These three things I want you to know

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Sunday 02/25/24

Title: These three things I want you to know

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These three things I want you to know


Last week we did a superficial walk through Ephesians 1, though we covered some relatively deeper topics such as predestination, the Triunity of the Godhead and the intra-personal relationship between the Godhead which existed from eternity past and into which we have been invited. In fact this last one is among the greatest of the blessings which chapter 1 tells us we have been recipients of in Christ.

Now, who can tell me the KEY to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians? It is a much repeated key phrase!


In fact the letter begins with this statement which in effect sets the pace for the entire letter,

Ephesians 1:3-4,  

“(3) Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ.  (4)  For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him in love.”

Now didn’t close out last week until we breached the beginning of chapter 2. We did this because I believe a clear minded person reading all the wonders of being In Christ just mentioned in the 1st chapter would begin to wonder… What’s the catch?

I mean yes God is love and it is perfectly within His character to lavish such wonders upon us, but what are His intentions? And that answer is offered just a few verses into chapter 2. And that is where we left off. 

BUT, as so often happens, as I was going back over what we covered last week, I knew I needed to back up and work through one portion of chapter 1 before moving on. It is in keeping with and in order to facilitate our grasping what I told you the general outline of this letter was.

I told you last week that chapters 1-3 – blessings of position and privilege. While chapters 4-6 cover the responsibilities and stewardships which God looks for in His Own in response TO these blessings.

A few of those blessings are what I want to circle back and go a little deeper with in terms of explanation.

It is actually found in the semi-famous prayer of Paul over these saints in Ephesus.

It begins in verse 18, but is predicated upon what he acknowledged of their character in verse 15. So let’s start in verse 15 and read on through verse 21 and for these verses I am reading from the Weymouth translation.

Ephesians 1:15-21,

“(15) For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which prevails among you, and of your love for all God’s people,  (16)  offer never ceasing thanks on your behalf while I make mention of you in my prayers.  (17)  For I always beseech the God of our Lord Jesus Christ–the Father most glorious–to give you a spirit of wisdom and penetration through an intimate knowledge of Him,  

(18)  the eyes of your understanding being enlightened so that you may know what is the hope which His call to you inspires, 

what the wealth of the glory of His inheritance in God’s people,  

(19)  and what the transcendent greatness of His power in us believers as seen in the working of His infinite might  

(20)  when He displayed it in Christ by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His own right hand in the heavenly realms,  (21)  high above all other government and authority and power and dominion, and every title of sovereignty used either in this Age or in the Age to come.”

Three things Paul wanted these developed saints in Ephesus to know and realize with increasing clarity…

  • The hope associated with our call into Christ!
  • The wealth of glory of God’s inheritance in us!
  • The transcendent greatness of His Power in us!

As to the hope associated with our call into Christ the Bible mentions several.

  1. What He began in righteousness He will complete in righteous character.
  2. He will transform us into the inward image of Jesus our Lord and Savior.
  3. That He will transform our mortal bodies into glorious, immortal ones.
  4. That we will feast with Him at the great wedding feast
  5. That He will tell us all our true name
  6. That we will be honored to rule in His Millennial Kingdom with Him for 1,000 years.
  7. That we will judge the world and the angels along with Him.
  8. That we will rule and reign WITH HIM forever.

These are our most sacred and immediate hopes in Him – in order.

John the Beloved tells us in 1 John this little extra nugget to chew on as well.

“(2) Dear friends, we are now God’s children, but what we are to be in the future has not yet been fully revealed. We know that if Christ reappears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.  (3)  And every man who has this hope fixed on Him, purifies himself so as to be as pure as He is.”– 1 Jn. 3:2,3

Which agrees with Paul’s words to the Corinthians,


Then Paul wanted these saints to know that we, as the body of Christ, ARE God’s glorious inheritance! 

I had some thoughts of my own regarding this but much of them are captured in the words of the following commentators…

Wuest says, 

The words, “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened,” are explanatory of the act of God giving the saints a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the sphere of a full knowledge of Him. 

The words, “being enlightened,” are a perfect participle in the Greek text, referring to a past complete act having present results. 

The translation reads, “the eyes of your heart having been enlightened with the present result that they are in a state of illumination.” 

That is, Paul is praying that a permanent work of the Holy Spirit be done in the human spirits of these saints, that their inner spiritual capacities for understanding the truth may be the recipients of a lasting benefit, and this with a view to their knowing three things.

The first is that they may know “what is the hope [favorable expectation] of their calling.” 

The second is that they may know “what is the wealth of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” 

God’s inheritance is within the sphere of the saints. That is, the phrase “in the sphere of the saints” is definitive of the word “inheritance.” This takes us back to verse 11 where Paul says we saints were made God’s inheritance. 

In verse 18, Paul prays that we might know how precious the saints are in God’s eyes as His inheritance. He is glorified in His saints, and this glory is valuable. It is part of the wealth that God possesses, dearer to Him than all the splendors of creation.

Also David Guzik,

What is the he hope of His calling: The believer has a glorious future of resurrection, eternal life, freedom from sin, perfected justification, glorious elevation above the angels themselves.

What are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints: We usually think only of our inheritance in God, but Paul wanted the Ephesians to understand that they are so precious to God that He considered them His own inheritance.

Paul probably drawing his idea from Deuteronomy 32:8-9, “When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord’s portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance.”

The exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe: Christians should know they serve and love a God of living power Who shows His strength on behalf of His people.

Many Christians do not know this power – or they only know it from a distance. God wants resurrection life to be real in the life of the believer. 

“The very same power which raised Christ is waiting to raise the drunkard from his drunkenness, to raise the thief from his dishonesty, to raise the Pharisee from his self-righteousness, to raise the Sadducee from his unbelief.” (Spurgeon)

Our prayers for the spiritual growth and enlightenment of others are important. If Paul believed it was important to pray these things for the Ephesian Christians, it is important for us to pray them for others – and ourselves.”

It reminds me of something David said which I hold very dear to myself. It is found in Psalm 132:13-14 – 

“(13) For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place:  (14)  “This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.”

But this is also found in other places…

Isaiah 19:25,

“whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.” 

Psalm 2:1-8,

“(1) Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 

(2)  The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 

(3)  “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.”  (4)  He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision.  (5)  Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: 

(6)  “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.” 

(7)  “I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.  (8)  Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.”

Remember that Paul by inspiration of the Holy Spirit said that all who are IN CHRIST are the true Israel of God…

Romans 9:3-8,

“(3) For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,  (4)  who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises;  (5)  of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, Who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen. 

(6)  But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect.

For they are not all Israel who are of Israel,  (7)  nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “IN ISAAC YOUR SEED SHALL BE CALLED.” 

(8)  That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are NOT the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.”

So WE are God’s inheritance!

We will go further in this discussion and cover the last of the three beginning next week!


Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!