SCION OF ZION INTERNET BIBLE STUDY - #3
19 MAY 2001, Saturday
EPHESIANS CHAPTER 1, VERSES 5-7 KJV
By Dr. Ken Matto
Were going to be starting in verse 5 this evening. Last week, we got through one verse, Ephesians Chapter 1, verse 4. And we went through basically the Abrahamic covenant. And we saw whom Abrahams seed was, especially when we got to the point of where it says:"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world " And we wanted to talk about a little bit of who He has chosen. And we see it was Abrahams seed who was the chosen and not the physical seed of anybody, but the spiritual seed of Abraham, which we saw progressing in Genesis when He talks about the land and then He uses the term, "for ever." Then finally in Genesis 17, He uses the word "everlasting covenant." And any time you ever see the word "everlasting covenant," or "for ever," you can be sure the LORD has in view SALVATION.
Okay, lets go on to Ephesians Chapter 1, verse 5. This is where well be concentrating tonight. We may get through it, but again, as I said last time, Im not going to rush through these verses because it doesnt pay to rush through anything. Because theres so much meat in the Bible, we want to try to absorb as much as we possibly can. And I believe that God is pleased when we do this and as we get deeper into the Scriptures, God begins to open up our eyes to other Truths things that we didnt even think of. For example, when we get into Ephesians Chapter 2, the LORD showed me something that I never even saw before. And you know, you can study the Bible for 50 years, and that 51st year, youre going to see something.
Alright, lets look at Ephesians Chapter 1, verse 5. And like you, Im going to [be] flipping Bible passages too. I dont have them printed out anywhere, so Im going to be kind of in sync with you, so its easier for us to study together. Alright, Ephesians Chapter 1, verse 5. We read there:"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will," Now lets look at some of the words in there. First of all, "Having predestinated us.." The word "predestined" comes from a Greek word "proorizo." And it means "to appoint beforehand" or "to determine beforehand." I remember once being in a Baptist church and the fellow was reading Jeremiah Chapter 1, verse 5. And thats the part where God says to Jeremiah, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." Now, this was a free-will Baptist church and the teacher was real quick to point out that this is NOT predestination. And as I was looking at those verses, saying, "How can it NOT be?" Before the LORD formed him, He knew him and sanctified him. THATS salvation! Jeremiah was saved in the womb, as the apostle Paul was, as we read in Galatians 1:15 ["But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,"], where God set Paul apart in his mothers womb, yet Paul did not become saved for quite a number of years.
Now, I remember this teacher taking us to Romans 8, verses 29 and 30. Lets look at Romans 8:29, 30. And lets see what God says about predestination. I know weve read these verses many times, but its always good for us to read these verses again. Its something that we need to do to continue to ingest the Word. You know, we eat three times a day, or if youre on a diet, you eat six times a day, or whatever. But its always good to continue to eat the food that God gives us the spiritual food [so] were able to continue to grow. If you dont feed a baby enough, that little baby is never going to grow so youre going to have somebody whos 45-years-old, and theyre going to be one foot, two. So lets take a look at Romans 8:29,30, the Bible says:"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."
We are to be formed like Christ. We already have the mind of Christ. And therefore, we are to be predestinated to be conformed. But before we can be conformed to the image of Christ, we have to be saved. So to be predestined --to be conformed to the image of Christ-- means you have to be saved. And you cannot separate predestination from salvation. In Ephesians 1:5, it says:"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children " Isnt that interesting? --Adoption of children. And how many times the LORD says in His Word that you must be as a little child. And you know, of course, thats misread too, that little children are somehow under this mythical "age of accountability" that they are saved because theyre children. Well, thats not true because every human being no matter what ageis accountable before God. Even believers were accountable to God, but their salvation was procured in Christ. So therefore, the believer does not have to give an account for their sins, because they are all taken care of by the Lord Jesus Christ. So we see a progression in this verse too: "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called " And those whom hes called --in other words, those whom hes called unto salvation then he also justified declared totally NOT guilty. We dont have to stand before the bar of Gods justice at all because the Lord Jesus Christ paid for that. Paid for our sins. He stood before the bar of Gods justice. He stood before the judgment seat of God, and He took our sins on him. And it says: " and whom he justified, them he also glorified." And we are going to see the glorification in heaven someday. We are going to see the full glory of salvation. Right now, our bodies are not that glorious, because our bodies hurt, theyre in pain, theyre filled with disease or they hurt, or whatever. And we dont see that glory. But the glory of salvation right now on this earth is in our spirit that we know that we have been resurrected unto new life. And its one of the most beautiful things that God reveals to us in the Scriptures that as He says, the outer man perisheth, but the inner man is being renewed DAILY. Thats a beautiful passage of Scripture.
Okay, lets go on to Ephesians Chapter 1, verse 5. And He says we were predestinated "proorizo" appointed beforehand "unto the adoption of children " Now the word "adoption" is the word "huiothesia," and that word means, in the Greek, "to be placed" from one house into another." Now, a child thats being adopted has to be accepted by the parents. The child doesnt accept the parents. If a young child is adopted, that child is placed in a home. That means hes passive in that. And thats the same with us, were passive. But the difference between being adopted into Gods family is that we are given full rights as if we were already born in Heaven, [as] if we were already there without even having a time of being unsaved. Some of us, like I, myself, was saved at the age of 27. And that first 27-years would have been like never being unsaved, because we have FULL rights.
Turn with me to Psalm 87. And this passage was always a great mystery to me. But as you study predestination, and if you study the word of God closely when dealing with salvation, then these verses open up. In Psalm 87 lets see, okay, lets look at the whole Psalm, its only seven verses. In verse 1:"His foundation is in the holy mountains." Theres a key. The word "mountains," this is telling us that this is the Kingdom of God. [verse 2] "The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob." Zion, an Old Testament term for the body of believers. [verse 3] "Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God." Thats one of my favorite hymns. Glorious things of thee are spoken. One of those noble hymns. And in verse 4, He says: "I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there." What did He mean, this man was born there? Listen to this, lets go on [verse 5]: "And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her." Now, WHO has established the church? Was it me? Was it a bunch of ecclesiastical people in a certain place? Absolutely not. The Highest Himself, the LORD High God, shall establish her. And then He goes on in verse 6: "The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people " When He writeth up the people now isnt this interesting? The Lambs book. We saw last week in Revelation 13:8 and 17:8, that the Lambs book of life was filled out BEFORE the foundation of the world. And it says here: "The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people " That means, when He predestinated us Look at Psalm 87, verse 6: " that this man was born there " --because of predestination. Because of predestination, God sees us as being born in Zion. You see that? Do you see what a beautiful Truth that is? That "And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her " You see, even though for a time, we were in the world, and we were walking according to the things of the world. God looks and says, wait a minute, God himself established the church and He said this one was born there, and when the Lord wrote up, WHO was to be saved in the Lambs book of life THIS man was born there. And if youre a child of God, He says YOU were born in Zion, YOU were born in Zion, YOU were born in Zion. Isnt that a wonderful Truth? " As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee." Hes even going to have singers there. And players on instruments shall be there. And the true church of the living God [shall be there]. That means, theres JOY in the True church. Theres JOY in salvation. And let NO one ever take your joy away. Your JOY is one of the greatest benefits of salvation that you youll ever have! And its a great gift that God gives us! Even when times get tough, when times get rough, God gives us that joy. And it seems even when youve walked away from God or times seem when youre dry or you pray, and your prayer seem to hit the ceiling and it just bounces right back, God says: "this man was born there." Hes mine. Shes mine. Theyre my children. They were born in Zion. I predestinated them, I wrote them, I chose them, I adopted them NEVER for them to roam again!
Lets go back to Ephesians Chapter 1, verse 5. He says this:"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will," The word "good pleasure" here means "good will" or "favor." And we can see that in the good pleasure or good favor of his will, that the term "favor" is definitely associated with grace --unmerited favor. And we see that its according to the good pleasure or the goodness of His will. You see, Gods will or favor, it is GOD delighting in revealing the hidden things of Scripture. Now, we are able to see some of the hidden things of Scripture through the power of the Holy Spirit. Why? Alright, lets take a look at Isaiah Chapter 62, verses 4 and 5. This is two of my FAVORITE passages in Scripture. Two of my all-time favorite passages because when I first became a believer, Family Radio used to play a song which was done by the Gaithers, and it was called "Beulah Land," It started with "is not this the land of Beulah." And God delights in revealing the hidden things of Scripture as we study the Scriptures, because look at what He says about us in Isaiah Chapter 62, verses 4 and 5. He says this: "Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate:" No more, no more are there going to be desolation. No more is there going to be dryness in the believers life. You know why? The Bible is your fountain. The Bibles the fountain, the living waters that came from the Lord Jesus Christ. The living waters. You know when you feel dry, you go to the Scriptures and when you read like Isaiah 61, 62, 63, 64, you get rejuvenated, because the Spirit of God rejuvenates you when He works through His Word. Okay, in Isaiah 62, verse 4, He says: " neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married." Married. Now, Hephzibah means "my delight is in her." The LORDs delight is in His church. The LORDs delight is in the ones Hes predestinated, the ones who were BORN in Zion, the one whom He says THIS man was born here, THIS man, and THAT man was born in her Zion in Gods Holy mountain, in His Kingdom, in His family. He says here my delight is in her " and thy land shall be married." We are married to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are His bride. Verse 5: "For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee." Oh, poor, poor Christian who walks around with their face so long they could scrape the sidewalk! You know, some Christians faces are so long, they could shovel snow in winter without a shovel. TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE! --God EVEN REJOICES over salvation. God even rejoices!
You know, Im going to throw this in as a freebie. When the Lord Jesus Christ went to the Cross Turn with me to Hebrews Chapter 12. This wasnt part of the Study, but you know, you always let the LORD lead. If you ever Study the Bible, or if you ever going to teach a Sunday School class, if you ever go outside your lesson, dont worry about. The Holy Spirit is LEADING, you know. We cant be afraid of that term "leading," because He leads even us who believe in the Doctrines of Grace. In Hebrews Chapter 12, verse 2. It reads:"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;" Of course, the word "our" is not in the original. You look at that, you see that its in the italics. So it would be: " the author and finisher of faith." " who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." And that word "despising" He despised the shame-- it didnt mean that He hated it or He couldnt stand. That word means He set aside The shame didnt PHASE Him of what happened there, because He looked beyond the shame of the Cross. He looked beyond it. And what did He see? That glorious Church without spot or wrinkle. We saw last week in Revelation 14:4-5 how the child of God is completely faultless before the throne. Completely! And this is one of the most beautiful passages in Scripture, because if we are faultless before the throne, then we have NOTHING to worry about, because ALL our sins have been paid for. This is why God says my delight is in her because were married, because theres nothing more intimate than the marriage relationship. And marriage with God is an intimate relationship. This is why God chastises us when we sin. Not because Hes waiting to throw a lightning bolt at us, it is because He knows that sinning causes adultery in the marriage between us and Him. Even though when we are not faithful as Timothy says, HE is still faithful. God knows that sin can RUIN a relationship with Him. So you see, Hephzibah my delight is in her-- and Beulah --because were married. Beautiful, beautiful words! And I think its something we have take as part of our salvation and not just put under a rug. Its something that needs to be proclaimed! A lot of believers are walking around in sorrow and sadness, like theyre the ones going to Hell, and theres no need to be. I am one who personally refuses to walk around with a long face. The only time I have a long face is when I have a sinus headache. And thats ONLY until my Tylenol Sinus kicks in. Thats the only time.
Okay, lets head back to Ephesians now. Alright, Ephesians Chapter 1, verse 6:"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." Now, lets take a look at these words. And first of all, the word here for "praise," when translated in the Greek, means "recognition" or "commendation." So we see that, its to the recognition of the glory of His grace. Now, lets ask the question: "What is the glory of His grace?" Because something that has glory is something that shines or makes it visible, or makes it stick out like a sore thumb (for want of a better word). I want to give you five things and theres many more sort of five tenets of what the glory of Gods grace is.
First of all, the first one is it redeems. Its the glory of His grace. Gods grace redeems us, because were in the marketplace of sin, we live in this world, were part of the world, and God redeems us through His grace.
The second one, number two, it changes us. Youre not the same person you were before you were saved. I know I wasnt, because at 8:30 on a Saturday night, I was getting dressed ready to go out drinking. So it changes us. It changes our outlook on life. It changes us in situations. It changes us when the tough times come. And even when the good times come, we can see the good times in a new perspective. We dont look at the good times as "Well, I deserve it." We look at the good times now as a gift from God. You see, it always CHANGES us. Our outlook on things, its changed. Whenever you go to work, or you go through a tough time, and your neighbors look at you and say, "How, how can you stand this being in such a tight situation, and yet, you seem to have such peace." Because Gods grace CHANGES us. It gives us new perspective.
The third one in]the glory of His grace is that it resurrects us. It resurrects us. You see, we were DEAD. Dead, dead, dead. And Gods grace resurrects us to life --as it says in Romans 6:4, the newness of life-- because the oldness of life led to death. But the newness of life is life, LIFE ETERNAL. So at one time we were dead, but NOW were alive alive to the things of God. This is some of the great glories that we see.
Number four. One of the glories of His grace is that it never fails. It NEVER fails. Totally, the believer is eternally secure. It never fails. When I fail, the grace of God still undergirds me. When I make a mistake, the grace of God undergirds me. If I get fired on the job for throwing my telephone against the wall, Gods grace undergirds me. If I get angry with someone, Gods grace undergirds me. Because He brings us back whenever we have that moment of weakness, that moment of sin, we never have to worry about, "Uh, oh, Ive now lost my salvation " Perish the thought! My security in the Lord Jesus Christ which continues right through to eternity. Right through. Right through! And its fascinating.
Now, the fifth one. If we fall, grace is there to pick us up. If we have that momentary lapse into sin, we dont have to worry that God abandons us. The Lord Jesus Christ says, I will never forsake you, nor leave you. Sometimes, He has to put us on the backside of the desert to train us. He has to do that, because if Hes going to make us a solid nation of kings and priests, what Hes got to do is Hes got to train us correctly. So we never have to worry. It redeems us, it changes us, it resurrects us, it never fails us, and grace is there to pick us up.
Now, lets go back to Ephesians Chapter 1, verse 6 and take a look the next part of that verse, where he says:" To the praise of the glory of his grace " --HIS grace, NOT my free will, HIS grace-- " wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." Okay, now the term here: " he hath made us accepted" HE made us accepted. WE did NOT make us accepted. HE made us accepted. Now turn with me to Job Chapter 42, verse 9. Of course, its one the best books to ever read whenever youre going through tough times. In Job Chapter 42, verse 9 In Job 42:9, the Bible says: "So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job." You see, heres a verse that says that the LORD accepted Job. Job didnt accept the LORD. The LORD accepted him. And it really means that He made us objects of grace. You see, Gods grace was pointed towards the believer. He made us accepted in the beloved. Now, when He made us objects of grace "accepted" this term is in the aorist active indicative. Aorist means that its a past work that continues to this day, but theres no hint of when its going to end. Active means an actual action took place. And indicative means God was the one who did it. We were PASSIVE in it. He made us accepted. Even the terms in the Greek says how God has made us accepted in the beloved. Now, when we talk about the beloved, we have to ask the question: "Made us accepted in what beloved?--What am I talking about?" Well, lets take a look at Matthew Chapter 12, verses 18 to 21. And we discover again comparing Scripture with Scripture, that we can see that the beloved is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. And of course this is a quote from Isaiah. And it says it starts in verse 17: "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust." And so we see here that the beloved is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. So to the praise of His glory, He made us accepted in the beloved in the Lord Jesus Christ. And thats one of Pauls favorite sayings throughout the entire Scriptures. And thats in Christ. And if you ever notice that term "in Christ" or "in Him"is used throughout many of his epistles, because hes driving home the point a hundred times over that we have to be IN Christ, NOT in church, NOT in synagogue, NOT in some religion. We have to be IN Christ. And tomorrow morning, millions of people are going to be go to a building thinking theyre pleasing God when in essence, they are building up the wrath of God against them because they are trying to appease and please God by works.
Okay, let us go on to Ephesians Chapter, verse 7. And this is another tremendous verse. Lets take a look at this verse:"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;" In verse 6, we saw the glory of His grace. Now we see the riches of His grace, because now God is dealing with the issue of sin. So the riches of His grace always out does the riches of sin. You see, the parallel verse is Colossians Chapter 1, verse 14, where the Bible says: "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:" If you have a Modern Bible version, they left out or they deleted"through his blood." And I dont know why they did it, but in a way, they did it just so they can attack the Lord Jesus Christ, basically thats why they did it. They got to make money, so they have to well, I dont want to get into the subject of new versions. Okay, first of all, it says: "In whom we have redemption through his blood " Now, only through Christ can one become saved. These four words completely repudiate ANY idea of salvation outside of Christ. "Redemption through his blood." You CANNOT have salvation outside of Christ. You CANNOT get around the Cross and get to Heaven. You CANNOT go above the Cross, under the Cross, and get to Heaven. You MUST come THROUGH the Cross of Christ for salvation.
Now, the term here,"the forgiveness of sins" actually means "the remission of our offenses." And thats removed ONLY by the blood of Christ, as we see here in this particular verse: " through his blood." Now, the word "remission" --or "forgiveness of sins, remission of our offenses"-- is a word "aphesis." And its an important word in the New Testament, because it speaks of deliverance or the release from sins eternal penalty. You see, the "forgiveness of sins:" That means, you were released from any eternal penalty of sins --of committing sins because the Lord completely took away those sins 100 percent. It actually means "remission of our offenses." The word "offenses" or the word "sins" here is the word "paraptoma." It denotes a falling besides something where we should have stood firm. But you see, we cant stand in the Lord, if were not in the Lord. You see, so Hes saying that were outside the Lord, were falling. We have fallen. Were fallen people. Were a fallen race.
Now, I want us to look at some Scripture verses which speak about the forgiveness of our sins-- the remission of those sins. When you meet Christians who feel that your sins have been paid only up to a certain point, they have not really read the Scriptures, they have not really understood EXACTLY what the Bible teaches about the forgiveness of sins. You see, this is all sourcing back to the atonement and how the atonement is absolutely full. God left NOTHING undone in the atonement of Christ and through His salvation plan. He left NOTHING undone. Perish the thought that we have to DO something.
Now, lets take a look at Isaiah Chapter 43, verse 25. And youll notice that some of these verses are in the Old Testament. You know, the Bible is one cohesive whole. Theres no such thing as the Jews having one salvation plan and we have another salvation plan. Delete that thought. Okay, in Isaiah 43:25:"I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." Well, why do we want God to remember our sins? I do not understand why we expect God to remember our sins. He says I will not remember your sins. Lets ask another question You know, they talk about rewards. Every work we do is sin tainted. Why would we want God to judge our sin tainted works and expect Him to hand us a $20 dollar gold piece for every good work? I never understood that. Turn with me Hebrews Chapter 8, verse 12. Another excellent verse. He says: "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." Will I remember NO more. Now, He says Hes going to blot them out, He says He says Hes NOT going to remember those sins anymore. That means once your sins have been paid for, you stand before God totally clean without guile not even so much as craftiness found in your mouth, as Revelations 14:4,5 speaks of. Turn with me to Hebrews Chapter 10, verse 16 and 17: "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, " --By the way, when you come to that word, "saith" its [pronounced] "seth" NOT "sayeth." You see, a lot of people pronounce it "sayeth" because it sounds so religious: "Thus sayeth the LORD!" --Thats "Thus seth the LORD" Okay, just a little bit of English there.
And He says:" after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." Will I remember NO more. This is why when we get to Heaven. I believe its in Isaiah 65. Were going to have NO remembrance of this world. Well, He says in Isaiah 65:17, Hes removed them. Hes REMOVED them. [" For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind."]. Turn back to Romans Chapter 8, verse 33. Very popular verse that we need to look at. And because God has completely forgiven us, He asks this question in Romans 8:33: "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth." Not even Satan could lay a charge against Job. And Im talking about one that sticks. Satan made accusations. But what unbeliever in this world can make a charge against you being Gods elect, Because when they say that, God says, What sin? My Son took care of that sin. I dont remember any sin. I dont know what sin. That sin was forgiven, it was removed, it was taken away. Now, this is the riches of His grace, the wealth or the abundance of the grace of God, which can never be depleted.
Turn with me to Lamentations, Chapter 3, verses 22 and 23. And of course, we sing this beautiful hymn and sometimes we dont look at the real importance of these words. In Lamentations Chapter 3, verses 22 and 23, we read this:"It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not." You see the LORDs mercies, because [of] the LORDs salvation, we are not consumed. And then He says: "They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." So, when there comes a time when we look at this, the riches of His grace, we see that [it is of] the LORDs mercies, that we are not consumed. You see, the richness of Gods mercies and the richness of Gods grace outweigh sins and iniquities and misdeeds and everything --completely outweighs that because the grace of God is higher than the sin of Satan. Its a wonderful, wonderful Truth!
And I think were going to end up here now, and well pick up with Ephesians Chapter 1, verse 8 next week:"Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;" And I think we can see now why glorious things of thee are spoken, because Hes taken the covenant its almost like a covenant of amnesia because Hes totally forgotten our sins, and He says, I will remember them no more. Hes not going to bring it up. Remember what you did on that day? You know, we have a wrong interpretation of God, if we ever think Hes going to do that to us. He has forgiven us, totally, and He has totally forgotten those iniquities. And God works with us as saints, He works with us as REDEEMED saints, NOT as sinners in need of salvation. He works with us through the power Hes placed in us, and that power is the Holy Spirit. And through us, we send forth the Gospel, we minister to people, we disciple people; and as a result, we bring forth the next generation of believers.