"In Christ"

Eph 1:18–21  (NASB)

18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His (God) calling, what are the riches of the glory of His (God) inheritance in the saints, 
   19       and what is the surpassing greatness of His (God) power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His (God) might 
   20       which He (God) brought about in Christ, when He (God) raised Him (Christ) from the dead and seated Him (Christ) at His (God) right hand in the heavenly places, 
   21       far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 

The Promises from God in here are many also:
-God provides hope in His calling.
-God offers riches of glory in His inheritance
-God has surpassing greatness in His power, this power He sends towards us
-It is only by the strength of God’s might that brought Christ out of the grave
-It is by God’s authority that Christ is seated next to Him
-This authority is greater than any other authority or strength, forever!  Amen!

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Examining some of the promises of our union "In Christ"

In the previous post I examined Ephesians 1:9-14 (NASB). Through observation, I found some exciting promises from the passage regarding our union with Christ. I wanted to examine and further break down each of these promises in this post.

-God has purposed kind intentions in our union with Christ (v.5, 9).
What is this “kind intention?”
The Greek Word is εὐδοκία (eudokía).
It is the good pleasure, purpose, and benevolence of God (Zodhiates, 2000).
Many experts phrase it this way, “God desired or wanted to make this known.” He had full intention and a plan.God worked this plan through Jesus Christ. Christ made it possible (Bratcher & Nida, 1993)!
-God has promised an “administration suitable to the fullness of times” both in Heaven and on earth!
The Greek Word follows that this is “administration” equates to a divine stewardship or ownership. All things have a divine purpose in His administration (Zodhiates, 2000). Another promise from this section would be “God will take care of everything, according to His purpose, when the time is right (Bratcher & Nida, 1993).”

-In Christ, we have a promised inheritance.
The Greek word used in Eph. 1:11 for “inheritance” is only used this one time in the New Testament. Although, it comes from the word that means ‘lot’ and is closely related to the words for ‘inheritance’ and ‘heir.’

The idea expressed here is that Christians have become heirs of God due to the fact that God predestined them according to His purpose. In a manner of speaking, the “lot” fell to believers not by chance but solely because of the gracious and sovereign decision of God–Almighty to select them to be His heirs (Zodhiates, 2000).
-God has predestined our purposes according to His will. That is stress relief there! 
Whether you are Calvinistic or not, verse 11 is pretty straight-forward. The Greek word for “predestined” means “To determine or decree beforehand” (Zodhiates, 2000).

Let’s examine Eph. 1:11 again:”having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,”
If it was not enough that God had administrated order (from the previous verse) and predestined in verse 11, Paul goes ahead and uses three more strong words to make clear that God is in charge:
Purpose- to purpose or plan, a setting forth, presentation, an exposition, determination, plan, or will
Counsel- Will, purpose, intention
Will- to will. Used to designate what God Himself does of His own good pleasure (Zodhiates, 2000).
Make it simple: God chose us to be his own people in union with Christ (Bratcher & Nida, 1993).
-Those who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His (God) glory.
In the full context, it is really God who did the choosing. “We were made God’s portion/lot.” The:emphasis is that the initiative and action are God’s alone: He made us His people.

The word “hope” means “to look forward with patience to something good.” Verse 12 may then be translated as “we who were the first to look forward to Christ should praise God’s glory” (Bratcher & Nida, 1993).
-Christ is the true message and hope of our salvation (v. 13)! 

-One of my favorite promises, is that we are sealed in Christ with the Holy Spirit. 
I have posted my position on this verse in a previous post and may explore this more later. I imagine I could spend a lot of time on this. In this context, the point is even stronger!
Christians whom God attests and confirms by the gift of the Holy Spirit as the earnest, pledge, or seal of their election to salvation (Zodhiates, 2000).
Here the “seal” is “the Holy Spirit of promise.” The Holy Spirit is God’s stamp of ownership, the certification that they belong to Him. Another way of saying this would be “In order to show that you belonged to him, God marked you by giving you the Holy Spirit he had promised” (Bratcher & Nida, 1993).


                                                 References:

Bratcher, R. G., & Nida, E. A. (1993). A handbook on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. UBS Handbook Series (p. 19). New York: United Bible Societies.

Zodhiates, S. (2000).The complete word study dictionary: New Testament. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

Eph. 1:9-14

Ephesians 1:9-14 (NASB):
He (God) made known to us the mystery of His (God) will, according to His (God) kind intention which He (God) purposed in Him (Christ) with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him (Christ) also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His (God) purpose who works all things after the counsel of His (God) will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His (God) glory. In Him (Christ), you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him (Christ) with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Just take a moment to realize all of the promises we have “In Christ:”

-God has purposed kind intentions in our union with Christ.

-God has promised an “administration suitable to the fullness of times” both in Heaven and on earth!

-In Christ, we have a promised inheritance.

-God has predestined our purposes according to His will. That is stress relief there!

-Those who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His (God) glory.

-Christ is the true message and hope of our salvation!

-One of my favorite promises, is that we are sealed in Christ with the Holy Spirit.

Amen. These are wonderful and I will be digging a little deeper into these in the next post.

"In Christ" in Eph. 1:3,4

Ephesians 1:3, 4 (NASB)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He (God) chose us in Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.

As discussed in the previous post, the phrase “in Christ”, refers to our union with Christ. A way of reading to understand this section may be “God Blesses Our Spirit Because of Our Relation to (or Union with) Christ.”

A breakdown of Ephesians 1:3 looks like this:

“Let us praise God, who is the God of our Lord Jesus and also his Father. For as we are united with Christ, God has blessed us by giving us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly world.”
Then verse four:
“God had already chosen us to belong to him by means of our being united with Christ, as God would want us to be.”

The way God wants us to be is holy, pure, blameless, clean….to break it down simply, it is without sin!
When we are in union with Christ, our life is lived in His sight and His presence! We are open to His scrutiny.


                                                  Reference:

Bratcher, R. G., & Nida, E. A. (1993). A handbook on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. UBS Handbook Series (pp. 8–13). New York: United Bible Societies.

Introduction to "In Christ" series

The Greek word for the English word “in” is “ἐν (en)” it appears 2694 times in the NASB New Testament.

The Greek Word for the English word “Christ” is “Χριστός (Christós)” and it appears 528 times in the NASB New Testament.
The combination of “ἐν” with “Χριστός” seems to be the way that English readers understand the Greek words for the phrase “in Christ.” The Greek and English languages are not similar in the way that the two languages work and form sentences, so running a search for “ἐν Χριστός” in that order does not bear many results. Also, what tends to happen is that other Greek pronouns and acronyms  for Jesus are also used. 
So what will work for this type of study will be to evaluate the Greek at each occurrence of the English phrase “In Christ” in Ephesians. That is what I am set out to do.
The first one is in verse one of chapter one:
Ephesians 1:1 (NASB)
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:

The Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament 28th Edition reads like this:

1  Παῦλος ἀπόστολος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ διὰ θελήματος θεοῦ τοῖς ἁγίοις τοῖς οὖσιν [ἐν Ἐφέσῳ] καὶ πιστοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ,
This is actually one of the times where it reads very closely to the English text. The last word there “Ἰησοῦ” translates to “Jesus.”
So the Greek to English translation reads literally as the NASB has it “in Christ Jesus.”
So what does this phrase actually mean? Are we to physically be inside of Jesus Christ? Of course not!
A good understanding would be “in union with Christ Jesus.” Some translation have tried some phrasing that just do not seem to convey enough meaning:  “faithful in Christ Jesus” (RSV), “loyal Christians” (Barclay [Brc]) or “faithful Christians” (Phps). The French common language translation (FrCL) “who are faithful in union with Jesus Christ” offers a better meaning of the Greek phrase (Bratcher & Nida, 1993).
                                                                   References:
Bratcher, R. G., & Nida, E. A. (1993). A handbook on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. UBS Handbook Series (5). New York: United Bible Societies.

"In Christ" In Eph.

This phrase “In Christ” appears in the book of Ephesians 18 times in the NASB. The next few weeks I am going to explore these phrases in these verse. “In Christ” there is a lot of blessings and hope!

Ephesians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:
Ephesians 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
Ephesians 1:4
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love
Ephesians 1:9
He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him
Ephesians 1:10
with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him
Ephesians 1:11
also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
Ephesians 1:12
to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.
Ephesians 1:13
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Ephesians 1:20
which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
Ephesians 2:6
and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Ephesians 2:7
so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:10
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 2:13
But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 3:6
to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
 Ephesians 3:11
This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Ephesians 3:21
to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 4:32
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Exported from Logos Bible Software 5, 2:18 PM June 28, 2013.