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Ephesians; 1:4 – Elected to be blameless. Humility and obedience are the only way.

EPHESIANS-1-190303
length: 82:04 - taught on Mar, 3 2019
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Class Outline:

Sunday March 3, 2019
 

EPH 1:3 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,

 

EPH 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.

 

In contrast to our calling to blamelessness (amomos), false teachers are called momos, blemished.

 

False prophets and false teachers are blemished [momos].

 

2PE 2:12 But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed,

 

2PE 2:13 suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel [Greek: truphe - to live in luxury, indulgence, and splendor] in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes [momos], reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you,

 

2PE 2:14 having eyes full of adultery and that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children;

 

The world has always been full of these types. They are fallen man without God who want to speak for god; gods of their own making. They are Satan’s ministers whether they are cognizant of it or not.

 

During the first century, and for at least 3 or 4 more centuries, more often than not Christians were not rich people. They were not always persecuted in the Roman Empire, but their religion was illegal and they had to endure levels of intolerance and discrimination by the heathen populations they lived among. Therefore, they often shared all things with one another in their Christian communities, making individual families even poorer. Yet, the false teachers counted it a pleasure (Greek: hedone - hedonism) to live in luxury and splendor. It sort of reminds me of current politicians, who are millionaires, who want socialism for America; who want to future liberalize public schools while they send their kids to private schools. Christ told us that we would know the false teachers by their fruit, i.e. their words don’t match their actions.

 

We are to be lights to the world (PHI 2:15) since we have been made children of light and have been elected to holiness and blamelessness. There is no justification to a Christian to live without Christian ethics, meaning, not Christlike.

 

There is a definite and dominant ethical quality about the divine election. We are elected by God to a heavenly quality.

 

His election of us is His will for us. His will is His highest and best and not a much-watered down version of our own.

 

Some believers get antsy about this aspect of election as they entertain fear of the words holy and blameless. But they simply fail to see and understand what beauty there is in God’s highest and best - nothing of the world or flesh is in it. It is given by grace and God is patient and forgiving and merciful and He will see us through, but do not ever water is down to make it more palatable to your flesh or the world economy. They have nothing in Him and nothing in His election.

 

No other way of life is fitting for those who are chosen and destined by God the Father. It is the only life fashioned for the elect.

 

We still sin. We still carry faults, weaknesses, and flaws, but we never stop the fight to overcome them through Him who is at work in us both to will and to work for His good pleasure (PHI 2:13). By the grace of God we will succeed in being Christlike. This is our Promised Land as we stand encamped at Kadesh-Barnea, where 10 spies say we can’t go and 2 spies say we can.

 

NUM 13:30 … 14:9

Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, "We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we shall surely overcome it. … Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them."

 

COL 1:22 contains the word amomos.

 

COL 1:22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him [Greek: in His sight] holy and blameless [amomos] and beyond reproach — 

 

COL 1:13 For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,

 

COL 1:14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

 

The imagery of vv. 13-14 is that of enslaved people being set free through payment (redemption) and being transferred en masse to the kingdom of the Son. Every believer is now and forever more a member of His kingdom.  

 

COL 1:15 And He is the image [eikon -exact image as a stamp from a press] of the invisible God, the first-born [prototokos - priority and sovereignty] of all creation.

 

The attack from Gnosticism, which continued through all church history, is that Jesus was a created being. Paul is refuting that here. He is the creator of all things and so is before all things. As the image of God, He is eternal. He is God the Word, JOH 1:1, and He is the Word become flesh, JOH 1:14.

 

COL 1:16 For by Him [the: definite article] all 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.

 

It doesn’t say He created “the rest of the things” after He was created. He created all things. These plain words cannot be interpreted any other way.

 

HEB 1:8

But of the Son He says,

“Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever,

And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.”

 

As creator of heavens and earth, He is creator of all things visible and invisible. As creator of all angels (thrones, dominions, rulers, and authorities), Paul knocks out the angel worship that was being taught in Colossae.

 

COL 2:16 Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day — 

 

COL 2:17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

 

COL 2:18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,

 

COL 2:19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. 

 

There always has been and always will be lies about God and man’s relationship to God. Yet, God has marvelously preserved His word, giving us clear passage through all the nonsense.

 

COL 1:15 And He is the image [eikon - exact image as a stamp from a press] of the invisible God, the first-born [prototokos - priority and sovereignty] of all creation.

 

COL 1:16 For by Him [the: definite article] all 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.

 

COL 1:17 And He [Himself: pronoun used for emphasis] is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

 

Everything and everyone owe their existence to Him and are dependent upon Him.

 

The pronoun used by Paul, “He Himself is” emphasizes His person. He is a He, a person, who is divine and is before all things and holds together all things.

 

He is the One who maintains order and keeps chaos at bay. All natural law is held by Him. All cycles that make life possible, all heavenly bodies, all physical laws that make life on this planet are all held together by Him.

 

Next the personal pronoun is used again and again for emphasis on the person of Christ as the head of the body. The pronoun is used again in reference to His preeminence (first place in everything).

 

He Himself is before all things (Creator of the world) and He Himself is the head of the church (Creator of the church) that He Himself might be preeminent in everything.

 

COL 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning [Greek arche: originating power, author, or ruler], the first-born from the dead [the originator of a new spiritual life]; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.

 

The Creator of the world is the head of the church. He is the origin, the seat, the authority, the sustaining power, the meaning, and the new life of all things. The world exists due to Him and He has allowed certain sinful and evil challenges to His authority to exist within it. He is also the reason for the church, the light in the world that shines forth His gospel and His truth.

 

COL 1:19 For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him,

 

“Father” is not in the original. It reads, “For in Him He was well pleased that all the fullness should dwell.” It is definitely the Father who is implied as being pleased. That all the fullness (pleroma) was in Him was Paul’s direct attack against Gnosticism that had so influenced the Colossian church.

 

This Gnostic pleroma was the emanation of God in creation and in revelation to angelic mediators. All of it combined, the material world and the many emanations, they called pleroma. Each of these mediators, of which there were several levels, some closer to the divine and some farther away, retained something of the divine being, but in all cases the pleroma was diluted and darkened by mixing with foreign substance. One emanation led to another which had less of the divine and so on down to the last emanation which had almost none of it. It’s not a novel concept. It’s just like a family. God becomes a patriarch like Abraham. Isaac has a DNA most like his father’s and Jacob less so, and Joseph less so, and so on. The Gnostics simply put Jesus into one of these emanations as an angelic mediator. The cults continue to do the same thing.

 

It sounds silly to us, but in the first centuries there were many mystery cults that syncretized many different kinds of thought. Gnosticism was heavily influenced by Greek philosophy, and so it made its followers feel smart or intellectual.

 

Christianity on the other hand doesn’t make you feel good about your flesh or any of your human abilities, but does quite the opposite.

 

Jesus, the Son of God and Son of David, had the only perfect flesh, which He sacrificed for us. “This is My body, which is given for you.”

 

Arrogant man cannot accept this, and so Gnosticism appeals to them.

 

Paul states clearly the incredible and transcendent truth about Jesus Christ. He is the exact image of the invisible God and sovereign of all, vs. 15. He is the creator of all things, before all things, and the sustainer of all things, vv. 16-17. He is the head of the body, the first-born from the dead, the preeminent one, and unlike some angelic mediator who could not reconcile man, being neither human nor divine, but Jesus, God and creator, is also a man who fully reconciled all things to Himself.

 

COL 1:20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

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