Vol. 14 No. 24
Eph 1:2, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Doctrine of Peace, (continued)
The “Way of Peace” is always relationship with the Integrity of God, which relationship is established through adjustment to the justice and righteousness of God under three categories.
1. Salvation adjustment to the justice of God by faith in Christ, thereby freeing God to give us His perfect righteousness, which permits Him to declare us justified.
2. Rebound adjustment to the justice of God by acknowledgment of our personal sins to God the Father, 1 John 1:9, which permits God to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness experientially. This is strictly a post salvation adjustment to the justice of God for the believer only. The unbeliever must first believe on Jesus Christ for salvation.
3. Maturity adjustment to the justice of God by the daily metabolization and application of Bible doctrine, which results in spiritual growth to the point of spiritual maturity and Divine Good Production, resulting in blessing from the justice of God.
Therefore, at the moment of our salvation we are positionally at Peace with God, point #1, and from there we need to continue to exploit our relationship with God so that we can experience His peace on a daily basis, points #2 and #3, experiential adjustment.
Phil 4:7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (His Word).”
We also note that a distinguishing feature of the child of God is his role as a “peacemaker” in the world, Mat 5:9. It suggests an active effort to bring about peace and salvation in the lives of others.Mat 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Peacemakers,” is the Adjective EIRENOPOIOS, εἰρηνοποιός made up of EIRENE plus POIEO that means, “to make.” This is the only time this word is used in all of Scripture. It means that we should endeavor to reconcile people who have disagreements, thereby making peace. It is not about being a passively peaceful person but an active reconciler of people.
Rom 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”
Col 3:14-15, “Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
Rom 12:18, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”
Prov 12:20, “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but counselors of peace have joy (inner happiness).”
Yet, this is not simply one who makes peace between two parties, but one who spreads the good news of the peace of and with God, which he has experienced.
Heb 12:14, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.”
Isa 52:7, “How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, “Your God reigns”!”
The believer who has received the peace of God in his own heart should bring that same peace to others as he witnesses to them the gospel of Jesus Christ.
James 3:18, “And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
The “peacemaker” shows others how to have inward peace with God and how to be an instrument of peace in this world, by desiring and possessing God’s righteousness.
Because of the peacemaker’s faith-rest in God, he exerts a Relaxed Mental Attitude, (RMA), in the storms of life and provides others with the same opportunity for peace the way he received it, through the Gospel message.
Rom 15:13, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing (Faith-Rest), so that you will abound in hope (confidence) by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Therefore, the peace-receivers become transformed into peace-diffusers and God is thus seen reflected in you. By the family likeness, these peacemakers are recognized as children of God, just as God’s Son was called the “Prince of Peace,” Isa 9:6-7, so ultimately, peacemakers will be recognized as members of the Royal Family of God. And it is out of love for God and man that we do all possible good to all men.
Eph 4:3, “Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
The experience of peace with God enables you to seek the cessation of your hostilities with people. While the gospel itself may offend some people and lead to hostility, Mat10:34, you actively seek harmonious relationships with others. In this age of individual, ethnic and national aggression, Jesus reminds us that there is a time for war and righteous indignation, but peacemakers, not warmongers, have God’s approval.
Eccl 3:8, “A time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.”
Finally, we note that at the Second Advent of Christ, He will introduce the millennial reign with perfect environment and peace on the earth for 1,000 years. All of creation on earth will be at peace. As a result, the whole world will be at peace and rejoice in Him.
Isa 55:12, “For you will go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
In summary, when, as a believer in Jesus Christ, you have been faithful in the reception, retention and recall of Bible doctrine and have advanced to spiritual maturity, you are not only a strong person but you have great inner happiness. You then take the peace of God with you wherever you go. It is not dependent on environment, associations or circumstances of prosperity or adversity; it depends on none of these things. It is a part of God’s grace policy to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. And as you live in that peace, your life will be a witness of the peace of God that is found in Christ Jesus, and many will come to be saved.
2 Tim 2:22, “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
2 Cor 13:11, “Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
The Doctrinal/Theological Portion of the Epistle.
The Wealth and Calling of the Church; God’s Purpose for the Church: Eph 1:3 through Chapter 3:21.
Chapter 1, Section II – Outline.
- Praise for Redemption, Eph 1:4-14. The seven elements of the believer’s position.
- Chosen by the Father, Predestination in Christ, Eph 1:3-6a.
- Redemption by the Son, Redemption in Christ, Eph 1:6b-12.
- Sealed With the Spirit, Inheritance in Christ, Eph 1:13-14.
- Prayer for Wisdom, Knowledge and Power, Our Resources in Christ, Eph 1:15-23.
- The Cause of the Prayer, Eph 1:15-18a.
- The Content of the Prayer, Christ Exalted to be the Head of His Body, the Church, Eph 1:18b-23.
As we begin this section there are two things to point out:
1) Vs. 3-14, are called “The long sentence.” It is one long sentence that describes our “spiritual blessings,” which provides for our Positional Sanctification, the relationship that we have with the Trinity. Because these verses are one complete sentence in the Greek, the passage should be treated as one complete thought. Some Bible scholars believe this passage was used as a hymn sung in the Early Church in praise to God.
2) In Vs 15-23, we have the first apostolic prayer, which describes the dynamics of our relationship with the Trinity.
Given that both subsections speak about the Trinity, as did the opening salutation, we are reminded that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are three persons that make up One God. Their oneness is based on sharing equally, infinitely and eternal the exact same essence, made up of various attributes, as depicted below. Trinity is a theological word which is not found in the Bible that comes from “tri” meaning three, plus “unity” meaning one. So from tri unity we have the word Trinity to describe The God as three persons in one.
Eph 1:3, “Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ.”
In many of his epistles Paul gradually built up to his major thesis, but in this letter he begins with one of the most important of all theological truths: God’s purpose for the New Testament Church. The position of the believer is “in the heavenlies in Christ.” This describes the sphere and the nature of our spiritual experiences. “In Christ” or its equivalent can be found 10 times in vs. 3-13 of this first chapter, and the preposition “in” EN is used approximately 120 times in the 6 chapters of Ephesians. “In Christ,” describes our position with God through Christ, as well as our union with Jesus Christ. As such, vs. 3 is a key verse in this section. It establishes the key thought in this chapter which is “the wealth of blessings we have as Christians;” spiritual blessings that are ours because we are “in Christ.”
Paul tells us that each Person of the Godhead has blessed us, vs. 1-14, and then he prays that we might understand these blessings and the power they can be in our lives in vs. 15-23, as we will note.
“Blessed” and “blessing” are both based on the root word EULOGEO, εὐλογέω, which is a verb that means, “speak well of, praise, extol, or bless.” It is where we get our English word from “eulogy.” It is distinguished from MAKARIOS that also means “blessed or favor,” but it has the connotation of happiness because of possessing the favor of God, marked by fullness from God.
EULOGEO means we have received something from God; He distinguishes us with favor as He acts in our lives and accomplishes His purposes in us, instead of allowing us to have our own way.
The first use in this sentence is in regard to God. He is the one we speak well of, praise and glorify. The second use is what God has done for us. And the third use is the noun EULOGIA that speaks of the things that God has given to us. Therefore, this verse tells us that:
1) We have been blessed by God the Father.
2) The blessings are all encompassing and complete.
3) God the Father has blessed us from His throne room in Heaven, (which also alludes to prehistoric times, as does the verbal usage of the Aorist tense in this verse).
4) The blessings are based on the finished work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross here on earth.
5) These are grace blessings from God, provided by God in eternity past, and therefore exclude human works.
6) These blessings become a reality in your life through cognizance and inculcation of Bible doctrine.
As such, we are the recipients of Escrow blessings from eternity past before we were born, before man existed, before angels existed. Therefore, grace blessings preexisted all grace recipients; all believers. The blessings of grace were provided before the beneficiaries of grace, i.e., all believers.
The blessings came first. Therefore you had nothing to do with the blessings; neither salvation nor anything after salvation. Since the blessings of the believer existed before the believer, it is impossible for such blessings to be based on human merit or human ability. Therefore, they are all from the GRACE of God!
God provides benefits for you on the basis of who and what He is and who and what He was in eternity past, and He is the same today as He ever was. They are not based on who or what you are or do. That is GRACE!
These benefits that we have received are “spiritual blessing,” PNEUMATIKOS, πνευματικός blessings. Since God is Spirit everything He does is spiritual. So this refers to the very character of God, not only His essence. His character is spiritual. Therefore, anything that comes from God is πνευματικός. These blessings include materialistic, as well as, traditional spiritual blessings. Any blessing that is from the source of God the Father is a spiritual blessing. It can be a right man or right woman, monetary, Bible doctrine, your salvation, etc. Your position in Christ is a spiritual blessing and is the source of all your blessings. So this does not describe the essence of the benefit, it describes the essence of the Giver/Provider, God the Father.
God the Father has blessed us with these spiritual blessings “in the heavenly places/ realms,” EN TOIS EPOURANIOS, ἐπουράνιος in the Plural, Local Dative of Place/Sphere. EPOURANIOS is from the root word HOURANOS, οὐρανός that means, “heaven.”
This phrase occurs five times in Ephesians. It is generally translated “in heavenly places” which is not bad, but we should simplify this by saying, “in the heavenlies.”
The five uses include:
1) The sphere and source of Divine blessing, Eph 1:3.
2) The sphere of Christ’s power, Eph 1:20.
3) The sphere of the Christian life, Eph 2:6.
4) The sphere of angelic activity, Eph 3:10.
5) The sphere of spiritual conflict, Eph 6:12.
And finally, as mentioned above, these blessings from the heavenlies are based on our position “in Christ”, EN CHRISTOS, which reminds us of the doctrine of Positional Truth, our Positional Sanctification and union with Jesus Christ, as a result of the blessings we receive at the moment of our faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, ascension and session.
And finally, as mentioned above, these blessings from the heavenlies are based on our position “in Christ”, EN CHRISTOS, which reminds us of the doctrine of Positional Truth, our Positional Sanctification and union with Jesus Christ, as a result of the blessings we receive at the moment of our faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and session.
In regard to your salvation, these “spiritual blessings” are in fact one of the 40+ things you received at the moment of your salvation. Fourteen of the 40 things are listed in the Book of Ephesians, most of them in Chapter 1. The following is the list of the fourteen for your reference as we study this Chapter and book.
Fourteen of the 40+ Things We Receive at Salvation:
- The unique Pre-designed Protocol Plan of God. Eph 1:3-4.
- Another is that we are Recipients of Escrow blessings. Eph 1:3
- Another is that we have the asset of Election. Rom 8:33; Eph 1:4; Col 3:12; 1 Thes 1:4; 2 Thes 2:13; 2 Tim 2: 10; 1 Peter 2:9; 5:13.
- Another is that we have Positional Sanctification, being “in Christ.” Rom 6:2; 1 Cor 1:2, 30; 6:11; Eph 1:3; 2 Thes 2:13; Heb 2:11; 10:10, 14
- Another is that we have the asset of Predestination. Rom 8:29; Eph 1:5; 1 Peter 1:2
- Another is that we have been entered into the Royal Family of God via adoption forever. Eph 1:5; 1 Peter 2:9
- Another is that we are the beneficiaries of redemption. Rom 3:24; 1 Cor 1:30; Gal 3:13; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; Titus 2:14; Heb 9:12-15; 1 Peter 1:18-19
- Another is that we receive Efficacious Grace, (GtHS makes our faith effective for salvation). Eph 1:13
- Another is that we receive the sealing ministry of God the Holy Spirit. Eph 1:13-14, 4:30; 2 Cor 1:22
- Another is that we receive an eternal inheritance.Rom 8:17;Gal 3:29; 4:6-7; Eph 1:14, 18; 3:6; Heb 9:15
- Another is that we are given access to God. At the moment we believe in Christ, we have access to God (in prayer). Rom 5:2; Eph 2:18; Heb 4:14, 16; 10:19-20
- Another is that we are on a secure foundation. 1 Cor 3:11; 10:4; Eph 2:20
- Another is the filling of the Holy Spirit. Eph 5:18; Gal 5:16; John 4:24; Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 6:3, 5; 7:55; 9:17; 13:9; 11:24; 13:52; Luke 1:15, 41, 67; 4:1; 1 John 1:7; 2 Cor 3:3; 2 Peter 1:4
- Another is that we are related to God the Son by nine Biblical analogies.
- The last Adam and the New Creation, 1 Cor 15:45; 2 Cor 5:17a.
- The Head and the Body, Col 1:18a.
- The Great Shepherd and the Sheep, Heb 13:20.
- The True Vine and the Branches, John 15:5a.
- The Chief Cornerstone and the Stones in the building, Eph 2:20; 1 Peter 2:5-6.
- The Great High Priest and members of the Royal Priesthood, Heb 4:14a; 1 Peter 2:9a.
- The Groom and the Bride, our wedding occurs at the Second Advent, Rev 19:7.
- The Husband and Wife, Eph 5:23-24, 29, 32.
- The King of kings and the Royal Family of God, Rev 19:14-16.
If you would like more information on this subject, you may listen to/watch lesson:
#’s 15-064 through 15-066
A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!