In Ephesians 1:3 Paul asserts that God “has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing.” These blessings in Christ include:
. The forgiveness of our trespasses – Ephesians 1:7-8
Question: How do we get into Christ?
Answer: By being baptized into Christ
Galatians 3:27 – we are “baptized into Christ”
Romans 6:3-4 – we are “baptized into Christ”
These scriptures help us understand what Peter was saying in Acts 2:38 (“repent and be baptized”) and Paul in Acts 22:16 (“Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins”)
Paul concludes this paragraph by saying that this is a plan for the “fullness of time” (Ephesians 1:10). Although Jesus was “foreknown before the foundation of the world” (I Peter 1:20) He “was made manifest in the last times” (I Peter 1:20). This is why when Jesus began His ministry He proclaimed, “The time is fulfilled” (Mark 1:15). See also Galatians 4:4-5 and Hebrews 1:1-2 to better understand “the fullness of time.”
According to Ephesians 1:13-14, there are three distinct events which take place as we become a part of being “in him.” They are:
Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians was that God would give them “a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:17). This would cause them to have “the eyes of your hearts enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18). The effect of this wisdom, knowledge and enlightenment would be three-fold: (Ephesians 1:18-19) “that you may know…”
It was God’s great power and might working in Christ “when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also the one to come” (Ephesians 1:20-21). Read also Matthew 28:18-20, Philippians 2:5-11 and I Corinthians 15:24-26.
Question: When did he receive this power?
Answer: When He was raised from the dead.
Question: When will he give it up?
Answer: At the end of time when all enemies are placed under His feet.
One of the things that he was given power over, to be its head, is the church which is also described as his body (Ephesians 1:22-23). The following scriptures will help you understand this concept: Matthew 17:5, Luke 6:46, Acts 4:12, II Timothy 3:16-17, Galatians 1:6-9
____ Men who claim to have had visions about what God wants us to do
____ Councils who get together to make rules
____ The pope, cardinals, bishops or other church leaders
____ Creeds that have been accepted by the church for a long time (e.g. the Apostles’ creed, the Nicene creed, etc.)
____ The words of Christ and the Apostles as they are revealed in scripture
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