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Ephesians– overview of 3:1-9; fellow heirs, members, and partakers.

EPHESIANS-1-191017
length: 62:10 - taught on Oct, 17 2019
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Class Outline:

Thursday October 17, 2019

 

EPH 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles — 

 

EPH 3:2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you;

 

EPH 3:3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.

 

EPH 3:4 And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,

 

EPH 3:5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;

 

EPH 3:6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,

 

It had always been the plan of God that human beings without distinction should on the common ground of faith be His sons and daughters in union with the Messiah.

 

If sons, then also heirs, ROM 8:17.

 

Abraham was promised a heritage who would be heirs. Peter first preached this to Jews.

 

ACT 3:24 "And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days.

 

ACT 3:25 "It is you who are the sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.'

 

ACT 3:26 "For you first, God raised up His Servant, and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways."

 

God chose common people from all nations, chose them before the foundation of the world, so that they would be holy and blameless, EPH 1:4.

 

Did even Peter yet know that “all the families” meant all the nations of Gentiles, far more in number than the Jews? If he did, he still had a difficult time warming up to it, Act 10; Gal 2.

 

In Eph 3, the divine plan is revealed for what it always was, that the gospel would bless all the nations, not just Abraham’s posterity, and on equal ground. And that all through faith of the same kind as Abraham (faith in God’s revealed promise) would become sons of Abraham, GAL 3:7, who is the father of us all, ROM 4:16.

 

As in Eph 1, this truth would cause us to praise the glory of God’s grace and, in Eph 6, to love Christ incorruptibly. 

 

I encourage you to set some time aside and read this letter to the Ephesians as if it were written to you.

 

EPH 3:4 And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,

 

EPH 3:5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;

 

EPH 3:6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,

 

“fellow heirs” - sunkleronomos; “fellow members of the body” - sussomos; “fellow partakers” - summetochos.

 

(EPH 2:5-6) “alive together” - suzoopoieo; “raised us up” - sunegeiro; “seated us” - sunkathemai

 

Us together, with Him, in Him, all of us in the body of Christ, equally blessed on the same ground of faith, one faith, one baptism, one Spirit, one Lord, one purpose, one love, one mind, one spirit - the perfect fellowship of men.

 

1CO 12:12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.

 

One would expect that Paul would write: “so also is the church,” for that is what he is writing about in this chapter. The point being made by Paul is that Christ and the body (the church) are one and the same. Not that the church is God, but that the Head and body are so unified that they can be viewed as one.

 

1CO 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

 

Sussomos (EPH 3:6) - belonging to the same body, is only used here in the NT and seems only to have been used by Christian writers, being first used here by Paul. We would conclude on that evidence that Paul coined the term, attaching the sun prefix to soma (body). Therefore, we might regard it as appropriate that a new word should be coined to express so revolutionary a concept as the inclusion of humans of every form into a community, a kingdom based on righteousness alone, that is so united that they could be viewed as a single, heavenly body.

 

ISA 19:19 In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord near its border.

 

ISA 19:20 And it will become a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them.

 

ISA 19:21 Thus the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day. They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the Lord and perform it.

 

ISA 19:22 And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking but healing; so they will return to the Lord, and He will respond to them and will heal them.

 

ISA 19:23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.

 

ISA 19:24 In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth,

 

ISA 19:25 whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, "Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance."

 

What is the justification for bracketing together of Christ and the church? The mystical truth that they are one.

 

EPH 3:21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

 

By virtue of she is His body, His bride, His other self so to speak, the recipient and realization of the sum total of His glories and attributes - the church and Christ are one as a Head is to a body.

 

This certainly sounds exaggerated, and so we are careful and pause, but we look further and find that it is written, the church is the fulness of Him.

 

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