2. The Intrinsic Building Up of the Organic Body of Christ (2) The Revelation and Building Up of the Body of Christ in Ephesians
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RA, CK  Hymns: 1220, 1226
Scripture Reading: Eph. 1:17; 2:10, 15; 3:16-19; 4:3-6, 11-16; 5:2, 8-9, 26-27; 6:10-13, 17-18
Eph 1:17        That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him,
Eph 2:10        For we are His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand in order that we would walk in them.
Eph 2:15        Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,
Eph 3:16        That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man,
Eph 3:17        That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18        May be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are
Eph 3:19        And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
Eph 4:3          Being diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace:
Eph 4:4          One Body and one Spirit, even as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:5          One Lord, one faith, one baptism;
Eph 4:6          One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Eph 4:11        And He Himself gave some as apostles and some as prophets and some as evangelists and some as shepherds and teachers,
Eph 4:12        For the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ,
Eph 4:13        Until we all arrive at the oneness of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, at a full-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
Eph 4:14        That we may be no longer little children tossed by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching in the sleight of men, in craftiness with a view to a system of error,
Eph 4:15        But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ,
Eph 4:16        Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.
Eph 5:2          And walk in love, even as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor.
Eph 5:8          For you were once darkness but are now light in the Lord; walk as children of light
Eph 5:9          (For the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
Eph 5:26        That He might sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing of the water in the word,
Eph 5:27        That He might present the church to Himself glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that she would be holy and without blemish.
Eph 6:10        Finally, be empowered in the Lord and in the might of His strength.
Eph 6:11        Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the stratagems of the devil,
Eph 6:12        For our wrestling is not against blood and flesh but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies.
Eph 6:13        Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph 6:17        And receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God,
Eph 6:18        By means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit and watching unto this in all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints,
 
  I.     Each chapter of the book of Ephesians unveils the mystery of the Body of Christ as the organism of the Triune God from a particular point of view; we must pray for a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that we may see the Body of Christ as the top revelation of the Bible—Eph. 1:17-23; 3:3-5, 9-11.
Eph 1:17        That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him,
Eph 1:18        The eyes of your heart having been enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19        And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the operation of the might of His strength,
Eph 1:20        Which He caused to operate in Christ in raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavenlies,
Eph 1:21        Far above all rule and authority and power and lordship and every name that is named not only in this age but also in that which is to come;
Eph 1:22        And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 3:3          That by revelation the mystery was made known to me, as I have written previously in brief,
Eph 3:4          By which, in reading it, you can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ,
Eph 3:5          Which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in spirit,
Eph 3:9          And to enlighten all that they may see what the economy of the mystery is, which throughout the ages has been hidden in God, who created all things,
Eph 3:10        In order that now to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenlies the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known through the church,
Eph 3:11        According to the eternal purpose which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord,
 
 
II.   Ephesians 1 reveals that the Body of Christ is the issue of the dispensing of the processed Trinity and the transmitting of the transcending Christ:
Eph 1             be omitted.
A.     The Father’s dispensing in His choosing and predestinating issues in His many sons as His house in sanctification—vv. 3-6.
Eph 1:3          Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ,
Eph 1:4          Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish before Him in love,
Eph 1:5          Predestinating us unto sonship through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
Eph 1:6          To the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He graced us in the Beloved;
B.     The Son’s dispensing in His redeeming and saving issues in the believers as God’s inheritance in transformation—vv. 7-12.
Eph 1:7          In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of offenses, according to the riches of His grace,
Eph 1:8          Which He caused to abound to us in all wisdom and prudence,
Eph 1:9          Making known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself,
Eph 1:10        Unto the economy of the fullness of the times, to head up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in Him;
Eph 1:11        In whom also we were designated as an inheritance, having been predestinated according to the purpose of the One who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
Eph 1:12        That we would be to the praise of His glory who have first hoped in Christ,
C.     The Spirit’s dispensing in His sealing and pledging issues in God as the believers’ inheritance unto their perfection—vv. 13-14.
Eph 1:13        In whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation, in Him also believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise,
Eph 1:14        Who is the pledge of our inheritance unto the redemption of the acquired possession, to the praise of His glory.
D.     The transcending Christ’s transmitting in His rising and ascending issues in His Body as His expression unto the believers’ consummation—vv. 19-23.
Eph 1:19        And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the operation of the might of His strength,
Eph 1:20        Which He caused to operate in Christ in raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavenlies,
Eph 1:21        Far above all rule and authority and power and lordship and every name that is named not only in this age but also in that which is to come;
Eph 1:22        And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
 
  III.  Ephesians 2 reveals that the Body of Christ as the new man is the masterpiece of the Triune God—vv. 10, 15-16:
Eph 2             be omitted.
Eph 2:10        For we are His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand in order that we would walk in them.
Eph 2:15        Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,
Eph 2:16        And might reconcile both in one Body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity by it.
A.     The Body of Christ as the one new man is God’s masterpiece, His poem, created in Himself through His death and resurrection to express His infinite wisdom and divine design—vv. 10, 15.
Eph 2:10        For we are His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand in order that we would walk in them.
Eph 2:15        Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,
B.     On the cross Christ created the new man in Himself by abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, all the forms or ways of living and worship that divide mankind—vv. 14-15.
Eph 2:14        For He Himself is our peace, He who has made both one and has broken down the middle wall of partition, the enmity,
Eph 2:15        Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,
C.     The worldly people regard cultural differences as a source of prestige, but in the Body of Christ as the one new man, we have lost this prestige; now our only prestige is Christ and the genuine oneness—Col. 1:18b; Eph. 4:3-4a.
Col 1:18b       … He is the beginning, the Firstborn from the dead, that He Himself might have the first place in all things;
Eph 4:3          Being diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace:
Eph 4:4a        One Body and one Spirit, …
D.     In the one new man there is only one person—the all-inclusive Christ; this one new man has one mouth to speak the same thing in one accord—2:15; Rom. 15:6; 1 Cor. 1:10.
Eph 2:15        Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,
Rom 15:6       That with one accord you may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Cor 1:10      Now I beseech you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be attuned in the same mind and in the same opinion.
 
  IV.  Ephesians 3 reveals that the Body of Christ is the fullness of the Triune God by our being supplied with the riches of Christ and by Christ’s making His home in our hearts:
Eph 3             be omitted.
A.     God has an economy to distribute the unsearchable riches of Christ into our being so that we become His fullness, His expression—vv. 2, 7-9, 19.
Eph 3:2          If indeed you have heard of the stewardship of the grace of God which was given to me for you,
Eph 3:7          Of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God which was given to me according to the operation of His power.
Eph 3:8          To me, less than the least of all saints, was this grace given to announce to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel
Eph 3:9          And to enlighten all that they may see what the economy of the mystery is, which throughout the ages has been hidden in God, who created all things,
Eph 3:19        And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
B.     Paul prayed to the Father as the source that He would strengthen us through the Spirit as the means into the inner man that Christ, the Son, would move and work to make His home in our hearts, issuing in our becoming the Body of Christ as the fullness of the Triune God—vv. 14-19.
Eph 3:14        For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father,
Eph 3:15        Of whom every family in the heavens and on earth is named,
Eph 3:16        That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man,
Eph 3:17        That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18        May be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are
Eph 3:19        And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
C.     We need to pray daily to be strengthened into our inner man so that the Triune God may carry out His unique work to build Himself in Christ into our hearts for Him to become our intrinsic constitution for the mutual abode of God and man—3:16-17; John 14:23.
Eph 3:16        That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man,
Eph 3:17        That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
John 14:23     Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him.
 
  V.   Ephesians 4 reveals that the Body of Christ is the mingling of the processed Triune God with the regenerated believers and that this one Body is built up by the one ministry:
Eph 4             be omitted.
A.     The one Spirit, one Lord, and one God and Father are mingled together with the believers into one entity to be the organic Body of Christ—vv. 4-6.
Eph 4:4          One Body and one Spirit, even as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:5          One Lord, one faith, one baptism;
Eph 4:6          One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
B.     The oneness of the Body of Christ is the oneness of the Spirit, and the oneness of the Spirit is the Spirit Himself, who is in our spirit; in order to keep the oneness, we must stay in our mingled spirit—vv. 3-4; John 4:24.
Eph 4:3          Being diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace:
Eph 4:4          One Body and one Spirit, even as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
John 4:24       God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.
C.     The Body of Christ is built up by the one ministry, which perfects us to grow up into Christ, the Head, in all things and to function out from Him in order to supply the Body for its building up in love—Eph. 4:11-16.
Eph 4:11        And He Himself gave some as apostles and some as prophets and some as evangelists and some as shepherds and teachers,
Eph 4:12        For the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ,
Eph 4:13        Until we all arrive at the oneness of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, at a full-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
Eph 4:14        That we may be no longer little children tossed by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching in the sleight of men, in craftiness with a view to a system of error,
Eph 4:15        But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ,
Eph 4:16        Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.
 
  VI.  Ephesians 5 reveals that the Body of Christ is composed of the children of light to be the bride of Christ for the satisfaction of Christ:
Eph 5             be omitted.
A.     We were once not only dark but darkness itself because we were one with Satan; now we are not only the children of light but light itself because we are one with God in the Lord—v. 8; Matt. 5:14.
Eph 5:8          For you were once darkness but are now light in the Lord; walk as children of light
Matt 5:14       You are the light of the world. It is impossible for a city situated upon a mountain to be hidden.
B.     The lampstand signifies that the church as the reproduction of the Triune God is a living, golden tree, blossoming with resurrection life as the shining light, which is the fruit of the light for the full expression of the Triune God—Exo. 25:31-34; Num. 17:8; Rev. 1:11-12; Eph. 5:9; cf. Gal. 5:22.
Exo 25:31      And you shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand with its base and its shaft shall be made of beaten work; its cups, its calyxes, and its blossom buds shall be of one piece with it.
Exo 25:32      And there shall be six branches going out of its sides; three branches of the lampstand out of one of its sides, and three branches of the lampstand out of its other side;
Exo 25:33      Three cups made like almond blossoms in one branch, a calyx and a blossom bud; and three cups made like almond blossoms in the other branch, a calyx and a blossom bud-so for the six branches going out of the lampstand.
Exo 25:34      And there shall be on the lampstand four cups made like almond blossoms, its calyxes and its blossom buds;
Num 17:8       And on the next day Moses went into the Tent of the Testimony, and there was the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi: it had budded; it even put forth buds and produced blossoms and bore ripe almonds.
Rev 1:11        Saying, What you see write in a scroll and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamos and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.
Rev 1:12        And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me; and when I turned, I saw seven golden lampstands,
Eph 5:9          (For the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
Gal 5:22         But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
C.     As children of light, walking in love and light, we will be prepared to be Christ’s glorious bride by the life-giving Spirit’s sanctifying us, cleansing us by the washing of the water in the word—Eph. 5:2, 8, 18, 26-27.
Eph 5:2          And walk in love, even as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor.
Eph 5:8          For you were once darkness but are now light in the Lord; walk as children of light
Eph 5:18        And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissoluteness, but be filled in spirit,
Eph 5:26        That He might sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing of the water in the word,
Eph 5:27        That He might present the church to Himself glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that she would be holy and without blemish.
 
  VII. Ephesians 6 reveals that the Body of Christ is the corporate warrior of the Triune God for the defeating of God’s enemy:
Eph 6             be omitted.
A.     Spiritual warfare is not an individual matter but a matter of the Body; the church as the Body is a corporate warrior, and only the corporate warrior can wear the whole armor of God—vv. 10-20; cf. Matt. 16:18.
Eph 6:10        Finally, be empowered in the Lord and in the might of His strength.
Eph 6:11        Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the stratagems of the devil,
Eph 6:12        For our wrestling is not against blood and flesh but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies.
Eph 6:13        Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph 6:14        Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth and having put on the breastplate of righteousness
Eph 6:15        And having shod your feet with the firm foundation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16        Besides all these, having taken up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.
Eph 6:17        And receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God,
Eph 6:18        By means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit and watching unto this in all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints,
Eph 6:19        And for me, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known in boldness the mystery of the gospel,
Eph 6:20        For which I am an ambassador in a chain, that in it I would speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Matt 16:18      And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
B.     All warfare has its source in the conflict between Satan’s will and God’s will; we must have our will subdued and transformed by Christ through sufferings so that it is submitted to the headship of Christ to choose God’s will and to be rich in the defending power of Christ in resurrection—Isa. 14:12-14; Matt. 6:10; 26:42; Phil. 2:13; S. S. 4:1, 4; 7:4a, 5.
Isa 14:12        How you have fallen from heaven, / O Daystar, son of the dawn! / How you have been hewn down to earth, / You who made nations fall prostrate!
Isa 14:13        But you, you said in your heart: / I will ascend to heaven; / Above the stars of God / I will exalt my throne. / And I will sit upon the mount of assembly / In the uttermost parts of the north.
Isa 14:14        I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; / I will make myself like the Most High.
Matt 6:10       Your kingdom come; Your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth.
Matt 26:42      Again, going away a second time, He prayed, saying, My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.
Phil 2:13        For it is God who operates in you both the willing and the working for His good pleasure.
S.S. 4:1         Oh, you are beautiful, my love! / Oh, you are beautiful! Your eyes are like doves behind your veil; / Your hair is like a flock of goats / That repose on Mount Gilead.
S.S. 4:4         Your neck is like the tower of David, / Built for an armory: / A thousand bucklers hang on it, / All the shields of the mighty men.
S.S. 7:4a        Your neck is like a tower of ivory; / Your eyes, like the pools in Heshbon / By the gate of Bath-rabbim;…
S.S. 7:5         Your head upon you is like Carmel, / And the locks of your head like purple. / The king is fettered by your tresses.
C.     Prayer is the unique, crucial, and vital means by which we apply the whole armor of God, making every item of the armor of God available to us—Eph. 6:18.
Eph 6:18        By means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit and watching unto this in all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints,
D.     We fight the spiritual warfare by being empowered in the Lord, God the Son, putting on the whole armor of God, the Father, and wielding the sword of the Spirit; this is our experience and enjoyment of the Triune God even in spiritual warfare—vv. 10-11, 17-18.
Eph 6:10        Finally, be empowered in the Lord and in the might of His strength.
Eph 6:11        Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the stratagems of the devil,
Eph 6:17        And receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God,
Eph 6:18        By means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit and watching unto this in all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints,
  
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