Bible Dig into Ephesus (Ephesians 1:19-23)

Paul’s very formal letter to the Ephesians focuses on the core of what it means to be a Christian. Paul talks about both faith and the practice of faith that doesn’t change regardless of any issues or problems in the community. His first three chapters explain God’s creation of a holy people through the death and resurrection of His son Jesus Christ.

It seems as though Paul can’t use enough synonyms and superlative descriptive words about God–because God is the ultimate, the Great I am, the God above all Gods, the Creator and Ruler of the Universe. God is so much more that we can understand or even imagine.

Read through Verses 19-23 of Ephesians 1. If possible, read out loud.

19 I pray that you will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to you through faith. Then your lives will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through you! This is the mighty power 20 that was released when God raised Christ from the dead and exalted him to the place of highest honor and supreme authority in the heavenly realm! 21 And now he is exalted as first above every ruler, authority, government, and realm of power in existence! He is gloriously enthroned over every name that is ever praised,[y] not only in this age, but in the age that is coming!

22 And he alone is the leader and source of everything needed in the church. God has put everything beneath the authority of Jesus Christ and has given him the highest rank above all others. 23 And now we, his church, are his body on the earth and that which fills him who is being filled by it!  (Ephesians 1:19-23, TPT)

HISTORICAL SETTING:

  • In the Greko-Roman world, it was a symbol of the highest honor and authority to be seated or stand at the right hand side pf the one in authority. It was a position of power (verse 20).
  • Early Greek and Roman thinkers compared the state, the empire, to a body where all parts were dependent on the other. Ancient rulers use this analogy often when when explaining and defending hierarchy.
  • In Ephesians, Paul often used a flowery style of speaking called “epideictic.” It used repetition and synonyms to describe and praise people, virtues, and deities. This style was a preference of many in the provide of Asia Minor where Ephesus was located.
  • Verse 22 talks about “under his feet” which means victory, everything is under His authority. See Psalm 110:1.

Read THE TEXT ONE MORE TIME, this time in the New Living Translation.

18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself. (Ephesians 1: 18-23, NLT)

WHO IS GOD? WHO ARE YOU & WHAT DOES YOUR LIFE LOOK LIKE BECAUSE OF GOD

Take a deep breath and feel the oxygen fills your lungs. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with His words  in the same way as you read through the text once more.


I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength! All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence. (Ephesians 1:19-23, MSG)

For me, these verses call–no, demand–me to praise God, both in picture and in word. How will you respond?

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