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EPHESIANS CHAPTER 3

KJV    NAS

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1&2 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles - 2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you;

 

Eph 3,1-12

(68f) Authority >> Jesus Delegates the Holy Spirit to us >> He guides you into all truth

Eph 3-1,2

(12g) Servant >> Bond servant >> Their relationship with God Ė Paul said this many times throughout his epistles that he was a prisoner of Christ Jesus. Many of his epistles he wrote in prison, so it stands to reason that he would say this. However, he got there by obeying the will of God, so in that sense he was in deed the prisoner of Christ. But whether he was literally in prison or not was irrelevant, because Paul was a prisoner of Christ even if he wasnít in jail. Being a bondservant of Christ, as Paul was, is someone who has determined in his heart to relinquish his freedom for a lifetime of service for the sake of room and board (mostly enjoyed in his jail cell). In this relationship the servant has relinquished all control of his life to his master, who can use him any way he wishes. This was Paulís relationship with God, who used this association to conduct Paulís stewardship of the gospel that He put in Paul's care.

(71g) Authority >> Ordained by God >> Ordained by His sovereign will >> God chooses you -- These verses go with verses 7&8

(216f) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Godís will over man >> Compelled by the Spirit >> God forces His bond-servants to do His will Ė Anybody who has studied the Scriptures knows that Paul described himself as a bondservant. Paul used his imprisonment as a metaphor so often that whenever he mentions it we should assume the symbolism that God had compelled him to preach the gospel to the point of it often landing him in jail. Bondservants are different from an indentured servant. With an indentured servant he has chosen to become a servant of a master for a specified time, often seven years, and after that his freedom was returned to him. If he wanted to stay and if the master consented, he could remain his servant for life, the master/slave relationship was then based on whatever terms the master chose within the legal limits of the time. Some of the more common reasons a person indentured himself to a master was that he was unable to support himself or he wanted to learn a trade or he was migrating to a new country. Contrast that with the bondservant; this person has given up all his rights as a lifelong servant. His master possesses him as property, like a man would own a car with absolute authority over him. Paul called himself a bondservant of Christ; Paul was the property of Jesus Christ. This was Paulís commitment to the Lord; when Christ called him into harms way, he went without flinching, and whatever God commanded him to do, he did it. When we think about it in these terms, a Christian can be considered an indentured servant of Christ for life.

(236b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> All things are for your sake >> We are fighting for you >> Our bondage is for your sake

Eph 3-1

(61a) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> PrisoneróIn jail / Of Godís will

(187b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> The ministry of dying to self >> Die to self to minister to people >> Die to self to encourage the strong -- This verse goes with verse 13

(210k) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Gentiles included >> Fellow heirs with Israel (Spiritual Jew) >> Ministry to the Gentiles -- This verse goes with verses 6-12

(246b) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Literal bondage to Christ

Eph 3,2-10

(115d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through your ministry >> Through your calling >> In preaching the gospel

Eph 3-2

(4e) Responsibility >> Advocate Godís cause >> Being accountable in your stewardship Ė A steward is someone who has been given management authority over someone elseís wealth, but the steward is never in possession of his masterís things. God had put Paul under management authority over the gospel, suggesting that Paul merely had authority to preach it and to manage the Churches of those who had been saved, but he never had ownership of any of these things. That is, the Church and its gospel strictly belongs to God. We, the children of God, have inherited many things, and we are in ownership possession of these things, but the gospel itself is not one of them. The gospel is unique in that though we have not inherited it, we have inherited the promises therein.

(31j) Gift of God >> Gift of His grace >> Being responsible with it -- This verse goes with verses 7-10

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

3-5 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. 4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 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 3,3-12

(108i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Revelation of Jesus Christ >> Revelation of the mysteries of God Ė Paul speaks of the revelation that he received from God as though it were the only one he ever received from God. As an apostle and prophet, he understood many truths from God and penned them in his letters to the Churches, of which we now read them in the Scriptures, so that we too know the things that God revealed to Paul. However, Paul spoke of this one revelation as though it were unique, and it was the focus of Paulís ministry. The revelation was that the gentiles were included in Godís salvation of the Jews. That is, the gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body of Christ, and fellow partakers of the promise of eternal life through the gospel. Paul made mention of this in other epistles, but in this case Paul spells it out very specifically, calling it a mystery. This revelation was not only important to Paul; it also held significance to the Church of the gentiles, obviously.

Eph 3,3-10

(214e) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> Godís timing >> Dispensation of Godís revelations >> Dispensations of revelation knowledge Ė There are certain things that if they were never recorded in the Scriptures would have created huge confusion in the Church, in our faith and in our understanding of the truth, and even in our ability to believe in the gospel. Had Paul not written Ephesians chapter three, and had this book not been included in the Scriptures, the gentiles would not have the level of confidence they have in the gospel today. As it is, the gentile nations of the world are confident in their salvation in Christ, knowing for certain that the gospel applies also to them. It has never become an issue of contention throughout the millennia, because Paul made it very clear that the gentiles were included in this gospel of salvation.

Eph 3,3-7

(110j) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit of revelation >> Revelation of the truth >> Revelation of the true doctrines Ė It was well documented in the Old Testament that the gentiles would be included in the grace of God, but Peter didnít know that. He was unskilled in the Scriptures, and for this reason God took him by the hand and communicated this critical information to him (see Acts chapter 10), but Paul didnít need that, because of his superior knowledge of the Old Testament. Paul had many revelations regarding heaven in eternity, and they will have their relevance in the ages to come, but for now Paulís greatest revelation was that the gentiles were included in the gospel of Godís grace, because it pertained specifically to his ministry of evangelism. It was such a blessing to Paul to know that the gospel was meant also for the gentiles, because the Jews did not accept the gospel. He had the greatest message the world had ever known; he had all the tools to bring it to the world; he had the Spirit of God dwelling in his heart and His truth honed to a sharp edge. So when Paul realized that the gospel belonged also to the gentiles, he had a ministry.

(219i) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Predestination >> Predestined according to the word of God

Eph 3-5

(30f) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Favor with God through His word

(109h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit the teacher >> Spirit teaches us about the word of God >> Spirit teaches us about Jesus

(133l) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holiness >> Having an awareness of Godís holiness >> The presence of God makes us aware of His holiness

(231a) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> Mystery of godliness >> Solving the mystery of godliness >> The Church discloses the mystery of Christ -- These verses go with verses 8-10

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

6&7 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, 7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.

 

Eph 3,6-12

(210k) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Gentiles included >> Fellow heirs with Israel (Spiritual Jew) >> Ministry to the Gentiles -- These verses go with verse 1. Had Paul not been specific about the gospel belonging also to the gentiles, doors could have been pried open and perhaps other doors could have been shut and locked against the gentiles. The Jews could have claimed proprietary ownership and instead of spreading the gospel, they could have spread the deception that it did not apply to the nations of the world, only to them, even as they did in Old Testament times. It is true that God spoke only to Israel during this time, and that the old covenant did in fact belong only to Israel, yet the timeless word of God and the universal laws of God pertained to every man, woman and child on earth. The Jews, however, closed their hearts against the world, considering the gentile nations less than dogs, and were unwilling to share their relationship with God and His truth with the world. When the old covenant ended and the new covenant began, Israel was meant to receive the gospel for themselves and open its hearts to the gentiles and spread the gospel of Christ throughout the world, but again they rejected Godís purpose for themselves, so God stepped over them, using Paul to preach the gospel to the gentiles. Now the gentiles have received the stewardship of the Jewish gospel of Christ. Had the Jews been faithful, they probably would have done a better job than the gentiles at spreading the gospel throughout the world, simply because the gentiles had to be grafted in as it were, whereas the Jews were the natural stewards of the gospel (Rom 11,1-36). This was Paulís great revelation Ė the gospel belonged to the gentiles too, and God was willing to step over Israel to give the administration of the gospel to the gentiles if Israel refused to accept the ministry.

Eph 3-6,7

(135m) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Similarity in the body >> The things we have in common >> Common salvation

Eph 3-6

(36g) Gift >> God opens His home to us >> Inheritance >> We heirs through faith

(136hb) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Body of Christ consists of individual members >> We are being fitted together

(230e) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> Partaking >> Partaking of the power of God >> Partaking of the word of God

Eph 3,7-10

(31j) Gift of God >> Gift of His grace >> Being responsible with it -- These verses go with verse 2

Eph 3,7-9

(14a) Servant >> Servants of Godís word Ė One of the most exciting parts to being a servant of Godís word is discovering it. Paul happened to discover it for the first time as he wrote the words that we read. Even so, rediscovering it for ourselves is no less exciting than it must have been for Paul. The Bible teaches that God reveals His word to people who are humble of heart (Mat 11-25), who donít consider themselves to be clever in front of God. When you begin to understand Godís word, you realize that you must be doing something right, because you can hear God speaking in your heart. The most exciting part is the idea that you are pleasing God. How do you top that?

Eph 3-7,8

(71g) Authority >> Ordained by God >> Ordained by His sovereign will >> God chooses you -- These verses go with verses 1&2

(77i) Thy kingdom come >> Tapping into the power of God through humility >> The most humble are the greatest servants

(111b) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit and evangelism

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

8-10 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

 

Eph 3,8-10

(46k) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Demons are subject to the Church through Christ Ė This manifold wisdom has been made known to the Church, and the Church is making it known to the rulers and the authorities in heavenly places. That was a strange thing to say. Anyone would have expected Paul to say that God is making known these things to the rulers and the authorities on earth, to kings and princes of nations, but he didnít say that. He said he was making them known to the rulers and authorities in heavenly places. He is not making them known to the angels of God, but to Satan and his minions in the heavenly places, symbolically meaning the atmosphere surrounding the earth. This is called the second heaven. It is where Satan dwells. It is the symbolic habitation of Satan and his demons. It just so happens that the word ďatmosphereĒ also suggests the atmosphere in a restaurant. This analogy works well in that just like the airways of radio and television pass through the atmosphere prior to arriving at their destinations in peopleís homes, where they propagate ideas that are too often the concepts of the devil, so Satan also desires to create an atmosphere in our minds of unbelief, so that his deceptions are more believable than Godís truth. Paul is not saying that we should preach the gospel to the devil, but that we are putting him on notice that his days are numbered and that the Church is his taskmaster and that our master is Jesus Christ, who dwells in heaven, from whom we have a stewardship to crush the kingdom of Satan on this earth. Part of our administration of the gospel is to place Satan and his minions on notice that his kingdom is being overthrown by the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. We communicate these things to him by stealing his possessions, which amount to human souls who are being saved to the Kingdom of God. This is spiritual warfare; we are declaring war on evil, not using guns or violence of any kind. This is more a spiritual violence, the violence of prayer, the violence of holiness and the violence that contradicts all that is evil. This is considered violent to the kingdoms of Satan, that which is righteous and blessed, selfless and serving, all the fruits of the spirit. These are the things that destroy the kingdoms of Satan. We use them to put Satan on notice that the Kingdom of God is coming, who intends to take over this world, His earth, eventually His universe. One day itís all going to be changed. It will all be destroyed and then God will create a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

(71b) Authority >> Believerís authority >> We have authority in the wisdom of God Ė Paul endeavors to bring to light this administration of the gospel that he received from God. He did it not through his own fleshly ability or power or strength or will, but through the unfathomable riches of Christ. Through the power of God he was able to tolerate so many persecutions: beatings, whippings and imprisonments, and the weakness of his flesh: staying awake for days at a time, being shipwrecked and being able to speak for hours at a time about the riches of Christ. All these things he did, not though human means, but though the grace of God, which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things.

(213e) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> Jesus owns you >> We are his instruments >> We are tools in the hand of God >> We are transmitters of His kingdom

(231a) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> Mystery of godliness >> Solving the mystery of godliness >> The Church discloses the mystery of Christ -- These verses go with verses 3-5

Eph 3-8

(56ka) Paradox >> Opposites >> Least are greatest >> Least are the greatest servants Ė The apostle Paul said of himself that he was the very least of all saints, but isnít that the way the Kingdom of God works, the least are the greatest and the greatest are the least. Hence, for Paul to say that he was the least of all was in a sense boasting, but what he was really doing was recalling his past, how he used to destroy the saints, hauling them into prison for their faith in Jesus where they were often tortured. For this reason Paul was the least of all saints, because of what he once did, but since then God raised him up to become one of the greatest of all saints, for which purpose he has served and worshipped God all the more, because of the grace that had been given him. Therefore, without walking in the grace that God gives is like not receiving it in the first place. The only way to exercise His grace is to serve one another with it.

(96g) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Positive attitude about yourself

(249h) Priorities >> Godí s preeminence >> Wealth >> True perception of wealth >> The infinite and eternal wealth of God >> Being rich in Jesus -- This verse goes with verses 16-21. The riches of Christ are unfathomable. Go to the deepest part of the ocean and drop down a line and itís never long enough; you can never reach the bottom. It is seven miles deep in the Mariana Trench, as high as the commercial airplanes fly. Itís unfathomable. The water pressure is so unimaginably great that anyone who wants to go down there and explore must go through a huge expense and trouble to build a craft that will sustain such pressures. The unfathomable riches of Christ go infinitely deeper than this. We seek God for the wisdom and the knowledge and the blessing of Christ, and He leads us deeper and deeper into His Spirit, and there seems to be no end to it, because there is none. There is a bottom to the ocean, but there is no bottom to the fathoms of Godís riches in Christ Jesus.

Eph 3-9

(212c) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> He is the creator >> The creation glorifies God >> All things originated from God

Eph 3-10

(89g) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Wisdom is the key that unlocks the mysteries of God

(136i) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Body of Christ is the Church -- This verse goes with verse 21

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

11&12 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.

 

Eph 3,11-21

(81j) Thy kingdom come >> Pray without ceasing >> Pray for the Church Ė Paul shares with us his second prayer to the Ephesians. He wanted God to grant to the Church ďto be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man.Ē He didnít ask God to give each person a Cadillac or a three-bedroom house or anything that is remotely materialistic. Rather, he prayed for the saints to be spiritual and to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(249ga) Priorities >> Godí s preeminence >> Wealth >> True perception of wealth >> The infinite and eternal wealth of God >> Godís perception of wealth >> Our blessed hope of eternal life Ė If the Church became spiritual, the doors would swing open for God to bless us in every way, perhaps last of all in the material realm, but this is often the first of our prayers, exposing our skewed priorities. There are so many other things that are involved in leading a materialistic lifestyle that gets in the way of seeking God. Greed weaves its intricate web if deceit, creeping into our hearts and making our pursuit of God seemingly not worth exploring. There is a sacrifice that must be made, and the first thing we sacrifice is our faith whenever we prioritize materialism.

Eph 3-11,12

(114i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Jesus does Godís work >> All His works are what the Father does

(122b) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence in God >> Through prayer Ė Paul is careful to remind us of the confidence we have in Christ, that we donít come to Him in fear or doubt, but in hope and expectation of receiving whatever we ask of Him. We come to Him in full confidence and boldness that He is our Father and loves us with a love that we have never known. His love makes Him willing to do whatever we ask, under the confines that we are His bondservants, that we have taken upon ourselves His will and His purpose, so that His desires become our desires, so when we come and ask things from Him, we are asking what He wants us to have. Even so, faith that is still being perfected and completed by our works and conduct in the world and by our commitment to see His will done in our lives acts as a pledge, so that we receive the things we ask because our faith is growing. Weíre heading in the right direction, fully intent on remaining that way, serving the Lord and being a blessing to everyone around us. Once these things are in place, we will receive answer to our prayer just as Jesus said.

(254k) Trinity >> Holy Spiritís relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is equal with the Holy Spirit >> Power of Jesusí Spirit

Eph 3-11

(91b) Thy kingdom come >> The called >> Godís purpose is an inherent component of His calling >> Godís eternal purpose

(213a) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> God is all knowing >> God knows everything about everything

(220a) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Predestination >> Predestined before the foundation of the world

(244a) Kingdom of God >> The eternal kingdom >> There shall be no end to his increase >> The Church shall reign with Christ forever

(251b) Priorities >> Godís prerequisites >> Making plans >> Making plans according to the will of God >> Making plans according to the counsel of His will

Eph 3-12

(83a) Thy kingdom come >> Receiving from God through prayer >> Prayer of faith

 

13-15 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory. 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,

 

Eph 3-13

(13j) Servant >> Support the body >> Bear one anotherís burdens Ė Paul did a lot to secure Christianity in the ancient world. At the same time he was being an example to all, not only as an evangelist (not everyone is called as an evangelist and an apostle) but also as a Christian, as to the kind of fervor one should have. He also set the standard for commitment in the faith. He was also defining what it was to be a Christian to the world and to the Church. He also wrote many of the major tenets and doctrines of the Church. All this took sweat and blood, which Paul was pleased to give for Jesusí sake and for the sake of the Church. Since Paulís influence on the world is still with us today, he is still bearing our burden.

(124c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Acts of love >> Love is the proper motive for all you do

(139h) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Edification

(187b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> The ministry of dying to self >> Die to self to minister to people >> Die to self to encourage the strong -- This verse goes with verse 1

(233k) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the glory of God >> Seek His glory without wavering >> Seek His glory through hardship

(236a) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> All things are for your sake >> We are fighting for you >> Our suffering is for your sake Ė Paulís tribulations are our glory. The fact that he was persecuted indicates that he was doing the will of God, and because of that God has glorified us in that we now have His Word in our possession.

Eph 3-14

(234a) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the glory of God >> God chooses us as we seek His glory >> As we submit to Him Ė Paul bowed his knees before the Father for the purpose of prayer. He was a very devout worshipper of God before his conversion, though he believed in God through a phony religion; all he worshipped was the precepts of men. Prior to his conversion he bowed his knees to a false god, until he met the true God on the road to Damascus. Now after his conversion he bowed his knees before Him, who received his prayer and listened to his requests, and what was Paulís prayer? It starts in the very next verse, that the Christian should be strengthened with power in the inner man, and that Christ should dwell in their hearts and be rooted and grounded in love, that the Ephesians would mature in the faith. This is what Paul wanted more than anything: that the people of God would know the truth and become immune to deception that nobody could lie to them. He wanted them to become like giant trees, rooted deeply in the faith, so the Church would go nowhere no matter what storms assailed them.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

 

Eph 3,16-21

(6h) Responsibility >> Being spiritual >> Ministering to God by submitting to the Holy Spirit Ė Paul asked spiritual things for the Church, even though there may have been some who were poorly clothed, sick and hungry. He still prayed for them that they would grow spiritually. Paul was not worried about the Church; if they could get in touch with God on a spiritual level, they would have the necessary tools to ask God for themselves the material things they needed for their bodies. It has always been Paulís prayer that the Church grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, not just because Paul was a spiritual man, but also because the spiritual side of us is more important than anything else. This exposes just how petty materialism is to our well-being. We Americans place far too high a priority on our material possessions, equating them with survival, but we would be surprised to know just how little a person actually needs to survive in the world. We covet them, considering them more important than the spiritual side of us. Materialism gets in the way of concentrating on our spiritual lives. Paul seemed to think we were less likely to survive if we allowed our spiritual state to slip into complacency.

(9e) Responsibility >> God strengthens us from our weaknesses Ė There are those who say these verses are just a chain of superlatives, but those of us who are born of God know the truth from our innermost being. We know that Paul was not exaggerating when he said these things. It seems, however, that the Church has drifted from many teachings of the Holy Spirit. We hear about Jesus dying for our sins and that rose from the dead and ascended to the Father, but the gospel ends there for most people. That is, they have forgotten about the Book of Acts that started at the ascension of Christ, and then detailed the experience of Pentecost, starting with that small nucleus of believers huddled in the upper room, who represented the Church in its fledgling moments. We need to understand the Holy Spirit they received that day was not a born-again experience, for Jesusí disciple were already born-again prior to Pentecost. After Jesusí resurrection Jn 20-22 says, "[Jesus] breathed on [His disciples] and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit." What happened in the upper room was the anointing. We start as these vessels of weakness living in darkness and without God in the world, and then the message of the gospel comes and we believe in Jesus, allowing God to place His Spirit in our hearts, then He endows us with His anointing so we can manifest what He has given us. That is, God anoints the born-again believer to understand the Spirit he has received. Even with the anointing, without love we cannot understand these things, because love is the ultimate manifestation of the Spirit who dwells in us. If we do not have love, then it is time to question whether we are the true children of God. The anointing is given to manifest the Kingdom of God in this world. As the indwelling Spirit manifests through our flesh in a demonstration of love, then and only then will we begin to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth of Godís love.

(34b) Gift of God >> Godís generosity >> Believer owns everything >> Trinity belongs to us >> Father belongs to us Ė When we pray, we should expect God to do far more than we ask or think, not just because He is generous but because He knows what we need. We are often not able to ask for the things we need because we are unaware, so He gives us things we didnít know we needed, and once we receive them, then we need them. We need to keep them and hold onto them with all our hearts and not let go. This is when we begin to understand the things we really need, and we begin to pray for them, and He gives us more than we ask or think, according to the power that works within us. Almost everyone asks God for material things, but God wants to give to our spirit. That is the true possession. Things we can hold in our hand can be taken for us, but things we possess in our hearts are what define us. People try to define themselves by their material things; they live in a certain neighborhood or get a bigger house or a newer car and they think these things should make them more important. One wrong move on the steering wheel and the car is a heap of junk; one powerful wind and the house is reduced to scrap wood, but the things God gives us are indestructible and hold their value beyond this life. They are a possession that will get us through any situation and follow us into death, and God will crown us with them. They will become the inlayed precious stones within our aura, our reward for pursuing the love of God. What immediately follows our knowledge of God is a desire to implement that knowledge through the members of our bodies by sharing His love with others. This completes our love and the revelation of His knowledge.

(98c) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Rooted deeply >> The lord establishes us

(111f) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Word and the power (meaning) of God >> Word in obedience cannot evade the power of God

(115j) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through obedience of faith >> Through determination

(117e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Rest in Jesus (Sabbath) >> Let Jesus do the work >> Let Him work on you

(138g) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Exhortation >> Glorifying God in your exhortation Ė The book of Ephesians could conceivably be cited with using flowery language, but how could Paul describe God in any other way? He wasnít using flowery language; he was virtually describing a flower. We could try to describe something beautiful and try to avoid flowery language, but how would anyone know about its essential characteristics or how we personally felt about it? The person in love who tries to describe his beloved will not use a vernacular similar to describing a machine or a house; he will use language above the way he normally speaks, because he is talking about the one he loves, and this was Paulís way of writing to the Ephesians. We can say, then, that the Ephesian Church was one of the most mature churches of the epistles, by evidence of Paul being superfluous in his writing, for the Ephesians understood him. This was Paulís prayer for them; wouldnít it be nice to receive a prayer from someone who used flowery language? It would seem he cared! Paul cared more about the Ephesians than he did about himself, risking his life to establish them, and all the churches.

(140g) Temple >> Temple made without hands >> Christ builds the temple from the bricks of the Church

(230k) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> Mystery of godliness >> Solving the mystery of godliness >> The love of Christ is the mystery of godliness Ė Paul talked about the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, which is rooted and grounded in love. The world talks about love as though it were an action, and ultimately it is an action. In fact, we could say that if love does not manifest in the natural realm, it doesnít really exist. However, once it does surface, we see that it has a spiritual side. Knowing ďthe love of Christ which surpasses knowledgeĒ is possibly one of the most interesting statements in the Bible. We know what people say about love, but Paul did not equate love to actions but to knowledge, saying that there is a love that surpasses knowledge. How could love be associated with knowledge? To love people is to love God, and to love God is to love the knowledge of God. Paul is talking about loving the word of God, not just loving the Bible; it goes beyond that. We are talking about the Holy Spirit, according to (v16), ďthat He wouldÖ [strengthen you] with power through His Spirit in the inner man.Ē When He does that, the knowledge He imparts by His Spirit comes to us by revelation, transcending all other forms of knowledge, and this enables us to love people with the love of God. We donít know God in the same way that we know other things, for we know God in ways that transcend our natural mind, meaning we comprehend Him by the Spirit. He comes to dwell in our hearts and interweaves His Spirit into our spirit so we become one with Him. Over a course of a lifetime there is a slow and steady revelation of God that occurs to us, giving us the ability to know Him in a way that bypasses our natural mind, because He is revealing Himself to our spirit, something that goes beyond anything we know. Man thinks he knows himself, but in fact he doesnít. The very essence of man is a spirit, and man does not understand the spiritual realm, so when God reveals Himself to us, we understand that we too are essentially a spirit.

(243l) Kingdom of God >> The eternal kingdom >> There shall be no end to his increase >> He shall reign forever and ever Ė We have expectations of God, yet God has expectations of us. When we submit to Him and live out His expectations, He overshoots all our expectations of Him, according to the saying, ĎGive God an inch of your life and He will give you a mile of His own.í This is what God is asking, one weakness at a time, one vise at a time. God will always surprise us with His grace. We think we know what we are about to receive, but when we receive it, His grace is always something more and better than what we expected. It always has a result that we could have never imagined. It always produces circumstances that could have never happened without obeying His voice. We influence people in ways we never could without Him, and we bless them in ways they need most. Give God a portion of our lives and He will give us a portion of His. God is infinite and eternal; a portion of infinity is large and we get to keep His gifts forever as a reminder in heaven that He loved us even in our sinful flesh. The things God asks of us in this life are hard, and obeying Him will make the difference between life and death among those around us, and the repercussions of our obedience will reverberate throughout eternity.

(249h) Priorities >> Godí s preeminence >> Wealth >> True perception of wealth >> The infinite and eternal wealth of God >> Being rich in Jesus -- These verses go with verse 8

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Eph 3,16-19

(74b) Thy kingdom come >> The heart >> God wants a relationship with your heart Ė Paulís prayer was that Christ would dwell in our hearts. Our heart is where we make life-decisions. We seek things that we think would make us happy. We make decisions based on our hearts and do other things that are good and evil. Our hearts are the deepest level of what we call ourselves. Consequently, our heart is responsible for what we do and how we live, and it is responsible for whether we commit ourselves to Christ. If we donít, our heart is at fault; apparently there is something more important to us. Many people think money is more important than serving God; other people think a relationship with the opposite sex is more important, but the bottom line for every person who decides not to serve God is that they want control of their lives and refuse to give up that control to Christ. If someone decides to serve the Lord, he must make Jesus Lord of his heart. The person who does this no longer has the right to make life-decisions; we have given that right to God.

Eph 3-16,17

(8d) Responsibility >> Prepare to interact with God >> Entering the realm of the Spirit

(132k) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holy Spirit is in Godís people >> Holy Spirit is in the hearts of men Ė We see signs in front of bars advertising spirits, and we read poetry about the human spirit, referring to mood, but Paul wasnít talking about the mood of the Ephesians; he was talking about their literal spirits. Common is that word, not too many people talk about a personís spirit; worldly people donít even know they have one, probably because it is linked to the heart and they donít have one of those either. People usually use the word ďspiritĒ in a symbolic way, but Paul was not being symbolic in his writing about the human spirit. In the most literal sense he said it housed the Spirit of the living God among those who believe in Jesus for the salvation of their souls. God lives in us in a place that is far below our emotions, in our very essence. If it werenít for God living in us, our spirit would be dead, according to Godís definition of life. Unbelievers are convinced they are alive because they have their health, but God says they are dead. The saints are the only people who are truly alive, because God lives in them.

Eph 3-16

(35h) Gift of God >> God gives Himself to us >> The anointing


17-21 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

 

Eph 3,17-19

(108hb) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Revelation of Jesus Christ >> Spiritual revelation >> Revelation of His love Ė Paul is speaking about knowledge, but not just facts. He is speaking about a knowing that is deep and wide and rich. Paul speaks in reference to a paradox: how can we know something that surpasses comprehension? Nevertheless, it should be the goal of every Christian to know the unknowable! This knowing does not refer to certain facts and information but refers to a depth of knowledge that is imparted by the Spirit.

(124l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love is the action of Godís faith Ė Paul taught about faith as the key element of our salvation, whereas James taught that works is the key element of our salvation, and when we put the two together, we get the teachings of Christ. When He said, ďHe who believes in MeÖĒ He was talking about both faith and works. What did Jesus mean by the word ďloveĒ? There are basically two perspectives on love; there is the action of love and there is the spiritual side of love. Here, Jesus was talking about the action of love. The spiritual side of love is the fact that it is equivalent to faith. So, we take the spiritual aspect of love and use it to produce the actions of love. Love is defined in 1Cor 13-4 as being patient and kind. These are two of the nine fruits of the Spirit, so we can go to the list of nine fruits in Gal 5-22,23 and get a fuller definition of love. That is, the other eight fruits are contained in the one. If we donít have love, neither do we have the other fruits. Love itself is a spiritual fruit. Giving money to a drug addict is not love, but giving people what they need is how God expresses His love.

Eph 3-17

(254j) Trinity >> Holy Spiritís relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is equal with the Holy Spirit >> Salvation of Jesusí Spirit

Eph 3-18,19

(42i) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Transformed >> Conform to the mind of Christ

Eph 3-19,20

(132g) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holy Spirit is in Godís people >> Filled with the Spirit >> Filled with the power of God

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Eph 3-19

(54o) Paradox >> Opposites >> Knowing the unknowable Ė It is a paradox to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge; how can we know the unknowable? Actually, it is one of the best descriptions of spiritual knowledge. On the one hand it is paradoxical, but on the other hand it is perfectly natural for the flesh to struggle with the knowledge of God. This paradox explains how God works. All the things God reveals to us are spiritual in nature and all that is spiritual is unknowable to the natural mind. God wants to reveal to us the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge, but how? He wishes to reveal Himself by letting the Holy Spirit teach us about Godís love. It is not the message itself that is unknowable, but the manner in which we understand it. This is why the world doesnít know God, because it doesnít accept the things of the Spirit. You could tell them about Godís love, but they still wouldnít know it. They could even believe it, but they still wouldnít know it was actually true until the Holy Spirit revealed it to them. Then and only then will they know the love of Christ. It is the revelation of Himself that is the love of Christ, the revelation itself. We will experience heaven in the knowledge of these things. Without a revelation of Jesus Christ we donít know Him.

Eph 3-20,21

(29l) Gift of God >> God knows our needs; therefore we donít have to care

(34i) Gift of God >> Generosity >> God is willing to Give >> His natural blessings

(105g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Led by the Spirit into the will of God >> Led to the right place

Eph 3-21

(136i) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Body of Christ is the Church -- This verse goes with verse 10

(252i) Trinity >> You shall put no other gods before Me >> Worship God >> Worship God for who He is >> Glorifying God

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