By Oscar M. Baker
We emphasize in our teaching that people READ the Bible, and once in a while we do give a lesson on reading, emphasis and so on. When I was a youngster, we had Bible reading in the home. Mother did the reading and Dad did the praying, and I of course listened. That may sound ritualistic in a way, and maybe it was, but I think some ritual is pretty good. A lot of things that came to my ears when that was being read, I didn't forget. Mother was a good reader. She had learned to read with emphasis, and how to watch the punctuation. Also, she tried to understand what she was reading - that makes all the difference in the world.
Now, turn to Ephesians, page 1760, in The Companion Bible. That's a good Bible to use for reading because you can stop most anytime and look at the notes, or look at the structural outline to see where you are. Those notes are not inspired, and you have to use a little judgment in using them because they're not always right. In taking up this Book of Ephesians, remember this is a new venture for Paul. He is bringing forth something entirely new, just shortly after his announcement in Acts 28:28 of Israel's divorce (being set aside for awhile). For approximately 27 years he had preached something entirely different, now a traumatic change for Paul. [Words and phrases emphasized]
(v. 1) "an apostle" of a new dispensation. "saints" ... "and faithful" - could be 2 groups here. "in Christ Jesus" - their position, that isn't anything new.
(v.2) "Grace" has varied meanings, usually undeserved favor, but we have to take the context. In Eph. 4:7, grace means enabling power grace to go through a trial. Here grace can mean, grace to carry on with this new message. "our Father" - emphasize "our", not just Paul's but also of these saints.
(v.3) "Blessed be" - happy be or well spoken of He's praising the Father for something He's done, and what has He done? "Who hath blessed us ... in heavenly places." Here we go far beyond the Universe in this third verse of Ephesians. "heavenly places" - spoken 5 times in Ephesians, en tois epouranios in the Greek.
(v.4) "According" - in harmony with, compare vs. 5, 7, 9, & 11. "foundation" - is not the right word, but the translators did not make a mistake. Now how are you going to figure that out? (Further explanation given on the tape.) It should read, "before the overthrow of the world." "chosen"- we've been chosen before the overthrow. God had in mind the Church, the Body of Christ here.
(v.5) "adoption" - by faith, and it gives us sonship. "children" here should be sons, and in John 1:12 "sons" should be "children."
(v.6) "To the praise of the glory of His grace," By His grace we are accepted "in the Beloved" - acceptance and access through the Son.
(v.7) "redemption" - bought back from the power of sin (one of the purposes of the ages), and it is all by, "the riches of His glory." Compare 2 Corinthians 5:19.
(v.8) The first part of verse 8 goes with verse 7. Put a period after the word "us".
(From T.F.T. tape 3-8-83. To be continued.)