December 9, 2007
Click above for full KJV Online
Thought for the day:previous - - - - - - - - - - - - next
Following Scripture Verses
Click above to go directly to TFD
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:
Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
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:
In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
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,
Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Back to Top
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Back to Top
For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Back to Top
Thought for the day:
You may click on verses for Scripture
The opening chapters of Ephesians are a tremendous lesson on the glory and grace of Jesus Christ. One often overlooked part of this passage is its discussion of the relationship between Jesus Christ and the church. Because this concept is raised several times in today's reading, it would do us well to take a few minutes and look at it.
At the end of chapter 1, Paul says that God the Father has put all things under the feet of Jesus Christ and
"gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."
Here we see that the church is described as being the body of Christ. In order to understand this properly, it would be wise to defined what the church is. The Greek word that is translated "church" is the word "ecclesia". It means "an assembly", or a group of people gathered together. It was the term used by people in the Greek society to refer to their political "town meetings" where the citizens would come out of their homes, go to a meeting place to conduct business, and then return. Christ stated in Matthew 16:19 that He would build "His ecclesia". He was not coining a new phrase there - the disciples knew exactly what He meant because they had seen the secular "ecclesia" function on numerous occasions. Over the years many have attempted to adopt a universal view of the word "ecclesia". This started with the Catholic (which means "universal") Church, which teaches a "universal visible" church concept. Following the Reformation, Protestantism brought a modified universal church concept with them, defining it as being "universal invisible". However, there never was any sort of universal concept in the word "ecclesia". Since words have specific meanings, their definitions can not be changed to meet our theological whims. Instead, our theology must adapt to the terms that the Scriptures use.
The Bible usage of the term "ecclesia" is clear. In Matthew 18, the only other time that our Lord uses the word in the Gospels, He is establishing principles for church discipline which, of course, could only take place in a local assembly. Principles concerning relationships within the body of Christ that are found in I Corinthians 12 could only occur in a local assembly. The purpose of spiritual gifts as spelled out in Ephesians 4 and I Corinthians 12 can also only be fulfilled in a local church setting. Some have attempted to teach that the Scriptures speak of two churches, one local and one invisible. The next chapter, Ephesians 4, teaches that there is only one body and one baptism. Since the church is the body (Eph. 1:22-23), and there is only one body, then the church can not be both local and universal. Since there is only one baptism, and water baptism is necessary to become a member of the local church, then there can be no spirit baptism into a universal church. Thus, when the Bible speaks of the church, it is always speaking of a local, visible assembly.
In today's passage we get a glimpse of the importance of the "ecclesia". In 1:22 we see that Jesus Christ has been made Head of all things "to the church". This indicates that His Headship is for the benefit of the assembly. The following verse says that the "ecclesia" is the fulness of Christ, which means that it is dwelt in and filled up with the power and presence of God. In 2:21-22 we see that the church, though not called by that name, is a "holy temple in the Lord" and a "habitation of God through the Spirit", which is similar to the expression used by Paul in I Timothy 3:15 when he refers to the church as the "house of God". In 3:21 we see that the church is to be a place of glorification of God. Apparently in the eyes of God the church has a special relationship with the Lord.
If the church is this important to God, shouldn't it be important to us? If the church is the fulness of Christ, then I think we should want to be a part of it. If you are not currently part of a New Testament church, you need to join one immediately. If you are a member, be sure to give some thought to your involvement. The church is a priority of the Lord, and it must be one for us as well.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery