his will, which is his pleasure, not in anything which causes him to act. He is the First Cause. He does all the causing, nothing causes him.
2) God has a plan to accomplish his will - the rule of his actions. His will is the source of all that happens, and his plan is the rule by which it works. Not only do I not cause or move God to elect me by my desire and effort, but only he causes and moves himself. I am not the reason he moves himself, or chooses to elect me. His plan to manifest his glory through mercy is the reason he chose me. His plan is the rule of his actions by which he accomplishes his will.
3) God causes everything to accomplish his will - God is sovereign. . .and he acts sovereignly. Everything is according to his fixed and unalterable will. He acts to accomplish his purposes, and according to his pleasure, and no man can say to him, "What are you doing?" (Da 4:35) All men serve his purposes. The angels serve his purposes. Satan and his demons serve God's purposes. Sin and evil serve God's purposes. All events serve God's purposes. No harm on earth (eternal loss) can come to his elect.

Eph 1:12:
in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, - probably a reference to those Jews who became believers before the Gentiles, like himself.
might be for the praise of his glory. - and for the second time (v.6), Paul gives us the reason God chose us--to manifest his glory. God's will is the manifestation of his glory, and his plan to manifest that glory is the rule of all his actions. The praise is not about what you did, that would rob God in manifesting his glory. All glory goes to God. When God held his eternal counsel in the Trinity, his purpose was a plan whereby his glory would be made manifest, for his name's sake (Isa 48:9, 11, 43:25, Eze 20:44, 2 Sa 7:21-23, Ps 79:9). Our riches in Christ--election, predestination, adoption, redemption, revelation of God's secret will; union with Christ, and made heirs of God--are riches lavished on us in God's plan to manifest his glory.

So. . .is God vain? Consider:
The remote mountain village, where the blacksmith is the only judge, and the judge performs service for which a client refuses to pay (see Eph 1:7). Justice requires the debt be paid to the blacksmith/judge, or the debtor is to be punished.
As judge, the blacksmith must apply justice to everyone, including himself, and must punish the debtor if he does not pay.
1) God must apply justice to himself.
The hero who defeats a cruel dictator/tyrant and frees the mountain village. Is it catering to the hero's vanity to give him the glory? If anyone ascribed to someone else the glory of the hero's defeat, the village would feel it was an injustice. Because the hero deserves the glory, it is wrong to give the credit to anyone else.
2) God is justly due his glory.
So all the glory belongs to God, not because he is vain but because he deserves it, in justice it is owed to him. And justice requires that God give everyone his due, including himself. Because he is just, he must give the glory to whom it is due, himself.
So God chose us, made us his heirs with Jesus Christ, not because of ourselves, but for the praise of his glory. There would be no glory to God on fallen earth if he himself did not make it happen.
 
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Eph 1:13: Blessing #7
And you also were included in Christ - probably refers to the rest of the Ephesians who were not Jews.
when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. - when you believed.
Having believed you were marked in him with a seal - the seal of ownership (2 Co 1:22), marked as belonging to God, no longer belonging to Satan, set apart for God and set apart from sin. And what was the mark?
the promised Holy Spirit, - another Comforter, Spirit of truth promised (Ac 2:33, 39, Gal 3:14) by Jesus (Jn 14:16-17).

Eph 1:14:

who is a deposit - earnest money, down payment guaranteeing the full sum (2 Co 1:22, 5:5), pledge, first installment of our inheritance.
guaranteeing our inheritance - so the Holy Spirit, with all his influences and operations as a sanctifier and as a comforter, is the beginning of heaven in us, a deposit, our future glory in the seed and the bud; e.g., the Spirit's illumination is the first installment of everlasting light, as is his sanctifiction--of perfect holiness, and his comfort--of everlasting joy. God has made a way to give us some of heaven on earth.
until the redemption of those who are God's possession - what redemption is that? It is the redemption of our bodies (Ro 8:19, 23), where the full manifestation of what it means to be the sons of God will not be revealed until the resurrection (redemption) of our bodies.
God's redemption is for those who are his possession, his personal inheritance (Dt 7:6, 32:9, 1 Kgs 8:51, Ps 33:12, Eph 1:18) in the saints.
--to the praise of his glory. - and now for the third time (vv. 6, 12, 14), we have the only reason God has chosen us for this magnificent destiny--to manifest his glory, not because we were worth it.

So in Eph 1:1-14, Paul reveals that, so God may manifest his glory to the praise of all creation, he has blessed us with all spiritual blessings:

1) chosen those whom he pleased to choose, to be
2) predestined (predetermined destiny) to be
3) adopted as his children, to be
4) redeemed, which is the forgiveness of sin, to receive
5) divine revelation of God's secret will in Christ; i.e., the whole created order in union with Christ in one body, to be
6) co-heirs with Christ in his own inheritance; and marking us with a seal of ownership
7) sealed by the Holy Spirit to receive heaven as our eternal inheritance, with the Holy Spirit as the first installment.
to the raise of his glory!

No man would ever have conceived a religion where God does it all, and gives it all, and provides to us what he requires of us. So
TAKE POSSESSION OF YOUR POSSESSIONS!

And GIVE GOD ALL THE GLORY!
And all the saints said, "Amen!"
 
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THEREFORE:

So transcendant and amazing are these riches of the divine grace at which we've been looking, so entirely different from anything which man could conceive, that the Holy Spirit must enlighten us to understand and know them.
Paul prays for this enlightenment in vv. 15-21:

Eph 1:15:
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all thee saints,

Eph 1:16::
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. - we should pray for those for whom we give thanks, for whom we owe gratitude. Paul thanks God for the wonderful things he has done for them, and then he prays that God would do more for them. He thanks God for spiritual blessings and prays for more spiritual blessings. God has already prepared these blessings for us in Christ from all eternity, but God has appointed that we should pray them down. If we want to receive God's spiritual blessings, we must pray for them--not only for ourselves, but for others. And pray for this reason: because they have received the Holy Spirit, Paul prays that God would them more of the Holy Spirit. Only Christ has the Spirit without measure (Jn 3:34), the rest of us have only a measure of the Holy Spirit (Ro 12:3; parable of the talents, Mt 25:14). Even the best of Christians need to be prayed for, no matter how well they are doing--that their measure of the Spirit may increase. So what is it that Paul prays for them?

Eph 1:17:

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. - he does not pray that they would be freed from persecution, or be made prosperous, or receive the comforts of this world, but he prays for the illumination of their understanding, and that their knowledge of God may grow and increase; i.e., their experiential knowledge of God, and of the mind and will of God. Note that the grace and comforts of the Spirit come to us by the enlightening of our understanding. The Holy Spirit acquires and keeps possession of us through our understanding, while Satan acquires and keeps possession of us through our senses and passions. Paul answers three questions about this knowledge here:
1) What is the source of this knowledge? It is the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father (Hebrew phrase). God is the God of knowledge and there is no saving knowledge that does not come from him. There is knowledge about God, and then there is knowledge of God, which is saving knowledge. The Jews have knowledge about God, but because they do not believe Jesus Christ, they do not have knowledge of God. The same with Muslims, and some churches which call themselves Christian (Unity, Christian Science, etc.). Only God gives the saving knowledge which convinces us that we are hopeless sinners, in need of a savior. Only God makes us able to live apart from sin, and in obedience to him--that is the saving knowledge that comes from God alone.
2) How does God give us this knowledge? By giving us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Although we have the revelation of the Spirit in the written Word, it is powerless to those who do not have the wisdom of the Spirit in their hearts. The Holy Spirit must lift the veil produced by our corrupt hearts, and enable us to understand and apply God's Word, or it will not do anything for us.
3) Why does God give us this knowledge? That you may know him better, not just more information, but that you will acknowledge his authority by obedient conformity to him. That knowledge is first in the understanding, then in the life.
So Paul prays for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so they will have a personal knowledge of God, and not just about God.
 
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Clare73

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Eph 1:18:
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened (know him better) - 1) because we are blind, and if God doesn't open our heart, we will never see, for we cannot see on our own (1 Co 2:14). We are like the man born blind in Jn 9--we cannot see unless God restores our sight.
2) because we must be enlightened. It's not enough that we just feel, that we have warm affections for Christ, we must also work to have clear understanding rather than confused ideas about him. Paul prays that they be enlightened to know three things:
in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you - Christianity is a calling. . .to a life of hope, not full possession. We are to grow in the knowledge of the things Christians hope for; i.e., our heavenly inheritance--resurrection, glorified bodies, everlasting joy with God. Paul would have us pray that God make those things real to us, for a better understanding and desire for the great objects of a Christian's hope.
the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, - this means two things: besides those riches in Christ which are God's inheritance for the saints in the future, there is an inheritance in the saints now (vv. 1-14), for grace is the beginning of glory, and holiness is the beginning of heavenly happiness, in the bud. He calls it a glorious inheritance because it is the riches of glory. The Christian experiences some of the glory now, the principles of pleasures and powers of the spiritual and divine life.
BUT it also means the inheritance God himself receives in the saints. God has it all and owns it all, yet the saints are his rich inheritance. We see pictures/types of this in the OT, where God calls his people his peculiar treasure (Ex 19:5, Dt 7:5, 32:9, Mal 3:17):
"Is that a choir I hear singing? No, it is the Lord Himself exulting over you in song," (Zeph 3:17)
We see it also in the precious stones representing the 12 tribes of Israel in the High Priest's breast piece.
And now we see why the Holy Spirit must enlighten us to understand and know these great riches of divine grace.

Eph 1:19:
and what is the incomparably great power for us who believe according to the working of his mighty strength

Eph 1:20:
which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead - Paul is praying that we will grasp the mighty power of God working in us which brought us to faith. He is saying that it took as much power to bring me and you to faith as it took to raise Jesus from the dead. For all the power of Satan which tried to hold Christ in the grave is the same power which holds you in unbelief. Just as it took the mighty power of God to deliver Jesus from Satan's attempt to hold him in the grave of death, so it took the mighty power of God to deliver us from bondage to Satan in bringing us to faith. Staggering statement.
Why did bringing us to faith require so much power? Well, what does God have to make happen to save us? It is a very difficult thing to bring a person to believe in Christ, and to rest their eternity upon Christ's righteousness rather than their own good deeds. Try to convince a Jew or a Muslim. And to bring them to rest their eternity upon a hope--a hope for eternal life. Nothing less than the power of God can work that in us, because it requires four kinds of work:
1) overcoming work - God had to overcome the power of Satan over us (in spiritual death and raise us to eternal life). He had to overcome and remove our unregenerate enmity and hostility toward him (Ro 8:8, minds hostile to his truth). He had to dispel the natural spiritual darkness of our understanding (1 Co 2:14, like he had to overcome the darkness at the creation of the world). He had to dispel our blindness (like the blind man in Jn 9).
2) transforming work - then he had to draw our hearts to himself. He had to give us love for his law. He had to give us longing for his holiness (hunger and thirst for righteousness).
3) keeping work - and then it takes his power to preserve and keep us (from ourselves, I can't keep myself on course), which he does because we are his precious treasure and inheritance.
4) providing work - which is why he continues to meet all our need, to make all things work together for our good and to sanctify us.
and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms. - and just as it took the mighty power of God to seat Christ in the heavenly realms, so it takes the same power to seat us with Christ at God's right hand in the heavenly realms (Eph 2:6), the place of highest authority, where we have power
over sin in our lives,
to judge sin in ourselves and in the church (to excommunicate, (1 Co 5:12-13),
to discern the truth (as in abortion, that God is sovereign over human life),
to dispel darkness with the light of the gospel,
to intercede before the throne of God for provision for his church.

Personal note:
While the resurrection of Jesus from the dead was the great proof to the world and unbelievers of the gospel, the proof to ourselves that the gospel is true is all the working of that mighty power in our own hearts--the writing of it on our hearts in our on-going sanctification and our on-going death to sin. While this working of God's power in our own hearts and lives won't prove the gospel to anyone else, only Christ's resurrection does that, nevertheless, to be able to say experientially like the Samaritans, "We have heard him ourselves," we have felt a mighty change in our hearts, will make us able to say with them, "Now we believe and are sure this is the Christ, the Son of God." (Jn 4:39-42)
 
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Eph 1:21:
far above all rule and authority, power and dominion (ownnership), and every title that can be given - Jesus is higher than all, and in authority over all, and all are made subject to him. All the glory of heaven and all the powers of heaven and earth are his. There is nothing new added to his divine nature, it already has all glory, but it is new glory for his human nature. This is the doctrine--the exaltation of Jesus above all--that Jews, Muslims and eastern religions do not believe. To the East, Jesus is just one among many.

Eph 1:22:
And God has placed all things under his feet - according to God's promise in Ps 110:1. This is God's purpose for creation, the goal of history. All creatures are in subjection to Christ, either by their willing obedience to him, or by his power to judge and condemn them. God's divine purpose in creation is the glory and headship of Christ.
and appointed him to be head over everything for the church - here we have God's whole purpose for the headship of Christ:
1) to prepare a body for Christ, which is the church--in reality, to prepare a bride for his only Son, and
2)
to provide the church with a head with all power and authority.
God gave Jesus all power and authority, in heaven and on earth. This is what Jesus, himself, told us in the gospel (Mt 28:18). But the reason God made him head over everything in heaven and on earth, and the reason God gave him all power and authority was for the sake of the church, that Christ may govern and rule all things to serve the designs of grace concerning the church. We see this pictured in the OT regarding God's one people (Heb 11:16-23) and his judgment of their enemies: in Pharaoh, the plagues and God disposing the hearts of the Egyptians; in God's judgments on the Egyptians; and in driving out the Canaanites. God governed the OT world for the sake of his OT church (ekklesia, Ac 7:38, Heb 2:12).This places God's one people, the church of both OT and NT saints, at the heart and center of God's plan in creation, this makes the church the only reason for creation. The whole human race and the whole world is governed by Christ to serve the church. Only the church will be with him in glory. The rest of mankind who are not in the church because they refused to believe and obey Christ will be condemned.

Eph 1:23:
which is his own body - Christ loves the church because it is his own body. The same power that supports and governs the world also supports and governs the church; as long as there is a world, there will be a church, because the
church is the only purpose of time and history,
the church is the fulfillment of the ages (1 Co 10:11) and the end of the ages (Heb 9:26).
the fullness of him who fills everything in every way - Jesus Christ fills everything in all his church. He supplies all our defects, he fills us with his Spirit and his eternal life, he fills us with the fullness of God (Eph 3:19); i.e., the resources of God.
But not only is Christ the fullness of the church,
the church is also the fullness of Christ--staggering statement!
What does the church supply to Christ? Christ is not complete without his church. He sits at the right hand of God, with all power and authority and governs all, yet he still is not complete, and will not be so until his Bride is with him.

He is king, and he must have a kingdom (his church) to be complete. He is bridegroom, and he must have a bride to be complete.

And with this Paul takes us to the very throne of God, opening for us the mystery of his will, which is his cosmic, all encompassing purpose for Christ and his church--to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, that is, Christ (v.10).
Nothing will remain in heaven and earth outside the body of Christ, which is the church, of both the OT and NT saints.
 
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