SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW)

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Ephesians

Chapter 1

Precious Instruction for All—The whole of this first chapter of Ephesians contains precious instruction for every soul (Manuscript 110, 1903). 6BC 1113.7

1. See EGW on Revelation 2:1-5. 6BC 1113.8

3-6 (John 1:12; Colossians 1:26, 27; 2:2, 3, 10). The Gospel Is True Science—[Ephesians 1:3-6 quoted.] These divine heights the true believer may reach. All who will may see the mystery of godliness. But it is only through a correct understanding of Christ's mission and work that the possibility of being complete in Him, accepted in the Beloved, is brought within our reach. His long human arm embraces the human family; His divine arm grasps the throne of the Infinite, that man may have the benefit of the infinite sacrifice made in his behalf. And to as many as receive Him, He gives the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name. 6BC 1113.9

There are many who are too exalted in their own opinion to receive this mystery. There is a science that the Most High would have these great men understand; but they cannot see the Truth, the Life, the Light of the world. Human science is not divine enlightenment. Divine science is the demonstration of the Spirit of God, inspiring implicit faith in Him. The men of the world suppose this faith to be beneath the notice of their great and intelligent minds, something too low to give attention to; but here they make a great mistake. It is altogether too high for their human intelligence to reach. 6BC 1113.10

The gospel message is far from being opposed to true knowledge and intellectual attainments. It is itself true science, true intellectual knowledge. True wisdom is infinitely above the comprehension of the worldly wise. The hidden wisdom, which is Christ formed within, the hope of glory, is a wisdom high as heaven. The deep principles of godliness are sublime and eternal. A Christian experience alone can help us to understand this problem, and obtain the treasures of knowledge which have been hidden in the counsels of God, but are now made known to all who have a vital connection with Christ. All who will may know of the doctrine (The Review and Herald, July 18, 1899). 6BC 1114.1

4. See EGW on 2 Peter 1:10. 6BC 1114.2

4, 5, 11 (Romans 8:29, 30; 1 Peter 1:2). God's Predestination—The Father sets His love upon His elect people who live in the midst of men. These are the people whom Christ has redeemed by the price of His own blood; and because they respond to the drawing of Christ, through the sovereign mercy of God, they are elected to be saved as His obedient children. Upon them is manifested the free grace of God, the love wherewith He hath loved them. Everyone who will humble himself as a little child, who will receive and obey the Word of God with a child's simplicity, will be among the elect of God.... 6BC 1114.3

[Ephesians 1:2-11 quoted.] 6BC 1114.4

In the council of heaven, provision was made that men, though transgressors, should not perish in their disobedience, but, through faith in Christ as their substitute and surety, might become the elect of God, predestinated unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself according to the good pleasure of His will. God wills that all men should be saved; for ample provision has been made, in giving His only-begotten Son to pay man's ransom. Those who perish will perish because they refuse to be adopted as children of God through Christ Jesus (The Signs of the Times, January 2, 1893). 6BC 1114.5

Eternal Covenant Given to Abraham—[Ephesians 1:3-5 quoted.] Before the foundations of the earth were laid the covenant was made that all who were obedient, all who should through the abundant grace provided become holy in character and without blame before God by appropriating that grace, should be children of God. This covenant, made from eternity, was given to Abraham nineteen hundred years before Christ came. With what interest and what intensity did Christ in humanity study the human race to see if they would avail themselves of the provision offered (Manuscript 9, 1896). 6BC 1114.6

(Ezekiel 18:20-24; 33:12-16; Romans 11:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:10; 2:15-21.) No Unconditional Election—[2 Peter 1:2-10 quoted.] Here is the condition of the only saving election in the Word of God. We are to become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. We are to add grace to grace, and the promise is, “If ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 6BC 1114.7

There is no such thing in the Word of God as unconditional election—once in grace, always in grace. In the second chapter of Second Peter the subject is made plain and distinct. After a history of some who followed an evil course, the explanation is given: “which have forsaken the right way, ... following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.” ... [2 Peter 2:15-20 quoted.] Here is a class of whom the apostle warns, “For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” ... 6BC 1114.8

There is truth to be received if souls are saved. The keeping of the commandments of God is life eternal to the receiver. But the Scriptures make it plain that those who once knew the way of life and rejoiced in the truth are in danger of falling through apostasy, and being lost. Therefore there is need of a decided, daily conversion to God. 6BC 1114.9

All who seek to sustain the doctrine of election, once in grace, always in grace, do this against a plain, “Thus saith the Lord.” ... [Ezekiel 18:21; 33:13 quoted.] 6BC 1115.1

Those who have been truly converted have been buried with Christ in the likeness of His death, and raised from the watery grave in the likeness of His resurrection, to walk in newness of life. By faithful obedience to the truth they are to make their calling and election sure (Manuscript 57, 1900). 6BC 1115.2

6 (ch. 2:7; see EGW on Matthew 3:16, 17; Luke 17:10; Ephesians 1:20, 21; Hebrews 4:15, 16; 9:24). Exalting Christ's Character—The most gifted men on the earth could all find abundant employment, from now until the judgment, for all their God-given powers, in exalting the character of Christ. But they would still fail to present Him as He is. The mysteries of redemption, embracing Christ's divine-human character, His incarnation, His atonement for sin, could employ the pens and the highest mental powers of the wisest men from now until Christ shall be revealed in the clouds of heaven in power and great glory. But though these men should seek with all their power to give a representation of Christ and His work, the representation would fall far short of the reality.... 6BC 1115.3

The theme of redemption will employ the minds and tongues of the redeemed through everlasting ages. The reflection of the glory of God will shine forth forever and ever from the Saviour's face (Letter 280, 1904). 6BC 1115.4

7. See EGW on ch. 4:7; Romans 7:12. 6BC 1115.5

13. See EGW on Ezekiel 9:2-4. 6BC 1115.6

15, 16. See EGW on Revelation 2:1-5. 6BC 1115.7

17, 18. See EGW on 1 Corinthians 2:9. 6BC 1115.8

18. See EGW on Zechariah 9:16. 6BC 1115.9

20, 21. (v. 6; Hebrews 1:3). Accepted in the Beloved—The Father gave all honor to His Son, seating Him at His right hand, far above all principalities and powers. He expressed His great joy and delight in receiving the crucified One, and crowning Him with glory and honor. 6BC 1115.10

And all the favors He has shown to His Son in His acceptance of the great atonement, are shown to His people. Those who have united their interests in love with Christ are accepted in the Beloved. They suffered with Christ in His deepest humiliation, and His glorification is of great interest to them, because they are accepted in Him. God loves them as He loves His Son. Christ, Emmanuel, stands between God and the believer, revealing the glory of God to His chosen ones, and covering their defects and transgressions with the garments of His own spotless righteousness (Manuscript 128, 1897). 6BC 1115.11