Review of Ephesians chapters 1-3, and continuing from chapter 4:1-6
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
V 3. The plan of God is that He would richly bless his creation with spiritual blessings. When speaking of spiritual blessings, the believer should imagine all the chaos and frustrations that this fallen earth offers. Then, from that place, it should be understood that God offers a healing from the curse of the fall; ultimately, all spiritual blessings find their source in the fact that humanity can have fellowship with the God of the universe.
However, it must be understood that those spiritual blessings can only be accessed in one place and that place is in Christ. Therefore, in verse three, the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, wants us to know that in the mind of God, this is all done. You are in Christ. He's in heaven, and as long as we remain in him, we remain in the will of God.
V 4. .… He has chosen "us" "in him"
Chosen is built from "EK" "LEKTOS"
Lektos= Chosen; this is where we get our word "election."
Now, the picking or choosing was predetermined at a time before Adam was even formed from clay in the potter's hand (1 Peter 1:19,20), and through this 1 Peter verse, we're given the revelation that it was the plan, Jesus Christ and Him crucified, not the individual person, which was foreordained or predetermined.
When the believer places his faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified, there's a spiritual renovation that takes place inside the heart of that man. And in this place, the believer can be found holy and blameless, even allowed to be in the presence of God…holy and without blame before him in love.
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
V 5. In this first, we received the first glimpse that God was creating an eternal family. The predestinated plan allowed us to be adopted and begotten as children into the family of God (I Peter 1:2,3).
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
V 7. And all this took place through the redemption of his blood. We were purchased off the slavemarket of sin and translated from darkness to light (Colossians 1:13, 14).
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
V 13–14. And when you heard the gospel and entrusted your life to the truth, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest or down payment. This is how you know you're saved. When the Holy Spirit comes to live in your heart a renovation takes place. The Holy Spirit doesn't leave the room the way it was before…things are going to change because grace is an inside job that's reflected outwardly in the life.
Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
V 16, 17, 18. Paul's prayer was that God would give them a spirit of wisdom and revelation. He is asking God to allow their (Ephesian Christians and us) spiritual eyes to be enlightened, so that they could see three things:
(1) the hope of the calling – the Eliezer call.
(2) the riches of the inheritance in the Saints.
(3) The power given to believers
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
V 21. The power that is given to believers in Christ is above and superior to the principalities and powers that reside in the heavenly realms [the forces of evil].
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
V 2:1,2,3. You will need this power because you live upon a world that is fallen and driven by the prince of the power of the air. You're in a war Christian, but you've been bought out of that system and placed on another path.
Chapters 2–3. A big thought that resounded throughout these chapters was the eternal family of God. Whether we utilize the terms: church, body, family, building, temple… The thought provoked is a community of believers, who have a common union, resulting in a common unity: faith in the sacrifice of the righteous one has brought us together in him, and we have become The holy habitation of God during this timeframe known as the church age.
Chapter 4. Now, there is a transition taking place from doctrinal instruction to practical Christian living.
Some people have accused me of being too spiritual, taking the position that a practical path towards preaching is better for today's Christian. The problem with this thinking is that, if the spiritual life of the believer isn't properly dealt with, where the "old" dies and the "new" is resurrected, or where the heart is regenerated, even a spiritual circumcision of its filth, then practical Christian living will be nothing but a failing and frustrating endeavor.
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
4:1. So the transition to practicality begins with the word "walk," which is really descriptive of one's behavior or daily Christian life. In other words, how you handle your business. "Can you talk to them about your Jesus after you did business with them?" Or did you "cut their ear off Peter?"
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
4:2 in this verse, three adjectives describe how the believer's walk should look.
(1) [lowliness: humility]. This word was frowned upon in the Greek culture from which it originated. The description of humiliation associated with this word was used to describe the slaves of their society. However, the gospel turns around and teaches that when the "old man" born of Adam dies, the "new man" born in Christ takes upon himself the role of the slave (Philippians 2:6,7). Essentially, if you're going to be a real Christian, your "old man" and all his previous way of approaching this fallen world is going to have to die.
(2) [meekness: gentleness]. Often times, people mistake meekness for weakness. The Bible says that Moses was the meekest man on earth (numbers 12:3), but when Israel transgressed God (Exodus 32), he was enraged with righteous anger. Furthermore, even Jesus, who was the epitome of the meek and humble heart (Matthew 11:29) became enraged when He saw the moneychangers who were working in conjunction with the Pharisees and extorting the people.
• One other concept I would like to mention is that Paul made it clear that our unity (the people of God) is connected to our message (1Corinthians 1:10, 18). When leaders don't preach the gospel for the way it's written, the people are extorted spiritually and false doctrine results in their continued "worshiping" of false idols and sinning against God, simply because they're being deceived from the truth that liberates the soul. If this is happening to God's people, then there is going to be a lack of unity and if there is a prophetic voice in the house, a word of correction and righteous anger will be released.
(3) [long-suffering]. This word describes patience in relationships. We must always remember that we are all individuals and sometimes, we may get on each other's nerves; nevertheless, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. It should be noted that all these adjectives are fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23). Okay, so what's the significance with that? The significance with that is this: you can't manufacture this "stuff" through your flesh. This has to be done through a work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does his work in the life of the believer through dispensing grace into the heart as the believer maintains faith in the finished work of Christ.
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4:3. The word endeavor describes labor or diligence. The mature believer works with diligence towards unity. Now, don't be confused and revert back to carnal Christian thinking: you can't change your heart and make it love when it's been wronged, but if you will allow the grace of God to circumcise your heart, then the fruit of the Spirit will be manifest in your life. From this perspective, you will be working in a spiritual sense, because you will know there are things in your heart that aren't right, and you will ask God to produce love, long-suffering, and peace through his grace.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
4:4, 5, 6. In the next three verses, there is a little bit of a transition that takes place, where the believer is reminded of the unifying example of the Godhead and the faith. Each member of the Trinity is mentioned while at the same time, the "oneness" or unity of God is emphasized as a reminder to the believer that the family of God is supposed to be one in purpose.
4:4. "One body and one Spirit" it's the Spirit of God that unifies and makes the people of God "one body" "in Christ."
4:5. "One Lord, one faith, one baptism "there's only one Lord and Savior and his name is Jesus Christ. And he alone is the entrance way into the one faith. We discussed this concept before, but in certain places the word faith is used as a noun rather than a verb. In this sense, the concept is "the faith." It is the place the Christian dwells, a translation into "the Christ," which places the Christian into "the faith."
Regarding the one baptism, some scholars seem to have disagreements: the question they banter over is whether this speaks of the baptizing of the believer into Christ by the person of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13), or the outward expression of this inner work, which is exhibited through water baptism. The main point I would like to clarify about this passage is this, it is faith in the sacrifice of the sinless one that allows the believer to be baptized or placed by the Holy Spirit into the person of Christ which now makes him righteous in the eyes of God. Water baptism is the outward physical sign of the inner spiritual work that has been completed in Christ. With that said, there is certainly truth connected to the fact that water baptism is the outward sign that a person is publicly professing their faith in Jesus Christ.
4:6. "One God and Father." God the Father is the authority of the Godhead. He resides in believers through the Spirit of God, which is made possible because of our position in Christ, which is made possible because of our "verb" faith placing us in the position of our noun "the faith."