Ephesians

Day 1

Ephesians 1: 1-23.

The Apostle Paul wrote this letter when he was under house arrest in Rome around AD 62. According to tradition, Paul wrote 4 prison epistles during this house arrest which are Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon, during house arrest in Rome. 

VV 1-2, 1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1:1 established apostle Paul as the author. In the new testament, every Christian is a saint. Christians are both a saint and a sinner. We are sinners, justified by grace, through faith in Christ, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, through sanctification. In justification, God takes us out of the world. In sanctification, God takes the world out of us. Grace is undeserved, unearned, and unmerited favor. GRACE- God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Christ paid the price for our salvation. Grace, justification, salvation, and sanctification will result in peace. 

VV 3-6, 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, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

We have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly sphere, dimension, or realm. When we worship God, we can step out of this world and enter into the heavenly sphere. This is practicing the presence of God. Please read this short booklet, ”The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence. It is free to download from the internet. God chose us before the world began before we are even born. He presents us holy and blameless before the Father. Jude 24, ”Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy”. According to His will, He predestined and adopted us into His family as His children. We praise Him for making us acceptable to God by His grace. 

VV 7-10, 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in Him. 

By grace, Christ redeemed, purchased, and forgave us of sins with His blood. He gave us wisdom and prudence and revealed the mystery of His will. At the preordained time, in His second coming, He will gather all Christians in heaven and on earth to Him and we will all see Him. 

VV 11-14, 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. E13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Christ gave us an inheritance, predestined, predetermined, foreknew, called, justify, and glorify us. Calvinism and Arminianism are both too rigid and dogmatic. Salvation is a combination of Calvinism and Arminianism, not either this or that. Although God predestined us, He will not refuse anyone who comes to Him by choice and free will. God gives us free choice to choose Him. He will not force His will on anyone. This is contrary to His nature. He makes salvation available to everyone. When we are born again, God sealed us with the Holy Spirit as the down payment of our salvation. The down payment is the ernest money, that you pay upfront when you buy a house. The Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee of heaven to Christians when they are born again. 

VV 16-18, 15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 

Paul prayed for the Ephesian Christians when he heard about their faith and love for God. He prayed for them to continue in wisdom, revelation, knowledge, understanding, enlightenment, and the hope of inheritance of heaven. The resurrection power of God enabled Christ to be seated at God’s right hand, enabled us to believe in Christ, and enabled Christ to triumph over all principalities and power. 

VV 22-23, 22 And He put all things under His feet and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

God put all things under Jesus’ feet and gave Him dominion over all principalities and powers. Christ is the head of His body, the church. Colossians 1:18, ”And He is the head of the body, the church, He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead so that in everything He might have the supremacy”.

17 thoughts on “Ephesians

    1. Devotion from John

      John 1: 35-42

      ‘’The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).’’

      This was the first day after John the Baptist baptised Jesus and testified Him as the Lamb of God in Bethabara, east of the Jordan river, near the Dead Sea. Two of John the Baptist’s disciples followed Jesus. The first was Andrew and he brought his brother Simon to Jesus. They visited Jesus’ house and spent one day with Him. Jesus changed Peter’s name from Simon to Peter, which means rock. Andrew, the first disciple, and Peter, the second, were fishermen from Bethsaida in Galilee. Andrew was a connector. He connected Peter to Jesus. Are you connecting people to Jesus? Did you invite anyone to ‘come and see’ what the Lord has done for you? St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. St Andrews Presbyterian Church is named after him. He was crucified by the Roman governor of Greece in AD 60. St Peter was crucified by Emperor Nero in Rome. He wrote the epistle of 1 Peter and 2 Peter.

      Prayer:
      Heavenly Father, help us to imitate Andrew by connecting people to Jesus. Help us to invite people to come and see for themselves who Jesus is and what He can do for them. Help us to imitate Peter’s rock solid faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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    2. Devotion from John

      Day 13

      John 2: 6-12
      ‘’Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink, but you have saved the best till now.” What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him. After this, he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.’’

      Stone jars were used to store water for ritual washing. Jesus told the servants to fill up 6 stone jars with water and they filled them up to the brim until overflowed. They filled the jars to the brim until they overflow so that wine could not be secretly added to them. When the master of the banquet tasted it, he exclaimed that the wine was excellent. He did not know that this was water that had changed into wine. The master of the banquet praised the host for serving the best wine last. Wine is a symbol of joy. Psalm 104.15, “wine that gladdens the human hearts”. The changing of water into wine brought tremendous joy to the wedding feast. Jesus changed a huge amount of water into wine. This is superabundant grace, God’s loving-kindness, and faithfulness, “hesed” and “emet”, (Hebrews). 2 Cor 12:9, ‘’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. This was a private miracle, the first sign. The disciples saw Jesus’ glory and they believed. There are 7 signs and 7 ‘’I AM’’ in the gospel of John.

      Prayer:
      Dear Lord Jesus, You are Lord over nature. You changed water into wine instantaneously, a sign pointing to You as God. Thank You for Your super-abundant grace, that supply more than enough for our needs, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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    3. Daily Devotion
      Day 14
      John 2:12-17
      After this, He went down to Capernaum with His mother and brothers and His disciples. There they stayed for a few days. When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts, He found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So Hemade a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; He scattered the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves, He said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning My Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

      Jesus, Jesus’ mother, half-brothers, and disciples left Cana for Capernaum, 23 miles eastbound. Capernaum was lower than Cana, so they went down. Capernaum to Jerusalem was 70 miles southbound, but Capernaum was lower than Jerusalem, so they went up. It was the time of the Jewish Passover. All Jewish males above 12 years living within a 50 miles radius from Jerusalem had to attend the annual Passover.

      The Babylonians destroyed Solomon’s temple in 586 BC. The post-exilic Jews rebuilt the second temple in 515 BC. Herod the Great rebuilt the second temple and renamed it Herod’s temple from 19 BC. The temple authorities exploited the pilgrims by charging exorbitant prices for the animals and imposing exorbitant exchange rates for the temple shekels. Jesus was very angry with the temple authorities for abusing the temple system and exploiting the pilgrims. Using a whip made of cords, Jesus overturned the money changer’s table and chased the animal sellers out of His Father’s house. John quoted Psalm 69:9, “’ Zeal for your house will consume me’’.

      Prayer;
      Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us daily bread. Thank You for opening our eyes to see, ears to listen, hearts to understand, and will to obey, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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  1. Devotion from John

    John 2: 1-5
    On the third day, a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine’’. “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.’’

    On the third day of Jesus’ public ministry, Jesus, Mary, His mother, and His five disciples, John, Andrew, Peter, Philip, and Nathaniel, attended a wedding in Cana of Galilee, Nathaniel’s hometown. The earthly father of Jesus, Joseph, was believed to have died. Are you planning a wedding? Invite Jesus as your guest of honor, and you will see the glory of God. The host of the wedding feast ran out of wine. In first-century Israel, insufficient wine during a wedding feast would be considered shameful for the host. Mary asked Jesus to do a miracle. ‘’Woman, why do you involve Me?” Jesus replied, “My hour has not yet come.’’ Calling His mother ‘’woman’’ in first-century Israel was not considered rude or disrespectful. Jesus was not ready to do a miracle in public yet. Mary said to the servants, ‘’do whatever he tells you”. Here is good advice. Do whatever Jesus tells you, not what other people tell you, and not what the world tells you. Listen to His still small voice and do whatever he says.

    Prayer:
    Heavenly Father, help us to listen to Your still small voice. Help us to involve You in whatever we plan to do. We claim the promise of John 15:7, that if we abide in You and Your word abides in us, we can ask You anything, and You will grant it to us, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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    1. A Poem for 2021
      2019 ended with a cry,
      2020 was full of surprise,
      chained to the house by a virus
      called the covid guy,
      economy collapsed by the night
      airlines fly by night
      hoteliers cry with a sigh
      food pander laughing to the bank
      grab food flourished with a bang
      internet shoppers shop in style
      2020 ended with another cry
      for 2021 to vaccinate the covid guy

      Like

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