Grace Bible Church
Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries
Tree of Life
A weekly review
Week ending 053010
Grace and Peace are directed towards the believer from God.
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: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (EPH 1:1-2)
In this salutation everything that is connected with our relationship with God at the point of salvation is mentioned or suggested.
At the moment of salvation we receive 40 things which can never be improved. For example, the baptism of the Spirit, regeneration, the sealing of the Spirit, the spiritual gifts, and so on. These things received at the point of salvation are non-improvable.
Our capacity to appreciate them and our capacity for blessing is going to come out of our spiritual growth but spiritual growth does not mean improving positional truth or the things we received at salvation.
First we have the Greek word for grace which is the nominative singular charis, which is the principle behind all of this. Grace is everything that God has done for us without our meriting His favor. Charis is favor that is freely bestowed and so it depends on who and what God is. Without the definite article the word in this case emphasizes the quality of God and thus the character of God who is always the bestower of grace. This focuses attention on the concept that everything depends on who and what God is, nothing depends on us.
Grace is the name of the plan of God, the principle of the plan of God, and the only word that explains the concept that God is perfect and therefore His plan has to be perfect. How can a perfect God design a perfect plan for an imperfect creature? The answer is GRACE!
But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. (ROM 5:15)
Next we have the phrase to you which is the dative plural from the personal pronoun su which is humin, and it includes not only the original recipients but all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. The dative is used as the indirect object to emphasize the ones in whose interest the epistle is written. This epistle is written in your personal interest.
Then the phrase and peace — the conjunction kai plus the noun eirene. It means benefit, welfare, tranquility, and prosperity. In other words, it is simply a synonym for blessing. Here it connotes prosperity. The believer becomes prosperous through the intake of Bible doctrine. It denotes benefit. The believer is benefited by the intake of Bible doctrine. It denotes welfare in the true biblical sense, not in the communist sense! Therefore the believer’s welfare is directly related to the amount of doctrine that is absorbed into the soul. Also, when you have the prosperity, benefits and welfare of Bible doctrine you have tranquility. Tranquility of soul is based upon Bible doctrine. So we have benefits accruing through the daily function of perception and metabolization of doctrine and this is in effect the subject of the epistle.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (EPH 1:2)
The next phrase from God is the preposition apo plus the ablative singular of theou referring to God the Father. God the Father is the source of grace and prosperity. God the Father therefore has a marvelous plan for all believers. Then we have our Father— the ablative of patros plus the pronoun hemon – our. As believers God is our true Father. Never said of any OT saint.
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (ROM 8:15)
The phrase and our Lord Jesus Christ – kai kuriou Iesou Christou also in the ablative and refers to the second person in the Trinity and the one by whom we understand God and everything related to God. If there is any key to grace it is in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ — first His incarnation and then His work upon the cross. “Lord” — the ablative of kuriou is used for the deity of Christ.
For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. (JOH 1:17-18)
Next we have verses 3-14, the longest sentence of connected discourse in any language in history. While the English text has a period at the end of verse 6, the end of verse 12, and the end of verse 14, there are no periods in the Greek. This is all one sentence. This sentence describes the function of the Trinity under the divine plan, operation grace.
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 chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fulness of the times,that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. 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, 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. (EPH 1:3-14)
In this long sentence, where the plan of God is summarized, only the benefits of God are included, suffering, enemies, and spiritual warfare are omitted. These will be included later in the epistle, but in the grand summary God the HS leaves them out.
The reason for this is that while suffering, our enemies, and spiritual warfare are necessary for our application of the spiritual life, the real spiritual life centers completely on our relationship with God. The tests, trials, warfare, sufferings etc. which will be ours in abundance are for God’s glory and to ultimately strengthen our relationship with God. Without a strong, personal, and social relationship with the Trinity we would never be able to handle any suffering or battles. So we could consider our relationship with God to be primary and the things in this world and in the AC that strengthen that relationship to be, while necessary and vital, secondary.
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, (EPH 1:3)
We begin with a verbal adjective eulogetos. This is used only of deity in the New Testament (LUK 1:68). Blessed – eulogetos. This is actually taken from the participle eulogeo (eu = good or well; lego = to speak), which means to praise. As an adjective eulogetos means “worthy of praise and glorification.” It is a technical word, one of the high words of praise used only for God. This word is going to occur several times in this passage. To be ready to appreciate eulogetos one must have completed at least the first stage of spiritual adulthood, SSE.
At SSE you have capacity for category one love, which is personal love directed toward God. At the point of attaining spiritual self-esteem through metabolized doctrine circulating in your stream of consciousness, certain things come into very strong focus. God begins to become very real in your every day, moment by moment life. At SSE you begin sharing the happiness of God. This begins with contentment, which becomes spiritual capacity for life, love, and happiness in every circumstance of life. This includes your stress, disaster, calamity, and pain which all of us have sooner or later in life. Because of maximum understanding of the ten problem solving devices, you have professionalism.
At SSE is the beginning of true humility as the base for the Christian way of life. God is increasing and you are decreasing.
At SSE there is professionalism, which is understanding the mechanics of the Christian way of life (CWL): mechanics related to your very own portfolio of invisible assets, the ten PSD’s, and everything God has provided in grace. Professionalism demands integrity. Integrity is the spiritual strength to execute the mechanics you have learned. There must be a perfect coordination and synchronization between these 4: love for God, sharing the happiness of God, humility and professionalism, and under the filling of the HS with all the doctrine accumulated through spiritual childhood and spiritual adolescence this synchronization is flawless. This coordination leads to integrity, which makes you a winner and begins the road of SSE.
The resultant mental stability from the circulation of metabolized doctrine in the stream of consciousness of your soul’s right lobe is characterized by SSE. This is courage, poise, composure marked by self-assurance. This poise means humility, which is the foundation for coordinating professionalism and integrity.
The opposite of professionalism and integrity is emotionalism and occupation with self. Emotionalism and occupation with self is destructive to the soul, whereas professionalism and integrity depends solely on the grace of God for life. Believers who are not at SSE always want to make an issue out of self. They don’t recognize that Jesus Christ controls history and their place in it. They fail when circumstances seem unfair or fail to fit into their preconceived notion of what the CWL is, so everything becomes about them.
Every church is filled with new believers who have not had enough time to reach SSE as well as believers who were once at SSE but have backslided again into adolescence or childhood.
These must be given the privacy to grow in grace and knowledge by the strong believers in the congregation who do not judge but operate under the law of love in the RFHC.
Those who are at SSE can accomplish all of this because of this wonderful word that describes their appreciation of God – He alone is worthy of praise and glorification. Your resultant integrity that leads to victory over all the categories of life causes the believer to appreciate the character and nature of God and that is what euologetos means.
Once you have this capacity you begin to appreciate the fact that the members of the Trinity are worthy of praise and glorification and that the capacity for this comes from what the Father has provided by way of spiritual food. Food is converted into energy in the human body; spiritual food is converted into energy of the soul, the ability to truly appreciate who and what God is. When you realize that people can appreciate who and what God is, this in itself is almost miraculous inasmuch as God is invisible.
God is a great distance away as far as the residence of heaven is concerned, God cannot be understood where spiritual death is concerned and we were born spiritually dead (therefore no fellowship, no relationship, no ability to comprehend God).
Therefore it is a miracle of grace that we in our souls as believer priests have as the highest function of our priesthood eulogetosthe ability to appreciate God. You cannot glorify God or praise God or appreciate God or have capacity to love God apart from Bible doctrine.