Tuesday, June 02, 2020

2020.06.02 Hopewell @Home ▫ Ephesians 1:17–2:7

Questions from the Scripture text: To Whom did the apostle pray, and what does he call Him in Ephesians 1:17? What did he pray God would give them—what does he call the Spirit here? What does he pray that the Spirit would do to their understanding? What two things would they come to know in Ephesians 1:18 if their understanding is thus enlightened? What additional thing would they come to know in Ephesians 1:19? In Whom did God’s mighty power work (Ephesians 1:20)? When? At what did He seat Him? In which places? Far above what for things (Ephesians 1:21)? And above which names? At what times? What has God put where (Ephesians 1:22a)? As what did He give Christ, and to whom (verse 22b)? What two things does Ephesians 1:23 call the church? What does verse 23 call Him? What was the original condition of the Ephesian Christians (Ephesians 2:1)? According to what two entities did they walk (Ephesians 2:2)? In whom does the prince of the power of the air continue to work? Who else once conducted themselves among them (Ephesians 2:3)? In what did they conduct themselves? What did they fulfill? What were they by nature? Like whom? In what is God rich (Ephesians 2:4)? What caused Him to act? Whom does Paul include among the dead in Ephesians 2:5? What did God do to them? In Whom? By what were they saved? What two things did they do with them in Ephesians 2:6? Together with Whom? What did God want to show (Ephesians 2:7)? In what? In Whom?
Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, and Confession of Sin come from Ephesians 1:17–2:7 in order that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with The Head That Once Was Crowned with Thorns.

One of the most glorious things about our public worship is that we praise God through Christ, who sits on the throne of the highest heaven. But not only does He Himself sit there; believers also sit there with Him and in Him.

You can see that the apostle intends this direct connection by comparing Ephesians 1:20–21 and Ephesians 2:6–7.

“[He] seated Him at His 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 age but also in that which is to come.” (Ephesians 1:20b–21)

“[God] raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace” (Ephesians 2:6–7a)

We can never perceive the greatness of this glory by how worship “feels,” which is one reason why the way many people approach and assess worship is deeply flawed. They try to reach out to God with their feelings, and measure how good the worship was by how they felt in it.

But our feelings could never ascend to where Christ sits, and believers are already there in Christ, whether we feel it or not. This is why the apostle prays not for our feelings but for our knowledge and understanding (Ephesians 1:17–18). We perceive this reality by faith—by that certainty that the Holy Spirit gives us that what the Bible says is true.

If we have any spiritual life at all, we have been brought from death to life in Christ (2:5). And if we have been brought from death to life in Christ, then we have also been brought to heaven from earth in Christ (Ephesians 2:6), so that “in the ages to come [God] might show the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7).

When we come to worship, we don’t come to get “the feels.” We come in the certainty that what God says is true, and the God and His grace and His Son are being glorified in heaven, as we do on earth those things that He says for us to do in His worship.
Do you perceive the glory of public worship? If not, how is the apostle an example of what to do about that? What part does “knowledge and understanding of Christ” have in your prayer requests?
Suggested songs: ARP24 “The Earth and the Riches” or TPH376 “The Head That Once Was Crowned with Thorns”

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