PTB2-4: Christ, Grace, and One from Ephesians.

Chapter 2:  Batten down the Hatches on the Unity God the Holy Spirit has Provided.  (Christ, Grace, and One)

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At this the beginning of Bible study on the One Commentary on the Bible, a friend knowing the Bible has pointed out the need for more Christ and Grace, so here it is in Paul’s statement of faith and practice in Ephesians which is really a short summary of Ephesians chapter by chapter.

2-1:  Introduction to Chapter 1 of One Commentary on Ephesians.

  1.  Christ in Ephesians.

“IN CHRIST”, if there can be a dominant phrase and truth in Ephesians, even beyond that of the ultimate integration of ONE, it is faith, salvation, and believe as a Christian in Christ.  If we preachers of the Christian faith had been more consistent with the whole New Testament, we would have made IN CHRIST a substitute for the word Christian which through the ages has lost so much meaning.  The very purpose of Ephesians is to show the Purpose of God Himself for man and the universe through and IN CHRIST as expressed in this introduction of the first chapter.

Ephesians 1:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

“(God)  having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,  that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.”

  •  Grace in Ephesians.

Chaplain Mike Harrison, fellow sailor and student at Ouachita and Southwestern Seminary, pointed out the need for more Grace and Christ, so I requested patience on both as Ephesians certainly deals with them extensively; and perhaps he was subtly pointing out that the book of Ephesians itself was more important than the SunGrist’s One Commentary on the book, point well taken.  So, the normal flow of the commentary as first Desktop Published in 1984 is interrupted, or really made better, with some written-on Paul’s Statement of Faith and Practice written in 2007 as volume 4 of the Learn Christ Bible Commentaries, “Christ, Paul, and the Falling Away”, the book of Hebrews.  To get to the point or two points, Ephesians 2:8,9 is the greatest and most famous statement of Grace in the Bible, at least the one with which most people are familiar:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  (KJV)

Once again however, as in all of the SunGrist commentaries, this verse be put back and kept in the total context of chapter 2, the whole book of Ephesians, the New Testament, and the whole Bible;  and this will be done by the grace of God.

2-2:  Ephesians 2 New King James Version (NKJV).

By Grace Through Faith

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the [a]course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Brought Near by His Blood

11 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— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Christ Our Peace

14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

Christ Our Cornerstone

19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

NOTE:  Mike are you more satisfied with this quote of the second chapter and the little outline Gateway has inserted for us of the chapter:  (1) By Grace Through Faith; (2) Brought Near Through His Blood; (3) Christ our Peace; and (4) Christ our Cornerstone.  Having acquiesced to this more classical Southern Baptist approach, it must be agreed that in spite of our teaching and preaching on this, or the lack of, whatever the case may be CHRIST HAS NOT BEEN PROPERLY LEARNED in our convention or our convention churches.  (which is Paul’s point for the church at Ephesus, before John has to tell the same church in Revelation that they have left their first love, that love being Christ; however, we will come to that in Ephesians 4, “But you have not so learned Christ…”  Guess who first taught them about Christ, the Apostle Paul who preached and taught in Ephesus longer than any other region in his missionary journeys, so the problem was with the hearer and their social environment not with the message that was delivered.

  •  Paul, or really God the Holy Spirit through Paul, describes our main failure among Southern Baptist people in Ephesians 44:26, “to make fast with bonds of peace the unity which the Spirit gives…”  (NEV)

God the Holy Spirit first of all provides a unity in the Bible of the Old and New Testaments:  it is the Christ Jesus of Nazareth in the NT of the 4 Gospels and other NT books and the Spirit unites with the Christ for the Prophet Messiah of Moses and the OT.

  •  Granted the book of Ephesians is primarily a large message for Christians only, but hopefully during the course of this Bible study the message of Christ and Grace and One might be an example in its purest unadulterated and unspotted form for non-believes like John Quinn and Shirley McMichael.  Hopefully you Christians see that in Ephesians 1:17-19:

“…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe…”

2-3:  Paul’s Statement of Faith and Practice in Ephesians as an Introduction to the ONE of ultimate integration in One Commentary on Ephesians.

The history of theology, Christianity, and denominations illustrates the discovery of a verse or verses of Scripture which surprises some new group, which when isolated out of the context of the book from which it came and the whole Bible, creates additional divisions and distinction.  You recall the example of the person who read in one place in the Bible “Judas went out and hanged himself”, then put that together with “go thou and do likewise”.  It has led many to conclude that you can prove anything form the Bible.  Well, not if you keep a verse in the chapter context, the chapter in the book context, the book in the New Testament or Old Testament context, and the Testament in the total context.  In other words, the larger the amount of the Bible that is included in your “Statement of Faith and Practice”, the higher degree of probability do you have of high fidelity with what God through the Holy Spirit, through Jesus, the Apostles, and Prophets had put in there in the first place.  This is implied in the statement by the Apostle Peter that “no scripture is of any private interpretation”.  The interpretation of Jesus is to be found in the writings of the Apostles; the interpretation of the Apostles is to be found by the inherent agreements through the Spirit between the writing of one Apostle with another; and the Apostles, especially Paul, Matthew, and Jesus specialized in the interpretation of the Old Testament Prophets, quoting often in their writings from the Prophets and them through what Jesus taught them and how the Holy Spirit guided them, explained what the Prophets meant.

All this has been written to come to the necessity of putting as much Scripture as possible into any significant Bible-based “Statement of Faith and Practice”; and the recognition of the fact that we can do no better than to use the book of Ephesians, written by the Apostle Paul from the human side and by the Holy Spirit on the supernatural side, as a minimal “Statement of Faith and Practice”.

Let me illustrate how this was the intention of the Apostle Paul in the first place, and consequently also the intention of God as the Source of Scripture.  Remember that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God…”  One of the greatest works of God in history, second perhaps only to the Crucifixion of Christ on the cross for the salvation provision to the whole world, is God’s creation through Apostles and Prophets and Jesus of the “Oracles of God”, the Word of God, the book of 66 books that we have in our possession.  Study carefully the content of the first ten books that the Apostle Paul wrote, then study carefully Ephesians and the twin of Colossians carefully, and you will find that Ephesians is a condensed summary of those first ten books such as Romans, I and II Corinthians, Hebrews, Galatians, and so on. {See the LEARN CHRIST commentary, volume 4, “Christ, Paul, and the Falling Away” for more on this and how Paul was chosen by Christ to have the ministry of being the chief editor of the New Testament.  You will find good material on this also in volume 1, “The Old Testament According to the New Testament”.} Also, this makes Ephesians therefore the prime candidate to summarize all of the Bible, and to be the prime candidate to be the most Bible-comprehensive “Statement of Faith and Practice”.  How angry such an approach must make Satan and the disciples of Satan, who like Satan, would take Scripture out of context to prove some pet theory, to make disciples after themselves, and to win from Satan the status in the world he promised to Jesus by quoting Scripture out of context.

Of course, Jesus set the pattern for Paul and the other Apostles to quote extensively from the Old Testament in their teachings and writings; but Paul was the chief practitioner of that pattern.  You will notice that books like Romans, Hebrews, and I and II Corinthians are full of Old Testament quotes with an explanation of the correct meaning accompanying the quote. This is what is meant by “no scripture is of any private interpretation”. Jesus and the Apostles quote and explain the proper interpretation of the Old Testament Prophets; the proper interpretation comes by letting Paul explain John on the same subject, and vice versa, and letting Peter explain Paul and John, and Jesus through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John explain all of them, and vice versa.  Never, never will you find a contradiction between any of the Apostles and Jesus or of the Prophets and Apostles.  If you think you have found one, it is a personal problem; and you must enlarge the total context of your Bible study.

Anyway, back to the main point:  you will see in the first 10 books of Paul a large number of quotes, then suddenly with the writing of Ephesians, almost no quotes.  Why?  It is time to summarize all the great truths of God that Paul has written about in the first ten books.  And never forget, how qualified Paul was on the Old Testament.  Paul before conversion was a “lawyer”; and in Israel that meant an authority of the law of the nation which was also the Old Testament.  Granted Paul needed “conversion” on the road of Damascus in order to remove the “veil” which blinded in the proper understanding of the Old Testament, which he wrote about as still in the way of most Jews for seeing the proper interpretation of the Old Testament; true also Paul needed immediately after conversion and some instruction from Ananias, private time in Arabia with the Ascended Christ to get straightened out his own interpretations and understandings of Scripture, even a little time with Peter and James recording their testimonies of personal experience with Jesus {later to be the manuscripts that Paul left for John Mark and Dr. Luke to write the Gospels that Paul sponsored as chief editor of the New Testament}; and then lastly before writing the majority of the New Testament books, 14 of 27, Paul needed to study again through the Old Testament in the light of his recent experiences and teachings from Jesus and with guidance from the Holy Spirit, about whom no doubt Jesus has taught him.  What did Paul do during this study again through the Bible during those so-called seven silent years at Tarsus?  He must have made a record on parchments and books of all those quotes that he would later use so extensively in books like Romans, Hebrews, and Corinthians, even in the little epistle of Galatians.

Well, you see the point:  the first ten books from Paul are a summary of the Old Testament with proper interpretations, also a summary of his own conversion experience and the teachings of Jesus in Arabia; and Ephesians is a summary of those first ten books, hence a summary of the Bible itself; and therefore is a prime candidate from the Word of God for a comprehensive “Statement of Faith and Practice”.

2-4:  Ephesians Chapter One:  Statements of Faith and Understandings, the “spiritual blessings in heavenly places”. {If you desire you can correlate these enumerated spiritual blessings even with the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount.}

    (1).  (Ephesians 1:1a):  Paul was an Apostle of Jesus Christ, called personally by the Ascended Christ on the road to Damascus and specially trained by Jesus in Arabia. {Later in Ephesians we will learn that it is the Ascended Christ that calls Apostles as well as evangelists and pastors and gave special gifts to those men for the benefit of the total body of Christ, the church.} Based on those verses as a starting point, we go on to the total context of the Bible to find that only Apostles and Prophets can get and give revelations, or Scripture.

   (2).  (Ephesians 1:1b)  It was the will of God for Paul to be an Apostle. Jesus when He called Paul, like always in everything He did, was only doing the will of God; and was expressing fully the will of God.

   (3).  (Ephesians 1:2).  True Christians or believers are called “saints” in the Bible in order among other things to distinguish between “the faithful in Christ Jesus” and the unfaithful, between the tares and the wheat, between the sheep and the goats.  Always from Jesus and all the Apostles in the Bible is the recognition that all who chose to name the name of Christ do not belong to Christ.  In that final Day of the LORD and Lord, many will say to Christ “Lord, Lord”; and Christ will say, “depart from me you that work iniquity, for I never knew you.”

     (1).  (Ephesians 1:3a)  The only God of the Universe, the same God of the Bible, is the “God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”; and God is only our Father because first He was the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we have accepted them for What and Who they are. {Also, God has adopted us through the work of the Spirit, and the Spirit causes us to cry “Abba” for Father.}

     (2).  (Ephesians 1:3b).  The false and itching ears teachers going about to teach and preach the Gospel of Wealth, the corollary of success, and the Gospel of Prosperity need to be re-focused again on the primary place of “spiritual blessings” as in heavenly places.  The prosperous and wealthy just cannot get their lusts and eyes off material possessions here on earth, and off their desires to justify themselves for lives dedicated to seeking first these other things instead of the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness.

   (3).  God chose us to be believers from before the foundation of the world, (Ephesians 1:4a).  This is predestination, sometimes in Theology called Calvinism, and contrasted to Arminianism or free-will.  Both are true in the Bible, but beyond our complete understanding even as we cannot fully understand the nature of light itself:  how it can be both wave-like in nature and sometimes act like a particle.  We cannot even comprehend the molecule of water.  A best example of how both are true in the Bible is the shipwreck of Paul on the way to Rome.  God predestined and told Paul, Paul telling also the sailors, that no one would be lost in the shipwreck; but yet later Paul invoked the freedom of choice of the sailors in that he told them if they left the ship for the life raft they could not be saved.  You see freedom of choice and predestination were both there.

    (4).  God chose us to be sanctified, “holy and blameless before Him in love” (Ephesians 1:4b).

   (5).  God predestined us to adoption as Sons through Jesus Christ and the adoption being by God Himself (Ephesians 1:5).  The Apostle John in John 1 expressed it in a lovely manner as he wrote, “But as many as received Him {Christ}, to them gave He {God} the power to become Sons of God.”  Adoption is to become a son of the very God of this Universe, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ; and to have His inward Spirit naturally call out to God as Father.  Why did the great God do this?  It was “the pleasure of His will”. Like Paul writes in Romans, can the clay say to the potter why did you chose me or why did you make me this way?  Be grateful that you are among the chosen; work to be worthy {“work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”}; and accept it as it is by grace.  Ephesians 1:6 continues of God’s Pleasure, the famous commentary by W.O. Carver expressing that in the title for Ephesians of “The Glory of God in the Christian Calling”.

   (6).  We are adopted and justified; the justification expressed as “accepted by God”  (Ephesians 1:6b).  How grand it is, Paul is saying, to be accepted by the “Beloved Father”, He that runs and controls all and is the only Eternal God.

   (7).  Wow, we just can grasp the rapid advance of statements of faith about salvation, what Paul likes to call the spiritual blessings in heavenly places, as we go from predestination to adoption to justification, and now in Ephesians 1:7 to redemption and forgiveness.

  1. {Is that not a good statement of faith about salvation!  Did I not hear an Amen or two coming out of Norway?}

    (8).  The Mystery of the Will of God, which only He could reveal through Jesus and the Apostles, is that He might get together all things that are in heaven and in earth under the Lordship of Christ (Ephesians 1:9,10).  This mystery of the will of God was manifested by God through Christ at one certain time in history, when Jesus lived and died, which the Bible calls “in the dispensation of the Fullness of the times”,  In other words at the time and place in human history chosen by God.

    (9).  Here we go again on more spiritual blessings in heavenly places and more on predestination by God (Ephesians 1:11-14).  This spiritual blessing is our inheritance, our future and security if you would!  This inheritance or future heritage is part of the predestined purpose of God.  Even as James quoted from the Prophets at the Great Jerusalem conference in Acts of how “known unto God are all His works from the beginning”, even so Paul echoes this same doctrine in the “Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will”.  You just know that Paul is summarizing here from Romans where he has previously written, “and we know that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and the called according to His purpose.”  Here as Paul goes on, we see our common inheritance with those who first believed in Christ, us being among those who later have “trusted after hearing the word of truth, which is the gospel of our salvation!  Wow, as we preacher boys use to say at Bible college, “that will preach!”

   (10).  Although the “believe and be baptized” of Ephesians 1:13 continues on our inheritance started above, I set it out as a separate doctrinal statement of faith.  The prime baptism of the 14 letters of Paul and of the Bible is the one baptism of salvation.  Believe is our part, and the one baptism that comes with real faith is the part done by God.  This one baptism of salvation is called “the seal of God”.  Paul is again summarizing what he wrote in II Timothy books about “nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal that God knows His own, and let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”  The Holy Spirit is the “guarantee”, the surety if you would, of us to-be-completed salvation; the security and guarantee of our inheritance in salvation.  The inheritance is not complete until the full redemption of body and soul at the Second Coming of Christ {Thessalonians), when the purchased possession {us} becomes completed!

NOTE:  Sorry this simple statement of Faith and practice is so long; but the praise to God and Bible just flows on, comparing Scripture with Scripture!

 (11).  {Ephesians 1:17):  The Holy Spirit given to all believers is also the Spirit of “wisdom and revelation”.  Do not misread this verse.  Revelation is not given to all believers, but rather the Spirit of Revelation.  What this is another way of saying, as Paul does in the first 10 letters, is that the same Holy Spirit who wrote the Bible, giving the revelations through Apostles and Prophets and Jesus, is the same Holy Spirit that lives and teaches inside the believer.  What you will find in the context of Ephesians 1:17-18 is a clear distinction between revelation and illumination.  What happened in the completed writing of the Word of God through Apostles and Prophets, the 66 books we called Bible. That Bible only is “revelation”; and what happens to us as believers when gain understanding from the Bible with the help of the Holy Spirit is “illumination”.

“the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power…” (Ephesians 1:18,19)

NOTE:  Please stay away from the current and popular heresy of “God told me”, or “God gave me a word”, or even worse the “God gave me a revelation”–all of which sound like God is revealing new Word of God through you or your Bible teachers; and which tends to confuse illumination and revelation.  Please read carefully first and second Corinthians where Paul and the Word of God, once and for all, dealt with this problem in a church body where members thought either “the Word of God came to them only” or that “the Word of God came out of them only”. This conceited and self-serving attitude breeds all sorts of false practices such as:  (a) Gnosticism where certain church members claim to have special revelations and wisdom that others do not have; (b) self-gratification and disturbances in worship where everybody has a song, a word, and a prophecy and a prayer at the same time; and (c) so-called praise songs without any real meaning, and done contrary to the worship traits of Corinthians with “understanding”.

(12).  The same power of God and of the Holy Spirit at work as God brought forth Jesus from the dead in the Resurrection on the third day after Crucifixion is the same power at work in us for completed salvation: first the 9 month new birth, not that instantaneous new birth of the fundamentalists for their own glory; then the process of sanctification as we become more like Christ, and then full salvation or redemption at the Second Coming of Christ as “we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is”.

              (a).  God used this same power when after He resurrected Christ from the dead, He caused Christ to Ascend back to heaven where He is seated at the right hand of God the Father. {We should often pray for more awareness of God seated there on the great white throne with His feet in the clouds, and of the Lord Jesus Christ seated in a place of honor and rule at His right hand where he does two things:  ever lives to make intercession for our sins and is preparing to come again to get us!}

(b).  This power of God has ordained that Christ rule at His right hand, “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but in that which is to come.” {This total earth age and the age of eternity beyond this life!} NOTE:  You need some perspective of the fullness of what Paul is writing here, based on what is one of the most important doctrinal statements on the relationship between God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ to be found anywhere in the Bible.  In I Corinthians 15:24-28: “Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet…Now when all things {that includes death in the resurrection of the bodies at the second coming of Christ} are made subject to Him who puts all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” I have never failed to read this in a worship service without seeing grimaces of expression from some. Although it is simply the reading of one of the most important Scriptures, albeit also one of the most neglected as it seems to counter some isogetical conclusions on last things {eschatology} of the Bible, perhaps of the notes of the Scofield Reference Bible, sometimes accepted like Scriptures themselves, there is a reaction as if the Christ is all concepts of many believers cannot allow for the time when God is all in all as the kingdom of God is delivered by Jesus to God the Father. Where I think much of the problem is among fundamentalists, especially those dedicated to the fallacious notes of the Scofield Reference Bible on eschatology, is on the Bible words “Then comes the end”–a clear statement that it is all over without all the complications of Scofield notes like a literal 1000 years, a kingdom on earth where the rich and prosperous can continue to enjoy all their possessions, and a delay in the beginning of eternity with the punishment of the wicked and the reward of the dead.  Recently a friend of mine with the Christian Life Commission of the SBC, quoted from II Thessalonians 15-17 how in the Second Coming of Christ the Lord Jesus Christ Himself will descend from heaven with a shout and the final trumpet of God, the dead in Christ rising first to meet Christ and then those alive caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air, and this friend placed the emphasis on “And thus shall we always be with the Lord.”  Then he asked, “what is so hard about this to understand”.  The Second Coming and it is all over; and trying to add all these seven years and thousands of years are figments of a good imagination.  I will tell you right now what will keep you from the follies of the Scofield Reference Bible with its weird and out of context approach to the book of Revelation, and that is this Bible understanding:  what bound Satan for a figurative 1000 years, however real in that it represents a long period of history chosen by God not to be given as a precise number, was the Coming of the Holy Spirit in great power and all over the earth at one time on the first Day of Pentecost after the Resurrection and Ascension.  It is the Holy Spirit that binds Satan to a limited effectivity by convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. (Read about that in Acts.)  What loses Satan is when the Holy Spirit during the Falling Away is withdrawn from earth according to II Thessalonians. Now, what this does for our eschatology is to make the beginning of the one thousand years at the first day of Pentecost after the Ascension, and the end of the one thousand years with the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit during the Falling Away.  And of how certain Pentecostals and fundamentalists strain at a gnat and swallow a camel as they try to claim that this withdrawal of the Holy Spirit is only to the extent of the Holy Spirit in the Christians that are taken up in the rapture.  It is a good example of bad exegesis or hermeneutics and a good example of itching ears Bible teachers.  How unfortunate it is that young and inexperienced Bible teachers and preachers when pressed to deliver their first messages on Revelation and eschatology, take the easy way out of preaching the Scofield Reference Bible notes.  It is a desperate beginning to a life-long commitment for them and their hearers that they never get away from.  Derby was an Irishman, unfortunately formerly an eloquent lawyer, who instigated “dispensationalism”; Scoffed, a formerly divorced and also somewhat dubious lawyer, took Darby and while pastor of a Congregationalist church in Dallas, wrote the NOTES as a correspondence course.  THE NOTES ARE NOT PART OF THE BIBLE; THEY ARE NOT PART OF THE WORD OF GOD TO BE TAKEN WITH THE SAME RESPECT AND REGARD AS THE BIBLE.  And before you give those kinds of beliefs and notes a respect of authority, I would suggest that you read about the beliefs of Congregationalists as well as about the life of Scofield and Darby.

(c).  This power and authority of God has made Christ the head of the church, then and now.  That means, bottom line, that Christ is the head of your local church as well as the head of the total church body, the Assembly of the Firstborn written in heaven.  What you will find in the first chapters of Revelation in Christ’s messages through John to the 7 churches of Asia Minor is that when Christ is not indeed head of a local church like at Ephesus or Thyatira bad things happen in doctrine and practice; and often Christ removes the pastors that he has called and placed there, often it seems like it is the freedom of choice of the church members who will no longer endure sound doctrine, the sure sign that they have already gotten away from the Lordship of Christ as head of their lives and churches.

(13).  The Bible here in Ephesians 1:23 teaches one church and yet many churches; and those members of the many churches not among the tares or the goats in the kingdom are automatically members, with a profession of faith and the one baptism of salvation, in the one body of Christ, the church, the Assembly of the Firstborn written in heaven.

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1.  EPHESIANS.

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Contents

Chapter 1:  Promoting Inherent Unity. …………………………………………………………………………………………. 13

1-1:  The book of Ephesians identifies the essential criteria that must be present before peace and

unity can exist, before they can be promoted. …………………………………………………………………………… 14

1-2:  First the preachers real background must be reflected in the style of his own personality; second

John Quinn recently made the challenging statements below— ………………………………………………….. 14

1-2:  The short answer for John then and you the reader now was and is: ……………………………………. 16

1-3:  PURPOSE. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 17

1-4:  JUSTIFICATION. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19

1-5:  SECURITY. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 21

1-7:  THE “JOB” AND THE “BOSS”. …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 23

1-8:  ONE. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 24

1-9:  THE HISTORY OF A CHURCH. …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 25

1-10:  History. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 27

1-11:  History of Ephesus. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 27

1-12:  History of the Christian Life. …………………………………………………………………………………………… 28

1-13:  A SHORT COMMENTARY. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 29

1-14:  MTD (Moralistic Therapeutic Deism). ………………………………………………………………………………. 30

Chapter 2:  Batten down the Hatches on the Unity God the Holy Spirit has Provided.  (Christ, Grace, and

One)…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 32

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Please free dowload the complete Chapter 2 of One Commentary on Ephesians from SunGrist at http://sungrist.org/UnitySpiritProvides2.pdf

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