Worship X Day 5 The Unfailing One: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
Check out The Unfailing One!

The Questions

1) How does Paul’s introduction provide a rich hint for the purpose of his letter? (verse 1)

2) What actions are being taken in this passage and by whom? (verses 1-6)

3) What is the ultimate purpose of God’s choosing? (verse 6)

Ephesians 1:1-6

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will:
To the faithful saints in Christ Jesus at Ephesus.
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. 5 He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One.

Original Intent

1) How does Paul’s introduction provide a rich hint for the purpose of his letter? (verse 1)
We could spend much time just unpacking the first nine words of verse 1, but we will skip ahead to the latter part of the verse. Paul has addressed his letter to the “faithful saints in Christ Jesus at Ephesus”. These easily glossed over words pack a powerful punch for the student of Scripture willing to slowly study and learn the heart of the Father. Paul calls the believers “saints”. This title wasn’t reserved for a specific sect of Christians or an elite group of elders within the Ephesian church, but to all who had placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal rescuer from the depths of their eternally damning sin. Saints, called such and made holy not by any work of their own (Ephesians 2:8-9), but by the untarnished righteousness of Christ Jesus, their Savior who had purchased peace with God through the grace of God. (verse 2) Paul enhances the noun of saint with the adjective “faithful”, which, in Greek, is the combining thoughts of two thoughts meaning the singular act of having faith and the on-going, perpetual activity of faithfulness. True believers in Jesus not only have genuine saving faith, but display that faith by walking in the ways of God through the Spirit of God. Which leads perfectly into our next word, “in”. Though diminutive in size, its depths promise a wellspring of theological riches. All believers are held within Christ through faith, purposely designed by the Father to remain richly tied to Christ by the Spirit, for herein lies the fruitfulness and the assurance of growth into maturity. We were called as saints to grow in becoming faithful to Him, which can only be accomplished by remaining in Christ Jesus. “At Ephesus” calls out that these believers were known, seen, called, set apart, and predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son (Romans 8:29-30) right where they lived.

2) What actions are being taken in this passage and by whom? (verses 1-6)
The first word of the passage is Paul, but his actions of writing the letter and proclaiming the rich truths contained within it are a result from the Lord God who drew Paul to Himself and reconciled him into a relationship with Him through God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. God sought him (John 15:16), Christ died for him (Romans 5:8), Paul surrendered through faith (Acts 9), and now by remaining in Christ (John 15:4), Paul was led by the Spirit of God to accomplish the will of God and proclaim Christ. Astounding and beautiful, isn’t it?! All this found in only the first few words of verse 1! In verse 2, Paul extends grace and peace, but back up further, these gifts don’t originate with Paul and he knows it full well. He cites their true origin, “God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul was the “canyon” through which the river of God’s grace and peace flowed freely. The more Paul leaned into surrendering to the work of the Spirit, the more freely grace and peace would flow to others through him. Paul begins verse 3 by worshipping God as Father and Son. There is no distinction of hierarchy or language to depict Jesus as “a kind” of God, but rather as the one and only God. The fullness of God is represented in Paul’s worship as the unique persons of Father, Son, and if we make it down to verses 13 and 14, the Spirit of God.

3) What is the ultimate purpose of God’s choosing? (verse 6)
It becomes easy for us, human as we are who want to attempt to understand the infinite God with our finite minds, to become tripped up on words of theology and what they might mean, or don’t mean. This can become the case as we encounter words like “predestined” and “chose”, but we must take care to fight against the urge to pull out these two words and radically magnify them outside of the whole context of the passage. Yes, the Lord God chooses us. Yes, the Lord God predestines us to be His adopted ones. What a loving Father to willingly choose us and have a thoughtful, laid out determination of what that choosing would entail. Let’s not forget two truths that are just as imperative to the understanding of these two words. 1) All of humanity is separated from God. (Romans 6:23) We have all turned away from Him. (Isaiah 53:6) In fact, His wrath remains on all unless we, with faith, turn toward the light of Christ and the forgiveness He offers. (John 3:36) 2) Christ died, not for the already justified, but for the unjust, sinners, and enemies of Him. (Romans 5:6) Christ died not for a select sinners, but for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2), and His heart desire is that none perish (2 Peter 3:9). Those are very all-inclusive, unequivocal statements of biblical fact that cannot be moved. We must hold these tightly while we also study the words of “chose” and “predestined”. However, Paul is not holding a magnifying glass up to these words, rather, his extreme emphasis returns again and again to blessing, praise, and adoration to the Father for His outrageously, extravagant love and mercy. Yes, the Father chose and predestined believers to be His adopted ones. (verse 5) Hallelujah! Praise God He loves us so! Which is exactly the passionate cry of Paul as he exudes the joy of worshipping the Lord who loves with such richness.

Everyday Application

1) How does Paul’s introduction provide a rich hint for the purpose of his letter? (verse 1)
The book of Ephesians is widely known among scholars as one of the richest, most dense theological writings. Alongside Paul’s letter to the Romans, Ephesians provides breathless depths and heights of God’s purpose, plan, and vast love. It’s written with passion and exhilarating adoration for God, His fullness, and His purpose for His people. Verses 3-14 are strung together in the original language as a single sentence, as Paul seemingly cannot stop to even breath between his flow of words. He exudes praise to the God who loves with such indescribable extravagance! With such a densely packed, theologically rich book, every word tells an entire story. One could study the deep profiles of Ephesians for the entirety of their earthly lives and still have more to explore. How rich God’s Word is for us and how precious is the gift of His Spirit to teach our hearts about Him through it! If your study of Scripture has become routine, or even the thought of beginning to read His Words seems daunting or dull, begin small, stay consistent, and prayerfully read the words over and over asking the Spirit of God to illuminate His Words that you might see Him as He truly is! Head to studylight.org and search a passage you’ve been reading, dive into the original language and find the riches waiting for you there! The Lord God who wrote His Word intended for you to allow His Words to dwell in you richly! (Colossians 3:16) Enter in! A feast awaits!

2) What actions are being taken in this passage and by whom? (verses 1-6)
Paul’s view of God was robust and complete, and when he worshipped, he worshipped the fullness of the Lord as triune. Paul worships the Lord specifically by naming how the Lord has blessed not just himself personally, but he praises Him for the “us”, for the saints, for crafting a rescue plan grand enough to bring enemies of God into relationship with Him, and then showering them with the multitude of His heavenly gifts. (verses 3-6) Paul’s view of praise stemmed from a wide angle lens of the larger global church, and His worship was deeper and more full because of it. Following Paul’s model of worship, I am confident our own prayers of praise will take on a greater fullness as we sink into the glories of Who God is and how marvelous His rescue plan truly is for us. Why not begin now? How has God called you to Himself? Praise Him for that! Celebrate His sacrifice to pay for your sin, and lean in to His Word to truly dwell in Him. Deep worship will rise up as you worship the Lord in fullness of grace and truth!

3) What is the ultimate purpose of God’s choosing? (verse 6)
“Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son. Praise, praise the Spirit, three in one.” (Doxology by Worship Circle) This lyric to one of my favorite worship songs runs often across my lips. It anchors my heart and mind upon precepts of truth that will never change regardless of my circumstance. A precious reality I’ve found to be true every single time in my relationship with the Lord is the freedom from worry, grief, and fear that blessedly follows my decision to dwell on the goodness, graciousness, and love of the Lord Jesus. Because His Spirit lives within me, when I focus all I have on who He is, what He has done, and the coming eternal victory waiting for me that has been pre-determined since time began, worship is the abundant overflow. When praise is the choice, joy is the result. Peace wins. You have been offered the freedom, hope, forgiveness, and invitation to be adopted by the God of the universe. He paid the price and designed a pathway to become His when we surrender our sin and accept His righteousness. Only in Him can we find the freedom to dance forgiven and whole because of Jesus. Paul sang these truths in one beautifully profound run-on sentence in Ephesians, and he wrote of the benefits of choosing praise again in his letter to the Philippians. (Philippians 4:4-7) Discover his secret for yourself by letting God’s Word dwell in you richly and come alive through the Spirit’s work, then watch with wonder as your heart is drawn to deep worship!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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