Ephesians – The Church

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This is one of my College assignment that I did at the Nehemiah Bible College in Jeffreys Bay, during 2001.

This is one of the longer assignments that we did, and you can highlight a portion, or split the work up and cover it within a few sessions.

I trust this will bless you.

REVIEW QUESTIONS:

1) What is the church? Of whom is the church composed?

2) What are your spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus?

3) How is the exceeding greatness of His power towards us who believe described?

4) What is the condition of every human being by nature? Can you give the epistle picture in detail?

5) What is the subject of Paul’s inspired prayer in chapter one?

6) What kind of fullness did Paul pray for in chapter three? And what do you understand it to mean?

7) What did Paul mean by the mystery?

8) How would you explain walking in unity?

9) How did Paul describe the walk of those who are lost?

10) What are believers to put out of their lives?

11) How would you define the ascension gift ministries?

12) For what purposes has Christ given gift ministries?

13) What are the results of being filled with the Holy Spirit – personally, in the family and in the employee and employer relationship?

14) As a Christian warrior, can you describe your combat, power, armour, the foes, and your resources?

1) WHAT IS THE CHURCH? OF WHOM IS THE CHURCH COMPOSED?

The mighty plan of God is to bring everything together (Eph1:10) under Christ as Head (Eph 1:22-23)

The church, His body, is composed of those who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation, whether Jews or Gentiles (1 Cor 12:12-27)
We as the body of Christ on earth have a part in this plan and the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of God’s promise (Eph 1:13-14)

The church is every believer you and me, with Christ Jesus as our Saviour, leader and source. Our beginning and our end, and the end only our beginning.

Of whom is the church composed?
The church “ekklesia” is made up of saints “hagios” – ones holy, set apart, sanctified, consecrated. This is not referring to spiritual duties. Rather, it is the state or position of believers who are in Christ Jesus. Spiritual members. The church is distinctively a people who are reliant upon, and whose faith is centred in Christ – community manifesting the faithful works in Christ. (Titus 2:14)

As members of His church, there is an ongoing experience of God’s unmerited favour and undisturbed peace. The church to me must consist of works in action. The very manifestation of the leading of the Holy Spirit.

2) WHAT ARE YOUR SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS IN CHRIST JESUS?

Eph 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” NKJV

The blessings come from the heart of God the Father through the great channel of all our spiritual riches – the Lord Jesus Christ. The atonement was the effect of the Father’s love, not the cause of it.

My Spiritual Blessings are:

1. The Father’s love, the Son’s sacrifice the Holy Spirits activities in regeneration, sanctification and power.

God has provided better things than just earthly blessings for us. The contrast is obvious: earthly riches are vulnerable, earthly honours passing, earthly pleasures fail. Heavenly riches never corrupt. Its honours and pleasures are eternal.

2. The loving relationship enjoyed in Christ is so renewing our outward life that our whole being delights in God’s presence.

2.1 I now have Salvation.

2.2. I have fruitfulness in Christ.

2.3 I am a member of His family.

God not only foresaw our need of a saviour, but He also foreplanned our fruitfulness in Christ Jesus (John 15:16) as members of His family.

3. God foreordained that through Jesus Christ we should be adopted as sons. God purposed that every believer in Christ be brought into His family and given the full status and privileges of sonship.

God took pleasure in planning our gain as Royal Sons.

This makes me feel our Fathers unconditional love. Could I ever sacrifice my son never! This just proves that Love covers all, hides all and carries all. A relationship Love.

4. I have acceptance by His grace. Our Father loves us as much as His Son Jesus.
Through Jesus death, He became Christ the risen. Giving us access to the Father. We are heirs of God and joint-heirs with the beloved. This is indeed abounding grace.

5. As Jesus died on that cross for me I was bought back. To be bought back means to be redeemed, to release by ransom. I can now enjoy redemption by the blood of Jesus.
It is through His Blood that divine Grace is measured.

The blood of Christ – the truth of victorious living in Christ. Thank You Jesus.

6. The next blessing I have is the written word. The very will of God given to us who believe. Planned and purposed from the Heart of our Loving Father the purpose of redemption of His children.

7. When Jesus entered into heaven becoming Christ, He left us the Holy Spirit. What a blessing to receive. The seal of the Spirit is not only the assurance He gives within – it is His fruit manifested in our lives. It is also the pledge of more to follow – all those who are sealed have available gifts and the power of the Spirit’s fullness.

How blessed we are, could we afford not to be in Christ, yet how easy it is not to trust and just believe. We truly have great blessings by our Father’s grace.

3) HOW IS THE EXCEEDING GREATNESS OF HIS POWER TOWARDS US WHO BELIEVE DESCRIBED?

CONVICTING, CONVINCING AND CHANGING POWER.

Having been blessed with resurrection life of Christ, we should mourn over lost, dead sinners and pray for their quickening by the Holy Spirit’s convicting, convincing and changing power.
In Christ we are filled with all spiritual blessings and might – our victory is assured.

It is also described as a Revealing Power. Revealing God’s Plan, Purpose and Will.

4) WHAT IS THE CONDITION OF EVERY HUMAN BEING BY NATURE? CAN YOU GIVE THE EPISTLE PICTURE IN DETAIL?

As with all Adam’s race, we were by nature condemned and under sentence of death.
We were dead in trespasses and sins. Our iniquities have separated us from God. In yielding to sin, Adam and Eve came under Satan’s dominion so all sinners are under Satan’s control. He is a real person whose domain is the air. Satan is the prince of the power or government of fallen angels. Evil Spirits, though invisible to human eyes, have some place in the atmosphere from where they are actively engaged in influencing sons of disobedience. The word “lusts” refers to what we naturally desire and want. In our paste state of spiritual death and living under Satan’s control, our desires were fleshly, perverted, sensual, and satanic. We had a hopeless past. We were without Christ. We still carried our own sin. To be without Christ is to have, as sinners, no way to the Father and no salvation. Our natures were – unregenerate, spiritually displaced, homeless people.

We were without relationship to God through Jesus Christ. Without membership of God’s family, having no claim on God.

5) WHAT IS THE SUBJECT OF PAUL’S INSPIRED PRAYER IN CHAPTER ONE?

Spiritual Wisdom.

The Student Bible states in Reading between the lines ” Paul does not dwell on any urgent problems, instead, he tries to raise the sights of young Christians who have not fully grasped the extent of God’s love and grace.

The subject was Spiritual Wisdom, Knowledge and Revelation by the Holy Spirit.

6) WHAT KIND OF FULLNESS DID PAUL PRAY FOR IN CHAPTER THREE? AND WHAT DO YOU UNDERSTAND IT TO MEAN?

1) Love of God
2) Joy of God
3) Goodness of God
4) Faith of God

Fullness to me means: The renewing of your heart, which you experience through prayer.

Fullness in renewing your heart in prayer, to receive Gods Love. Love in turn will give you Joy, which will allow you to receive the Goodness in your heart through cleansing it in prayer in faith.

It is our love for Christ in our hearts that allows Christ to make a home of our hearts.

John 3:16 indicates this fullness to mean:

  • The BREATH of it – Eph 3:18 “God so loved the world”
    The LENGTH of it – “that He gave His only begotten Son”
    The DEPTH of it – “that whoever believes in Him”
    The HEIGHT of it – “should not perish but have everlasting life”

The more we love, the more we want, the more it grows, the more we have to give away.

7) WHAT DID PAUL MEAN BY THE MYSTERY?

Mystery is a technical theological term in the New Testament, used to indicate an aspect of God’s eternal plan not revealed in the Old Testament, but which has now been unveiled.

God made known to us the mystery of His will
God discloses what is the good pleasure of His will
God’s disclosure of His will to all His people is in the written word.

The mystery was, the Word that reveals Jesus Christ is the centre of God’s great redemptive plan.

Phil 2:10-11 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh; who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands;” NKJV

Mystery is referred to here as – a divine secret, which is known only to those to whom it is revealed. It is revealed only by the Holy Spirit. By revelation the church is proclaimed to be the body of Christ on earth. As the body of Christ the Church is composed of Jews and Gentiles, this is the mystery referred to here.
All who are convicted, born-again, washed in the precious blood of Christ, are true members of the church, which is His body. Being heirs together of the same body describes how close to the Lord each member is drawn.

8) HOW WOULD YOU EXPLAIN WALKING IN UNITY?

To me unity means:

BEARING each other – which means, having acceptance and forgiveness for one other. So that there may be peace joining the unity together.
GENTLENESS towards each other, will mean that we will be mild-tempered and gentle of spirit. Jesus portrayed a spirit of gentleness.

PATIENT a word meaning to listen kindly to something. The more we allow the Holy Spirit to be in control, the more Jesus will lead you to endurance of one another.
LOWLINESS of mind prevents us from exalting ourselves and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us.

We need these qualities for the unity of uniting the body of Christ in one body. Bind this together with one hope, the hope of a glorious future we have in the future of Christ in which we as believers will all share in. Jesus Christ died for ALL. He is the Lord of all. One faith is obedience of the gospel, that personal salvation in Jesus the Son of God as your personal Saviour, the promise from God. The one baptism that unites us as believers is baptism by the Spirit. We need to be baptised in water to testify to faith in Christ as our salvation. We are the living temples of God. There is only one God. The great bond of unity is sharing of our God and Father, who is sovereign, in all through us all, His presence and power makes our oneness in Him the vehicle of His blessing to a needy world.

God’s intention in wisdom is, through the church, to display unity to the heavenly world. Unity that comes to us through Jesus.

9) HOW DID PAUL DESCRIBE THE WALK OF THOSE WHO ARE LOST?

Firstly Paul says, the Lord commands that we do not live like the unbeliever. Our living must not resemble in any way the walk of the ungodly.

If we are ungodly, we are without the light of God. The ultimate cause of being without the life of God is through a wilful hardening of the heart that prefers ignorance and blindness. They have no spiritual conscience affecting them. They have self-made standards. Truth is to be lived out in you so that others looking at your life see Jesus. This is not so in the lost. They prefer to live in disobedience. The Holy Spirit is not allowed into this person’s life, he has no life in Christ. Unwholesome speech and followed by speech in its different forms of malice. Allowing our tongue to be used in unacceptable speech, named as unwholesome, bitter, poured out raging anger and every other form of malice, grieves the Holy Spirit. The lost is described as being and living a life of unforgiveness.

Those who are lost are described as being inconsistent to:

  • the writing on our hearts as the epistles of Christ
  • the new nature
  • the purpose of Christ’s cross
  • the Holy Spirit work of setting us apart
  • being the temples of the Holy Spirit
  • being saints
  • what we know well

This includes having no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

10) WHAT ARE BELIEVERS TO PUT OUT OF THEIR LIVES?

They are to put out:

  • Unbelief
  • Ungodliness
  • The old person
  • Deceitful desires
  • Everything that hinders growth
  • Untruth
  • Lying
  • Being deceived
  • Anger
  • Corrupt speaking
  • Disobedience
  • Ignorance
  • Blindness
  • Hostility
  • Unforgiveness
  • Grieving the Holy Spirit
  • Stealing

 

  • 11) HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE THE ASCENSION GIFT MINISTRIES?

I would define it as:

Designed to bring stability of faith so that believers are not at the mercy of deceivers., and destructive heresies by crafty snares set to trap and devour. Christ has placed His gifts among us for our protection and to make us strong. Christ’s gift ministries are to be true as well as speak truth. Ministering truth in love can only be through closer union with Jesus. It is through increased knowledge of Christ Jesus that real growth comes. Growing in the grace and knowledge of Him protects from false teaching that stunts development.

12) FOR WHAT PURPOSE HAS CHRIST GIVEN GIFT MINISTRIES?

Eph 4:12-15 “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ;” NKJV

Ministering truth and love is the backbone of Christian ministry. The gifts are given to mature the Christ’s measure and stature to the fullness of Christ. The gifts will never cease, while we grow and mature in them. For the body to grow, each member needs to be helped to maturity. Real growth comes from the word and increased knowledge of Christ. The main function is to train each other for the ministry.

The ascended Lord has bestowed gifts upon the church in order that the members grow. Without growth, we do not experience our gifts. We need to trust and act on obedience to allow the gifts to follow.

Growing up into Him, each one takes their vital substance from Him. Then, as a living organism, each becomes the supplier and helper of the other.

Gifting was given to us, to allow us to grow in unity with the Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus.

13) WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF BEING FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT – PERSONALLY, IN THE FAMILY AND IN THE EMPLOYEE AND EMPLOYER RELATIONSHIP?

We are one in Christ and are of equal value and standing, but co-operative submission brings harmony in our relating to one other. Mutual submission is not only possible – it is the normal experience flowing out if being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Personally a sensitivity to mutual submission in your relationship with the Holy Spirit will develop. In the family it is important to develop unity in love. Employee and employer relationship should be done as to the Lord. Our result must be, the service of Spirit filled believers should be such that the non-believer should find it unbeatable.

Mutual submission is the key to all things done decently and in order.
Personally – You need to be filled with the Spirit, which means, Spirit Filled Speaking, Singing, Heart Music, Giving Thanks and submitting.

Family – the kind of submission expected of all the members of Christ’s body whether male or female is to be submissive to one another. In the home, a living picture of the bride of Christ should be represented, meaning a special oneness, adoring service and unity of purpose. (This is where we all falter)

Employee – Not steal time, be faithful as the will of God expects of us. Give of your best, as you would do for God.

Employer – The employer is to remember he is accountable to God. So treat your employee’s as your would want to be treated.

The results of applying the above should then be

SACRIFICIAL LOVE:

  • we fulfil the Father’s expectancy (Gal 4:14)
  • we fulfil Christ’s new commandment (John 13:34)
  • we fulfil practical needs (John 3:18)
  • we fulfil the call for fervent love (1 Pet 4:7-8)
  • we fulfil the demand of His love in us 1 John 3:16)
  • we fulfil spiritual understanding and discernment (Phil 1:19)
  • we fulfil Christ’s persistent love (John 13:1)
  • we fulfil what qualifies us as His people (1 John 2:10,3:14)
  • we fulfil the disposition of Christ in us (Phil 2:5)
  • we fulfil the Christ-like fragrance of a living offering to God (Rom 12:1)

Relationships flourish on kindness, tenderheartedness and forgiveness, beautiful attitudes that overcome and remove hostility. This is a direct result of the Spirit.

The results in all these relationships, must be pleasing to God

14) AS A CHRISTIAN WARRIOR, CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMBAT, POWER, ARMOUR, THE FOES AND YOUR RESOURCES?

Our access to God the Father is by the Holy Spirit. It is by the indwelling Spirit that fellowship with the Father and the Son is actual and continues. The Spirit is our unfailing Helper in prayer and worship.

To describe a Christian warrior: The might of Christ the Lord becomes available to us when, in union with Him, we exercise our dependant faith and obediently “be strong”

COMBAT:

Satan: the schemer we are up against is a real person.

So we need to understand who we are fighting against.

  • he is a hinder (1 Thes 2:18)
  • he is the accuser (Rev 12:10)
  • he is prince and ruler over evil spirits (Eph 2:2)
  • he is prince of this world that is opposed to God (2 Cor 4:4)
  • he originates false, demonic worship (1 Cor 10:20-21)
  • he counterfeits true Christianity (2 Cor 11:14,1 Tim 4:1, Rev 2:9)
  • he is subtle (2 Cor 11:14)
  • he is destructive (Heb 2:14)

Satan is a liar, deceiver, murderer, the tempter who is out to take advantage of us. Now we should understand what we are up against, let us take a look at the Power we have to use against Satan.

POWER:

The word Power means “kaatos” force, strength, might, more especially manifested power, dominion.

The might of Christ the Lord becomes available to us when, in union with Him, we exercise our dependant faith and obediently be strong.

In Jesus Christ we have power already demonstrated and manifested before us, triumphing over disease, death, the devil and his demons and every domain. In Him there is power to make us victors with Him. All we could possibly need to overcome is ‘in the Lord” How do you become in the Lord? You receiver Him as your personal saviour. You become born again.

ARMOUR:

You would not go to war without your armour as a soldier. So it is true also as a Christian warrior. Our part is to “put on” and “take up” the whole armour of God.

The Girdle of Truth – Is a way of living in and by truth.

The Breastplate of Righteousness – Through Christ Jesus we are in right standing with God, Righteous. We are covered by Christ which dazzles the enemy.

The Shoes of Preparedness – This is to keep us active in God’s will. Focusing on Him will keep your mind on the Lord, which in turn keeps your mind at peace.

The Shield of Faith – The faith in the spoken word, never fails to bring down Satan’s missiles. The miracle working faith

The Helmet of Salvation – Our minds are where Satan attacks us, so that is where we need protection from Satan’s deception. The vital truth of our salvation in Christ our Saviour. If God is for us who can be against us?

The Sword of the Spirit – Here we have the example of Jesus showing us how to use it, to deal with Satan. In Greek Sword means “rhema” Word of God. A word spoken or uttered. This showing the power of words using the word of God.

The Praying with All Prayer – The spoken word is to be used with or strengthen by the talking in the Spirit.

FOES:

The foes are not flesh and blood, that is human and visible, but a fierce battle with a superhuman and invisible foe. Thank God that victory is assured us if clothed in the armour of God.

RESOURCES:

Your resources are God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

God so loved the world that He sent us His Son. Jesus sent to right the wrong of Adam. Jesus opened up heavens’ gates to eternal life. You need to become reborn. Cutting off the old person and life to receive the Holy Spirit. Now comes the baptism of water and then something to really desire is the baptism of the Spirit.

Now we have the right to be called children of God, which gives us the power to use the name of Jesus. And in the name of Jesus Satan, demons and powers must flee – because Jesus paid the price.

The Holy Spirit is our armour bearer. He has provided us with the Gifts of the Spirit – which He uses against evil.

Let us desire to develop our spiritual gifts.

Notice:

Scripture quotations taken from the HOLY BIBLE NEW KING JAMES VERSION(R) Copyright(C) 1984 by TOMAS NELSON all rights reserved