-Ephesians is a pervasively positive letter of Paul’s in tone explaining what we might call a spiritual biography of all those who are in Christ by faith for salvation. There are important paraenesis (series of moral exhortations) sections for the believer to act upon as instructed for a sanctified life. Paul wrote this letter from prison, more than likely during his Roman imprisonment of the early to mid 60s AD.
-After the typical introduction as Paul claims his authority as an apostle by the will of God and pronounces grace and peace upon the faithful saints in Ephesus, he blesses the Lord and Father of Christ Jesus for every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:1-3). He goes into the eternal nature of God’s knowledge in choosing His people from the foundation of the world, that those who believe in Him should be holy and blameless before Him. Paul says it was by His great love that He predestined us for adoption as sons (or daughters if female) through Jesus Christ. This is done according to His Divine will and the purposes He has designed from ages past. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:4-7).” He has lavished (bountifully, abundantly, plentifully) upon us this grace in all wisdom and insight making known the mystery of His will, which revolves around the work of Christ Jesus, the plan for the fullness of time (pleroma) to unite all things in Him on earth and in Heaven (Ephesians 1:8-10). *Application* This is a composite salvation history of what the Lord has done for His people. Those whom He foreknew, He predestined and called for justification and eventual glorification (Romans 8:29-30). This is all done by His grace, we have not earned it nor do we deserve it in any way. When we consider the great things God has done and the great lengths that He has gone through to purchase our salvation by His very own blood, we should fall down in worship and amazement for His glorious gift of eternal salvation. Give extreme praise to the Lord today! He is great and greatly to be lifted up! Paul had at one time been involved in combating a riot that broke out in Ephesus where the pagans were crying out about how great their god Artemis was (Acts 19:23-41). Now as he writes, he shares who the Great One really is.
-Paul goes on to reveal how those believers in Christ have an inheritance in the Lord according to His Divine purpose. His Holy Spirit seals us with a guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:11-14). *Application* Here is the security and the perseverance of the believer in Christ Jesus. It is by the Spirit that we endure and live in the hope of salvation. He will never leave us or forsake us; He has us by the hand and will never let go (John 10:28, 2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5, Hebrews 13:5). Thank the Lord today that He is faithful and will never let His true children by the Spirit fall away completely.
-Paul now offers thanksgiving for these saints in Ephesus who have been faithful with much love. He prays for their wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ Jesus by enlightened hearts so that they may have hope and greatness of power in the Lord. Christ has been given the power and the glory seated at the right Hand of God the Father in the heavenly places. He is “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 (Ephesians 1:15-21).” He is the Head of the church, “which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Ephesians 1:22-23).” *Application* If the church of America today wants power, authority, dominion, and rule it must give back Jesus His rightful place as the Head. Too many organizations, which call themselves churches, are doing things in their own natural wisdom with a worldly mindset and structure. There is much striving and chasing after popularity and money. The church of the Living God has a far different motive and agenda. It is not of this world and is guided by the Supreme Being. God does give oversight to His people through His Spirit, but make no mistake; He should be the Head, not an afterthought. Give the Lord Jesus Christ preeminence!
Verses to Memorize- Ephesians 1:7, 13, 22-23