Bible Study Notes:

Under Our Feet

Ephesians 2:6-15

 

These notes are from a transcript of the postings during Bible Study on Friday Nights at 7 PM at Bible Study Chat at churchusa.com.
You are welcome to join us at any time!

We're starting on Ephesians 2:6. Just think, in some countries what we are about to do would be considered illegal! Thank God for freedom!

Praise you Jesus! Thank you for the Word. Than you for the refreshing it brings, the peace and joy!

Won't it be good when we get to Heaven and don't have to rush around to study the Word, HE will be present with us always! I don't know if we will get instant knowledge, or sit at His feet soaking in His wisdom, either way it will be glorious!

Father God we exalt your most holy name and praise you! Thank you for the Word and the revelation knowledge you have given us. Thank you for your peace and joy that fills our hearts tonight!

Father God we welcome the riches of your Holy Word, and prepare our hearts to receive it's many wonders and wealth in the name of Jesus. AMEN

Open our minds to your Word, Lord. Help us understand it, open the eyes of our heart to receive what you have for us tonight.

Holy Spirit we invite you to be our teacher and bring all things to our remembrance. Engraft the Word into our hearts so that we may be doers and not hearers only.

satan, we come against you in the Name of Jesus and command you to flee from this holy place. We bind you and rebuke you and cast you out in Jesus Name.

Father, we pray a spirit of peace upon this place. May there be no dissensions or disagreements, but let there be unity in your Word. AMEN and AMEN

OK! Last time we talked about Paul's prayer for the believers at Ephesus. After the prayer, in Ephesians 2:1-5, Paul goes on to describe our former state as sinners subject to satan. Thank God for deliverance!! Because of our sinful nature, v. 3 says we were "objects of wrath", BUT - any time you see a but that means there's a change coming!

4-5 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved.

Hallelujah, we've been made ALIVE with Christ! Because of God's love and merciful riches, He made us ALIVE even when we were DEAD in sins, by His grace, unmerited favor, and unearned gift! This brings us up to date - to verse 6.

6-7 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Now this verse refers to Chapter 1:20 or so where it says: That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

I believe that a lot of our problems come from not seeing our position in Christ. bear with me a minute and you'll see what I mean. Look at Jesus now - seated in heavenly places at Gods right hand, FAR ABOVE all rule and authority. Any Name that is named: King President, Congressman, Boss, Ruler, Dictator - any power on earth - Christ is seated above them. Any problem, distress, disease, circumstance, depression, power, oppression you have - Christ is seated above them. Can you see Him way, way up there - far above the stress and strain of your life???

We are also told in chapter 1:22-23 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Any problem you have is under His feet! Any disease, any oppression, anything that the devil sends against you, is under Jesus feet. Can everyone see that?

But the good news doesn't stop there - verse 6 says - AND GOD RAISED US UP WITH HIM! All these things are under our feet too IN CHRIST! What happens when we have a problem? We say, "Woe is me, I am under such burdens, you just don't understand." BUT the Bible says YOU are seated in heavenly places, all of your problems, burdens, fears, diseases are way, way down there below you - under your feet!

Can you see them down far below, like tiny specks of dust. God says to you ('cause you're right there with Him IN CHRIST), He says, "See those tiny specks of dust? That's what your problems look like from up here! Is there anything too hard for me? I can whisk them away in no time!"

We were made to rule OVER our circumstances, not have the problems rule us. What happens when problems rule over us? We become fearful, distressed, disappointed, discouraged, disagreeable - not good stuff!

We can only rule over our problems IN CHRIST, as we are seated with Him in heavenly places, He gives us authority to rule over the principalities and powers - which are the satanic forces that create our problems! We have to take AUTHORITY over them.

But if we could just get a vision of not only WHO we are in Christ, but WHERE we are - seated in heavenly places, it would revolutionize our lives!! Can you see yourself way up there - now don't get dizzy - looking way, way down on the things of this earth?

I guess you can tell this is one of my favorite verses. I even wrote a song about it.

UNDER OUR FEET!

When God raised up Jesus,
He sat Him on the throne,
At the right hand of the Father,
Up in Heaven's Home,
Far above all dominion
And power and might,
Subjecting all creation
To His Son of Light.

And God raised us up with Him,
If we have faith in Jesus Name,
And through eternal ages
We shall sing of the same,
Gift of grace towards us,
From the Father above,
Who is very great in mercy,
Rich to us in His love.

We are Christ's body
He has raised from sin,
No longer walking in the lusts
That we were in,
And now our former master,
We will ALWAYS defeat,
For the principalities and powers
Are UNDER OUR FEET.

Chorus:

For it's by grace we're saved,
And no man can boast,
We're created in Christ Jesus
By the Holy Ghost,
And in the Name of Jesus
We will not accept defeat,
For the principalities and powers
Are UNDER OUR FEET!

And the Lord gave it to me when I was down, down, down under a truckload of problems, moaning and groaning...The Bible says that we are Christ's Body, and how did we get to be part of Him? He raised us up from the death of sin!

It's a matter of perspective - looking at life from heavenly places, or looking at life from under a bunch of garbage! We know the devil is always trying to get our eyes off of Jesus, the Author (beginner) and Finisher of our faith, and on to our problems. Then our God seems small, and our troubles tall. But when we by faith SEE ourselves in heavenly places, look how big God looks now! And those tiny specks down there - God can surely take care of those!

Our position in Christ is a statement of fact, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually- whether we "feel" it or not! We walk by FAITH, not by sight. Sight includes all of our senses, we don't walk by what we see, think, feel, or know with our senses, we walk by the Word. Our senses can be fooled and deceived, but the Word is true FOREVER. It is settled forever in the heavens!

FAITH comes by hearing the Word!

6-7 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

There are more jewels in this treasure chest verse! A treasure chest is a box full of valuable things, like jewels and gold and money. I was comparing this verse to a treasure chest because it has so many valuable things in it. To this world we are just pebbles on the beach, but to Jesus we are the finest diamonds, the purest gold.

Why did God raise us up? Not only because He loves us, but as examples of the riches of His grace! Hallelujah - when we get a vision of WHO and WHERE we are in Christ, we can't help but pass it along. What God does for me, on the authority of His Word, He can do for you too! Witnessing should never be a chore or duty, but a joy! Look what Jesus has done for me! Look what He can do for you!

An example is a sample of something - we are samples of what God can and will do for us by His grace. If you think about it, if we could just hold on to this vision of us seated in heavenly places with Christ - we really wouldn't have to say a thing - the glow on our faces from being in God's presence would testify WHO and WHERE we are as a testimony to unbelievers AND to believers who are discouraged or bound by legalism or whatever.

Remember that grace is God's unmerited favor - we don't deserve it and can't earn it - it is part of His loving nature, that agape - unconditional love - that causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. The love that prompted Him to give His most precious possession - His Only Son.

Salvation means deliverance in the fullest sense - from sin, death, disease and the grave! It was bought with a steep, steep price. Jesus showed His love for us by dying for us while we were yet sinners. And we receive this salvation by faith - believing in God's faithfulness, love and truth!

Isaiah 53 - "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement (punishment) of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes (lashings) WE ARE HEALED." In Acts 10:38, we are told "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him." Mark 16 says "These signs shall follow them that believe, they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover..."

James says "If there be any sick among you, let them call for the elders of the church, to pray over him, and anoint him with oil, in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up" (James 5:14-15)

"Not by works" - we are not saved by what we do. If salvation could have come by following rules and doing good works, then Jesus would not have died for our salvation.

"So that no one could boast" None of us can boast that we are good enough for heaven in ourselves, we are not. We are saved by grace through faith ALONE, our boasting should be in God ALONE.

You know we really have to fight to keep our freedom in Christ. Someone is always trying to bring us into bondage by a set of man-man rules. I don't mean that our freedom is a license to sin, there are commandments in the Bible we should follow, but to please God because we love Him, not under obligation for salvation.

10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

"For we are God's workmanship" - workmanship has the connotation of a WORK of ART! To God we are His masterpiece! He is working on us, making us perfect in Him, doing good through us - What an artist!

I remember when I was younger thinking how hard the Christian life is! It seemed so hard to be good, so hard to do the right thing - I was trying to do the good works, instead of letting God do the work THROUGH me in Christ Jesus.

"Prepared in advance for us to do" refers to the verses in chapter one that tell of God's glorious plan of redemption! God is prepared, nothing takes Him by surprise. If we would just be wise enough to yield to Him, let Him work through us, what peace and joy we would have! No striving to do it ourselves...

What a relief! We just have to let God work through us! He has the plan, He has the power, all He needs is our cooperation. It should be a joy for us to share, to witness, to love!

Notice also the word "created" in Christ Jesus - God didn't stop His creation in the second chapter of Genesis - He is still creating today. And I believe He wants us to be co-creators with Him. No we can't create people and we can't save people, but through our renewed minds, we can come up with creative solutions IN HIM to so many problems that plague the earth!

It isn't college degrees or labels given by men that are a witness for God, it is our personal testimonies that bring God's light to others. Sadly, some of the most educated are the least able to testify because their intellects have been corrupted by unbelieving professors!

Anoint us all to do your works O God, we are willing, work through us to witness to a lost and dying world! AMEN. Praise the Lord! I love God's Word! Such riches of mercy, such treasures of grace!

11-12 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)--remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

THEREFORE, because of the things I've just told you, because of the riches of God's grace, because of your inheritance with the saints, REMEMBER!

Now Paul reminds the Ephesians - most of whom were NOT Jews (the circumcision) before they met Christ - of where they were before they were saved by this grace. He says "at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. "

This is a picture of most of the world today, sad to say, separated from Christ - their savior and deliverer - excluded from citizenship in God's nation, strangers to God's covenants and promises. WITHOUT HOPE - what is there to hope for without Christ?

Material things don't last - Without Christ you're born, you pay taxes, you die - that's all! Our hope is in God, His love, His promises, His grace! One day all that unbelievers hold on to will be gone, without Christ they are nothing and they have nothing. But the devil puts up a mighty fine smoke screen - he makes it look like they are something and they have something - they are blinded by the things of this world. Without hope and blind too!

Why did the Ephesians need the reminder of their past? Were they having problems living their faith and staying close to the Lord? The text doesn't indicate that there were problems, but Revelation 2:3-5 indicates that they had problems later!

In Revelation 3:2-5 when Jesus is walking among the churches, here speaking to Ephesus: "Yet I hold this against you. You have forsaken your first love. REMEMBER the heights from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first..."

There were some in Ephesus in time who forgot the HEIGHTS they were in - raised to heavenly places with Christ! It's almost like a prophecy here, isn't it? They had forsaken, left, or abandoned their FIRST LOVE, Jesus Christ, and had gotten their eyes on earthly things! THEREFORE REMEMBER!

It is sad - "and without God in the world". The world is a tough place to be without God! Back stabbing, gossiping, being used, rejected - it's a wonder more don't give up! And this is how the Ephesians were before Christ was preached to them.

THEREFORE = because of what I've told you, Paul is saying, REMEMBER where you were before you came to know Christ. They remembered where they'd been and remembered where they ARE because of God's grace!

Here's another BUT - Paul is reminding the Ephesians of where they WERE, BUT NOW.... Aren't you glad there was a BUT NOW in your life? You once were lost, BUT NOW you're found? Was blind, BUT NOW you see??? Hallelujah.

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

Brought near by the blood of Jesus! We were all "AFAR OFF" until Jesus brought us near. Praise God. Father I am reminded to pray for our prodigals - those who once walked with you and now are a far off. Lord Jesus draw them back we pray, renew their hope, and let them think of the Father and of home. Let the sin they are in bring them no pleasure, let it be like pig slop to them! Turn their hearts towards home. Bring people across their path to witness for You. In Jesus' Name AMEN

We need to yield ourselves to Him, but we don't have to struggle and strive to be accepted by God - we are His WORK OF ART! Hallelujah

The next passage is kind of long, but want to post it to get the context, then we'll break it down.

14-16 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

Keep in mind that Paul has just spoken about the Ephesians who were Gentiles, lost without God in the world and separated from citizenship in Israel.

And remember in verse 13 "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ."

Jesus is our peace! He said, "Peace I give, not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled..." The world promises us peace - but can it deliver true peace - NO, the best it can give is a "cessation of conflict", and that is only temporary.

Paul was reminding the Ephesians where they were BEFORE salvation.

In Chapter 2 verses 11-12, Paul reminded the Ephesians where they WERE without Christ. They were a far off, separated from Christ, without hope and without God in the world. But they have been brought near by the blood of Jesus. Now Paul is expounding to them what this NEARNESS means.

Jesus is our peace - there is no other source. "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities (sins), the chastisement (punishment) of our PEACE was upon Him, and by His stripes (lashings) we are healed" Isaiah 53.

Chastisement of our peace - means that Jesus paid the price, not only for salvation from sin and healing of the body, but took the punishment to BUY our peace. The Amplified Bible says "the chastisement needful to obtain peace and well-being for us was upon Him".

Part of the deal way back in Eden, is that PEACE was taken from the earth! When Adam and Eve gave satan dominion, he brought discord, arguments, factions, arguing and war! Part of salvation is PEACE. Praise God forever.

Now Jesus is our peace and "has made the two one" - meaning the believing Gentiles and Jews - has made it possible for us to fellowship together, to receive the promises together. How did He do this? By removing the barrier or dividing wall of hostility. What was this wall?

THE LAW! v. 15 - that's what separated the Jews from the Gentiles; that's what created the hostility. Hostility for the Jews, because they believed that the Gentiles were unclean and not fit to associate with because they didn't have the Law. Hostility for the Gentiles because they resented the fact that the Jews "wouldn't let them in".

Paul said that Jesus ABOLISHED - destroyed, did away with, got rid off, in His flesh, the rule of the law with its commandments and regulations. In Colossians 2:14 Paul put it this way: "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross." Now Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." He said He came to fulfill them - He obeyed the Law perfectly and became the perfect sacrifice, and ended the reign of LAW by the new covenant in His blood. And since Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the law, we no longer live under it.

But the Law still basically shows what God thinks like, doesn't it? What he expected, but we couldn't do? Yes that's true, but now the Bible says the law is written in our hearts, not in tablets of stone. And we don't have that set of rules and regulations to follow to please God; we please Him by letting His love rule us and flow out of our hearts.

Now a covenant is an agreement, like a contract, that included woes and blessings. Woes were curses or consequences that occurred when the contract was broken. Blessings were benefits that occurred when the contract was kept.

In Old Testament times, contracts were CUT, that is blood was shed to bind them. For the Old Covenant or Old Testament, the cutting was circumcision. For the New Testament or New Covenant, the blood that was shed was Jesus' own. That's why men do not have to be circumcised to be Christians. The Galatians had a real problem with this.

In the Old Testament times, people were responsible for keeping the contract by following the LAW. In the New Testament, Christ has fulfilled ALL of the obligations for us. We have faith in that and walk by God's grace.

Well then why did Jesus have to be circumcised? Because Jesus had to fulfill the OLD contract fully before He could CUT a new contract on the cross with His blood. If you're interested in more about the covenants read the book of Hebrews and make a comparison between the two.

Christian boys are sometimes circumcised today, but that's more of a social custom for hygienic purposes today. For the Jew it was serious business. No circumcision - no part of Judaism... Let me back up a bit. The Old Covenant or Old Testament was a rule of LAW. When a boy was born, on the 8th day he was circumcised as a sign of his covenant with God, promising to follow all the Law. (A person could be circumcised at any age to become a Jew, but the usual custom was 8 days.) When he was 12, he had a Bar Mitzvoth, which indicated that he was a man and a Son (BAR) of the Commandment (MITZVOTH). He was then bond to the Law all his life if he wanted to please God and be blessed.

For Jesus to fulfill all of the LAW, he had to go through the processes like any other Jewish boy. The problem with following the LAW, is for it to save you, you have to keep it perfectly, every day all the time, impossible for anyone but Jesus.

That's why they had animal sacrifices in the Old Testament, it was an ATONEMENT or covering for their sins - sins require death -and the animals were substituted for them. But when they sinned again, another sacrifice had to be made, and another and another...

Now since Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the law perfectly, he was without sin and didn't need a sacrifice for His own sins! That's why His sacrifice is able to atone for ours. 2 Corinthians 5:21 "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

Father God, thank you so much for this precious time with You and Your Word. Bless the listeners and give them divine understanding. Engraft the Word deeply into our hearts and help us put it into practice. AMEN.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the blessed companionship of the Holy Spirit!

 

Remember, whenever God gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate on what you've learned!
And put it into practice.

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