In looking at the great, majestic themes of Ephesians, it is important to remember that Paul wrote this letter from prison. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. Ephesians is the fulfillment of this. It reveals the things God has prepared for those who love Him.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ : The opening of the letter is brief, without the more detailed greetings from Paul often found in his other letters. To the saints who are in Ephesus : In a few ancient manuscripts there is a blank space instead of the words in Ephesus. Based partly on this, some believe that this letter was actually a circular letter written not to any one congregation, but meant to be passed on to many different congregations in different cities.
There is little doubt this letter was intended for Ephesus, and Ephesus was an important city to Paul. Here for the space of three complete years — a unique length of stationary work for him — he had lived and laboured, not as the apostolic missionary only but as the apostolic pastor. Here he had laboured, watched, and wept, for both the community and individuals. If there is a blank space in a manuscript where others read in Ephesus , it is certainly because we are to put our city in that blank space. Grace to you and peace from God our Father : This greeting is typical of Paul.
In ancient Greek the language Paul originally wrote in , Ephesians through form one long sentence. As an opera has an overture, setting the tone for all the melodies that will follow, so Ephesians sets the tone for the rest of Ephesians. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ : Paul called for a blessing upon the Father in the sense of recognizing His glory and honor and goodness , because the Father has already blessed the believer with every spiritual blessing who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. Who has blessed us : This blessing is ours.
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This speaks of an attitude of certainty and assurance. He has blessed us; and therefore we will bless him. If you think little of what God has done for you, you will do very little for him; but if you have a great notion of his great mercy to you, you will be greatly grateful to your gracious God. It was important to point out that these blessings are for both Jewish and Gentile believers. First century Jews had a strong sense of being blessed, called, and predestined. Paul showed that these things are now given to Christians, be they Jew or Gentile.
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With every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ : This describes both the kind of blessings and the location of those blessings. These are spiritual blessings, which are far better than material blessings. These blessings are ours in the heavenly places in Christ , they are higher, better, and more secure than earthly blessings.
But our thanks ought to go to God in thunders of hallelujahs for spiritual blessings. A new heart is better than a new coat. To feed on Christ is better than to have the best earthly food. To be an heir of God is better than being the heir of the greatest nobleman. To have God for our portion is blessed, infinitely more blessed than to own broad acres of land. God hath blessed us with spiritual blessings. These are the rarest, the richest, the most enduring of all blessings; they are priceless in value.
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If we have no appreciation for spiritual blessing, then we live at the level of animals. Animals live only to eat, sleep, entertain themselves, and to reproduce. We are made in the image of God and He has something much higher for us, yet many choose to live at the level of animals.
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God wants us know every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. We also note that this includes every spiritual blessing. Just as He chose us in Him : Our possession of every spiritual blessing is as certain as our being chosen by Him, and chosen before the foundation of the world. We dare not diminish what Paul writes here. Believers are chosen by God, and they are chosen before they have done anything or have been anything for God. The great light of this truth casts some shadows; namely, in trying to reconcile human responsibility with divine sovereignty.
Yet the purpose of light is not to cast shadows but to guide our steps. Though they are past our finding out, we know that they are altogether wise and good, but the reasons are all in Him, not in us.
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His choosing is according to the good pleasure of His will Ephesians We are chosen in Him. It is not from the sight of our deserving, but because our heavenly Father has engrafted us, through the blessing of adoption, into the Body of Christ. In short, the name of Christ excludes all merit, and everything which men have of themselves. That we should be holy and without blame before Him in love : We are chosen not only for salvation, but also for holiness.
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The imaginative poetry of Alvin Peebles has inspired poetry lovers for decades. Peebles was born in Southampton County, Virginia, and grew up in the Church of God, where his grandfather was the pastor. Brand new Book. As you read The Riches of His Love, awesome pictures of God as creator, deliverer, healer and friend flash through the pages. Following results are shown. You might want to adjust your search critera , activate filters or change the sorting order. Books with keywords like print on demand, facsimile are filtered excluded with this option. It is possible that this filter also excludes books that are not actually print on demand books.
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United Kingdom. Shipping country to calculate shipping costs. Only articles listed recently on ZVAB and ebay are shown. Year: to. He who is in love, his thoughts are ever upon the object. He who loves God is ravished and transported with the contemplation of God. The thoughts are as travelers in the mind. David's thoughts kept heaven-road. By this we may test our love to God. What are our thoughts most upon?
Can we say we are ravished with delight when we think on God? Have our thoughts got wings? Are they fled aloft? Do we contemplate Christ and glory? A sinner crowds God out of his thoughts. He never thinks of God, unless with horror, as the prisoner thinks of the judge. In this way we enter a life, not just times , of worship. Worship will become the constant undertone of our lives. It is the single most powerful force in completing and sustaining restoration of our whole beings to God. Nothing can inform, guide, and sustain pervasive and radiant goodness in a person other than the true vision of God and the worship that spontaneously arises from it.
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Then the power of the indwelling Christ flows from us to others. Remember, however, that we are not trying to worship. Worship is not another job we have to do. Our part is to turn our minds toward God and to attend to His graceful actions in our souls. Then love and worship, worship and love, flow in our lives as we walk constantly with God.
By stepping with Him—in the flow of His grace—we live with spontaneity, love our neighbors, and minister the word and power of the gospel. Opening to the Fullness of Joy Personal soul care also requires attending to our feelings.