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What Has God Done For Us Ephesians 1: 15-23; 2:1-15 Ephesians 2:6-22; 3:1-11 Four Steps to Power
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Ephesians 1:1-14

"What God Has Done For Us" 

[A transcript of a sermon given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, http://www.ccphilly.org ]

Ephesians 1:1-14, "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 (or "things") in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

In whom we have [the] redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him:

        In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

        In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."  Six chapters, I hope that you read through it during the week, the book of Ephesians.  Familiarize yourself with it.  It divides very easily.  First three chapters are in regards to what God the Father, Christ and the Holy Spirit have done for us.  The last three chapters, chapters 4 through 6 are in regards to our response to that.  First three chapters, doctrinal, last three chapters, practical.  First three chapters about the wealth that we have in Christ, the last three chapters, about our walk in Christ.  Watchman Nee did an old commentary called "Sit, Walk, Stand", because in the first three chapters we're sitting in heavenly places in Christ.  Chapter 4 begins 'Walk therein, worthy of the vocation God has called you to.'  And the last chapter, of course, 'Stand' in regards to the warfare that we have.  But the point is, we can't continue sometimes in our walk if we don't know where we stand.  We can't move forward without struggle if we're not  assured of where we stand in Christ.  Now we find ourselves easily condemned, easily sometimes wanting to just throw up our hands and give up because of our failings.  And I think it's as we grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ, as we realize what is finished as far as God is concerned, that then we're encouraged to get up again, to confess our sins, to know he's faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and to continue, and to go onward.  You remember that Paul came to Ephesus in Acts chapter 19, and when he arrived there, there were a number of disciples.  He noticed there was something different about them and he asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit, and they said, 'We haven't even heard that there is such a thing as the Holy

Spirit.'  He said, 'Unto what baptism were you baptized then?'  They said, 'Into John's baptism [John the Baptist's].'  And he explained to them the way of Christ more perfectly, they were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, he laid hands on them, they received the Spirit, and then Paul labors there.  We know he's there at one point for three years.  You remember, so touched was the community that the local craftsmen that made little statues of Diana of the Ephesians, started an uproar because he was shutting down the trades.  The temple to Diana was there, it was one of the seven wonders of the world, it was the banking center of that part of Asia Minor, and Paul so touched Ephesus and the outlying districts that sales dropped off for these little idols of Diana because people were believing in the true and living God, that it started a riot, and Alexander the coppersmith was the man there that started all of this trouble.  But Paul as he writes now to the Ephesians, it's a letter to a church that's not filled with correction like the Galatian letter or the Corinthians.  This is a letter where Paul breathes out some of the most remarkable things about Christ and his love, and about their walk before the unsaved world and their testimony.  But it's important for us to take note of these first three chapters, because this is about 64AD, it's about 5 years after Acts chapter 20, and within 25 years to 30 years, John will be on the Isle of Patmos.  And Jesus there will dictate these letters to the 7 Churches which are in Asia.  And the first one will be to the church at Ephesus.  And the Lord will say there, 'I've observed your works, you're filled with good works, you're doing everything that a church should do.  You're trying those who call themselves apostles that are not, you're filled with good works.  But, you have left your first love, what should be driving and moving everything in the church has waned.  Not lost your first love, left your first love.  He says, "Remember therefore from where thou art fallen", because Paul takes us up into the heights, 'Repent, do the first works, come back to your first love.'  That will be the call to this church, which is a remarkable church.  Within 25 years Jesus Christ has to say to the church, 'You've got all the machinery moving, but there's no more gas in the tank, there's no more fuel.  What should drive you is no longer there.'  I think it's important for us, because we are this June at 20 years, since we started a Bible study with 24, 25 of us [ http://www.ccphilly.org ],  20 years have gone by.  And I think it's always a great challenge to us, is: "Have we cooled?  Have we taken things for granted?"  Do we (are we saying to ourselves) 'Oh yeah, we're in this chapter, Oh yeah, I heard that chapter before.'  Do we realize that in churches across America, teaching through the [entire] Scripture is not the rule, it's the exception?  Do we appreciate the freedom that we have to come and sing simple choruses and bring our heart before Jesus Christ and ask him to speak to us and to open his Word?  Do we appreciate the freedom that we have in Christ?  Or have we grown up in it?  We've been raised in the church, been around (it) our whole life, and somehow we don't appreciate it until we get out and get in trouble, the doctor says 'You have cancer', till some trauma comes, and all of a sudden we wake up, 'This is all the most important thing in my life.  I have forgotten that, I have taken it for granted.'  Well so easily that can take place.  And that's why it's so important, these first three chapters, to see the things that God has done for us.  Before we worry about what we need to do, it is essential that we know what the Lord has done for us, so that our heart may continue to be stirred.  'We love him because he first loved us', that's what the Scripture says.  And certainly, Paul tries to develop that and hold those things before us as we begin and as we look into these first three chapters.

        He begins, verse 1, "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."  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God.  Important to know where you are and who you are by the will of God.  You can cross out Paul and cross out apostle and fill that in "yourself", by the will of God.  Where are you?  You know, sometimes we have this foolish struggle that one thing is more sacred than another.  I mean, John, a carpenter by the will of God.  That's the way Jesus spent the first 30 years of his life, he only had a public ministry for three and a half years.  Was one more sacred than another?  When he came to be baptized in the River Jordan the voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am already well pleased."  Hadn't preached a sermon, hadn't done a miracle.  But he had fellowshipped with his Father, day in and day out in the carpenter shop.  Suzie, a grandmother, by the will of God--who knows who's behind those little freckles, whether it's a Whitfield or a Deborah or a Ruth, and what influence you're going to be in their lives?  A mom, can that possibly be by the will of God when you see the pile of wash every day?  You know, it isn't the pile of wash, how big it is, it's years long.  It just doesn't go away, it's endless, it replenishes itself.  [And you know, guys, it's not a bad thing to help out your wonderful wife with some of those chores, or even to share them with her, as much as is possible.  Check out the two "Love For A Lifetime" transcripts in the Christian Growth section of this site for a couple wonderful sermons on marriage.]  And it's decades sometimes before you see or hear the fruit of your labor.  "Thank you, bye."  Your God is now my God.  Long labor, sometimes.  'Paul, an apostle by the will of God.'  How important it was for him to stand in those things, how important for him as he, in Acts 20, his meeting with the elders from Ephesus, on the beach at Miletus, headed to Jerusalem, knowing that bonds and afflictions await him.  Saying, 'None of those things move me, that I might finish my course with joy.  I haven't ceased to warn you over a period of two or three years that after my departure grievous wolves will come in from the outside, not sparing the flock.  Men are going to come out of your own midst and draw disciples after themselves instead of after the Lord.'  Then it says 'Commending them to the grace of God.'  Something that was certain in his own life.

        "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."  Now that's to us, also.  'To the saints that are at Ephesus, to the faithful--well you might say, 'That's not to me, I ain't faithful--no it's not faithful in that sense.  It's to the believing, to the trusting--those who believe or trust Christ.  "To the saints at Ephesus"--you know, we've done a disservice to this whole idea of "saints", Gr. Hagion, hagios,  [Strong's # 40, Hagios: sacred, (phys. Pure, morally blameless or religious, cer. Consecrated): (most) holy, saint.] "to be holy, to be a saint, to be set aside."  And we think that if you're a saint, you're on somebody's dashboard or on somebody's front lawn.  The Bible says that you are saints.  All those at Ephesus were saints.  Look next to you, the person next to you is a saint, you're a saint.  Your life has been set aside by God for his purposes, holy.  We're going to see how that he's going to talk about that in these first three chapters.  "The saints at Ephesus in Christ'--two addresses.  First three chapters are written to those in Christ, the last three are written to those at Ephesus.  We have two addresses, you and I.  In Christ and in Philly, and our problem is in Philly, not in Christ, if you've noticed.  We have two addresses, we live in two realms.  We're in Christ, and that's something that's settled by the work of Jesus.  As far as God is concerned that's signed, sealed, and delivered, we're in Philly, in Christ.  In traffic, around people, would be nice if there was nobody on the planet but you, Huh?  You'd never have any temptations or trials or lose your temper.."behavior that is becoming saints and worthy of our vocation", and that's the second half.  "To those saints which are at Ephesus, and to the believing in Christ"--that's us, it includes us in this letter without any question.  The greeting, verse 2, Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ"--always the order, grace then peace, we'll never have peace without grace.  Grace, [ Strong's 5485, Greek: Charis.the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life.]  [You might say by this central part of the definition, that the Grace of God is the cleansing influence of his Holy Spirit acting on our lives, cleaning out the sin, giving us the power to overcome sins we'd not be able to on our own, and replacing that with God's nature, the fruits of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:21-22.  So grace, the grace of God comes first, and then as a result of that, a great inner peace is the end result.]  the typical Greek greeting, and then from the Jewish tradition, which was Shalom, but here in the Greek, peace, [Strong's 1515, Eirene; peace; prosperity:--one, peace, quietness, rest + set at one again.]  the peace, which means 'to put together' when something is disjointed or something is disconnected, there's no peace.  You know how that is.  It means to bring together.  Of course it's the believer in God, but peace.  'Grace, peace be to you from the Lord Jesus Christ.'  Now the Lord, Kurios, [Strong's # 2962, Greek: Kurios, kuros; supreme authority, i.e. controller.God, Lord, master, Sir.]  is title.  He is the Lord.  Jesus is his name.  When you first get saved, you think "The Lord Jesus Christ" is like "Smokey the Bear", you think it's all his name.   The "Lord" is who he is, Kurios, he's Lord, not just Savior, he's Lord.  Jesus, Joshua, [Yeshua in modern Hebrew, for the Messianics reading this], his name.  Jesus or Yeshua of Nazareth.  [For example Judas Iscariot is really in Hebrew "Judas Ish Keriot", which = "Judas, man of Keriot", Jesus of Nazareth would be in Hebrew Yeshua Ish Nazareth, or Jesus  man of Nazareth.]  Christ is his mission, Christ is the Greek for Messiah.  It's "The Lord" Yeshua Meschiach, the Lord Jesus the Messiah.  He's the one who has been prophecied, of the line of David, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah, the Jewish Messiah, according to the Hebrew prophets, born of a virgin [Isa. 7:14].  [To see this awesome chain of fulfilled prophecies of who Jesus is, the authenticity of his Messiahship, log onto http://www.UNITYINCHRIST.COM/prophecies/1stcoming.htm .] 

This is the One, the Lord, Kurios, Jesus the Christ.  "Grace be to you and peace, from God"--notice--"our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ." 

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