10. The Book of Ephesians X. (NASB)~The New American Standard Bible
December 9, 2017
We’re going to take a slight detour at this point and switch to The American Standard Bible. The New Inductive Study Bible uses that translation, which I highly recommended if you want to learn how to study your Bible objectively.
Whatever Key Words we find will be all UPPER CASE letters. In addition, all synonyms and pronouns pertaining to those Key Words will also be UPPER CASE. Remember, by observing Key Words we can make an accurate and unbiased interpretation of the scripture. Now why would we want an unbiased interpretation of The Word of God? That’s a very good question. Because 2nd Peter 1: 19, 20 says “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation.”
In all honesty, since accepting The LORD Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, I have been exposed to way too many different interpretations of The Scripture, and that has led me to become extremely disappointed with organized religion, and sadly…I’m not the only one. Sometimes I feel as if I’m the only one who is willing to protest against this stupidity but in all likelyhood, I’m sure I’m not. Someone new to the faith could take one look at all of the different denominations which have so many opposing points of view; even they would understand why so many people become frustrated with The Church and suddenly bow out (1st Tim. 4:1). It can only be by The Grace of God that this writer has held on so long and will continue to do so, no matter how much opposition that might come my way. Many Believers who know me already think I’m the fly in the ointment.
Regardless, change must come at some point in the history of the Church. We cannot continue to ignore 2nd Peter 1: 19, 20. We have “the prophetic word made more sure”. However, for some reason leaders continually leave us with uncertainty simply because they refuse to follow simple instructions. Jesus once said if the blind lead the blind everyone ends up in a ditch. And let’s be clear concerning the use of the metaphor “ditch”, when you fall, just like fallen angels, that means down…not up. Is this the best that Father God has to offer His children? Certainly not, Peter tells us to “pay attention”, and that’s in our ballpark. How many times has one of your teachers told you to pay attention? Well there’s a reason for that, they don’t want you to end up in the gutter, or the proverbial ditch.
Ephesians 1: 1 “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful IN CHRIST JESUS: 2 GRACE to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST, 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 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons THROUGH JESUS CHRIST to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His GRACE, which He freely bestowed on us IN THE BELOVED. 7 IN HIM we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the RICHES of His GRACE 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed IN HIM 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things IN CHRIST, things in the HEAVENS and things on the earth. IN HIM 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope IN CHRIST would be to the praise of His glory. 13 IN HIM, you also, after listening to THE MESSAGE OF THE TRUTH, the GOSPEL of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed IN HIM with THE HOLY SPIRIT of promise, 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.”
We’ll just focus on the first 14 verses of chapter 1 in this particular post. Every key word has its own setting. Just like a picture has a frame or a frog found in a pond. When dissecting a frog in a biology class we only have get limited knowledge about that frog. However, if the class should go on a field trip and visit the pond from which said frog came from, that way we can learn so much more. This speaks to context. Every key word is framed in a frame or pond of surrounding words and phrases. In verse 1 IN CHRIST JESUS, is surrounded by the saints and the faithful that are IN CHRIST JESUS. We know that a Saint means holy and set apart for the masters use, and they are synonomuos to a Believer in Christ. And it was God The Father’s will that Paul should be called an Apostle of The LORD Jesus Christ. The word”faithful” is the Greek word “pistos”, which means: 1) trusty, faithful
1a) of persons who show themselves faithful in the transaction of business, the execution of commands, or the discharge of official duties
1b) one who kept his plighted faith, worthy of trust
1c) that can be relied on
2) easily persuaded
2a) believing, confiding, trusting
2b) in the NT one who trusts in God’s promises
2b1) one who is convinced that Jesus has been raised from the dead
2b2) one who has become convinced that Jesus is the Messiah and author of salvation
Part of Speech: adjective
not tr 1; 67not tr 1; 67
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G3982
This may be a lot to take in, but it is necessary for a Believer to understand what the writer meant by using the word pistos in that verse. The Body of Christ cannot go on believing that faithful church attendance meets The LORD’S requirements for godly living.
Also, the question should arise, what does it mean to be IN CHRIST? Right now, I am in my apartment and surrounded by our furniture, Bibles, books, clothing, computer, television, music, warmth, food, etc. Everything in this apartment belongs to both me and/or my wife; we have access to these things whenever we have need of them. Spiritually we are located IN CHRIST, where we have been, past tense, access to every spiritual blessing there is (Eph. 1:3), where the fullness of the Godhead dwells (Col. 2:9, 10 NKJV). We are complete IN HIM. If we walk by faith and not by sight, it is impossible for us to be anything less than conquerors (Rom. 8:37-39) and world overcomers IN CHRIST (1st John 5:4). When I actually study just Ephesians verse 1, this is what I see. I must leave you with a few more verses because God’s Word transcends every wind of denominational doctrine. Now if you’re like me, one who has sinned much, and in turn loves The Word much, you’re gonna love it.
Ephesians 3: 8 To me (The Apostle Paul), the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.” (NASB)
We need to see those Key Words vividly. Next up, we look into verse 2. To be continued…