Ephesians 1
Scofield Reference Notes
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
SCOFIELD REFERENCE NOTES (Old Scofield 1917 Edition)

Book Introduction

[1] in Christ

The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians

WRITER. The Apostle Paul (1.1)

DATE. Ephesians was written from Rome in A.D. 64. It is the first in order of the Prison Epistles. Acts 20:1-27:44. See Scofield Note: "Acts 28:30" and was sent by Tychicus, concurrently with Colossians and Philemon. It is probable that the two greater letters had their occasion in the return of Onesimus to Philemon. Ephesians is the most impersonal of Paul's letters. Indeed the words, "to the Ephesians," are not in the best manuscripts. Col 4:16 mentions an epistle to the Laodiceans. It has been conjectured that the letter known to us as Ephesians is really the Laodicean letter. Probably it was sent to Ephesus and Laodicea without being addressed to any church. The letter would then be "to the saints and the faithful in Christ Jesus" anywhere.

THEME. The doctrine of the Epistle confirms this view. It contains the highest church truth, but has nothing about church order. The church here is the true church, "His body," not the local church, as in Philippians, Corinthians, etc. Essentially, three lines of truth make up this Epistle: the believer's exalted position through grace; the truth concerning the body of Christ; and a walk in accordance with that position.

There is a close spiritual affinity between Ephesians and Joshua, the "heavenlies" answering in Christian position to Canaan in Israel's experience. In both there is conflict, often failure, but also victory, rest, and possession Josh 21:43-45 Eph 1:3 3:14-19 6:16,23. As befits a complete revelation, the number seven is conspicuous in the structure of Ephesians.

The divisions are, broadly, four:

I. The apostolic greeting. 1.1,2

II. Positional; the believer's standing "Christ" and "in the heavenlies" through pure grace, 1.3-3.21.

III. Walk and service, 4.1-5.17

IV. The walk and warfare of the Spirit-filled believer, 5.18-6.24.

[1] in Christ

The believer's place as a member of the body of Christ, vitally united to Him by the baptism with the Holy Spirit 1Cor 12:12,13.

Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
[2] in heavenly places

Literally, the heavenlies. The same Greek word is used in Jn 3:12 where "things" is added. In both places the word signifies that which is heavenly in contradistinction to that which is earthy. In Ephesians "places" is especially misleading. "The heavenlies" may be defined as the sphere of the believer's spiritual experience as identified with Christ in nature. 2Pet 1:4, life, Col 3:4 1Jn 5:12, relationships Jn 20:17 Heb 2:11 service, Jn 17:18 Mt 28:20, suffering Phil 1:29 3:10 Col 1:24 inheritance Rom 8:16,17 and future glory in the kingdom Rom 8:18-21 1Pet 2:9 Rev 1:6 5:10. The believer is a heavenly man, and a stranger and pilgrim on the earth. Heb 3:1 1Pet 2:11.

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
[1] predestinated

Predestination is that effective exercise of the will of God by which things before determined by Him are brought to pass. See Election,

See Scofield Note: "1Pet 1:2"

Foreknowledge, See Scofield Note: "1Pet 1:20"

[2] adoption

Adoption (huiothesia, "placing as a son") is not Song much a word of relationship as of position. The believer's relation to God as a child results from the new birth Jn 1:12,13 whereas adoption is the act of God whereby one already a child is, through redemption from the law, placed in the position of an adult son. Gal 4:1-5.

The indwelling Spirit gives the realization of this in the believer's present experience Gal 4:6 but the full manifestation of the believer's sonship awaits the resurrection, change, and translation of saints, which is called "the redemption of the body" Rom 8:23 1Th 4:14-17 Eph 1:14 1Jn 3:2.

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Margin sins

Sin. See Scofield Note: "Rom 3:23".

Margin grace

Grace (in salvation). Ep 1:6,7 2:5,7,8 Rom 3:24. See Scofield Note: "Jn 1:17".

Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Margin mystery

See, Rom 16:25,26 Eph 3:3. See Scofield Note: "Mt 13:11".

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
[3] dispensation of the fullness of times

The Dispensation of the Fulness of Times. This, the seventh and last of the ordered ages which condition human life on the earth, is identical with the kingdom covenanted to David. 2Sam 7:8-17 Zech 12:8


Lk 1:31-33 1Cor 15:24, and gathers into itself under Christ all past "times":

(1) The time of oppression and misrule ends by Christ taking His kingdom. Isa 11:3,4.

(2) The time of testimony and divine forbearance ends in judgment. Mt 25:31-46 Acts 17:30,31 Rev 20:7-15.

(3) The time of toil ends in rest and reward. 2Th 1:6,7.

(4) The time of suffering ends in glory. Rom 8:17,18.

(5) The time of Israel's blindness and chastisement ends in restoration and conversion. Rom 11:25-27 Ezek 39:25-29.

(6) The times of the Gentiles end in the smiting of the image and the setting up of the kingdom of the heavens. Dan 2:34,35 Rev 19:15-21.

(7) The time of creation's thraldom ends in deliverance at the manifestation of the sons of God. Gen 3:17 Isa 11:6-8 Rom 8:19-21.

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
[4] sealed

The Holy Spirit is Himself the seal. In the symbolism of Scripture a seal signifies:

(1) A finished transaction Jer 32:9,10 Jn 17:4 19:30.

(2) Ownership Jer 32:11,12 2Tim 2:19

(3) Security Est 8:8 Dan 6:17 Eph 4:30

Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Scofield Reference Notes by Cyrus Ingerson Scofield [1917]

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