A Current Bible Study:
Ephesians Chapter 1
Verses 1-8: Our relationship to Christ explained. The Apostle Paul is writing to a real church with real problems. He wants them to recognize that they are not hopeless, they are not spiritual orphans.
"Predestinated us unto the
adoption of children
by Jesus Christ to Himself"
Ah, from rags to true royalty. All believers must grasp this transformation and claim it!
Verses 9--14: Our promise in Christ. This is no static relationship, however. It is very secure, but very dymanic. It's all leading us somewhere; namely to a Heavenly home in eternity. On earth you give your inheritance to others when you die, but in this new relationship YOU GAIN when you die on the earth. God has consulted no one on His plan toward us. Solely, only He can lead us to eternal bliss. His Spirit working in us is His current "down payment" to us on the unspeakable inheritance that will eventually be ours. Don't scoff at this evidence. His Spirit is very real and present with you now.
"Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise"
Verses 15-23: Our power through Christ. As stated earlier, this church, as with us today, was full of real people with real needs and problems. Promises aren't enough. In this life down here we need power. But God is on call. He is ready to supply us if we have faith, hope and love toward Him. His love and mercy toward us is unquestioned. It is we who weaken ourselves when we withdraw from the greatest love we could ever experience.
"The exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward . . .which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead"
These are lofty ideas. They are really beyond you and I (aren't they really, friend?). We are weak. We lack true faith. On our own we cannot return a love worthy of His great faithfulness to us. This passage would mean nothing to us except for the reassurance found in verse 6. He has put you and me into this passage (that's right, it's just as if your name and mine were written in these verses). Hallelujah! It is all for us, all of it. He accepts us as we are, right now. He lifts us to unspeakable heights. The real power at work here is His mighty and passionate love for Man.
"To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the beloved"