God's Grand, Christ-Grand Centered Plan

Error message

  • Deprecated function: unserialize(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($data) of type string is deprecated in css_injector_init() (line 53 of /home/krwester/gobibletranslations.org/sites/all/modules/css_injector/css_injector.module).
  • Deprecated function: unserialize(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($data) of type string is deprecated in css_injector_init() (line 53 of /home/krwester/gobibletranslations.org/sites/all/modules/css_injector/css_injector.module).
(Ephesian 1)
Lesson Number: 

Lesson 2

God’s Grand, Christ-Centered Plan

(Ephesians 1)

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: http://www.GoBible.org. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Introduction: Is gratitude part of your attitude? Have you noticed people who speak as if they are entitled to certain things when they have done nothing to earn them? I know I react positively to those who are grateful, and negatively to those who claim false entitlement. How about you? Paul begins Ephesians with gratitude. He thanks God the Father and he thanks Jesus for all that they have done for us. He then moves on to thanking the Ephesians for what they have done. Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and learn more!

  1. Gratitude to God
    1. Read Ephesians 1:3. What is the nature of the blessings for which Paul expresses gratitude? (Spiritual blessings.)
      1. Why are our spiritual blessings linked to heavenly places? What is being said by Paul? (These are blessings that are ours in heaven.)
      2. How would you define spiritual blessings as opposed to material blessings?
      3. In these lessons I often write about the blessings that come from obedience to the law. Are those blessings spiritual or material? (I have material blessings primarily in mind.)
    2. Read Ephesians 1:4. What blessing is this? (We were chosen by God before the world existed.)
      1. Is this a spiritual or material blessing? (Spiritual.)
      2. Where is it given? (This is the first example of what Paul is talking about in verse 3 - a spiritual blessing that was given to us in heaven.)
      3. What, exactly, is this spiritual blessing to be holy and blameless? (This sounds like righteousness by faith. The problem is that we had no faith before the creation of the world.)
        1. What does it mean that we are “in Him?” (We become “holy and blameless” as a result of the work of Jesus.)
      4. Think about the timing. Why is the blessing given to us before the world was created by God? (Jesus decided to save fallen humans before any humans were created.)
        1. Why would Jesus do that? Why create us when the odds of our failure were so great that a contingency plan was created?
  2. The Family Plan
    1. Read Ephesians 1:5. Describe this new spiritual blessing? (We were chosen to become sons and daughters of God!)
      1. If we were potential trouble, why make us family? (Notice that the last part of Ephesians 1:4 says “in love” and then recites verse 5.)
    2. Read Ephesians 1:6. Who is “the Beloved?” (Read Matthew 3:17. Jesus is “the Beloved.”)
      1. We became sons and daughters of God by the blessings given to us through the “glorious grace” of Jesus. What does this say about those who claim works are important to salvation? (How can works be part of this when we were chosen before we existed?)
    3. Read Ephesians 1:7. What spiritual blessing do we find here? (Redemption and forgiveness.)
      1. How do we receive these blessings? (Through the blood of Jesus. Because Jesus is rich in grace.)
        1. Think about what this rich grace cost Jesus.
      2. Some believe that Jesus’ blood only forgives past sins. As to the future, well, we had better be obedient to the law. What does the word “redemption” mean? (It means we are saved.)
    4. Read Hebrews 10:14. This text tells us that Jesus made us perfect “for all time” by His sacrifice. At the same time it tells us that we are being sanctified. How can both be true simultaneously? (We are declared perfect by what Jesus did on our behalf by His blood and His grace. At the same time we take His sacrifice seriously, we take His plan for humans seriously, and we make the decision to live an obedient life.)
    5. Read Ephesians 1:8-9. Some commentators understand this to mean that God gave us wisdom and insight into His program. It sounds to me as if God is using wisdom and insight in His redemption of us. Assume I’m correct, what is the wisdom and insight of Jesus in saving us by grace? (God knew that we were not up to the job. The fact that He had a plan from the foundation of the world to save us (Ephesians 1:4)shows what He thought about our ability to resist sin.)
    6. Look again at Ephesians 1:9 and read Ephesians 1:10. Has a mystery been revealed to us? (At this point the text is clear that God made known to us His plan for our salvation. However, I don’t think this changes what we discussed in the prior question.)
      1. Notice that God has a purpose in all of this. What is that purpose?
      2. Ephesians 1:10 says God’s purpose is revealed in a plan. What is God’s ultimate plan? (Unity! At the correct time God will “unite all things in Him.”)
      3. We have been considering our spiritual blessings. Is unity one of them? If so, how would unity improve your life right now?
    7. Read Ephesians 1:11-12. Once again we are told that we are predestined for our inheritance as part of God’s plan. This plan is in accordance with the will of God. What is the specific goal mentioned in verse 12? (That our lives might be “to the praise of His glory.”)
      1. What does it mean for our lives to give praise and glory to God? (This is where “works” come in. Our lives should bring glory to God.)
        1. Consider your life. Is it bringing glory to God?
  3. The Holy Spirit
    1. Read Ephesians 1:13-14. What is the “seal” of our inheritance in Jesus? (The receipt of the Holy Spirit.)
      1. What triggers that sealing? (We heard and believed the gospel. We believed in Jesus our Lord.)
      2. Why is the Holy Spirit the seal and the guarantee of our future with God? (The Holy Spirit is available to every one of us right now. God can be with us now if we ask.)
        1. Note the reference to the ultimate “possession” of our inheritance. What will we possess? (We will live with God! The Holy Spirit is a preview of our life with God in the earth made new.)
    2. Notice that Ephesians 1:12 and Ephesians 1:14 end with the phrase, “to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:6 says something similar - “to the praise of his glorious grace.” What is the Holy Spirit’s role in this theme of us bringing glory to God?
    3. Read Ephesians 1:18. We have been discussing our inheritance - a life in the earth made new with our Lord. Notice the different language here. It refers to “His glorious inheritance in the saints.” What do you think that means? (We are God’s inheritance. Not only do we have an inheritance in the earth made new, but God has an inheritance and that is us!)
      1. Is God proud of you? Are you a great inheritance?
    4. Friend, God has chosen you for an inheritance. Most people delight in learning that they are inheriting something. Will you accept your inheritance from God? Why not do that right now?
  4. Next week: The Power of the Exalted Jesus.