Ephesians Chapters 1 and 2: The Cornerstone of Paul’s faith
God predestined us in Love. Before the Creation He chose us to be “In Christ”
Paul praises God for this awesome truth and prays that our eyes are opened to being “in Christ.”
Jesus is All the Blessings in the Heavenly places
Ch1 v3 and v20: We have every spiritual blessing in the Heavenly places because God seated Him at His right hand in the Heavenly places.
Oh what a spiritual blessing is the Resurrected Christ! He becomes our inheritance in the Heavenly places. Not only is He our inheritance but we are His, we inherit all of His rewards and all of His reward becomes us.
1:10 Jesus united all things in Heaven and Earth by redemption with His blood
Jesus bought the New Creation with His blood and created an inheritance in the saints.
After the resurrection of Christ, the Holy Spirit came to seal us.
1:14 Does the Spirit change roles when the “inheritance” is possessed?
He is no longer the guarantee but part of the fulfillment. Still a “seal” v13 but in a new way?
Jesus lived His life on Earth as a man filled with the Spirit of God. That was the only way He could live a perfect life. Though God, He was also a man, and emptied Himself to trust the Holy Spirit for the power to do so. This is the only way we can live like Jesus. Jonathan Edwards says Heaven is a world of Love. The only way this can be so is if we live perfectly in Heaven like Jesus, and we can only do this by the Spirit of God. So the Spirit will continue to be a seal of perfection in the Heavenly places and will fulfill this work. We can’t inherit the New Earth without the Spirit that provides humility, meekness, love, joy, and life.
Chapter 2 You were dead. All of our past “lives” aren’t really life.
You are seated with Jesus in the Heavenly Places
Ch2 v6 He raised us up in Christ Jesus. How did He do that?
You were replaced with Jesus in his death. God made you alive.
V13 brought near by His blood- Substitutionary Atonement
We became “In Christ” and Christ was raised to the Heavenly places
Why? To show His Grace! This is grace, that even though we were dead in our sin, walking in the way of the devil (the Prince of the power of the air), God made us alive in Christ. God punished His Son instead of us. God gave us His inheritance for a perfect life.
God created a new Humanity in Jesus, that could possess “the fullness of God.”
v15 You in Christ “one new Man”
v22 God in You “dwelling place”
By what means?
Prophets. Apostles. Christ. Spirit.
The Prophets and Apostles lay the foundation of foresight and hindsight. The Apostles really saw Him. Ate with Him, drank with Him, slept with Him, and walked with Him. The Prophets heard directly from God what Jesus would be like.
Jesus is the Cornerstone.
Jesus is the Lamb that was slain, who takes away the sins of the world.
A very special lady named Noelle writes this response:
‘Upon researching these questions, I found that 1) Temples were designed and constructed according to set proportions, mostly determined by the lower diameter of columns or dimensions of foundational levels. (Paul writes in Eph. 2:19-21 “you are fellow citizens with the saints and the members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets [pretty expansive if you think about including all the prophets and judges and apostles], Christ Jesus HIMSELF being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure… grows into a holy temple IN the Lord.” 2) The cornerstone: ( I read this according to The Golden Bough by Frazer) all stones are set in reference to this stone. AND ceremonially, in ancient greek times there were offerings placed over the cornerstone of a building, (guess what the offerings were? there were two different kinds) the first kind of offering that people made in the Judeo-Greek culture was of grain, wine, and oil over the cornerstone. I find this interesting, because I was reminded of a Scripture in the Old Testament (I had to look it up, because I couldn’t remember its location in the texts) but it’s in Joel 2:23-24 that says, “Be glad, O children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given the early rain for your vindication; he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before. 24 “The threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
The symbolism in the Judeo ceremonial practice of grain, wine, and oil is one that we see in the body of Christ (grain), the blood of Christ’s sacrifice (wine) and the oil (or the anointing of the Spirit). Christ as cornerstone in our faith is a beautiful picture of not just a “reference” point, but also a picture of literally having his body built, his blood spilled for the building of our unity as believers, and the Spirit as a marker of His life which resonates throughout our “temple IN the Lord.”
The second kind of Greek practice to commemorate a cornerstone would be a sacrifice of a lamb, ram, or chicken and the sacrifice would literally be built into the foundation, as a symbol of strength, stability, and life that resonates throughout the whole building itself. This sacrifice upon a cornerstone is another image that Paul would draw upon in referencing Christ’s sacrifice through the language associated with temple construction in Ephesus. Christ is the “lamb” of God, and the Ephesians would hear Paul’s words as a brutal picture of how our “temple in the Lord” came to be a dwelling for the Holy Spirit.’
This Christ who died on a Cross was built into the foundation of Paul’s faith and ours. What a beautiful picture of love and a bittersweet, gruesome, heart to the way we can get to the Father.