BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 22, Day 3: Ephesians 1:3-14

Summary of passage: Paul says praise to God for blessing us in the heaven with spiritual blessings.  We have been chosen since before the Creation to be holy and blameless in His sight.  Through love God predestined us to be adopted into His family through Christ for His pleasure and will by the gift of grace which he gives us freely.

We have redemption through Christ’s blood by God’s grace, made known to us through Christ, to bring all things in heaven and earth together in God’s timing.

We are also for the praise of God’s glory.  Having believed we were marked with a seal (the Holy Spirit) which guarantees our inheritance (our possession by God) until we are redeemed–to the praise of His glory.

Questions:

8a)  Verse 4 “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love.”

b)  Two billion people on the planet profess themselves to be Christians (33 %) but how many of these actually possess the Holy Spirit is probably less.  The overall percentage is falling however relative to the overall population and history.  There is still work to be done in the world.

Me personally, I’m still working on being holy and blameless (life-long challenge for Christians).  But I belong to Christ and am not going anywhere.  This alone gives me solace.

9a)  Glory according to Webster’s Dictionary means, “worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving, something that secures praise, great beauty and splendor, magnificence, the splendor and beauty of heaven.”

According to Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary by JD Douglas and Merrill C Tenney glory is “great honor or praise, used especially of God’s majestic splendor.”

To the praise of His glory means praise and honor for God’s majestic splendor.  Douglas and Tenney go on to say, “the glory of God is the worthiness of God” or the “revelation of God in Christ.”  So we (humans and others) are to praise and honor God for His worthiness and His revelation along with His splendor.  Verse 12 specifically says that we might be for the praise of His glory.  So through us we can show God’s glory–something to be praised.

b)  When we show through our actions what it means to live a Christ-centered life.  So to be slow to anger, to be humble, to praise God for everything we do, to be patient, to love and forgive.  I can be all of this to my family and others.  Put others first and strive to do what Jesus would do with every action, word, and breath.

10a)  Heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation).  You believed.  Then you were marked with a seal (the Holy Spirit), which indwells in you, showing you as God’s possession and is a deposit for your inheritance and redemption.

b)  The Holy Spirit marks you and allows a part of Christ to live in you, in our hearts.  It is what changes us since we all know will alone is not sufficient.

11)  To seal according to Webster’s Dictionary means “something that confirms, ratifies, or makes secure, guarantee, assurance, authenticate or to determine irrevocably or indisputably (my favorite definition!).”

According to Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary by JD Douglas and Merrill C Tenney seal means “authentication, confirmation, ownership, evidence, or security.”

It gives me comfort to know I’m irrevocably God’s.  That He has marked me, I belong to Him, and therefore, nothing else matters.  Nothing can stand in my way for God’s purpose for my life.  It’s a relief.  Knowing I can live Him every day of my sometimes seemingly pitiful existence.

Conclusions:  As a writer I love the dictionary so these two lessons made my day!  It’s amazing how knowing the exact definition of a word changes things.  I do this when writing.  I change words all the time to convey exactly what I mean.

I love reading about the Holy Spirit and being reminded God is inside of me.  I love the simplicity of being in Christ:  Hear God’s Truth, Believe, and you are His through the mark of the Holy Spirit.  I also love being His glory.  Most of the time I don’t feel glorious.  In fact, I can feel the complete opposite:  shame, embarrassed, unworthy, lackluster, disappointing, regretful, and downright sad.  Even then I can be His glory if I believe it.  If I chose to.