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Featured Ephesians 1:1-3

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Arthur Lewis Collier II, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. Arthur Lewis Collier II

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    Eph 1:1-3 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

    1:1
    an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God – An apostle was a personal representative of Christ, called, taught and commissioned by Him as the authority to the Church after His ascension. The fact that Paul met this criteria is found in Gal 1:11-12 ...I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. The apostles were special overseers of the gospel of Christ and the teaching of Christ until their deaths. That overseership lives on now through the Word of God.

    to the saints which are at Ephesus – Saint is a word which means holy or holy one. It refers to someone who is set apart positionally and practically. The positional aspect is spoken of by Paul here in chapter one verses 4-14. The practical aspect is dealt with in chapters 4-6. We need to remember that God has given believers a wonderful position from which we are to live a practical life as God's ambassadors.

    and to the faithful in Christ Jesus – The faithful here are the believing. I don't believe it should be taken just to mean someone who is saved, but someone who believes God, carefully considering and practicing all God's revelations to us. This phrase also let's us know that though this letter was addressed to the Church at Ephesus it's actually written to all faithful Christians.

    1:2 Grace be to you – Grace is that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness and loveliness. Paul speaks of grace here as something readily available. Something that is ours through Christ and the truth He wishes us to have. Something that embraced makes life good no matters the struggles. Grace is meant to make the struggles we face in this sin cursed world bearable. 2 Cor 12:7-9 ...there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee... Grace cannot afford us joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness and loveliness when we will not believe God nor rest in His truth. Grace is only available to the humble. James 4:6 ...God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. When we lack the grace of God in any given situation it's always because a lack of humility toward God.

    and peace – Peace is rest, quietness and calm. Positionally we have peace with God, but on a practical level this is something elusive to many who call themselves Christians. However, as grace, peace also is something readily available to those who will believe God. Phil 4:6-8 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. When you think about it not much on TV, in movies or on social media fit into the categories we find in Phil 4:8. 1 Pet 5:6-7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. When we will not humble ourselves under God we cannot cast all our care on Him and therefore have no path for peace.

    from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ – Our God is a Triune God. We have two persons of that Trinity mentioned here. The Father is the central figure of the Godhead the One who sits on the throne perpetually, ruling over all. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, equally God, but willingly stepping into a subservient role to become our Savior and Mediator. Grace and peace come from them and are ministered to us by the Holy Spirit, our Comforter and third person of the Godhead. Three persons, one God, all a marvel and a miracle, a blessing and a curse.

    1:3 Blessed be – The word blessed here means praised. Paul beside himself concerning the knowledge and wisdom of God in providing our salvation said in Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Our God is like no one else. The very thought of Him should bring great reverence to our heart, tears to our eyes and joy to our soul. He is the King of kings that lives forever, the Creator of all things, the Savior of all people, the Friend that sticks closer than a brother, the promise Keeper. If there is on our lips no praise for God at the very thought of Him then it will be hard for us to experience His grace and peace.

    hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places – The word spiritual here denotes the type of blessings God has granted us above all others. To understand what these blessings are for, I want to give you something from James in James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. Our spirit came from God, for God is a Spirit. Our spirit will continue forever as God will. When our body wares out or suffers a severe enough injury or disease our spirit must leave it and go to a prepared place. The blessings God has blessed us with above all others are spiritual blessings, meaning they are blessings that will most clearly manifest themselves in the realm of God. You cannot see my eternal life, the mansion God has prepared me, my rewards from Him or my guardian angel who fights for me daily, but they are all completely visible in the spiritual realm. They can manifest themselves in my life through my knowledge of them, but they are not seen here. It's very important we learn to see the unseen otherwise the blessings God has blessed us with will not be manifest in this present world.

    in Christ – The great spiritual blessings of God are only available in Christ. As we live in Him, move in Him and have our being in Him we are rich beyond compare. In Jesus we have everything that's important and anything we truly need. This present evil world is a horrible thing to be fixated upon. Jesus is coming, the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, there will be peace on Earth.
     
    #1 Arthur Lewis Collier II, Jan 16, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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  2. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Hi Arthur, thank you for having the courage to share the results of your bible study. While I agree with it in part, I also disagree in part.

    I think "to the faithful in Christ" refers only to those God has spiritually transferred into Christ, and thus they are the saved, saints set apart in Christ.

    If God chooses to allow us to endure a "thorn in our side" that means a particular grace has not been bestowed, but once saved, our outlook should be "your [saving]grace is sufficient for me."

    I think inner peace comes from the knowledge (or belief) that we are saved, and no matter what happens now, we can rest easy in the hope of our eternal life with Christ.

    Blessings are whatever come our way that is good - all good things come from God. Thus while the blessings in view here are spiritual blessings, blessings are not limited to spiritual blessings.

    And to repeat, positional sanctification, I believe, refers to being placed spiritually in (within) Christ where we undergo the washing of regeneration, the circumcision of Christ, and arise a new creation, born anew, made alive, and then sealed in Christ with the Holy Spirit.
     
  3. Larry the Logger

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    I agree with you Arthur on your take regarding the faithful. In the cyclical that was originally sent to Laodicea, Paul makes the distinction of who he is speaking to, not all the believers but specifically to faithful ones. (In Romans, Paul addresses ALL believers in Rome and that matters in order to understand the context of the rest of Romans). The unfaithful believers who aren't interested, Paul isn't talking to them. It's important, I think, to keep that in mind when Paul makes all of his "in Him" references. Not all believers choose to be in Him. Only the faithful ones do. If you read Revelation 3:14-22, where the Lord addresses the Laodiceans, there was obviously a big bag of unfaithful believers (vs 15-19) even long after the Ephesians encyclical was originally made available to Laodicea. The unfaithful will receive resurrection bodies for sure, but no overcomer rewards.

    Good study.
     
  4. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    The concept that "believers" somehow put themselves "into Him" and are then "sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit" is fiction of the highest order. God puts us "in Him" 1 Corinthians 1:30.
     
    #4 Van, Jan 17, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
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  5. Larry the Logger

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    They don't "put themselves into Him" and I never said that. Would you stop adding to what people say so that you can defeat your straw man? You confuse being saved with choosing to be faithful after salvation. There are differences among believers. Paul makes that clear distinction in verse 1. They are saints AND faithful. They have to be both. Some choose to be obedient, to do Romans 12:1-2, and some do not. Those who do not are not faithful believers. Those who do, are faithful believers. Unfaithful believers wouldn't give Paul the time of day and are uninterested in relationship with God after salvation. Paul's not talking to them. The believers who are faithful are in Him. That's who Paul is talking to. Paul addresses ALL believers in Rome in Romans 1:7 and makes no distinction. He's talking to everybody. Everybody in Rome beloved of God and are set apart ones; saints whether they're faithful or not. Do you think the Roman believers about whom Paul refers in Romans 1:18-32 are "in Him"? Do you think those saints are faithful? Romans 2:1 ought make that very clear; NO.

    The Holy Spirit seals everyone who believes in Christ, faithful and unfaithful per Eph 1:13. However, in vs 14, the unfaithful ones won't have inheritance, and until they have a change of mind, won't have any inheritance at the judgment seat of Christ needing to be guaranteed. All they'll have is a resurrection body, also guaranteed but since they'll have no inheritance, there's no inheritance to guarantee.

    1 Corinthians 1:18-31; different context, different issue.

    You can disagree with observation, interpretation, and application without your idiotic ad hominems. Just say you don't agree and why. We can discuss Scripture and why we disagree but making someone who interprets differently than you, your strawman so you can demonstrate some mighty win, is off putting at best.
     
  6. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Basically, Sir, your views seem bogus.
    You charge me with ad hominems while you disparage me personally rather than address my understanding of scripture.

    Do Saints (those in Christ, sealed in Christ, set apart in Christ, born anew in Christ, made alive in Christ) ever fail to be faithful?
    Progressive Sanctification is the process God instituted to grow more faithful, thus we are not always faithful in what we think or do. However, once in Christ, all our sins (past, present and future) are forgiven, so from God's perspective, the Saints are the "called, chosen, and faithful."

    Only two items are said to be predestined, (1) to be conformed to the image of Christ, and (2) to be redeemed bodily at Christ's second coming.
     
  7. Larry the Logger

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    Disagreeing with your comments using Scripture is discussion, not disparagement. You can call my interpretations that disagree with yours bogus all you want. You still haven't addressed why, with Scripture, in context. Pulling verses out of context, while accusing me of fiction isn't addressing my comments. If that disparages you, so be it.

    YES, saints who are sealed, set apart, born anew, made alive fail to be faithful. You ignored Romans 2:1 (oops, there I go again with personal disparagement, ignorantly observing it is exactly what you did). Paul is talking to set apart ones per Romans 1:7 and NOT to unbelievers, not to non-Christians. It's easy to understand by simply reading the words on the pages. Would you call the Christians, he set apart ones, the ekklesia, to whom the Lord refers in Revelation 3:14-21 faithful believers, faithful Christians? The Lord is ONLY speaking to Christians, set apart ones, sealed in Christ ones, born anew in Christ ones. Are believers who do the things in Romans 1:18-32 faithful? What does Romans 2:1 say? Please address that instead of pretending to know what I'm doing. I wait with BATED breath.
     
  8. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    On and on this person addresses my behavior and ignores my discussion of biblical issues.
    Did I ignore Romans 2:1?
    Is Paul talking about the Saints addressed in Romans 1:7? Nope, Paul is talking about non-believers starting at Romans 1:18.
    Yes, the assembly of believers includes Saints (wheat) but also professing folk (tares).
    The "faithful" in Revelations 3:14 refers to Christ and not the assembly.
    And I have already addressed your bogus understanding of Romans 1 and 2.
     
  9. Larry the Logger

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    Good grief, it's not hard to understand. Paul IS talking about unbelievers and their sinful behavior in 1:18-32. He is talking TO Christians, saints, set apart ones ABOUT those unbelievers in 1:18-32. However, what does Paul say in Romans 2:1? The believers, saints, set apart ones are DOING the same things as the unbelievers are doing in 1:18-32.

    Without confusing your misapplication of wheat and tares in Matthew with the church, could you please indicate where Jesus is speaking to "also professing folk" in Revelation 2-3?

    Christ refers to Himself as the One speaking to Laodicea; "These things SAYS the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God."

    The Christians to whom He is speaking in Laodicea, the ones who are doing the things in 3:15-20; are those FAITHFUL believers? They ARE believers, Christians, set apart ones. We know that because Jesus said so in Revelation 1 and 2:1 when He addresses the ekklesia, the assembled ones. He is not speaking to both Christians and non-Christians, just Christians. He says so, just like in Romans, Paul isn't speaking to non-Christians. He says so in Romans 1:7.
     
  10. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Nonsense, Paul is not talking about saints in Romans 2:1. Note Paul describes them as having an "unrepentant heart" (Romans 2:5).

    Is Jesus also addressing tares within the churches of Revelation 2 & 3?
    It appears to me that Jesus is only addressing actual Saints at the church of Ephesus, but includes tares at Smyrna for He says "be faithful" or "prove yourself faithful" thus including the possibility some will not prove to be faithful. Clearly tares are present at Pergamum. Also tares are within the church at Thyatira. Looks like there are plenty of tares at Sardis. No tares are indicated within the church of Philadelphia. And finally there are plenty of tares indicated a Laodicea.
     
    #10 Van, Jan 18, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
  11. Larry the Logger

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    You're right. He is talking TO saints. He wrote the whole book TO saints like in Romans 1:7, which I'm puzzled why that's so difficult for you to understand.

    That's right, he does. After salvation, after these saints were saved, they DID the things in Romans 1:18-32. Paul says so in Romans 2:1. Those saints, Christians, set apart ones who practice those things in 18-32 ARE unrepentant. They're the Christians who ignore Psalm 51 and 1 John 1:9.

    No. He is addressing believers, Christians, ekklesia. I don't say so, HE says so in Revelation 1:19-20. Nowhere in Revelation does the Lord reference tares nor wheat from Matthew 13:24-30. That parable has nothing to do with Romans nor Revelation 1-3. If you do not think Paul is addressing only Christians in Romans and do not think the Lord is addressing only Christians in Revelation 2-3, fine. I do believe it based on the words of the authors in Romans 1:7 and Revelation 1:19-2:1 and everywhere Jesus says "the church of" and "the church in." If you don't think Paul is addressing faithful believers-only, in Ephesians, fine. I do based on Ephesians 1:1. I believe it matters with the rest of the context of the book. Observe, interpret, apply.

    Revelation 22:18 might motivate you to stop adding things that aren't there to things that are there. Somehow though, I don't think that's going to make any difference to you.
     
  12. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    You are simply repeated your bogus views, obvious not reflective of scripture.
     
  13. Larry the Logger

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    Ephesians 1:1-3; Romans 1:7; Romans 1:18-2:1; Revelation 2-3; Revelation 1:19-20; Revelation 3:14-22; Revelation 22:18, Psalm 51, 1 John 1:9. You simply repeat your opinion that my views are bogus without once actually using the same passages to prove that they are bogus. The ONLY thing you've done is misquoted and added words I never said and added words without scriptural reference like those you used from Matthew 13, that have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the subject at hand.

    Snip indeed. Try rigor, discussion, logic, and reason in your replies instead of sad, tacit ad hominems based on insolence and consider the possibility that you in fact, might be wrong. The "folks" will like you more. Apologies if that disparages you.
     
  14. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    None of the long list of verses supports the bogus views concerning Romans 1 and 2.
    Saints, those placed into Christ and made alive and sealed with the Holy Spirit are predestined to our inheritance of our bodily redemption.
     
  15. Larry the Logger

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    What you continue to fail to understand is that those same saints, placed into Christ, made alive and sealed with the Holy Spirit are NOT going to receive their inheritance because they CHOOSE to be faithless after they are saved or sometime after they are saved. They are still saved, they cannot lose their salvation, they are still going to receive resurrection bodies, they are still going to heaven, they are NOT going to the lake of fire, yet they are disobedient, unfaithful to God AFTER they have been saved. They will NOT receive an inheritance nor receive any of the overcomer rewards because rewards/inheritance depend on obedience and faithfulness AFTER salvation. READ Romans 2. Paul is warning BELIEVERS in Romans 2:1-16. If you don't agree with that, don't see that in Romans 1-2, fine but come up with something, anything other than, "your bogus views" as your argument. It's all you have and it's frankly very sad that you are completely blind to the possibility, not from what I say, but from the very words in Romans 1-2 that you are the one who is mistaken. Supply an alternative. If not, have fun with your ridiculous "your bogus views" comments as responses.
     
  16. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Folks, false doctrine on display. Here this poster equates "inheritance" with "earned by effective ministry rewards." I kid you not...
     
  17. Tsalagi

    Tsalagi Member

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    That's what Hebrews 6:12 teaches - we inherit the promises through faith and patience. "To him who overcomes," Jesus promises rewards in Revelation 2 and 3.

    Your superficial responses are heavy on derision and light on Scripture support.
     
  18. Brightfame52

    Brightfame52 Active Member

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    Arthur

    I believe the faithful in Christ Jesus does apply to the saved believer, and I believe their Faithfulness is primarily by imputation, Christs Faithfulness is theirs.
     
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  19. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Yet another taint so false claim. Our "inheritance" is given to us as children of God, our rewards earned by effective ministry are contingent on our ministry.

    Pay no attention to those who disparage people and then post obviously false doctrine.
     
  20. Larry the Logger

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    Turn around Professor Marvel. Dorothy and Toto are trying to get your attention.
     
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