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Ephesians; 1:4 – Elected to be blameless. The church presented blameless – Col 1:22.

EPHESIANS-1-190314
length: 65:02 - taught on Mar, 14 2019
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Class Outline:

Thursday March 14, 2019

 

COL 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

 

COL 1:10 so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

 

COL 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously

 

COL 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

 

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.

 

COL 1:15-20: the Christ Hymn.

 

COL 1:15 And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born [prototokos - priority and sovereignty] of all creation.

 

Jesus is presented as the preexistent, first-born before all creation, which makes Him heir of all things.

 

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.

 

“For by Him” = preposition “en” - “For in Him.” And also, at the end of vs. 16, all things have been created by Him and for Him.

 

“For in Him … by Him and for Him.” He is the originator, the agent, and the purpose of all things.  

 

Without Him there would be nothing. All things originate in Him. Within the sphere of His person, resides the creative will and the creative power. Vs. 18 says that He is the beginning, which is the Greek word arche which means author or ruler or originating power. In the beginning God. Jesus Christ is the beginning.

 

Now, on top of this passage (vv. 15-20) being written as a beautiful hymn of Christology, it has a practical side, as all doctrines do. Christology makes us fall down at the feet of Jesus and worship Him, but it also knocks out of us any allure to worshipping anything or anyone else.

 

COL 1:15-16 - Paul knocks out angel worship, which was a foundation of Gnosticism.

 

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. 

 

We have the Lord’s authority for believing in angels, both good and bad ones, for He clearly mentioned them. Yet how silly it would be to worship them as created beings, though we are for a time “lower than the angels” nothing is worthy of worship besides the uncreated One.  

 

We don’t hear too much about angel worship in our day, but it is the same as worshipping anything created as coming from God. It is also the same as believing that one can worship something lower than God, created by God, and in so doing, make oneself closer to God. It is a mystical form of salvation by works. Israel made this mistake by worshipping the temple, the items of the temple, like the veil and the altar, and even the gold in the temple.

 

Worshipping icons that represent God or relics does not take that worship out of the realm of idolatry. And, it is easy to discern, that worshipping any created thing betrays deep ignorance. Things and angels owe their existence to the Lord who is my Redeemer.

 

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

 

The list given: thrones, dominions, rulers, authorities, even when combined with similar lists in the NT (Col 2, Eph 3, 6) don’t allow us to create a fixed hierarchy, though some have tried. We’re simply not told enough about them or their organization, which reveals to us that we don’t need to know it. Yet, one thing we know for sure, the entire organization of angels are subordinate to Jesus Christ. They were created in Him and through Him and for Him.

 

And, the Creator stood in the way of a man, Saul of Tarsus, a prominent, powerful, and up and coming Pharisee who was on his way to Damascus to arrest and jail all Christians. The Creator, the first-born, spoke to Saul by name. Saul, later taking his Roman name Paul, became a man devoted to Christ, loving Christ more than his own life, and Paul would be the one to write the most precious Christology there was, and in our passage, choosing poetry as his medium.

 

Paul’s Christology is filled with his love for Christ. Whenever we witness for Christ our love of Him, whatever depth of it that we have, will shine forth.

 

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.

 

That God overrules the course of history for the accomplishment of His purpose is a major emphasis throughout the OT. It is His universal or eternal kingdom, but here it is shown how vitally the accomplishment of His purpose is bound up with the person and work of Jesus Christ.

 

EPH 1:8 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

 

Paul’s prayer in COL 1:9 - to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

 

God has made it known and it was not known before, and so it is called the mystery and it has a purpose:

 

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.

 

All of this was conceived by God before time began and when Christ came it was finally accomplished, and the result of that accomplishment was graciously revealed and given to all men and women in this age who would believe in Him. All things are summed up in Jesus Christ; all kingdoms, all the called, all the good and righteous and just acts, all the truth will all be gathered up in Christ.  

 

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