INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS
AUTHOR: Some have cited differences in style, vocabulary, and doctrinal emphasis between the Ephesians and other Pauline epistles to dispute Paul's authorship of the Ephesians: However, the epistle itself claims to be written by Paul (Ephesians 1:1), and the Church has recognized Paul as the author, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, because Paul dictated some of his letters, differences in content and style would be expected:
DATE: 61-63 AD, as recorded in Acts 28:16-31-most likely written during Paul's imprisonment in Rome...
MAJOR THEME: The riches of Christ in the Church: The mystery of salvation in the Church, the body of Christ, is not only for all mankind but for all creation, affecting this age and the age to come: The body of Christ is the center and life of all... SUBTHEMES INCLUDE:
(1): THE WORK OF THE HOLY TRINITY IN OUR SALVATION-(1:3-14, 17; 2:18, 22; 3:4,5,14-17,20,21-4:3-6; 5:18-21):
(2): THE BLESSINGS OF CHRIST TO THE CHURCH-(1:1-3:21)
(3): OUR RESPONSE TO GOD'S GRACE-(4:1-6:24)
(4): GOD'S STRENGTH FOR SPIRITUAL WARFARE-(1:19-2:10; 4:17-31; 6:10-18)
EPHESIANS 1 STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN
1:1-2: SAINTS AND FAITHFUL are biblical and historical references to Christians believers: Here, God-(v. 2) refers to the Father, LORD-(Greek-kyrios) refers to the son:
THE SOVEREGNITY OF THE FATHER-THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE SON-THE FAITHFULNESS OF THE SPIRIT
1:3-14: IN THE ORGINAL GREEK, this is all one sentence: Paul's opening is the preeminence of God's initiative: We say, simply, "Blessed is the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit..." Paul's doxology is more detailed: The Father has all the power-(vv. 3-6); the Son, all rule-(vv. 7-12); the Spirit, all caretaking-(vv. 13, 14):
1:3: GOD BLESSES AND SO IS BLESSED: See my Video for my talking points
1:4-6: EVERYTHING COMES FROM GOD, and everything should be drawn back to Him: God's original intent for the Incarnation was not redemption from the Fall but adoption as sons of God-(v. 5), that is, deification: THE FATHER CHOSE US-(v. 4) IN HIM, THE SON: Christ, who is God by nature, became Man by choice- (Predestined v. 5): See my video for further discussion and talking points...
1:7-8: THE SACRAMENTS OF BAPTISM-(redemption) and the Eucharist-(His Blood) are alluded to as the necessary foundation for drawing near to God: Redemption has a technical meaning relative to the freeing of slaves: Here, the bondage is to sins; the act of releasing is FORGIVENESS; the price of redemption is blood-the human life of Christ given over to death for the sake of new life: This beginning of life in Christ is not merely legal, nor instantaneous, but living and dynamic:
1:9-10: THE MYSTERY is the plan of salvation, the gospel, the Kingdom of God, the Church: This mystery centers on Christ Himself-(Colossians 2:2), from the Incarnation-(1 Timothy 3:16), to the Cross-(1 Corinthians 2:8), to the restoration and culmination of all things-(v. 10): IT IS THE FULNESS-(v. 10) of all, not only for humanity but for the whole creation- SEE my video for further discussion and talking points...
1:11-14: THE GOSPEL UNITES ALL OF HUMANITY : THE JEWS-(vv. 11, 12) AND THE GENTILES-(vv. 13, 14): The Jews, especially those who trusted in Christ-(v. 12)-one of whom was Paul, hence the use of we-(v. 11)-were the first witnesses to the coming of the Messiah: In the fulness of the times-(v. 10) they were joined by Gentiles:
1:13-14: THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT was an evidence that the last times, the day of the Lord, had come: Hence, Pentecost was proof to the Jews that Jesus indeed was the Messiah: And the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Gentiles-(Acts 10:44-48) was proof they were equal to the Jews in this final age: After baptism one is SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, called Chrismation-(the word "SEAL" is repeated by Orthodox Christians as the priest or bishop anoints the newly baptized with oil...): THE GUARANTEE-(v. 14) is a first installment in kind, a down payment or earnest of what is later to be completed: we both are redeemed and shall be redeemed:
PRAYER FOR REVELATION
1:15-23: THIS IS AN INTERCESSORY PRAYER-that Paul prayed often and repetitiously-(v. 16): He asks that his hearers might understand the redemption he outlined in (vv. 3-14: Like vv. 3-14, this section is also one long sentence in Greek):
1:15: THIS IS A WAY of restating the two great commandments: love of God and love for all!!!
1:18: UNDERSTANDING should be translated "heart"" The prayer that Orthodox Christians pray before the reading of the Gospel begins, illumine our heats, O Master who love mankind, with the pure light of Your divine knowledge:- (SEE also Proverbs 16:21- is my closing message):
1:21-23: PRINCIPALITY, POWER, MIGHT, AND DOMINION-(v. 21) are orders of angelic beings: because Christ transcends all-(v. 21), everything submits to Him-(v. 22): Because He is intimately united with the church-(v. 22) as A HEAD to its BODY-(v. 23), the Church has the greatest glory of all creation: The Church is God's masterpiece-(v. 23): Since Christ as God is infinite, the Church never ceases becoming 'full":
EPHESIANS 2 STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN
TRANSFIGURATION BY GRACE- THE FORMER ALIENATION OF THE GENTILES
2:1-7: TWO UNEQUAL KINGDOMS ARE AT WAR: Each is spiritual in nature; each stamps its image on its subjects and requires strict obedience: Yet they are opposites: The king of the lesser realm is a created being, Satan: His domain is of the air-(v.2), neither fully of earth nor of heaven: He is the author of disobedience-(v. 2), rebellion: The beginning of his rule is spiritual death-(v. 1): The desires of his subjects are lustful, of the flesh and of the mind-(v. 3): Their deeds are trespasses and sins-(v. 1): The result of his rule is wrath-(v. 3), and hence eternal death: THE KING OF THE OTHER KINGDOM IS UNCREATED, GOD THE FATHER-(v. 4): His realm is THE HEAVENLY PLACES-(v. 6): He rules by mercy and love-(v. 4): The beginning of His rule is redemption to eternal life-(v. 5): The desires of His subjects are thankfulness and glorifying God: Their deeds are righteous, as is proper to those who reign with Christ: The result of His rule is exceeding riches and kindness-(v. 7), and hence eternal life:
2:8-10: HOW CAN one get from the one kingdom to the other-(vv. 1-7)??? By the unity of grace, faith, and works-(v. 9): Not that these are equal, for grace is uncreated and infinite, whereas our faith is limited and can grow; good works flow out of authentic faith: works cannot earn us this great treasure-it is a pure gift-but those who receive this gift do good: We are not saved by good works, but for good works-(v. 10):
2:11-12: SINCE SALVATION involves the renewal of all mankind in Christ, the old distinction between Jew and Gentile no longer exists: This ethnic distinction was based on the flesh-(v. 11), the Gentiles being uncircumcised and the Jews being circumcised: While Israel was especially blessed by God-(v. 12), both Jews and Gentiles had to become true Israel-(see vv. 13-18):
2:13-18: MAN'S BROKENESS WAS TWOFOLD: man was separated from man, that is, Gentile from Jew-(vv. 13-15; and man was separated from God-(vv. 16-18): See my video for further discussion and talkin g points...
THE MIDDLE WALL OF SEPARATION-(v. 14) probably refers to the barrier in the Temple separating the Court of the Gentiles from the Court of the Jews: This barrier manifested the limitations of the Old Covenant: It did not heal humanity's self-alienation; it actually increased human hostility: Now that this wall is broken down, both Gentiles and Jews are recorded and one in Christ:
THE UNITY OF JEW AND GENTILE IN CHRIST
2:19-22: THE CHURCH, humanity unified and renewed through union with the incarnate Son of God-(vv. 11-18), is built on a foundation of JESUS CHRIST AND THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS-(v. 20): From this foundation come the Scripture and all doctrine: In Ephesians 4:11 these gifts are implied to be a continuing reality in the Church: And the spiritual building is one: The Church is designed to be united:
PSALM 34 (35) STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN
PSALM 34 (35): Is a prophecy regarding the Lord's sufferings and death on the cross in Holy Week: For example, v. 11 refers to the false witnesses at the Lord's trial: he endured these things on behalf of and with His Church in mind-(My only-begotten, v. 17; the great church and mighty people, v. 18): And His people GREATLY REJOICE AND MAGNIFY HIM-(v. 27) because of what He did for them:
SOUL & SPIRIT STUDY PART 3
GRACE- The gift of God's own presence and action in His creation: Through grace, God forgives sins and transforms the believer into His image and likeness: Grace is not merely unmerited favor-an attitude of God toward the believer: Grace is God's uncreated ENERGY bestowed in the sacraments and is therefore truly experienced: A Christian is saved through grace, which is gift of God and not a reward for good works: However, because grace changes a person, he or she will manifest the effects of grace through righteous living-(see- also John 1:17; Romans 5:21; Ephesians 1:7; and 2:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:12; and 1 Peter 5:5):
HOLY SPIRIT- One of the HOLY TRINITY sometimes referred to as "The Spirit of the Lord God"-(Isaiah 61:1):
The wise in heart will be called prudent,
And sweetness of the lips increases learning.
The spiritual heart of a wise man is the abode of understanding-it has the eyes to see and the ears to hear Wisdom and His instruction-(See also Ephesians 1:18): Such a man carries knowledge upon his lips!!!
O how I love Your Law!!!
It is my meditation all the day...
Your Word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path...
O GOD, You have spoken to us divine and saving WORDS...Illumine the souls of sinners to comprehend that which has been read, that we do not appear simply as hearers of your spiritual words, but doers of good deeds, true pursuers of faith, having a blameless life and conduct without reproach in Christ our Lord, with whom You are blessed and glorified, together with Your all-holy and good, and life-giving Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages!!!
LORD JESUS CHRIST SON OF GOD HAVE MERCY ON ME THE SINNER!!! (3)
LORD'S PRAYER- DEPART IN PEACE IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!!!
PEACE BE WITH YOU ALL!!!
JPCE SPIRITUAL TALK
NEVER HOLD BACK
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD