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Ephesians; 1:3 – the Trinity; the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, part 5 (Col 1:15-20)

length: 61:15 - taught on Sep, 26 2018
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Wednesday September 26, 2018

Ephesians; 1:3 - the Trinity; the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, part 5 (COL 1:15-20).


Paul writes his salutation followed by his eulogia or blessedness of God who has blessed us. He follows that with thanksgiving and a prayer that the eyes of our hearts would be opened to the hope of His calling, the riches of our inheritance, and the surpassing power given to us. All of which was given to us when Christ accomplished His incredible work.


Paul then begins to write of the saving grace of God and how through that grace, though we were sons of disobedience, He saved us.


EPH 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,


Paul uses “trespasses” and “sins” as synonymous terms in his writing.


EPH 2:2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.


EPH 2:3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.


We are all guilty. There is not one innocent man outside of Jesus Christ. “We too” refers to Jews. Gentile and Jews alike are born as children of wrath filled with bodily impurity and excesses of body and mind that oppose God. We were born this way in Adam.


EPH 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,


“Rich in mercy” is a common characterization of God in the OT. His mercy is conjoined with His love.


When we come to this section, it will be closely studied in parallel with ROM 5:12-21.


EPH 2:5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),


Grace precludes the thought of merit. We were not saved because we prayed so earnestly, repented so bitterly, turned over a new leaf, made restitution for past sins, tried to do good, kept the law or obeyed commands, or anything else that we could do, but we were saved by grace, and grace is God’s unmerited favor to those who merited the opposite.


EPH 2:6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,


It does not say “with Christ Jesus,” but “in Christ Jesus.” God always sees us alive in Him.


Henry Allen Ironside writes of an experience he had. “While holding meetings in Southern California I took the inter-urban car one Saturday to go from Los Angeles to a well-known beach resort. We had hardly left the city when a rather peculiar-looking lady attired in a strange garb that made her look as though she was dressed up in red bandanna handkerchiefs pieced together, and who wore a shawl over her head with a lot of spangles over her forehead, came and sat down beside me, and said, “How do you do, gentleman? You like to have your fortune told?” I said, “Are you able to tell my fortune?” She held out a winsome little palm and said, “Cross my palm with a silver quarter, and I will give you your past, present, and future.” “You are very sure you can do that if I give you a quarter?” I said. “You see, I am Scotch, and should hate to part with a quarter and not get proper exchange for it.” She looked bewildered for a moment, but then said very insistently, “Yes, gentleman, I can give you your past, present, and future. I never fail; I have wonderful second sight. Cross my palm with a quarter. Please, gentleman. I will tell you all.” I said, “It is really not necessary, because I have had my fortune told already, and I have a little Book in my pocket that gives me my past, present, and future.” “You have it in a book?” she said. “Yes, and it is absolutely infallible. Let me read it to you,” I said, and I pulled out my New Testament. She looked startled when she saw it, but I turned to this second chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians and said, “Here is my past,” ‘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 the others.’” “Oh, yes,” she said; “it is plenty, I do not care to hear more.” “But,” I said, as I held her gently by the arm, “I want to give you my present also,” ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.’” “That is plenty, gentleman,” she said; “I do not wish to hear more.” “Oh, but,” I replied, “there is more yet, and you must get it; and you are not going to pay me a quarter for it either. I am giving it to you for nothing. It is my past, my present, and my future. Here is the future, ‘That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.’” She was on her feet, and I could not hold on any tighter lest I should be charged with assault and battery, and she fled down the aisle, saying, “I took the wrong man! I took the wrong man!”

He comments: You know how interested people are in trying to delve into the mysterious and unknown. If it were not for this bump of curiosity that so many have, these fortune-tellers and spirit-mediums, who can tell you how to make immense sums of money but are themselves as poor as church mice, would all have to die of starvation.


People want to know the things that God has not revealed. But it is amazing to see how indifferent they are to the very important revelation that He has given us in His word. [H.A. Ironside]


COL 1:15 And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation.


As “the first-born of every creature,” Christ is wholly unrelated to created beings, being, as He is, begotten before all created things. This distinction between Christ and creation is profound, a mystery, since its realities are outside human cognition. Christ is by generation and not by creation.


COL 1:16 For by Him all things [article included - “the all things” = the whole universe of things] were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities —  all things have been created by Him and for Him.


We have seen the Lord depicted as God in JOH 1:1. We have seen further in the Gospel of John how the Lord said and did things that only the God of Israel could say or do. The nation concluded that He did these things by the power of Satan and the Lord rescinded the kingdom He had offered to that generation of Israel. They would have to wait for an unknown amount of time to the Second Coming of Christ. Until that time there would be the time of the church, and in this age, He would be fully revealed as the God/Man. The Epistles leave no doubt about His deity, as we see here is Colossians, nor any doubt as to the eternal relationship of God the Father and God the Son. 


His resurrection left no doubt. Thomas says it openly upon seeing Him risen and Jesus doesn’t correct Him. Those who would be indwelt and filled with the Spirit in the church would have the capacity to know Him for all His fulness, and the nation of Israel would have to wait.


He is the image of the invisible God, the One worthy of the rights and privileges of the first-born, and He is the Creator of all things.


He is before all things and the cohesion of them all:


COL 1:17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.


“And He Himself is” - 3rd person of the present tense of the verb “to be” and the pronoun autos (Himself). The pronoun emphasizes His person as the preexistent One.


He is the cohesion of the entire universe. He keeps the order and controls human history. 


He is the head of the church:


COL 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place [preeminence] in everything.


“And He Himself is” - same person emphasis on preexistence, but now in relation to the church. The Creator of the world is also the Head of the church.


The same One who is above all creation is the Head of the church - He is preeminent over everything as God. The church is not trying achieve anything. She has received everything.


There is no conflict of any sort between the Creator and the church. And though creatures have rebelled against God, the creation is and always will be under His complete control.


In salvation by works, held in various forms by the Gnostics and present-day religions, is man’s attempt to overcome the conflict and barriers that exist between God and the creation and the church, but Jesus has overcome those barriers, not as a heroic creature, but as God who emptied Himself and became obedient to death.


COL 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place [preeminence] in everything.


He is the beginning - Greek arche = Originator:


Arche can mean the first in a series, but that definition would make the Son of God a created being. Arche is used for an originator or an author and that is what Jesus Christ is.


He has preeminence above the order of created things. He speaks this of Himself.


REV 3:14

The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning [arche = Originator] of the creation of God, says this:


The word "beginning" (arche) in the Greek has two meanings. "the first in a series," and "the originator" of something. Our Lord was the originator of the created universe in that He was its Creator. Thus, the Greek word translated "firstborn" implies here "priority to all creation."


COL 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place [preeminence] in everything.


This is His resurrection. He is preeminent over all creation and He is preeminent over the spiritual life, the new life of the body of Christ.


“first-born (prototokos) from the dead” means preeminence over the new creation - the spiritual life of the church, which life He has eternally possessed and gave to humanity.


There is nothing that He is not Head over. This permeates all things and you are in union with this One who has such prominence. All the heroes of the world put together don’t hold a candle to Him. Yet He doesn’t boast or brag. He was meek and gentle though He claimed He was from all eternity as the Son of God. He gives His life to save.


ACT 2:24

“And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.”


COL 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place [preeminence] in everything.


He is preeminent:


Image of the invisible God, first-born of all creation, Creator, before all things, Head of the church, the Originator, first-born from the dead, and now preeminent. 


“first place” - proteuo = preeminence.

Contrary: 3Jo 9 I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first [philoproteuo] among them, does not accept what we say.


Diotrephes loved to be in first place. He lusted for it. Jesus is proteuo by nature. He is God.


LUK 14:7 And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table; saying to them,


LUK 14:8 "When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him,


LUK 14:9 and he who invited you both shall come and say to you,' Give place to this man,' and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place.


LUK 14:10 "But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, 'Friend, move up higher'; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you.


LUK 14:11 "For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted."


Jesus has absolute supremacy in relation to the natural creation and the church, the new spiritual creation. These combined gives Him preeminence. All the fulness dwells in Him, and yet He was humble and meek.


Because the Son serves the Father does not make Him less than the Father. Because the Holy Spirit serves the Father and the Son does not mean that He is less than them. In the kingdom of God, service and submission is not a manifestation of lower rank.


There is the contrast of the one who loves to be first and the One who is first and gave His life.


COL 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place [preeminence] in everything.


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