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Seated in Heavenly Places - Why Study Ephesians

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of 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 - Ephesians 2:4-10

Imagine you have been summoned by a solicitor. A long lost relative has died and they included you in their will. You haven’t even met this person, and yet, you become their heir and beneficiary. What is your inheritance? To your amazement, they have left to you over $10 million. What would your reaction be?
The fact is that all who believe in Christ have an inheritance far more wonderful and valuable than this. The ‘last will and testament’ is the Epistle to the Ephesians, one of the great books of the Bible. One of the ‘Prison Epistles,’ along with Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon, thus written by the Apostle Paul around the same time while he was in prison, Ephesians teaches us that though we were poor, through Christ we have become immeasurably rich. Thanks to gospel, Ephesians says we have:
1.       Adoption: We are no longer strangers but part of God’s family;
2.       Acceptance: Through sin we have been rejected, by Christ we now are accepted in the beloved;
3.       Forgiveness: No matter how sordid our life once was, we have been forgiven of all sins and can start a new chapter in God;
4.       Riches: We have priceless riches;
5.       Identity: We learn are identity in Christ;
6.       Predestination: This is different to being ‘pre-determined,’ or fatalism, meaning we have no say in the matter. Once we accept God’s gospel, that which God (pre) determined in eternity past for our benefit now becomes a reality;
7.       Every spiritual blessing: God withholds nothing blessed from those who now belong to Him. The types of things that are blessed are beyond calculation;
8.       Mysteries revealed: Ephesians is the ‘turning on the lights’ in a dark room to reveal divine mysteries that were once sealed. These mysteries include Jew and Gentile becoming one body in Christ, the mystery of husband and wife, Christ and the Church.

The epistle of Ephesians outlines our inheritance in Christ. It also speaks about the true nature of the Christian Church - it is not just a club or clique or community centre - it is Christ’s Body and a divine institution. The following chart shows us our position in Christ:

Our Position in Christ According to Ephesians
In Christ 1:1
Revelation 1:17
In heavenly places in Christ 1:3
In the knowledge of Him 1:17
Blessed 1:3
Hope of calling 1:18
Chosen 1:4
Riches of glory of His inheritance 18
Predestined to adoption 1:5
Exceeding great power 1:19-20
Accepted in the Beloved 1:6
All things under our feet 1:22-23
Redeemed  1:7
Made alive with Christ 2:1
Forgiven 1:7
Quickened 2:5
Enlightened 1:9, 18
Raised up and seated 2:6
Everything centres in Christ 1:10
Created for good works 2:10
Given an inheritance 1:11
Brought near by His blood 2:13
Glorified in Christ 1:12
Growing in Christ 2:21
Sealed in Christ 1:13
Built up in Christ 2:22
Assured in Christ 1:14
Partaker of the promise in Christ 3:6
Faith in Christ 1:15
Wisdom of God manifested 3:10-11
Wisdom in Christ 1:17
Given access through faith 3:12

1.         Why study Ephesians?
   Identity: This is a burning issue for people, especially younger people (today known as millennials). Ephesians teaches us who we are ‘in Christ(alluded to 35 times) and who we are as the church.
   Inspiration: It is a most uplifting epistle. It shows us we are heirs of God who are seated in heavenly places in Christ.
   Information: It teaches us sound theology (chapters 1-3) and sound practice (chapters 4-6).
   There are many superlatives in Ephesians, like the rich inheritance in chapter 1, seated in heavenly places in chapter 2, the immeasurable love of God in chapter 3, the five-fold ministry in chapter 4, the mystery of husband-wife, Christ-Church in chapter 5, and the whole armour of God in chapter 6.
Why wait any longer? Begin your adventure in Ephesians today.

Simple Outline of Ephesians

I.   Our Position in Christ (Chapters 1-3)
A.  Introduction (1:1-2)
B.   Redeemed by God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit - 1:3-14)
C.  First Prayer: Illumination (1:15-22)
D.  Past Life: Alive to Sin, Dead to God (2:1-3)
E.   New Life: Dead to Sin, Alive to God (2:4-10)
F.    Mystery One: One New Man - Jews & Gentiles Are One in Christ (2:11-3:13)
G.  Second prayer: Understanding Gods love & filled with His fulness (3:14-21)
II.                 Our Practice in Christ (Chapter 4-6)
A.  Living in unity (4:1-11)
B.   Gifts of the Spirit (4:12-16)
C.  Change your garments, from old to new man (4:17-29)
D.  Dont grieve the Holy Spirit (4:30-5:12)
E.   Be Filled with the Spirit (5:18-21)
F.    Home Duties (5:22-6:4)
1.                     Wives submit to husbands (5:22-24)
2.                     Husbands love their wives (5:25-33)
3.                     Children obey your parents (6:1-4)
G.  Career conduct (6:5-9)
H.  Fight the good fight of faith (6:10-17)
I.     Prayer for the saints & boldness (6:18-20)
J.     Finale (6:21-24)

If you want a ‘verse-by-verse’ audio commentary of Ephesians, with printable PDF notes, get a hold of our ‘Understanding the Bible Series: Adventures in Ephesians,’ Audio MP3 series with 12 hours of audio commentary on the 155 verses of Ephesians, plus 50 pages of printable PDF notes. More information can be found at the Teach All Nations website:


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