Ephesians: The Mystery of the Church 3

Ephesians 2 –The Church in the Heavenly Places in ChristChapter two builds on chapter one. The position from which we start ch. 2 is this: Christ Jesus is at the highest heavenly place. above all (1:10), and all of the focus, blessings and power of that position is toward us. We are His fullness, the church-the fulfillment of His position towards creation.

  1. 2:1-3 This is a description of our lives before we meet Christ. When we walk in accordance with the lust of the flesh; then we are walking in accordance with the prince of the power of the air (6:12if we are walking with him, then how are we going to defeat him?).
  2. 2:3-5This is the way we formerly walked. He died for us while we were still sinners to bring us from our former life, to our new spiritual life in Christ
    1. Romans 8:1-4The Law is the rules of righteousness that God gave men to live by, but no one could do it. This is the reason for the sacrifices-to atone for the sins of breaking this Law. Jesus fulfilled the Law by walking out every inch of it in our place. Then He paid our penalty for breaking it and died in our place. When we believe this we have new life with God in the Spirit.
    2. Romans 8:13-14When we walk according to the Spirit, we will not walk according to the flesh. In our spiritual walk, we may sin and fall, but we repent and get back up stronger and we learn to resist the temptations of the flesh. Our walk is our lifestyle. Our over all lifestyle is characterized by walking with Jesus in the Spirit, even though we may fall. Our old lifestyle was walking in the flesh and we did not care if we sinned. Now we are slaves to righteousness and when we sin, the Spirit convicts us to repent and this makes us more like Him; this is walking in the Spirit and putting to death the deeds of the flesh[1].
  3. 2:6We are in the heavenly places with Christ because of His grace. This is above the prince of the air. Therefore in Christ, we have authority overall wickedness v 6:12. This verse reiterates 1:20-21: This describes where Christ is in the heavenly places and we are right next to Him there! He, as the head, desires us, the body, who is seated right next to Him, to minister His rule to the heavens and the earth.When we opporate in this kind of fullness, it brings the times into fulfillment as His kingdom rules.
    1. Matthew 16:18-19 This is the very foundation of the church. It is the first time that Jesus uses the term. The power of the revelation that Jesus is the Son of God and that we believe in and serve Him puts the church, even in its most infant state far above all rule and authority with Christ.
    2. John14:12Not only do we do what Christ did, but He has given us the Spirit to do even greater things.
  4. 2:7-10All that we are to do for God is already prepared for us. We are supposed to walk in these good works, which makes it all the more important that we no longer walk according to the flesh if we want to fulfill our calls and be beneficial to the kingdom. Remember no to quit when we do fall, the Lord will always be there to pick us back up. The worst part of struggling is the failure to get back up. When we get back up we put the flesh to death, demonstrating that we are indeed walking in the Spirit and that we are sons of God. The world does not know how to get free, but when they see it in us then will know there is a way (John 14:6).
    1. Romans 8:19-21 Only when the church starts revealing Jesus will the worlds take notice and turn from walking in the flesh to walking in the Spirit.
    2. He set it up s that we would be right next to Him in the highest place; a demonstration to all that He is Lord. Since we are in the heavenly places with Christ, if we sin, we are pulled down mentally (not positionally) to where we were before. This is below the prince of the air in submission to his way. This will limit us from access to all the power and fullness or fulfillment that comes from relating proper to Christ and the place in the Father He has given us. Sin is bad because it prevents and limits you from being who you were created to be.
    3. These three verses (5, 6, 7) are vital to the understanding, I believe of all of Ephesians. In ch. 1, Jesus’ place above all is described. Then in ch.2, our place below all is described. And now, verse 6 ties it all together: Here we are, at the lowest place, then, suddenly Jesus comes, raises us up with Him, smashing us right through the realm of the prince of the power of the air, and takes us all the way to the top of the top. He sits us right next to Him at the pinnacle of all creation. When we start to understand and live this out, impossibilites will become possible, and we will fly where we used to be afraid to crawl (see Ephesians: Heavenly Places for further study).
    4. This is not an every-so-often high. We should live everyday as we are, seated right next to Jesus, acting like His best friends.
  5. 2:11-18Because He shed His blood, both Israel and the gentiles now have access to the Father through Jesus Christ.
    1. Romans6:23If we continue in sin, we will pay with death, but if we receive salvation, our debt is paid with Christ’s death and we receive eternal life.
    2. Israeland Gentiles Together (This section sets up the beginning of Ch. 3, so it is important to understand what he is saying here.)Gentiles (from then Jewish point of view) were anyone who was not an Israelite. They were unclean and had no access (for the most part) to God, less they be circumcised, convert to Judaism, and obey the Law. Because the Law was fulfilled in Christ, all now have access to the Father, who believe v13. We obey Him and the circumcision is a circumcision of the heart and not of the flesh. What he is saying here v 14 is that no longer would we have to join Israel to get to God but both Jews and gentiles now have access through Christ. We join with Israel[2] in God’s house hold forming a new spiritual kingdom in the earth[3].
  6. 2:19-22 We are apart of God’s house and we are growing into a holy temple (a place where the Lord dwells) in the Spirit. This is what the church is supposed to be: a massive generation of Jesuses (like but not equal), driving out wickedness in their lives, and in the world, advancing the Kingdom.
    1. Daniel 2:31-35;44-45This statue represents the evil empire and the stone represents the revelation that Jesus is the Son of God (Matt16:16-19), this revelation is the foundation of the church. This mountain that fills the earth is the church, the kingdom that cannot be destroyed. We win. We should not resolve to be merely Christians, but world changers who destroy evil and usher in the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    2. Hebrews 11[4], 11:40-41We are the culmination in the plan of God to fulfill the grand callings in all these men and women of faith lives and also in our own. We the church, people filled with God, are the mystery of the Gospel.

[1] This is not an excuse to sin however. Grace is an excuse not to sin, not an excuse to get away with it; Romans 6:1-7.

[2] I do not subscribe to replacement theology; that the church has replaced Israel. God still has a plan for His nation specifically, as clearly seen in Scripture. The point is that all who believe are part of the body of Christ

[3] This section seems to connect mid Ch 1 and mid Ch 3, spec. vv 1:9-10 and 3:9-10. (Something is being built and it is important to understand each piece to see the finished work clearly and appropriately.).

[4] Hebrews 11:1-12:4 are quintessential for our study, but I am not going to exegete it here, but point put in spec vv in making the point. Faith is the access to the Kingdom, which is a spiritual one and we will touch more on the subject in 3:12.

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David W. Edwards is an author, teacher, speaker, and podcaster. He is a Staff Pastor at Bethel Atlanta School of Supernatural Ministry. He has written three books, and he also travels, equipping and activating in the supernatural and prophetic lifestyle.

Posted in Apostolic, Church, Ephesians

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