Steven Long
Broken and healed; sinful and forgiven. His mercies are new every morning!
User since 2009
Steven's published pages
The gracious benefits we receive from the Father through the Son should cause us to praise Him with much laude!
1 Peter 1:3-5
Grace and peace come to God's people because it was His will that His Son give Himself for us. Any other peace is non-lasting and cannot end
Galatians 1:1-5
Justification before God is clearly grounded in Christ's atoning work on the cross. When this is clearly portrayed, there is no confusion on
Galatians 3:1-9
Even in the prophets, we see the gospel clearly proclaimed. Take heart and know that even long ago God planned to save a people unto Himself
Hosea 2:16-20
Idolatry is an act of unfaithfulness to Yahweh. His purpose of His people is that they know Him in an intimate way, forsaking all others.
Hosea 2:16-20
Do not be discouraged when you sin. God's promise to be with His people is not hindered by your sin, as we learn from Jacob
Genesis 28:10-15
God's promise to keep you secure lies not in your ability to perform or not perform, but in His good word
Genesis 28:10-15
Jesus' incarnation was not simply to come as God in the flesh. It was to fulfill the atonement for His people and be crushed by God.
Isaiah 53:1-6
Worry & Anxiousness are the beginning signs of idolatry, even worry over our basic needs. Do you worry?
Matthew 6:25-34
Even our basic needs are no cause for anxiety. Jesus assures us that the Father will provide for His children from day to day
Matthew 6:25-34
What does believing and doubting have to do with prayer and receiving from God? EVERYTHING!
James 1:2-8
The believer's certainty is so sure that John stated it twice. God's love for His people is remarkable!
John 3:9-18
Humility is submitting to God, both in trials and in the Church
1 Peter 5:6-9
Paul's success in the gospel was due largely to the people's help. Do you stand behind those who minister to you?
Philippians 1:3-11
The resurrection gives a believer hope because he will be kept by a power greater than himself–God's own power.
1Peter 1:3-5
We receive everything of God "according to His great mercy." Everything hinges on this
1Peter 1:3-5
How do we fear God and love Him at the same time? The Psalmist has the answer
Psalms 147:10-11
Our salvation is the most precious thing we have. The prophets, apostles, and Holy Spirit all testify to it
1 Peter 1:10-12
The Incarnation of Christ is about more than just a manger. He is manifested for the joy of the world
1 John 1:1-5
Chaos is not always bad. God commands that we fully lean on Him. Israel's wanderings are a great example of good chaos.
Deuteronomy 8:1-5
A person who fancies their self religious but has no outward manifestation is one who is most deceived indeed.
James 1:26-27
Trials are only here for a little while; and then we are with Jesus. What a great comfort this should be to Christians!
1 Peter 1:1-9
God's holiness is fearful; His mercy is greater
Isaiah 6:1-7
Forget your checklist. Stop looking inside to find your justification and look to the cross for a clean conscience.
Galatians 3:1-7
The goodness of God leads us to great philanthropic acts (good works) because He saved us from a life of sinful desires and attitudes.
Titus 3:1-8
Do you like stirring up trouble? Are you a person who likes to argue just for argument's sake? If so you may be in danger!
Titus 3:9-11
If you believe good works has nothing to do with Christianity, think again. Good works doesn't sanctify us but it proves our fruit.
Titus 3:12-15
Titus 3:1-8
Main point summary. Arc.
Ephesians 1:1-14
Galatians 1:1-5
1 Corinthians 2:6-9
It appears that the two main themes that flow out of this passage are: To His glorious praise.
Ephesians 1:3-9
Ephesians 1:3-10
Inheritors of the Crown   Again, the glory of God and Christ are the central theme in this pass...
Ephesians 1:11-14
Context This section of Hebrews 11 deals specifically with the faith of Abraham.
Hebrews 11:8-19
  Note on 1c - One may ask why I consider 1c a concessive statement.
1 Peter 1:1-5
A Brief Synopsis 7a seems to be the ground for these four verses.
1 Peter 1:6-9
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Bless the Blesser: An Overview of
Ephesians 1:1-14
God is the ultimate Blesser. We should focus less on our blessings and focus more on the Blesser Himself.
Audio from the author
Published March 26th, 2016; Updated June 20th, 2017
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Phrae Notes
Ephesians 1:1-14
an apostle
Explanation (Apposition)
of Christ Jesus
by the will
of God,
To the saints
who are
in Ephesus,
and are [also] faithful
in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you
and peace [to you]
from God
Source #1
our Father
Explanation (Apposition)
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Source #2
1st Element: God is Blessed
Blessed be the God
and Father
Explanation (Apposition)
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.
2nd Element: The Believer's Predestination
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.
3rd Element: The Believer's Redemption
In him
we have redemption
through his blood,
the forgiveness
Explanation (Apposition)
of our trespasses,
according to the riches
of his grace,
which he lavished upon us,
in all wisdom
Explanation (1:7c)
and insight
[by] 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,
Explanation #1
in heaven
Locative #1
and things
Explanation #2
on earth.
Locative #2
4th Element: The Believer's Inheritance
In him
we have obtained an inheritance,
having been predestined
according to the purpose
Standard #1
of him
who works all things
according to the counsel
Standard #2
of his will,
so that we ... might be to the praise
of his glory.
who were the first to hope
in Christ
5th Element: The Believer's Sealing
In him
you also, ... ... ... ... ... were sealed ... ... ... ...
when you heard the word
of truth,
the gospel
Explanation (1:13c)
of your salvation,
and [when you] believed
in him,
with the promised Holy Spirit,
who is the guarantee
of our inheritance
until we acquire possession of it,
to the praise
of his glory.
Phrae Notes
I have decided to leave the subordinate arrows out with the exception of the genitive phrases. Even though this was the way we learned in our Phrasing class I think the subordinate arrows can sometimes be obtrusive. Orange Text = Appositional phrases (i.e., a word or group of words that re-identify the original noun. For example, George the dog. The word 'dog' is an apposition for the noun/proper noun 'George.' Blue dashed arrows = pronouns pointing back to God the Father Red dashed arrows = pronouns pointing back to Jesus Orange dashed arrow s = pronouns pointing back to the Holy Spirit Green solid arrows = pointing back to the relative pronoun's antecedent Light blue arrows = genitive phrase pointing back to it's anchor word Flow Structure Other than the greeting (vv.1-2) the passage has five main elements, or thought flows that describe the believer's blessings: God is blessed because He blesses us (vv.3-4g) Our predestination as believers (vv.4h-6) Our redemption (vv.7-10) Our inheritance (vv.11-12) Our sealing with the Holy Spirit (vv.13-14) Note how the five elements build in a progressive order to a climatic conclusion. God is blessed because He has blessed us. The blessing of this love towards His people causes Him to elect us before the foundation of the world. This election leads to our redemption, which in turn allows us to take part in the inheritance. This promise of the inheritance is guaranteed by the sealing of the Holy Spirit. All the parts work together in a harmonious symphony. Neither can be had without the other. We cannot have an inheritance without redemption, nor can we have the guarantee of redemption unless it is God who elects and predestines. The verses are interwoven in this short synopsis of God's salvific benefits, and they all hinge on God's gracious acts, His blessings to His people. To God be the glory!!!!!! 1st Element - God is blessed All of these blessings hinge around the main phrase, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." This is the first and chief element. Paul begins by bursting forth his eulogy of the Father. God has blessed us in everything simply out of His goodness. This goodness comes through one Person and is reiterated several times throughout the passage. The phrase "in Him" or other reference to the Person of Jesus (where the believer's blessings are found or dependent upon) occurs eight times. We have been blessed in the heavenlies, in Christ, and chosen in Him before God laid the foundation of the world. However, this election is not without a purpose. It is so that the believer will become holy & blameless. Holiness is that state where the believer has been set apart. We have been, set apart from sin set apart from the world set apart to Christ as a people Note, first of all that the context of all of these blessings take place in Christ (vv. 3e, 4b, 5c, 6d, 7a, 11a, 13a & h). There is no confusion about where our blessings lie. The first of these blessings is election. It is said that we were chosen before the foundation of the world. It should be pointed out, though, that although this verse mentions the believer's election it is not the primary thought. The main thrust is God's gracious act of election and not the election itself. In the Word Biblical Commentary series (p. 25) this point is brought out well when it says, " It is significant that the language of election before the foundation of the world occurs here in the context of thanksgiving (cf. also 1 Thess 1:4 ; 2:13 ). It is part of an expression of gratitude for God’s inexplicable grace, not a logical deduction about the destiny of individuals based on the immutability of God’s decrees. And, unlike the language of Rom 9:13 , 18 , 22 , Eph 1:4 provokes absolutely no speculation about the negative side of election, reprobation. Overwhelmed by the blessing of being chosen in Christ, the writer does not attempt to find explanations but can only praise the God who is the source of such blessing. " Paul's argument is not for the argument of election, rather it is for God's goodness. This is not to deny the doctrine of election, but rather to keep it in the context of the passage. The doctrine of election & reprobation is expounded upon in passages such as Romans 9, 2Thessalonians 2:13, and Revelation 13:8, as well as numerous Old Testament passages. There are three main aspects of the believer's blessings that are worth noting: the context in which the blessings are found, the location in which the blessings are found, and the purpose for which we are blessed. The context in which the blessings are found - All of these blessings are found in Christ. The phrase 'in Christ' must be understood properly. He is the agent by which the blessings flow. In other words, only those who have believed in Him & have been sealed with the Holy Spirit (13a, i) are those who have these blessings. They are identified further as being chosen before the foundation of the world, that is, their blessings were wrought in the Person and work of Christ before the ages began. The location in which the blessings are found - it is said that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. What is meant by this phrase? The word is made up of the preposition epi ( επι - on or upon,) and ouranos ( ουρανο
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.