1. Who wrote the epistle of Ephesians and to whom was it written?
Paul wrote it to the “saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus” (verse 1).
2. Paul describes himself as an Apostle.
According to your favorite Bible Dictionary, what's an Apostle?
APOSTLE (Grk. apostolos, a "delegate"). One sent with a special message or commission. In this sense the word is used in the Old Testament (1 Kings 14:6; Isa 18:2), and in the New Testament:
-- John 13:16, "Neither is one who is sent [apostle] greater than the one who sent him";
-- 2 Cor 8:23; Phil 2:25, where persons sent out by churches on special errands are called their apostles, or messengers.
In Heb 3:1 Jesus is called "the Apostle and High Priest of our confession."
The official name of those twelve of the disciples chosen by our Lord to be with Him during His ministry and to whom He entrusted the organization of His church.
These He chose early in His ministry and ordained "that they might be with Him." The number twelve was, doubtless, with reference to the twelve tribes of Israel and was fixed, so that the apostles were often called simply "the twelve" (Matt 26:14; John 6:67; 20:24; 1 Cor 15:5).
Their names were:
1) Simon Peter (Cephas, Barjona);
6) Bartholomew (perhaps same as Nathanael);
7) Thomas (Didymus);
8) Matthew (Levi);
9) Simon the Zealot;
10) Jude (Thaddaeus);
11) James the Less;
12) Judas Iscariot.
The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.
To whom was Paul an Apostle? Hint: the answer is not in the Book of Ephesians
Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles (see Galatians 2:6-8)
3. If you were writing a letter to other Christians who attend another church how would you describe yourself?
1. From verses 3 through 12 of Ephesians Chapter one, cite three verses where Paul says God made a decision about you before you made a decision about Him.
2. Verse 9 of Ephesians Chapter one states that God made the mystery of His will known to us. What is the mystery of His will?
2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness- 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Question 3. Have you ever wondered “What is God’s will for my life?” How can you determine God’s will for your life?
God has given us many precious promises in Scripture regarding the life of His followers. In them you can see His will for your life in general; but it's likely that His specific will for your life is only provided in response to your prayers and His subsequent revelation His will for your life.
Can you share your experience learning God’s will for your life?
Your answer goes here.
1. Looking at the first ten verses of Ephesians Chapter one, cite three verses that explain the purpose or reason for God’s plan for our salvation.
2. How can our understanding that God had a plan for us before we were born and that we should be especially blessed by Him hurt us if we misconstrue it? How can it help us in our daily walk and witness?
Daily Walk and Witness
3. What do the first 14 verses teach us about the character of God?
That God loves us, has always loved us, and He always had a plan for us.
1. How many verses from the Bible can you find where the Holy Spirit was promised as stated in verse 13 of this first chapter of Ephesians?
2. Do you think Paul had visited with the Ephesians prior to writing this letter to them? Why or why not?
You could say yes or no, because the Bible doest tell us specifically. But it seems that He had only heard about them from verses 15 and 16 of Ephesians Chapter 1
3. Paul says he prays for the Ephesians. What does Paul ask God to give them?
1. What four reasons did Paul give for asking God to give the Ephesians these things?
2. From reading Chapter One of Ephesians, what is the ultimate purpose of our salvation? Cite the verse(s).
Verses 11 and 12
11In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
3. God’s Holy Spirit in us is God’s seal. From the following scriptures, what truths are signified by a seal?
Security by God’s power – He is the King of Kings
17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel's situation might not be changed.
62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 "Sir," they said, "we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise again.' 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first." 65 "Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how." 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
Authenticity of God’s Promise
1 Kings 21:1-16
1 Some time later there was an incident involving a vineyard belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite. The vineyard was in Jezreel, close to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 Ahab said to Naboth, "Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth." 3 But Naboth replied, "The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers." 4 So Ahab went home, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, "I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers." He lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat. 5 His wife Jezebel came in and asked him, "Why are you so sullen? Why won't you eat?" 6 He answered her, "Because I said to Naboth the Jezreelite, 'Sell me your vineyard; or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard in its place.' But he said, 'I will not give you my vineyard.'" 7 Jezebel his wife said, "Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I'll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite." 8 So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, placed his seal on them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth's city with him. 9 In those letters she wrote:"Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 10 But seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them testify that he has cursed both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death."
11 So the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth's city did as Jezebel directed in the letters she had written to them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 13 Then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, "Naboth has cursed both God and the king." So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death. 14 Then they sent word to Jezebel: "Naboth has been stoned and is dead." 15 As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, "Get up and take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you. He is no longer alive, but dead." 16 When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of Naboth's vineyard.
God’s Ownership of Believers
10 I signed and sealed the deed, had it witnessed, and weighed out the silver on the scales.
7 King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, "Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have hanged him on the gallows. 8 Now write another decree in the king's name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king's signet ring-for no document written in the king's name and sealed with his ring can be revoked." 9 At once the royal secretaries were summoned-on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. They wrote out all Mordecai's orders to the Jews, and to the satraps, governors and nobles of the 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. These orders were written in the script of each province and the language of each people and also to the Jews in their own script and language. 10 Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed the dispatches with the king's signet ring, and sent them by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king. 11 The king's edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate any armed force of any nationality or province that might attack them and their women and children; and to plunder the property of their enemies. 12 The day appointed for the Jews to do this in all the provinces of King Xerxes was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar.
1. In verses 19 through 23 of this chapter of Ephesians we learn about God’s power.
What impresses you about that power of God?
What did God do with His power for Jesus Christ?
Ephesians 1:19-23 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
2. What do we learn from the following verses about God putting everything under the feet of Jesus?
1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: 7 all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. KJV
1 Cor 15:24-28
24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he "has put everything under his feet." Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. KJV
5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 7 You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor 8 and put everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. KJV
3. What blesses you the most about this first chapter of Ephesians?