Ephesus - the most wealthy and beautiful city of Asia

Renowned not for trade but as a religious center with the Temple of Diana - This temple was 425 feet in length, and 220 feet in width. It was encompassed by 127 pillars, each 60 feet in height, which were presented by as many kings.

1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and [who are] faithful in Christ Jesus:

  • an apostle of Christ Jesus - sent with delegated authority
  • by the will of God - this is the only way you become an Apostle!
    • Nobody is an apostle based on gifts or accomplishments -
      • you cannot earn it - it is not a measure of “how far you’ve advanced"
      • we cannot think of the gifts and callings of God and the kingdom as a hierarchy
      • they are different assignments given by the same master to one of his servants
      • we are all God’s kids his sons and coheirs with Christ
      • the higher we go the more of a servant we are
  • to the Sacred ones the ones made holy!  I love it!  that is who you are!  THAT is how you should think of yourself!  you are the one MADE HOLY by God.
    • set apart for the use of God - consecrated...
  • who are faithful - these are the ones who are FULL of faith.  In other words it doesn’t mean those that are

2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Grace to you and Peace -- lots of letters of Paul have this greeting
    • Grace - a more Greek greeting
    • Peace - “shalom” a Hebrew Greeting
    • he puts the two together in one greeting
  • Jesus is his earthly name given to him by the angel to Joseph meaning Yahweh Saves
  • Christ is his title as messiah
    • anointed one
    • rubbed - smeared - lavished on
  • our Lord
    • Lord “kyrios” is the Greek replacement for the Jewish “Adonai" - the name above every name, the name that replaced the name Yahweh in the scriptures which was too holy to
    • This is saying that Jesus is God.

 

3Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

  • He starts with worship - the Apostle Paul LOVED God.  He was caught up in rapture at the glory of God in many of his books and would take off in wild worshipful tangents like this one! - but they are fun to follow!

who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly[places] in Christ,

  • blessed - He has SPOKEN really good stuff over us - divine destiny that we are to dwell in forever
    • the same voice that spoke “let there be light” has spoken divine destiny over you that cannot be taken away
    • He has spoken ALL or EVERY spiritual blessing over you - there isn’t one left to speak! - every possible blessing available from the throne of the creator God has been spoken over you as you dwell in Christ.
  • Now we will go on a tour of some of these heavenly blessings
    • Chosen - to be made Holy and Blameless
    • Adopted
    • Had Grace Lavished on us
    • Redeemed
    • Forgiven
    • Had the mystery of His will revealed to us
    • Obtained an inheritance
    • Sealed with the Holy Spirit
    • Made to the Praise of His Glory and Grace

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