In Ephesians, Paul expounds the wonder of Christ's death, resurrection, and ascension, and then goes on to outline the implications of Gods reconciling work for the family, the church, and all creation.
Scripture: Ephesians 1:1-10
- After His resurrection, Christ ascended to the right hand of the Father, the place of all authority.
- The book of Ephesians picks up where the gospel of Mark leaves off. Paul expounds the implications of Christ’s death, resurrection, ascension, and goes on to outline the implications of God’s reconciling work for the family, the church, and all creation.
- The Letter to the Ephesians probably was written by Paul while he was under house arrest in Rome, and circulated among multiple churches.
- Paul relates the cosmic work of God manifest in Christ and in the unity and life of the church.
- The exaltation of Christ is key in Paul’s theology; Paul is a prisoner of this Christ, who has all authority over Nero and the pagan Roman state.
- God had broken through paganism and occultism, leaving Paul to exalt the power of God in Christ (Acts 19:19).
- The spiritual blessings of God are communicated to us by the Holy Spirit.
- By the eternal purpose of God, the church is called out to be holy and blameless, ready to receive His redemptive purposes to God’s glory.
- As we are heirs of all things in Christ, we have cause to exult in our inheritance in Christ which includes:
- Redemption – emancipation, ransom in His blood from our sins.
- Wisdom – insight to see all things in light of Christ’s redemption.
- To unite all things in Christ means that He is the transcendent God and the root unity of the universe (Heb. 1:3; Rom. 11:36).
- Jesus Christ is not absorbed into historic time; the creation, fall, cross, resurrection are historical events, but they are also more than this; unlike our lives which pass, the acting of God is from eternity past to future.
- Our salvation is never purely historical; it is a present reality.
- In Christ’s exaltation, the focus is on the eternal, abiding, living Word of God.
- Christ is the Alpha and the Omega who mediates creation and redemption. Despite all the changes of history, Christ is the first and last, the unchanging Word.
- Hearts and lives distorted by sin are renewed in Christ; we live in a time when things are being made subject to Christ.
- In Christ, in His person and work, every created thing is infused with a God-given meaning; all of life in its totality is religion and it is meaningful.
- Having rejected the One who makes all things new, people seek meaning in all kinds of absurd ideas and fads.
- In the cross and resurrection meaning was restored as Christ overcame the absurdities of futile human philosophies.
- In Christ we have the thesis which unites all of creation.
- As reconciled creatures, between resurrection and consummation, we have opportunity to participate in God’s work of reconciliation, in which all things will be put into subjection under Christ.
- The truth of God in Christ can and shall be institutionalized in the family, in the church, in the school, in the law, and in every area under Christ’s rule.
- Today’s church is impoverished because we don’t actually believe in the exaltation of Christ.
- Christ will restore the universal harmony of God’s created order (Rom. 8:18-25; 1 Cor. 3:21-23).
- How is the message of Ephesians a continuation of Mark’s gospel story?
- What was the context and who were the recipients of the letter to the Ephesians?
- What are some of the blessings of our inheritance in Christ?
- What is our role in Christ’s reconciling work?