Ephesians; 1:3 – the Trinity; the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Class Outline:

Thursday September 20, 2018


EPH 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,


EPH 1:8 which He lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight


EPH 1:9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him


EPH 1:10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fulness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth.


Grace, freely bestowed and lavished, is mentioned twice in this sentence in accordance with election, predestination, adoption, and redemption.  


EPH 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.


EPH 1:7 according to the riches of His grace,


EPH 1:8 which He lavished upon us.


Grace: The good will or favor of God to man that cuts through all sin and evil and freely offers life abundantly.


We continue in our first study of the Trinity. We have begun with their distinctiveness, beginning with the Father. We have seen His Fatherhood to all creation as Creator and Provider and His Fatherhood to Israel as a loving Provider of their freedom, their nation, the Law, and the land, as well as the revelation of Himself and His redemption. We now turn to the role of the Father to Jesus Christ, the Son.


The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


The relationship of the First Person and the Second Person have been from all eternity that of a Father and Son.


The Bible offers no analogies to help us understand the Trinity. Men have tried to use the egg, the three primary colors, the triple point of water, a clover, etc. and while they might be helpful for children, upon further learning of the Persons of the Trinity and their oneness, all analogies only do harm; often leading astray.


Father and Son is the only thing close to our own understanding. In our world we have fathers and sons, but the titles of the first two Persons of the Trinity are not used as an analogy to human fathers and sons.


We must remember that we are not going about this study so that we can define the Trinity or define God in some sound theological way, although we are doing that, but that is not the end goal. We are trying to further understand the person of God in the Trinity. Knowing God is the key to all things and this study is far more than a theological exercise. It is personal and integral to your relationship with God and therefore your life.


God didn’t reveal these facts about Himself so we could write theology books. He gave them so that we could relate ourselves to Him.


Father and Son speaks of an intimate relationship from all eternity and a subordination in the humanity of Christ without any loss of equality.


We would not say that the deity of Christ is subordinate, but He does serve the request of the Father, which is to become a man, and the Holy Spirit serves the request of the Father and Son by being sent to minister to humanity. In the human realm this definitely means being of a lesser status, but not in the Trinity. The fact that the Son of God submits to the request of the Father and the Father gives the request does not in any way elevate one member and subordinate the other. We have no human example of this.  


Note: First, Second, and Third Person do not indicate rank or a particular order.


Jesus did not become the Son of the Father at the incarnation or the resurrection. It is not a mere title. He has always been the Son.


Jesus did not become the Son of the Father, as some say He did, at His incarnation or virgin birth. He did not become the Son at His resurrection. Nor is it a mere title, nor is it temporary.


The divine sonship is from all eternity. This is based on clear scriptural evidence. He was the Only Begotten of the Father from all eternity, having no other relation to time and creation than that He is the Creator of them.


Humanly, father and son relationship sets forth derivation and inferiority, but that is not the case in the Trinity. The Son, being very God, is eternally on an absolute equality with the Father.


Mystery: The First Person becomes the God of the Second Person at the incarnation. Only from His humanity does He say, “My God.”  


Yet also, mysterious as it is, the First Person become the God of the Second Person by the incarnation. Only from His humanity could Christ address the Father as “My God.”


It is clear in the scripture that the First Person and the Second Person had a relationship from all eternity. The Father gives the perfect revelation of Himself in and through the Son.


The Father who dwells in unapproachable light has become seen in the Son.


JOH 14:1 "Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.


JOH 14:2 "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.


JOH 14:3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.


JOH 14:4 "And you know the way where I am going." 


JOH 14:5 Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?"


JOH 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.


JOH 14:7 "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him." 


JOH 14:8 Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us."


JOH 14:9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, 'Show us the Father'?


JOH 14:10 "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.


JOH 14:11 "Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves.


[Chafer, Systematic Theology; vol 1, p. 315] “It will be found that but few passages give direct support to the eternity of the sonship relation; but enough of these are in evidence, it is believed, to sustain the doctrine. None of these is more conclusive than COL 1:15-16. God is said to give His Son to be a Savior. This does not mean that God gave the Eternal Logos or Second Person who, in turn, became a Son by being given.”


Gnostic heresy in Colossae forced Paul to write the clearest doctrine of the Person of Christ.


Christ is presented as God and the Creator of all things. Gnostics stated that all created things were evil.


Paul presents the created things as both heaven and earth. Paul also presents the Christ as a reconciler through the blood of His cross.


The creation had gone wrong. It hadn’t been created wrong as the Gnostics thought. The world had fallen from perfection and sinlessness, and Christ, the Son of God, reconciled the fallen to Himself.


The nature of mediation between God and creation has been perverted. Only in Christianity is this reconciliation not leaning on the works or knowledge of man.


As we have noted, the Trinity is a popular doctrine for heresy. When Paul writes to the Colossians, it is because their group had been assaulted by heresy of a Gnostic persuasion in which the dual nature of the Person of Christ is attacked.


When there is no need for the Son to act as Redeemer, the doctrines of the deity of Christ and the Trinity become superfluous. When the deity of Christ and the Trinity are rejected, the need to attain salvation through law-keeping and merited work becomes necessary.