Sunday School

 

Sunday July 19, 2020 Minister Tajuana Miles

We are Joined Together

The Passage: Ephesians 1:20-23; 2:8-10, 19-22

Ephesians 1:20-23

20Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Having been raised from the dead, Christ is now the head of the church, the ultimate authority over the world.  Christ is the Messiah, God’s Anointed One, the One Israel longed for, the One who would set their broken world right. As Christians we can be confident that God has won the final victory and is in control o everything.  We need not fear and dictator or nation or even death or Satan himself.  The contract has been signed and sealed; we are waiting just a short while for delivery.  Paul says, in Romans 8:37-39, that nothing can separate us from God and his love.  

Romans 8:37-39 37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our LORD.

Righthand – To be at the “righthand” suggests occupying a position of prominence and power.  Being at God the Father righthand points to Jesus’ enthronement.  James and John, for instance, wanted to sit near Jesus after He was glorified (Mark 10:37).

heavenly places – After His resurrection Jesus ascended and reigns in the heavenly places.

21Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

22And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Christ is superior to every kind of spiritual being. He is supreme over every principality, power, and might and dominion. The risen Christ is superior to every name that is named. Philippian 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:”

23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Strength through the Spirit

(Ephesians 3:14-19)

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with Might by his spirit in the inner man; That Christ my dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded In Love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, And depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled With all the fullness of God.

Strengthened with might by his spirit in the inner manTo have the “inner man” strengthened by the Spirit is to have our feelings, thoughts, and purposes placed and more under His influence and direction so that the Spirit can manifest His power through us in greater measure.  The purpose of this strengthening by the spirit of fourfold:

  1. That Christ my establish His presence in our hearts (vv. 16-17; cf Romans 8:9-10);
  2. That we may be grounded in sincere love for God, Christ, and others (v. 17);
  3. That we my comprehend with our minds and experience in our lives the love of Christ for us (vv. 18-19);
  4. That we may “be filled with all the fullness of God” (v. 19),

Fullness: Greek – Pleroma: To fill. A filling or filling up, A fullness, of being full (Mark 8:20); something put in to fill up (Matthew 9:16; Mark 2:21); a fullness, complete number (Roman 11:12, 25);

The Church is call Pleroma of Christ, who fills all in all (Ephesians 1:23). It indicates that Christ had filled it with all kinds of Gifts and dwells in it and walk in it.  Also it denotes a fullness of the Godhead in Christ (Col 1:19-29) meaning that in the body of Christ as it was constituted God was in his fullness and not simply in his manifestation. Jesus was fully God and fully man.

When reading Ephesians, It is important to remember that it was written not to an individual but to the church.  Christ is the head and we are the body of his Church (Paul used his metaphor in Romans 12:4, 5; I Corinthians 12:12-17; and Colossians 3:15 as well as throughout the book of Ephesians).  The image of the body shows the church’s unity. Each member is involved with all the others as they go about doing Christ’s work on earth.

Body: Greek – Soma – Various meanings: The Church, in respect of Christ who is the head of this body and supplies its spiritual life and motion. In respect of believers, who are mystical members of one body (Romans 12:5; I Corinthians 12:12 ff)

The body is one.  Nehemiah said in Ezra 3:1 that the people gathered as one man to Jerusalem.  There is only one man, which is Christ Jesus. 

Ephesians 2:8-10

8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Paul focused on the doctrine of salvation in many of his letters.  Here he highlighted that our salvation is based on God’s Grace.  Grace cannot be earned; grace is the gift of God.

  1. Salvation – means deliverance from the penalty and power of sin,
  2. Faith – means having complete trust in and commitment of God,
  3. Grace – refers to undeserving acceptance and love from God,

9Not of works, lest any man should boast.

10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

We become Christians through God’s unmerited grace, not as the result of any efforts, ability, intelligent choice, or act of service on our part.  However, out of gratitude for the free gift, we will seek to help and serve others with kindness, charity, and goodness, and not merely please ourselves.  While no action ore work we do can help us obtain salvation, god’s intention is that our salvation will result in acts of service.  We are not saved merely for our own  benefits but to serve Christ and build up the church.  

I Corinthians 3:10: Paul tells us that according to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation another builds on it.  But let each on take heed how he builds on it.

Ephesians 2:19-22

19Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Foundation is necessary to have in the Kingdom.  Scripture tells us in Romans 14:17 that the kingdom of God is the righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

What does it means to stand on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets? It means that the Church is not built on modern ideas, but rather on the spiritual heritage given to us by the early apostles and prophets of the Christian church.

The verse tells us that the foundations of the building process are the Apostles and Prophets and Jesus is the chief cornerstone.  Everything has to line up with Jesus.  Jesus, and the Apostles and Prophets are the foundation, which is necessary to the Kingdom. 

One word that distinguishes Apostles and Prophets from other ministries in the body is Revelation (an uncovering of something hidden).

Apostles – Men divinely commissioned to represent Christ.

Prophets –  Inspired messengers. (New Testament prophets are mentioned 12 times)

21In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the LORD:

fitly framed – joined

22In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

A Church building is sometimes called God’s house.  In reality, God’s house is not a building, but a group of people. He lives in us and shows himself to a watching world through us.  People can see that God is Love and Jesus is Lord as we live in harmony with each other with what God says in the world.

Habitation – dwelling place

Scripture says that wisdom built the house and understanding establishes the house and knowledge fill the house with gift. Proverbs 24:3,4.  Through wisdom is a house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.