Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 36
EPHESIANS 1:13-23 – PART 2
We just trust the Lord will bless you as we open the Word for this lesson, and trust that you will get your Bible and study right along with us. Now let’s get back to where we were in Ephesians chapter 1, and I would remind you again that the Book of Ephesians is a deeper doctrinal Book than Romans, Galatians, and the Corinthians. It is constantly teaching us of our exalted position “In-Christ” as members of the Body of Christ, of which He is the Head. Now let’s start with verse 20.
“Which he wrought in Christ, (that is the power of resurrection) when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places. (here’s His position now during this age of Grace) 21. Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion,…”
In other words, there is no power on earth, or heaven or in hell that He is not far above. That’s His power, that’s His Sovereignty. Now I constantly run into people who never understood until I taught it that Jesus Christ was the Creator of Genesis 1:1. When people hear this it just blows them away, and yet Paul makes it so plain, as well as John’s gospel, that it was God the Son, the One who became flesh, who spoke the Word of creation. So we have to recognize that He has the power of creation, He has the power over everything He ever created naturally, and so there is nothing to compare with the power of Jesus Christ. That’s why we can trust Him, we can place our faith in Him, because He will fulfill that which He has promised.
Maybe we should stop for a couple of minutes and show you that He was the Creator. I teach someone who’s been in Church 50 years, and he very educated man, and he was just blown away by these verses that showed Jesus was the Creator, so maybe we need to show that more. He also told me that when he took that into his Sunday School class, they just about threw him out. I said, “Well who in the world do think did the creation?” “Oh they think God did.” I asked Him, “Well who do they think Jesus is?”
But listen, we have to remember that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, He was a member in the Godhead, and according to the New Testament He was the Creator of Genesis 1:1, even though it’s just referred to as God. So let’s just take a brief look at these verses. I hadn’t intended to do this either, but I’m being prompted by the Holy Spirit to do it, so let’s turn to John’s gospel, chapter 1. And remember this still fits with what we’re seeing in Ephesians, that He is above all powers, dominions, and principalities. Why? Because Jesus Christ the Creator created them. I’ve always made the statement, that while they were nailing Him to that Roman cross, what was the real situation? “The created beings were doing it to their own Creator!” Have you ever thought of it that way? And with one word He could have just zapped all of them, they could have all been wiped off the scene, but why didn’t He? Because look at what Philippians says.
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” He did this in order to purchase man’s salvation, but He didn’t have to do that, because He was the Creator. Now let’s look at some of these references.
“In the beginning was the Word, (that’s capitalized) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (He’s one in the same) 2. The same was in the beginning with God. 3. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Then you come all the way down to verse 14 and it explains who the Word was.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,…”
Now that’s not so hard to comprehend is it? Who dwelt among the Jews? Jesus of Nazareth. And what was the purpose of all of His miracles, signs, and wonders? To prove to Israel that He was the Son of God.” Now let’s leave John, and let’s run quickly over to Ephesians chapter 3:9 where Paul tell us “the purpose of his apostleship.”
“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:”
So the triune God as we saw back in Acts chapter 2, in counsel, predetermined everything that would happen, before anything was ever created. They determined that Jesus the Son would be the one, to call everything into being. And that’s why Paul writes, “God created all things, but by Jesus Christ.” All right, then the next one is in the Book of Colossians chapter 1. And my goodness I don’t see how people can argue with the Word. I don’t care what their opinion is they simply can’t argue with what God has written, and this isn’t interpretation. I mean, this is exactly what it says, I’m not twisting it, I’m just reading it as it sets in the King James version, and I don’t think any of the other translations can foul this up. I mean this is pretty obvious.
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (now only one person of the Godhead shed His blood, and that was Jesus Christ) 15. Who is the image of the invisible God, (the Godhead which implies the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. And God the Son is) the firstborn of every creature: (because He was God in pre-existence. Now verse 16 is just plain English.) 16. For by him (the Son) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:”
See those are the same words we looked at in Ephesians. So Jesus the Christ created everything, and that’s why God could set Him far above everything, because our Lord created them. Christ is the Creator! He was the Creator! They were created for Him. Let’s see what the next verse says.
“And he is before all things, and by him, (His power) all things consist.” (are held together.)
I mentioned in one of the previous programs that out of all the billions and trillions of bodies in outer space, have you ever seen the astronomers record one of them crashing into another? Why of course not. Now there may be explosions of new ones being made, but you never read how two of them banged into each other, and caused a turmoil out there. Why? Because the Creator has perfect control of every one of them. I mean every one of them, He knows exactly where they are at any given moment in time. Why? Because that’s the only way they can keep from crashing into each other. If that happened then it would be like a nuclear fission out in space. Let’s look at one more in the Book of Hebrews. I could also take you to Revelation, but we won’t take time to look at that one, because Revelation says the same thing that all the rest of these do. “That He created everything by Jesus Christ!” But let’s look at this one in Hebrews chapter 1:1
“God, (just like in Genesis 1:1. It’s the same word) who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers . (that is the nation of Israel) by the prophets 2. Hath in these last days (the last days of Scripture is from His first advent until the end, and we’re in the last days. Now we’re also getting close to the latter days, which means the end of the last days. But in these last days which began with His birth at Bethlehem He hath) spoken unto us by his Son, whom he (God, the Trinity) hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;”
Now you put all those together, who’s the Creator? Jesus of Nazareth! Think for a moment, where did Christ get the power to calm the waves of the sea of Galilee? Well He was the Creator of them. And where did He get the power to raise dead Lazarus? He was the Creator of him. He’s in total control. There is nothing that He doesn’t supersede. Do you see how all of this fits together? Now come back to Ephesians again in chapter 1. So Paul fits right in with all that by declaring then that when God set Him at His right hand up in the heavenlies –
“Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, (that covers everything. Heaven, Hell, earth, space, everything is under His control) and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.” Now verse 22. And because of that exalted position God –
“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,”
Most people think that last verse should read, “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the King over all things to the church.” But you see that’s not what it says. But rather “God hath set Him to be head of all things to the Church, which is His Body.” Now if we are the Body, are we decapitated without a head? No! Now let’s come back to I Corinthians chapter 12, and look at that. In these verses we’re going to look at, he gets down to such simplicity that it’s almost ridiculous, but Paul is trying to drive the point home. What is the Body of Christ? Well it’s just like this human body, it’s composed of billions of cells. And every cell whether it be a fingernail, or an eyeball, or an ear drum has a different make up and each is important. So you see Paul is using the analogy of a human body as an example of the Body which is His Church. Now let’s look at it.
I Corinthians 12:12
“For as the body (the human body) is one, and hath many members, (hands, feet, eyes, etc.) and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: (before we go any further, what controls the body? The head!) so also is Christ”.
Paul is making that same analogy. You and I as believers are members of a Body of which Christ is the head. And we’re just as connected in this Body of Christ, as our head is to our own human body. Looking at some more of the analogy in verse 15.
I Corinthians 12:15
“If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16. And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body: is it therefore not of the body?” Then let’s see what Paul says in verse 18.
I Corinthians 12:18
“But now hath God set the members (that is you and I as believers) every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.”
Now in our mother’s womb, and I’ve used this analogy often. One of the miracles of reproduction is that as the mother prepares that little baby in the womb you don’t have fingernail cells going any place but to the fingers. And all these separate cells go exactly to the right place. And at the end of that 9 months whenever the baby is complete, then you have birth. That’s miracles of miracles. Well God is doing the same thing in a Spiritual realm. He is building the Body of Christ of believers from every walk of life from around the planet. The Chinese, or Jew, or any other nationality when they become believers are just as much a part of the Body of Christ as we are. And we’re all connected to that one source, which is Christ the head. Now come on down to verse 27.
I Corinthians 12:27
“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
God never loses sight of our individualism. God hasn’t lost us in the crowd, we’re not just a number in God’s mind, He knows us as an individual. Now that’s the Body of Christ. Now come back again to the Book of Ephesians chapter 1.
“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23. Which is the body, the fulness…”
Now if you have a marginal Bible, the other word for fullness is complement. As members of the Body of Christ we have become a complement. Now the best way to explain that is to go all the way back to Genesis where everything begins. We’ll start in chapter 2.
“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
Now you take the Hebrew root, and what do you suppose that word help meet is in our English? Complement. Or a better definition for it would be, “Someone called along side to help.” Do you see that? That’s the whole idea of a husband and wife relationship even to this day. The wife is that complement to the man that really completes him and brings the help that he needs, and that’s what Eve was to Adam. This was all set in type of course looking forward to the greatest union that could ever take place which was the marriage between Christ and the Church. Now for a moment let’s go back to the Book of Romans chapter 7. My how these verses just drop into place. Remember Paul is writing to believers.
“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; (His physical body that was crucified) that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, (not just to escape hell fire, but also) that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”
We’re to be worth something to God, we’re not to be deadwood. We’re to be working, and bring forth fruit for His honor and His glory. Now coming back to Ephesians chapter 1.
“…and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23. Which is his body,…”
And that’s a concept that few believers, I think, have any idea that we’re members of a living organism. Now you know as well as I do that as long as we’re living our body is a composite of living things. Our cells are alive, our enzymes are alive, and as soon as they die, we dead. All right it’s the same way with the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is not an organization like the country club. I know that’s what most Churches are getting to be like I’m afraid, but that is not the true scriptural definition of a local Church. We are to be a living organism, with life. Not physical life, but rather spiritual life. And that life is enhanced by fellowship, by the Word, by prayer, and all because we’re connected to the head who is in heaven. God knows we’re waiting for the day when there won’t be that huge space between the head and the Body. Why? Because one day we’re going to be brought into union with Him, and we’re going to revel throughout all eternity in His presence, and that’s something to glory in.