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by Hamilton Smith
The Epistle to the Ephesians.
by Hamilton Smith.
2 God's Purpose in Christ Eph. 1
3 God's Work in Carrying Out His Purpose Eph. 2
4 God's Way in Making Known His Purpose Eph. 3
5 The Believer's Walk in Relation to the Assembly Eph_4:1-16
6 The Believer's Walk as Confessing The Lord Eph_4:17-32
7. The Believer's Walk as a Child of God Eph_5:1-21
8. The Believer's Walk in Connection with Natural Relations Eph_5:22-33 ; Eph_6:1-9
9 The Conflict Eph_6:10-20
THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS
It is a great favour that the blessed God should have revealed Himself in grace to a world of sinners, and yet He has done more, for He has disclosed to believers the secret counsels of His heart of love.
To learn the blessedness of these disclosures we must turn to the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians, for therein we have an inspired unfolding of the counsels of God for the glory of Christ and the blessing of those who are destined to share His glory.
It is of the utmost importance to see that there is the counsel of God's will for believers, as well as the grace of God that brings salvation for all men. Generally we are better acquainted with His saving grace than with the counsels of His heart. The saving grace of God meets our condition as sinners, and of necessity we must begin with that which meets our need; but the counsels of God reveal what God has purposed to bring to pass for the satisfaction of His own heart. The saving grace of God, and the counsels of God, though distinct blessings, cannot be separated, for the grace that saves our souls leads on to the glory that satisfies God's heart.
In the revelation of the counsels of God's heart we discover the true, heavenly character of Christianity. We learn that, though the church is formed on earth, it belongs to heaven and, though passing through time, it was counselled in eternity and for eternity.
Ephesians 1 unfolds to us the eternal counsels of God for Christ and His church in view of eternity.
Ephesians 2 presents God's ways for the formation of the church in time in view of His counsels for eternity.
Ephesians 3 presents the special service committed to the apostle Paul in connection with making known the truth of the church.
Ephesians 4 to 6 form the practical portion of the Epistle, in which believers, having been instructed in the counsels of God, are exhorted to walk in consistency with these truths as they pass through time. If God has counselled that there shall be, in the saints, the display of His grace throughout eternity, He cannot but desire that in the assembly, while being formed in time, there should be a witness to His grace, love and holiness.
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29