070314, Keys To The Bible – Ephesians – Chapter 1

Scofield’s Notes, C. I. Scofield’s Study Reference

For over 90 years people have relied on this reference work in their daily study of God’s Word. Written originally in 1909, C. I. Scofield’s intent was to provide a concise but complete tool that would meet the need of someone just beginning to read the Bible. Cyrus Scofield was born in Lenawee County, Michigan, but during the American Civil War after his conversion to evangelical Christianity in 1879, Scofield assisted in the St. Louis campaign conducted by Dwight L. Moody and in 1883 Scofield was ordained as a Congregationalist minister, and he accepted the pastorate of small mission church founded by that denomination.

My thought. The letter to the Ephesians was a general letter, as opposed to one that was addressed to any one specific congregation. Notice that the focus of Paul’s epistle was that of a spiritual body of Christ, as opposed to a brick and mortar housed congregation. As this letter is studied, it is important to remember that scripture should interpret scripture. The New Testament had not yet been written. The references to “scriptures,” as were written in Acts 17:11 and 2 Timothy 3:16, referred to the Old Testament. The Gentiles would have had nothing of similar Inspired teachings. Also, notice the use of tense. God “has done,” which is “past tense” in the things that He has already done. He did those things, and no one can undo anything that God has done; not even we, who are the recipients of the gifts and spiritual blessings of God. Additionally, it is an aspect of intellectual integrity to not try to make a word of scripture match our preconceived understanding. The Apostle Paul addressed an area of Inspiration that should be taken as it was written. I will show some scriptures that support the teachings of this Epistle, but remember that those at Ephesus didn’t have access to The Mac Arthur Study Bible, The Ryrie Study Bible, The Scofield Study Bible, The Reformation Study Bible, or any of the many other highly respected study Bibles of our day. It appears that Tychicus read this Epistle, and nothing else, while he was with this particular “spiritual Body of Christ.” As it relates to God’s Holy Bible, we need to know how the books of the New Testament were put into the canon. The Ryrie Study Bible has a very good description of that process. (1) Was the book written or approved by an apostle? (2) Were its contents of a spiritual nature? (3) Did it give evidence of being inspired by God? (4) Was it widely received by the churches? (Ryrie Study Bible, “The Collection Of The Books,” page 1499 of my copy) The credentials of Dr. Charles C. Ryrie can easily be found via internet searches. Notice, also, that positions of spiritual leadership will be identified, as opposed to the physical and visible positions that Paul also identifies in his letters to Timothy and Titus. Here is a final thought that I will share before the commentary begins, which deals with our not always understanding God’s Word. In Deuteronomy 29:29 we read, about the “secret” things of God, and the “revealed” things of God. In Isaiah 55:8 we read that “God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and that God’s ways are not our ways.” In Romans 8:28 we read, “those who are called according to God’s purpose.” Therefore, as we read God’s Word, let us always look for the purposes and promises of God. Comments, from other than Dr. Scofield, will be added when they may be advantageous for greater understanding. It has served me well to use the ideas of biblical scholars, as opposed to my own views. As you read any of my own articles, please know that I have no “ax to grind” other than the “ax of truth.”

Note: The Reformation Study Bible uses the English Standard Version translation, and is edited by Dr. R.C. Sproul.

Ephesians 1

1:1 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:

In Christ

The believer’s place as a member of the body of Christ, vitally united to Him by the baptism with the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 12:12 1 Corinthians 12:13 .

My note: Paul was an apostle by the will of God, not of Paul’s own doing, prior to his birth. Galatians 1:15 (NASB).

15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased

My note: Jeremiah had the same calling on his life prior to his birth. Jeremiah 1:5 (21st Century King James Version).

5 “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

My note. The purposes of God are clearly shown in the examples of Paul and Jeremiah.

Ryrie Study Bible note: Saints were Holy ones, consecrated to God, sacred. All Christians are saints.
My note: Holiness occurs through a person’s being born again.

1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

in heavenly places
Literally, the heavenlies. The same Greek word is used in John 3:12 where “things” is added. In both places the word signifies that which is heavenly in contradistinction to that which is earthy. In Ephesians “places” is especially misleading. “The heavenlies” may be defined as the sphere of the believer’s spiritual experience as identified with Christ in nature. 2 Peter 1:4, life, ; Colossians 3:4 ; 1 John 5:12, relationships ; John 20:17 ; Hebrews 2:11 service, ; John 17:18 ; Matthew 28:20, suffering ; Philippians 1:29 ; 3:10 ; Colossians 1:24 inheritance Romans 8:16 Romans 8:17 and future glory in the kingdom ; Romans 8:18-21 ; 1 Peter 2:9 ; Revelation 1:6 ; 5:10 . The believer is a heavenly man, and a stranger and pilgrim on the earth. ; Hebrews 3:1 ; 1 Peter 2:11 .

Reformation Study Bible

1:3 in the heavenly places. Two of the other five instances where this phrase appears in Ephesians have a bearing on its meaning here. Christ was raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of the Father “in the heavenly places,” from where He governs “all things to [for the sake of] the church” (v. 22). Moreover, believers have also been raised up and seated with Him “in the heavenly places” (2:6). Christ’s victory over death has won believers a series of benefits for which Paul blesses the Father.

My note. Believers in Christ “have received” “all spiritual blessings,” “past tense.” The term, “in Christ,” literally means that believers have their spiritual dwelling and presence, “in Christ.” This is a result of the new birth.

1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love(NASB)

Reformation Study Bible

1:4 he chose us in him. See “Election and Reprobation” atRom. 9:18. Paul rejoices that God chooses people for a relationship with Himself (Rom. 8:29–33; 9:6–26; 11:5, 7, 28;16:13; Col. 3:12; 1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; Titus 1:1). Some suggest “in him” means God foresaw who would have faith in Christ and elected them. Not only does this add a thought that is not in the text, but elsewhere Paul teaches that the very state of being “in Christ” is something to which one is chosen (1 Cor. 1:26–31). Paul says explicitly that the ground of God’s predestinating love is His own good pleasure (vv. 5, 10; cf. Deut. 7:7, 8), not anything we have done or will do (Rom. 9:11, 16). “In him” means that God’s choice always had in view a fallen people in union with their Redeemer (2 Tim. 1:9). See also 1 Pet. 1:18–21; Rev. 13:8.

holy and blameless. See 5:27; Col. 1:22. God intends to bring His elect all the way from spiritual death in sin (2:1–5) to the forgiveness of sins in Christ (1:7), and finally to the elimination of all sin from their experience (Rom. 8:29, 30).

In love. If “in love” belongs with the preceding phrase, it helps explain the nature of the holiness and blamelessness to which believers are called; this is consistent with the use of the phrase elsewhere in Ephesians (3:17; 4:2, 15, 16; 5:2). If it belongs with v. 5, the phrase explains predestination not simply as a matter of God’s decision, but as an act of His love (Hos. 11:1). This understanding is probably better. It is consistent with 2:4, 5.

Note: Mac Arthur Study Bible. The doctrine of election is emphasized throughout Scripture. “Chose” indicates that God not only chose by Himself, but for Himself. God’s election, or predestination, does not operate apart from, or nullify, man’s responsibility to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Acts 2:21 (NASB), “And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
Note: John Calvin. “God invites everyone to himself for salvation, without exception (see Romans 10:13 and Psalm 65:2). Only our unbelief stops us from calling on God. I am talking about everybody to whom God makes Himself known through the Gospel.” As those who call on the name of the Lord are certain of salvation, so we must think that those without the Gospel are destroyed. Faith alone is our only ground for calling on God.

My note: God is proactive in delivering the message of Christ to the lost world. All of mankind was in need of the Light of God to be “enlightened,” to be born again. 1 John 1:5 says that “God is light, and there is no darkness in Him,” so we needed to be enlightened, to no longer be darkness, to be born again, to indwell Him.

John 1:9 (NASB) There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. (My note: All of us were darkness.)
Luke 19:10 (NASB) For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (My note: all of mankind was lost.)
1 Timothy 2:3-4 (NASB), “(3) This good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, (4) who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (My note: consider the aggressive nature of “desire.”)

My note: This discussion so far has been made to make a point, which is, “we’re not the tail that wags the dog!” I once heard one of my favorite preachers, Tony Evans, say: “on the day that we were saved, we weren’t having a good day!” Please let me explain that thought. After the fall, everyone who has ever been conceived (yes, there is life in the embryo!), we have had no desire within us to be like God. Until we were born again, we were as happy as “a pig in slop.” We were having so much fun in our lifestyle, “in the muck and the mire,” that we had no desire do anything else that would “clean us up.” The Apostle Paul wrote some scriptures that relate to our pre-new birth lifestyles, as follows.

1 Corinthians 1:18, ” For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 2:14, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”

My note: Those who are perishing are those who have not been born again. The natural man, or woman, is someone who has not been born again. The message of Jesus means nothing to those who have not been born again. A natural man can not understand spiritual things. He is not spiritual. He does not have the Spirit of God indwelling him to help him to discern spiritual things.

My note: God loved the world of unsaved people so much that He was aggressive in providing a Savior, Jesus, to make a way for the lost people of the world to be saved from their destiny of judgement and condemnation.

John 3:16New American Standard Bible (NASB)
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Reformation Study Bible

3:16 God so loved the world. Some have insisted that God sent Jesus to die for the purpose of bringing salvation to everyone without exception, but only as a possibility. However, Jesus makes clear that the salvation of those whom the Father “gives me,” and only those, is not a mere possibility but an absolute certainty; “will come to me” (6:37–40; 10:14–18; 17:9). The point made by “the world” is that Christ’s saving work is not limited to one time or place but applies to the elect from all over the world. Those who do not receive the remedy God has provided in Christ will perish. It remains true that anyone who believes will not die (be separated from God) but live in God’s presence forever. See “God Is Love: Divine Goodness and Faithfulness” at Ps. 136:1.

See the following description of the love that Jesus had for the lost world (John 12:31-33)

John 12:31-33 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
31 Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” 33 But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.

Reformation Study Bible

12:31 Now is the judgment of this world. By His coming death, Jesus will end the power of sin over Adam’s race, judging and condemning it.

the ruler of this world. Satan (cf. 14:30; 16:11; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; 1 John 4:4; 5:19). Satan has power in fact, not by right. When God destroys Satan’s power, He is not violating his rights, or breaking any agreement made with him.

12:32 lifted up. This refers to the Crucifixion (v. 33), but also to the glorification of Christ. As Mediator, He will be “lifted up” to the right hand of God (3:14 note).

will draw all people. The Cross exerts a universal attraction, and people of all nationalities, Gentiles as well as Jews, will be saved through it. “All” means all kinds of people without distinction, not all members of the human race without exception.

1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Predestination is that effective exercise of the will of God by which things before determined by Him are brought to pass. See Election,(See Scofield “1 Peter 1:2 Foreknowledge) (See Scofield “1 Peter 1:20”)

Adoption (huiothesia, “placing as a son”) is not so much a word of relationship as of position. The believer’s relation to God as a child results from the new birth John 1:12 John 1:13 whereas adoption is the act of God whereby one already a child is, through redemption from the law, placed in the position of an adult son. Galatians 4:1-5 .
The indwelling Spirit gives the realization of this in the believer’s present experience Galatians 4:6 but the full manifestation of the believer’s sonship awaits the resurrection, change, and translation of saints, which is called “the redemption of the body” ; Romans 8:23 ; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 ; Ephesians 1:14 ; 1 John 3:2 .

1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

Reformation Study Bible

1:6 The thought of God’s almighty love leads to an extravagant outpouring of praise (vv. 12, 14) to God, who has not only the power but the will to overcome all obstacles in bringing the spiritually dead into a living relationship with Himself (expanded in2:1–10).

grace . . . blessed us in the Beloved. This recalls the language of Col. 1:13, but also brings into view the Redeemer as Himself an object of God’s electing love (1 Pet. 1:18–21; Rev. 13:8). The language of grace dominates vv. 6–8.

1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Sin. (See Scofield “Romans 3:23”) .

grace Grace (in salvation). 1:6 1:7 ; 2:5 2:7 2:8 ; Romans 3:24 . (See Scofield “John 1:17”) .

Reformation Study Bible

1:7 See notes Col. 1:14; 2:13.

redemption. This means deliverance, as from slavery or captivity, by paying a price or ransom. For the redemption that is yet to come, see v. 1.

1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

See, Romans 16:25 Romans 16:26 ; Ephesians 3:3 . (See Scofield “Matthew 13:11”) .

1:10 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:

dispensation of the fullness of times
The Dispensation of the Fulness of Times. This, the seventh and last of the ordered ages which condition human life on the earth, is identical with the kingdom covenanted to David. 2 Samuel 7:8-17 ; Zechariah 12:8

Luke 1:31-33 ; 1 Corinthians 15:24, and gathers into itself under Christ all past “times”:
(1) The time of oppression and misrule ends by Christ taking His kingdom. Isaiah 11:3 Isaiah 11:4 .
(2) The time of testimony and divine forbearance ends in judgment. Matthew 25:31-46 ; Acts 17:30 Acts 17:31 ; Revelation 20:7-15 .
(3) The time of toil ends in rest and reward. 2 Thessalonians 1:6 2 Thessalonians 1:7 .
(4) The time of suffering ends in glory. Romans 8:17 Romans 8:18 .
(5) The time of Israel’s blindness and chastisement ends in restoration and conversion. Romans 11:25-27 ; Ezekiel 39:25-29 .
(6) The times of the Gentiles end in the smiting of the image and the setting up of the kingdom of the heavens. Daniel 2:34 Daniel 2:35 ; Revelation 19:15-21 .
(7) The time of creation’s thraldom ends in deliverance at the manifestation of the sons of God. Genesis 3:17 ; Isaiah 11:6-8 ; Romans 8:19-21 .

Reformation Study Bible

1:10 the fullness of time. This does not refer simply to the future. Christ has already come to bring redemption and adoption (Gal. 4:4). By virtue of His death and resurrection, He has already assumed headship over the church, and, though behind the scenes, He already rules the universe (Acts 2:32–36; Col. 1:15–20). Still, a future emphasis dominates. The visible unity of the church is a foretaste of Christ’s eventual visible rule over all things. This is why Paul stresses the unity of Jew and Gentile in the church (vv. 11–14; 2:11–22), and the practice of love among Christians (4:2, 15; 4:32–5:2, 21–23). The theme introduced here in vv. 9–12 is expanded in 3:2–12.

1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

Reformation Study Bible

1:11 all things . . . his will. A sweeping statement on the extent of God’s will.
Reformation Study Bible

1:13 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 that holy Spirit of promise,

The Holy Spirit is Himself the seal. In the symbolism of Scripture a seal signifies:
(1) A finished transaction Jeremiah 32:9 Jeremiah 32:10 ; John 17:4 ; 19:30 .
(2) Ownership Jeremiah 32:11 Jeremiah 32:12 ; 2 Timothy 2:19
(3) Security Esther 8:8 ; Daniel 6:17 ; Ephesians 4:30

Reformation Study Bible

1:13 sealed. Like the indelible impression made by a king’s signet ring, the Holy Spirit is an inward mark of God’s ownership of His people. See “Salvation” at 2 Cor. 6:5.

the promised Holy Spirit. As Jesus says in Luke 24:49, the Holy Spirit is the promise of the Father. Remarkably, this promise is extended to Gentiles, as well as Jews, on the basis of their trusting Christ (Ezek. 36:26, 27; Joel 2:28; John 14–16; Acts 1:4,5; 2:33, 38, 39; Gal. 3:14; 4:6).

1:14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Reformation Study Bible

1:14 guarantee. The Spirit is not only a fulfillment of God’s promise to indwell His people, but also is a guarantee that He will bring them to their final inheritance. As a down payment or first installment on their full redemption, the Spirit is a foretaste of the glory of the age to come (Rom. 8:18–23).

possession. The Old Testament teaches that God chose a people as His inheritance (Deut. 32:9; Ps. 33:12) and purchased them out of bondage to become a prized possession (Ex. 19:5;Deut. 7:6). Peter agrees with Paul’s striking application of this idea to Gentiles as well as to Jews (1 Pet. 2:9).

1:15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints,

Reformation Study Bible

1:15 because I have heard. See Introduction: Date and Occasion. Paul had ministered in Ephesus for over two years, but the time of writing may be as much as five years later. The church had grown considerably since then. It may be that Paul mentions people whose faith and love he knows only by report because Ephesians was a circular letter for several churches.

1:20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

Reformation Study Bible

1:20 seated him . . . in the heavenly places. See “The Ascension of Jesus” at Luke 24:51.

1:21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

Reformation Study Bible

1:21 above all rule and authority. See note 3:10.
this age . . . the one to come. See 1 Cor. 15:24.

1:19-23 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Reformation Study Bible

1:19–23 These verses distill the New Testament’s teaching on the resurrection and enthronement of Jesus (Col. 1:18 note). They also make two vital contributions to understanding Jesus’ resurrection and the status of believers. First, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in believers (2:4, 5; 3:16, 17). Second, Christ enjoys His position as head over everything for the sake of the church. Not only is Christ at the most exalted position in the universe, He is there representing believers (2:6; Col. 3:3) and governing the universe for their sake. The principles of conduct in Ephesians emphasize that authority exists for the sake of service. Jesus’ majestic use of power and authority in the interest of His people is the Christian’s model (4:1, 2, 7–13; 4:32–5:2, 22–33). Paul reminds his Gentile readers of two specific ways Christ’s power has blessed them: He brought them from death to life (2:1–10), and from alienation from God’s people to inclusion with them (2:11–22).

Now, let us worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus, as we are blessed by the 500 Member Choir of Prestonwood Baptist Church.

Victor’s Crown

Prestonwood Baptist Church
Southern Baptist Convention
Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Dr. Jack Graham, Senior Pastor


One thought on “070314, Keys To The Bible – Ephesians – Chapter 1

  1. Comments are appreciated, and are great sources of encouragement. In order to protect the privacy of bloggers who comment on my posts, no such comments will be shown on my blog. If you would like to have a private response from me, please put your email address in your comment. That data will not be shown anywhere in my blog. Please let me caution all bloggers to protect your privacy. That is why I have removed my community of bloggers and comments from bloggers from my blog.

    2 Peter 3:9 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

    8-10 But you should never lose sight of this fact, dear friends, that time is not the same with the Lord as it is with us—to him a day may be a thousand years, and a thousand years only a day. It is not that he is dilatory about keeping his own promise as some men seem to think; the fact is that he is very patient towards you. He has no wish that any man should be destroyed. He wishes that all men should come to repent. Yet it remains true that the day of the Lord will come as suddenly and unexpectedly as a thief. In that day the heavens will disappear in a terrific tearing blast, the very elements will disintegrate in heat and the earth and all that is in it will be burnt up to nothing.


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