Eph 1:1-2 What does it mean to be a saint? See 1 Cor 1:2. What does it mean to be “faithful in Christ Jesus”? See also Col 1:2. How might one be unfaithful in Christ Jesus? Is one who walks, talks, and acts like the world and yet claims to follow Christ a faithful saint in Christ Jesus?
Eph 1:3-6 Why would Paul think it important to make the Gentile Christians to whom he was writing (see Eph 2:11) aware of their rich blessings in Christ? See Eph 3:4-6, Acts 15:1, 20:28-29, 21:27, 22:21-22. Is the nature of those blessings material? Where are they to be found? See Eph 1:3, 20, 2:6, 3:10, 6:12. How are our blessings in Christ different from those blessings which the Jews enjoyed in Moses? See Heb 8:4-6, 9:23, 11:16, 12:22. What two blessings does Paul mention in Eph 1:4-6, and why would they especially be considered as blessings to the Gentile believers? Had the Jews, who were entrusted with the oracles of God, taught that God had in any sense chosen the Gentiles or had from the foundation of the world predestined them in the same way He had the Jews to be adopted as sons? Was God’s plan to redeem the Gentiles an afterthought because so many of the Jews rejected the gospel, or something he had planned from the beginning? How would this understanding have been a blessing to the Gentile Christians who were viewed by so many of their Jewish brothers as second-class Christians at best? To what end were people from among both Jews and Gentiles chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world? See Eph 1:4, 2:10.
Eph 1:7-10 What blessing does Paul mention in Eph 1:7 as belonging to those who are in Christ? Why was that especially a blessing to the Gentiles? See Eph 2:11-12. What blessing is mentioned in Eph 1:8-10? What was the mystery of His will? See Eph 3:3-6, Col 1:25-27. Note: NASB “administration”/KJV “dispensation” is a Greek word meaning “the management of a household or of household affairs; specifically, the management, oversight, administration, of others’ property; the office of a manager or overseer, stewardship”; it is the same word used in Eph 3:2,9, Col 1:25, 1 Cor 9:17 and 1 Tim 1:4. How is the political administration of President Bush different from that of President Bill Clinton? How is the spiritual administration of the Church different from that of the Jews? How is it “suitable to the fullness of the times”? See Luke 21:24.
Eph 1:11-14 What two blessings are mentioned in these verses as belonging to those in Christ? Who is the “we” in Eph 1:12 who were the first to hope in Christ, and the “you also” in Eph 1:13? What is the inheritance of those who are in Christ Jesus that Paul speaks of in these verses? See Heb 11:8-10, 1 Pet 1:4. What token of assurance has God given that those who are in Christ will receive what He has promised? See Eph 1:14, Acts 10:44-48, Rom 8:14. Again, to what end did God ordain the events of history so as to redeem a people for His own possession from among both Jews and Gentiles? See Eph 1:12,14,5-6. Are we walking in the good works for which we were created in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:10) so as to be holy and blameless before Him (Eph 1:4) and so be to the praise of His glory (Eph 1:12)?
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- What is the relationship between Jesus’ sacrifice and our redemption, forgiveness and receiving an inheritance per the terms of the covenant / will that was effected by His death?
- From what, and to what, are we saved? Is it Jesus’ death alone that saves us? What part does His resurrection have in our salvation?
- Does the justice of God demand the satisfaction of blood before He will forgive, similar to what pagans throughout history have believed?
- What was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrifices?
- Does blood alone atone for sin?
- How does Christ’s death render powerless the devil?
- To whom was Christ’s life given as a ransom? From what are we ransomed?
- Why did Jesus not only die, but suffer and die? If all that was necessary was His shed blood, why didn’t God sovereignly ordain a more merciful death for His own dear Son?
- What is the relationship between a will or testament, and a covenant? What was willed to Jesus as an inheritance from His Father, and what was willed to us through the new testament in His blood?