I am grateful to my friends at The Gospel Coalition and Crossway for using my Ephesians study guide for their 12-week study through the book. Both ministries have a vision that is inclusive of all peoples, for which I am thankful.
Ephesians is an incredible book revealing much about the deep mystery of God’s plan for Redemptive History. I am glad many will be able to take advantage of the study guide through TGC.
Spring Registration is OPEN for the Spiritual Leadership Academy Course, Engaging Scripture Deeply. If you live in Chicagoland, join us!
I encourage you to invite and bring your Sunday School Class, Bible study group, small group, and/or ministry leadership team too. This course is for everyone!
Texts for the course: Ephesians (Stott) and Ephesians (Redmond). I selected Stott’s commentary because I want to demonstrate the role of using a tool in studying deeper, not because Stott offers an exegetical commentary (which he does not). But going deeper does not require the use of an exegetical commentary, if deeper involves more than intellectual inquiry. Leave the Greek exegetical work for the course professor to explain. Stott is sufficient for our learning together. I will be providing elections from Ephesians in the ESV Study Bible too.
 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism,  one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Eph. 4:4-6 ESV)
Paul’s exhortation to the church for practical unity recognizes that the oneness inherent in the body is reflective of the oneness inherent in the Trinity. He says three things:
- Although we are individual members of the body of Christ, we all are united mysteriously by the Holy Spirit so that our hope as believers remains certain, 4:4.
- As we each have called on the same Lord for salvation by being given the same faith to call on Him, we have experienced spiritual baptism, which mysteriously places us together in Him, which is in His body, which is in one another, 4:5 (cf. Rom. 12:5; I Cor. 12:12-13).
- While having the authority of Christ and His fullness, we are under the sovereign rule of God the Father – as both Christ and the Spirit work voluntarily within the Trinity – as He rules through Christ through us all, being in the Spirit who is in us all, and being over, through and in the entire Creation, 4:6.
The incredible mystery of our union with Christ–union with the Trinity, union with the Creator–is reason to celebrate our hope, enjoy the fellowship of the body, and to submit to the sweet sovereignty of God in all things.
Knowing the Bible: Ephesians (Crossway) is available at wtsbooks.com.
#whybible #ktbeph #ktbephesians #ephesians #biblestudy #moodybible #MBI
For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—(Eph. 3:1)
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called (Eph. 4:1)
Paul’s discussion on his stewardship of the mystery of the Gospel is so significant that he must interrupt his intention to tie the walk of the believer to Christ’s work in salvation; (e.g., “walk” in 2:10; 4:1, 17; 5:2, 8, 15). The phrase in 4:1, “I… a prisoner of the Lord,” carried over from 3:1, “I… a prisoner of Christ Jesus,” indicates that 4:2-6:24 originally would have followed 2:22. The flow still works if you skip 3:1-21.
However, by inserting the discussion of 3:2-31, the walk of the believer now relates to the revelation of the equal spiritual footing of Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ (3:6). It also means Paul intends for the believer to be empowered by the prayer and truth of 3:14-21: We must know the love of Christ deeply and increasingly in order to accomplish the life of the believer (4:1-6:9), and we must know the love of Christ deeply and increasingly in order to to stand in the warfare being waged from the heavenlies (6:10).
 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,  built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,  in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:18-22 ESV)
How exciting it is to think that we will be a temple for the Trinity! The Lord will dwell in us as he dwelt in the Tabernacle (Exodus 40) and in the first Temple (1 Kings 8). He will reside in us in the fullness of the Trinity’s glory. His glory never will leave that temple.
Maybe even more exciting is that the Lord presently is building believers into that Temple. We therefore are seeking practical unity across ethnic lines while yet under construction (Eph. 2:11-17). The picture of what we will be is buffering until he comes.
Q. 6. How many persons are there in the Godhead? A. There are three persons in the one God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. (Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English)
In Eph. 1:3-4 and 1:13, the full Trinity participates in the work of salvation, choosing the redeemed for salvation in eternity past, redeeming us effectively through the death of Christ, and sealing us until final redemption appears. All three Members give divine wisdom for believer to live out the practical aspects of being assured, wealthy, and empowered in Christ—to do works that only can be done in the power of the Spirit (1:17; 5:18-20).
The Three appear when speaking of our access to God and the Temple to come (2:18,20); they work to reveal the love of God in Christ, deeply, to the believers (3:14-17); the Three are the basis of the unity in the local body of Christ (4:4-5).
May the Name that is above every name be exalted in worship today. May our hearts overflow with thanksgiving, love, and fear before you, God, our Father. May the Spirit who has redeemed us fill us with power, joy, wisdom, and meekness.
Lord, would you be pleased to make your presence known among your people today, that we might grow closer into the likeness of the temple into which, in Christ, you are building us to be a dwelling place of the Spirit. Would you give us grace to put to death the sins we treasured when we were children destined for your wrath. Would you draw each heart to you in song and prayer without hindrance or fear of the faces of people.
Today, kindly and powerfully scatter your enemy and his schemes of war against us. In us, magnify and glorify Christ – crucified, raised, and returning – that billions without him, both near and far, might hear the Gospel and know Christ in mercy.
On page 22 of the KTB Ephesians Study Guide I write,
AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH. Throughout the history of Christianity, church and earthly authorities have existed largely in con ict with one another. This is true whether we speak of governing authorities that separate church and state jurisdictions or general secular authorities that promote worldviews rejecting the message and morality the church proclaims. Nevertheless, Scripture dem- onstrates that Christ calls the church to be an expression of his rule in the pres- ent world. Yet this means of expression combines moral courage with humble citizenship, unity with love, and holiness with wisdom, so that transformed lives give evidence of the power of the gospel.