Week #148; Wed, Oct 28: Galatians 3:1–Ephesians 6:24

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

Galatians 3:1, I. By Faith, or by Works of the Law?; II. The Righteous Shall Live by Faith; III. The Law and the Promise

I. KEY TEXT (By Faith, or by Works of the Law?): “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.” (3:1)
A. INFERENCE: “Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain–if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works or the law or by hearing with faith–just as Abraham ‘believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness’?” (3:2-6)
1. FINDINGS: “Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed.’” (3:7-8)
2. CRITERIA: “So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” (3:9)
3. CONDITION: “The strong tendency of the Galatian Christians to depend upon ceremonies or upon legal obedience, in addition to their faith in Christ, elicits in this chapter a magnificent demonstration of the simplicity and sufficiency of faith alone.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “It was foolish to begin the Christian life by faith and then revert to slavery to the law’s demands.” (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Paul suggested that the Galatians had been put under an “evil spell.” He forced the image of Christ on the cross into their minds to bring them back to their senses. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Faith consists not in working, but in receiving (Ro 10:16, 17).” (Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible)

II. KEY TEXT (The Righteous Shall Live by Faith): “For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.’” (3:10)
A. INFERENCE: “Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” (3:11)
1. FINDINGS: “But the law is not of faith, rather ‘The one who does them shall live by them.’” (3:12)
2. CRITERIA: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us–for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’–so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” (3:13-14)
3. CONDITION: “The apostle proves the doctrine he had blamed the Galatians for rejecting; namely, that of justification by faith without the works of the law. This he does from the example of Abraham, whose faith fastened upon the word and promise of God, and upon his believing he was owned and accepted of God as a righteous man. Galatians 3:6” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Through faith in the promise of God he was blessed; and it is only in the same way that others obtain this privilege. Let us then study the object, nature, and effects of Abraham’s faith; for who can in any other way escape the curse of the holy law? The curse is against all sinners, therefore against all men; for all have sinned, and are become guilty before God: and if, as transgressors of the law, we are under its curse, it must be vain to look for justification by it. Those only are just or righteous who are freed from death and wrath, and restored into a state of life in the favor of God; and it is only through faith that persons become righteous. Thus we see that justification by faith is no new doctrine, but was taught in the church of God, long before the times of the gospel. It is, in truth, the only way wherein any sinners ever were, or can be justified. Galatians 3:6. (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Though deliverance is not to be expected from the law, there is a way open to escape the curse, and regain the favor of God, namely, through faith in Christ. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law; being made sin, or a sin-offering, for us, he was made a curse for us; not separated from God, but laid for a time under the Divine punishment. The heavy sufferings of the Son of God, more loudly warn sinners to flee from the wrath to come, than all the curses of the law; for how can God spare any man who remains under sin, seeing that he spared not his own Son, when our sins were charged upon him? Yet at the same time, Christ, as from the cross, freely invites sinners to take refuge in him. Galatians 3:6” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Law is work-oriented, demands perfect obedience, and results in a curse if even one commandment is broken (3:12–13). Faith is belief-oriented and conforms to the means of Abraham’s blessing (3:14), bringing justification by grace (3:11).(Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary) Sola fide (faith alone).

III. KEY TEXT (The Law and the Promise): “To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified.” (3:15)
A. INFERENCE: “Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, ‘And to offsprings,’ referring to many, but referring to one, ‘And to your offspring,’ who is Christ.” (3:16)
1. FINDINGS: “This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void.” (3:17)
2. CRITERIA: “For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.” (3:18)
3. CONDITION: “Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now the intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.” (3:19-21)
4. CAUSE: “But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.” (3:22)
5. EFFECT: “Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” (3:23-29)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The Mosaic law was not designed to be the final code of the religious life, but to prepare the soil of the human heart to receive Jesus Christ in all the fullness of His salvation.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary). Till your soil; loosen it up so the seed of Christ will take root.

Galatians 4:1, I. Sons and Heirs; II. Paul’s Concern for the Galatians; III. Example of Hagar and Sarah

I. KEY TEXT (Sons and Heirs): “I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father.” (4:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.” (4:3)
1. FINDINGS: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” (4:4-5)
2. CRITERIA: “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” (4:6)
3. CONDITION: “So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (4:7)
4. CAUSE: “Paul answered the question of why the law was not binding as a contractual obligation as it had been on the Old Testament saints. The law’s guardianship ended with Christ’s coming. Believers in Christ enjoy the full status of sonship and are free from the legal limitations of slavery. Christ’s redemption releases believers from the law’s claim and confers on them the rights of sonship. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “In the first century, adoption meant that all old debts were cancelled and the adoptee started a new life as part of a new family (cf. note on Rom. 8:15). (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Cry out ‘Abba! Father!

II. KEY TEXT (Paul’s Concern for the Galatians): “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?” (4:8-9)
A. INFERENCE: “You observe days and months and seasons and years! I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.” (4:10-11)
1. FINDINGS: “Brothers, I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong. You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. What then has become of the blessing you felt? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (4:12-16)
2. CRITERIA: “They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them.” (4:17-18)
3. CONDITION: “It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!” (4:19)
4. CAUSE: “I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.” (4:20)
5. EFFECT: “High and holy as was the Mosaic legislation in itself, yet when it was imposed upon inquiring minds as necessary to salvation, Paul spoke of it as belonging to an age that had passed away and to a system that was already antiquated. The whole purpose of God in sending forth His Son was to redeem us from under the Law, that we might enjoy the liberty and joy of the Father’s home. We are no longer infants under age, or servants, but sons, and if sons, then heirs of God.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “There is often a slavishness among professing Christians that is sadly out of keeping with their rightful position in Christ. Do not be scrupulous or over-anxious. Do not be punctilious. Live in your Father’s house in constant freedom of heart. Remember that you are under the same roof as Christ, and are therefore allowed to avail yourself of all His grace and help.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (Example of Hagar and Sarah): “Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman.” (4:21-22)
A. INFERENCE: “But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise.” (4:23)
1. FINDINGS: “Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children from slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written, ‘Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband.’” (4:24-27)
2. CRITERIA: “Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. But what does the Scripture say? ‘Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.’” (4:28-30)
3. CONDITION: “So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.” (4:31)
4. CAUSE: “Yet as Abraham turned aside to Hagar, so it is possible a believer may turn aside in some things to the covenant of works, when through unbelief and neglect of the promise he acts according to the law, in his own strength; or in a way of violence, not of love, towards the brethren. Yet it is not his way, not his spirit to do so; hence he is never at rest, till he returns to his dependence on Christ again. Galatians 4:28” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Paul continued his image of two covenants, the Abrahamic and the Mosaic (4:24). He showed how the Mosaic law was for the immature and how faith in Christ according to Abrahamic faith would set believers free from sin and law. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Let us rest our souls on the Scriptures, and by a gospel hope and cheerful obedience, show that our conversation and treasure are indeed in heaven. Galatians 4:28” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Galatians 5:1, I. Christ Has Set Us Free; II. Walk by the Spirit

I. KEY TEXT (Christ Has Set Us Free): “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (5:1)
A. INFERENCE: “Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law.” (5:2)
1. FINDINGS: “You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.” (5:3-6)
2. CRITERIA: “You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” (5:7-9)
3. CONDITION: “I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view than mine, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is.” (5:10)
4. CAUSE: “But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves.” (5:11-12)
5. EFFECT: “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” (5:13-15)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Happy would it be, if Christians, instead of biting and devouring one another on account of different opinions, would set themselves against sin in themselves, and in the places where they live. Galatians 5:13” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Walk by the Spirit): “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (5:16)
A. INFERENCE: “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” (5:17)
1. FINDINGS: “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (5:18-21)
2. CRITERIA: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (5:22-23)
3. CONDITION: “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (5:24)
4. CAUSE: “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (5:25)
5. EFFECT: “Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” (5:26)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “By continually depending upon and yielding to God, the believer can live under the control of the Holy Spirit and does not need to carry out the desires that seek to hold sway over his physical body (the “sinful nature”). (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)

Galatians 6:1, I. Bear One Another’s Burdens; II. Final Warning and Benediction

I. KEY TEXT (Bear One Another’s Burdens): “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (6:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing he deceives himself.” (6:3)
1. FINDINGS: “But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.” (6:4-5)
2. CRITERIA: “One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (6:6)
3. CONDITION: “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (6:7-8)
4. CAUSE: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (6:9)
5. EFFECT: “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (6:10)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Life is a seedtime. It is the opportunity of preparing for heavenly harvests. The open furrows invite the seed, and every moment, in some form, we scatter seeds that we shall inevitably meet again in their fruition. Let us remember especially our obligations to God’s own children.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Final Warning and Benediction): “See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. ” (6:11-12)
A. INFERENCE: “For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.” (6:13)
1. FINDINGS: “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (6:14)
2. CRITERIA: “For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.” (6:15)
3. CONDITION: “And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.” (6:16)
4. CAUSE: “From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.” (6:17)
5. EFFECT: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.” (6:18)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We must set ourselves in earnest to mortify the deeds of the body, and to walk in newness of life. Not being desirous of vain-glory, or unduly wishing for the esteem and applause of men, not provoking or envying one another, but seeking to bring forth more abundantly those good fruits, which are, through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God. Galatians 5:16” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Ephesians 1:1, I. Greeting; II. Spiritual Blessings in Christ; III. Thanksgiving and Prayer

I. KEY TEXT (Greeting and Spiritual Blessings in Christ): “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” (1:3-6)
1. FINDINGS: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (1:7-10)
2. CRITERIA: “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” (1:11-12)
3. CONDITION: “In him you also when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” (1:13-14)
4. CAUSE: “The sanctifying and comforting influences of the Holy Spirit seal believers as the children of God, and heirs of heaven. These are the first-fruits of holy happiness. For this we were made, and for this we were redeemed; this is the great design of God in all that he has done for us; let all be ascribed unto the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:9” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “This has been called the “Epistle of In-ness,” because it is so full of the preposition in. Saints are flesh and blood like ourselves, and we may be saints. The word means “set apart.” We are in Christ and He is in us, and any goodness we have is due to our giving room and scope to Him to realize His own ideals. To be in the heavenlies, Eph_1:3, means to live a spiritual life and to draw our reinforcements from the unseen and eternal world, which is focused in our Lord. We are in Him so far as justification is concerned-that is our standing; and He is in us for sanctification-that is the source of a holy and useful life. The condition of a blessed life is the conscious maintenance of this oneness.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The source of all we are, and have, and hope to be, so far as salvation is concerned, is the will of God for us; but the stream flows to us through our Lord, and the end to which all things are moving is the summing-up of all in Christ. As He was the Alpha, so He will be the Omega. The sealing of the Holy Spirit is of incalculable advantage, because it means that we are stamped with the likeness of Christ and so kept inviolate among all the vicissitudes of life. See Esther 8:8; John 6:27.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Thanksgiving and Prayer): “For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. ” (1:15-21)
A. INFERENCE: “And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” (1:22-23)
1. FINDINGS: “It is well to go over the successive links of this golden chain when we are in our secret chamber, appropriating them one by one and asking whether we have received a spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Christ, and whether the eyes of our heart have been enlightened to know the hope, the riches, the glory, and the greatness of His power.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “In so far as we yield ourselves to the strength of God’s might, He will raise us from the grave of selfishness and cause us to sit with Christ in the place of spiritual life and power.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Notice the emphasis with which the Apostle affirms the supremacy of Christ’s nature, Ephesians 1:21-22. This is a psalm of ascension. We can almost follow His tracks, as all the evil powers which rule the darkness of this world drop far beneath Him.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The ascending Lord is high over all, and if we claim our right as members of His glorified body, we also shall stand above all our spiritual adversaries; and it is easier to descend on an enemy from above him than to seek to assail him from beneath.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Notice that Christ needs the Church as much as the head needs the body, because it is through the Church that He fulfills Himself.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Ask Him to fill all of you with all of Him.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

Ephesians 2:1, I. By Grace Through Faith; II. One in Christ

I. KEY TEXT (By Grace Through Faith): “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience–among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (2:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved–and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (2:4-7)
1. FINDINGS: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (2:8-9)
2. CRITERIA: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (2:10)
3. CONDITION: “Evidently dead men may walk; that is, they may be dead to the eternal world but alive to this world, which is moving past like the films of a moving picture. The death of the spirit is compatible with much active interest in the course of this world. Behind the shifting scenes of the material is the great enemy of souls. As the Spirit of God works in the obedient, so does the evil spirit work in the disobedient.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Note this trinity of evil-the course of this world, the lusts of our flesh, and the prince of the power of the air. If we desire to save men, we must be in living union with the all-conquering Spirit of Christ.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Notice, also, the past tense which describes the finality of Christ’s work, Eph_2:5-6. In the purpose of God we have been raised from the grave of sin and are seated with the risen Lord in the place of acceptance and victory.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “By God’s grace we have been created for good works; they have been planned for us and we have only to walk in them.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (One in Christ): “Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called ‘the uncircumcision’ which is made in the flesh by hands–remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” (2:11-12)
A. INFERENCE: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (2:13)
1. FINDINGS: “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” (12:14-16)
2. CRITERIA: “And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.” (12:17-18)
3. CONDITION: “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” (12:19-21)
4. CAUSE: “In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” (12:22)
5. EFFECT: “Christ purchased leave for us to come to God; and the Spirit gives a heart to come, and strength to come, and then grace to serve God acceptably. Ephesians 2:14” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Let us seek to discharge the duties allotted to us, to the glory of God. Ephesians 2:19” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Ephesians 3:1, I. The Mystery of the Gospel Revealed; II. Prayer for Spiritual Strength

I. KEY TEXT (The Mystery of the Gospel Revealed): “For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles–assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to m by revelation, as I have written briefly.” (3:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.” (1:4-5)
1. FINDINGS: “This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” (1:6)
2. CRITERIA: “Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power.” (1:7)
3. CONDITION: “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” (1:8-10)
4. CAUSE: “This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.” (1:11-12)
5. EFFECT: “So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.” (1:13)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Share the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” (3:9-10). Witness for Jesus. [Paragraph 5.III in the home page of this blog contains links to two diagrams that pertain.]

II. KEY TEXT (Prayer for Spiritual Strength): “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in you inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith–that you, being rooted in grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and the length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (3:14-19)
A. INFERENCE: “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (3:20-21)
1. FINDINGS: “The kernel of this prayer is in the clause that Christ may make His home in the believer’s heart through faith.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “Note the Apostle’s attitude-with bended knee; his plea with God-that He is the Father from whom all family love emanates; his measure-the wealth of God’s glorious perfection; the necessary preliminary to Christ’s indwelling-the penetration of our inmost being with the strength of the Holy Spirit.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “And then note the outcome: The indwelling Christ means that we shall be rooted and grounded in love. When this is the case we shall understand His love; and when we experience and know Christ’s love, we shall be as completely filled in our little measure as God is in His great measure.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Faith opens the door to the Spirit; the Spirit reveals Christ; Christ fills the heart; the heart begins to understand love; and love is the medium through which we become infilled with God, for God is love.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Those who receive grace for grace from Christ’s fullness, may be said to be filled with the fullness of God. Should not this satisfy man? Must he needs fill himself with a thousand trifles, fancying thereby to complete his happiness? Ephesians 3:13” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “believers should not think of themselves as being here and the heavenly places as being far distant. The heavenly places are a reality on earth, and believers find themselves in a spiritual realm where both God’s exalted Son and spiritual forces of wickedness exist. The idea is not that wickedness and Christ exist in the same place, but that they exist in the realm of the spirit, not of flesh and blood. Christ can only be enjoyed and wickedness overcome in the realm of the spirit through the Holy Spirit (6:12). (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)

Ephesians 4:1, I. Unity in the Body of Christ; II. The New Life

I. KEY TEXT (Unity in the Body of Christ): “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (4:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call–one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (4:4-6)
1. FINDINGS: “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (4:7)
2. CRITERIA: “Therefore it says, ‘When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.’ (IN saying, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)” (4:8-10)
3. CONDITION: “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” (4:11-14)
4. CAUSE: “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (4:15-16)
5. EFFECT: “Unto every believer is given some gift of grace, for their mutual help. All is given as seems best to Christ to bestow upon every one. He received for them, that he might give to them, a large measure of gifts and graces; particularly the gift of the Holy Ghost. Not a mere head knowledge, or bare acknowledging Christ to be the Son of God, but such as brings trust and obedience. There is a fullness in Christ, and a measure of that fullness given in the counsel of God to every believer; but we never come to the perfect measure till we come to heaven. Ephesians 4:7” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Embrace your measure of faith by grace.

II. KEY TEXT (The New Life): “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.” (4:17-18)
A. INFERENCE: “They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.” (4:19)
1. FINDINGS: “But that is not the way you learned Christ!–assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (4:20-24)
2. CRITERIA: “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one of another.” (4:25)
3. CONDITION: “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, bout only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (4:26-30)
4. CAUSE: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” (4:31)
5. EFFECT: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (4:32)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We must forgive, as he has forgiven us. Ephesians 4:29” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Ephesians 5:1, I. Walk in Love; II. Wives and Husbands

I. KEY TEXT (Walk in Love): “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (5:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” (5:3-5)
1. FINDINGS: “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” (5:6)
2. CRITERIA: “Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right ant true.), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.” (5:7-10)
3. CONDITION: “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (5:11)
4. CAUSE: “For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.” (5:12)
5. EFFECT: “But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence from Christ.” (5:13-21)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The child of God must arise from among those who are yet in their graves, dead in trespasses and sins. He can have no complicity or fellowship with such. Is there effort in this, and cost? Christ will more than compensate. He will satisfy.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Wives and Husbands): “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” (5:22-28)
A. INFERENCE: “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.” (5:29-30)
1. FINDINGS: “’Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” (3:31-32)
2. CRITERIA: “However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (5:33)
3. CONDITION: “The duty of wives is, submission to their husbands in the Lord, which includes honoring and obeying them, from a principle of love to them. The duty of husbands is to love their wives. The love of Christ to the church is an example, which is sincere, pure, and constant, notwithstanding her failures. Christ gave himself for the church, that he might sanctify it in this world, and glorify it in the next, that he might bestow on all his members a principle of holiness, and deliver them from the guilt, the pollution, and the dominion of sin, by those influences of the Holy Spirit, of which baptismal water was the outward sign. The church and believers will not be without spot or wrinkle till they come to glory. But those only who are sanctified now, shall be glorified hereafter. Ephesians 5:22” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “There will be failures and defects on both sides, in the present state of human nature, yet this does not alter the relation. All the duties of marriage are included in unity and love. And while we adore and rejoice in the condescending love of Christ, let husbands and wives learn hence their duties to each other. Ephesians 5:22” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Thus the worst evils would be prevented, and many painful effects would be avoided. Ephesians 5:22” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Our earthly relationships are similitudes and emblems of sacred realities, and the more we can import into the time sphere the inspiration and virtue of the eternal, the more transcendental and beautiful will they become.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

Galatians 6:1, I. Children and Parents; II. Slaves and Masters; III. The Whole Armor of God; IV. Final Greetings

I. KEY TEXT (Children and Parents): “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise), ‘that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.’ Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (6:1-4)
A. INFERENCE: “Where our religion is true, it will affect every relationship in life. The love of Christ must find its manifestation in nursery and in kitchen, in workshop and in municipal chamber. But notice that its duties are reciprocal. We must give on our side, just as we expect others to give on theirs.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “The first duty of children is obedience. They must be taught to obey because it is right, and their conscience bears witness to the rightness. Never plead with a child to do what is right, nor bribe it by a reward. Take your stand on that primeval sense of right and wrong, which is the foundation of morals and will be the stay of the child’s whole after-life, when once its supremacy is established.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “The great duty of children is, to obey their parents. That obedience includes inward reverence, as well as outward acts, and in every age prosperity has attended those distinguished for obedience to parents. The duty of parents. Be not impatient; use no unreasonable severities. Deal prudently and wisely with children; convince their judgments and work upon their reason. Bring them up well; under proper and compassionate correction; and in the knowledge of the duty God requires. Ephesians 6:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “God alone can change the heart, yet he gives his blessing to the good lessons and examples of parents, and answers their prayers. Ephesians 6:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Obedience to parents can amount to obedience to God (Exod. 20:12; cf. also Deut. 5:16). A child’s obedience led to a long life. This was especially true in the Old Testament where disobedience leads to death (Exod. 21:15, 17). Paul also described the father’s proper relationship to his children (6:4). Fathers are to be gentle and patient like the Lord and are to avoid provoking their children. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “But those, whose chief anxiety is that their children should be rich and accomplished, whatever becomes of their souls, must not look for the blessing of God. Ephesians 6:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Know and teach the promise.” (6:2)

II. KEY TEXT (Slaves and Masters): “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.” (6:5-8)
A. INFERENCE: “Masters do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.” (6:9)
1. FINDINGS: “The duty of servants is summed up in one word, obedience. Ephesians 6:5” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “And they must serve their masters not only when their master’s eye is upon them; but must be strict in the discharge of their duty, when he is absent and out of the way. Ephesians 6:5” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Steady regard to the Lord Jesus Christ will make men faithful and sincere in every station, not grudgingly or by constraint, but from a principle of love to the masters and their concerns.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “This makes service easy to them, pleasing to their masters, and acceptable to the Lord Christ. Ephesians 6:5” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “God will reward even the meanest drudgery done from a sense of duty, and with a view to glorify him. Here is the duty of masters. Act after the same manner. Be just to servants, as you expect they should be to you; show the like goodwill and concern for them, and be careful herein to approve yourselves to God. Be not tyrannical and overbearing. You have a Master to obey, and you and they are but fellow-servants in respect to Christ Jesus. Ephesians 6:5” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “If masters and servants would consider their duties to God, and the account they must shortly give to him, they would be more mindful of their duty to each other, and thus families would be more orderly and happy. Ephesians 6:5” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (The Whole Armor of God): “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” (6:10)
A. INFERENCE: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 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 firm.” (6:11-13)
1. FINDINGS: “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel. for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” (6:14-20)
2. CRITERIA: “Many would be strong, but fail because they forget that they can be effectively so only ‘in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.’” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Paul had a very vivid conception of the powerful forces that are arrayed against the Church. He is not dealing here especially with our personal temptations, but with those hosts of wicked spirits that lie behind the evil of the world.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “It is probable that the vast systems which oppose the gospel-the philosophies, temples, and priests of false religions; the trade in strong drink, impurity, and like evils; and such iniquitous institutions as the system of indentured slavery-are directly promoted and furthered by the agency of evil spirits in arms against God.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “We must be pure and holy, if we are to prevail against evil; and especially must we give ourselves to prayer. To prevail in this warfare we must diligently employ the weapon of all prayer.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Spiritual strength and courage are needed for our spiritual warfare and suffering. Those who would prove themselves to have true grace, must aim at all grace; and put on the whole armor of God, which he prepares and bestows. The Christian armor is made to be worn; and there is no putting off our armor till we have done our warfare, and finished our course. Ephesians 6:10” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

IV. KEY TEXT (Final Greetings): “So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything.” (6:21)
A. INFERENCE: “I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.” (6:22)
1. FINDINGS: “Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and to the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.” (6:23-24)
2. CRITERIA: “The gospel was a mystery till made known by Divine revelation; and it is the work of Christ’s ministers to declare it. The best and most eminent ministers need the prayers of believers. Those particularly should be prayed for, who are exposed to great hardships and perils in their work. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith. Ephesians 6:19” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “And all grace and blessings come to the saints from God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Grace, that is, the favor of God; and all good, spiritual and temporal, which is from it, is and shall be with all those who thus love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, and with them only. Ephesians 6:19″ (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Paul, who was in a situation that most would consider difficult, was sending a letter and messenger to bring encouragement and comfort to the Ephesian Christians. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The Epistle closes, as it began, with uncorrupted, that is, pure and eternal, love. Alford says, “This is the only truth worthy to be the crown and climax of this glorious Epistle.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Encourage.

4 thoughts on “Week #148; Wed, Oct 28: Galatians 3–Ephesians 6

  1. Key passage: Galatians 4:25-27 on the location of Mount Sinai in Arabia. See Blog Reference Page 7, paragraph III.A for link to informative documentary on the Crossing of the Red Sea & Mount Sinai.

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