Ephesians 1


Ephesians 1:1-10

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 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, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight

9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.


In Ephesians 1:3 Paul asserts that God “has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing.”  These blessings in Christ include:

·      Redemption - Colossians 1:13-14

.  The forgiveness of our trespasses – Ephesians 1:7-8

·      Obtained an inheritance – Ephesians 1:11

·      Being a new creation – II Corinthians 5:17

·      Receiving no condemnation – Romans 8:1

·      Receiving salvation – II Timothy 2:10

·      Inheriting eternal life – I John 5:11

·      Being blessed even when dead – Revelation 14:13 

·      Notice that these blessings are for those who are “in Christ.”

 

Question:  How do we get into Christ?

Answer: By being baptized into Christ

Galatians 3:27 – we are “baptized into Christ”

Romans 6:3-4 – we are “baptized into Christ”

 

These scriptures help us understand what Peter was saying in Acts 2:38 ("repent and be baptized") and Paul in Acts 22:16 ("Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins") 

Paul concludes this paragraph by saying that this is a plan for the “fullness of time” (Ephesians 1:10).  Although Jesus was "foreknown before the foundation of the world" (I Peter 1:20) He "was made manifest in the last times" (I Peter 1:20).  This is why when Jesus began His ministry He proclaimed, “The time is fulfilled" (Mark 1:15).  See also Galatians 4:4-5 and Hebrews 1:1-2 to better understand "the fullness of time."

 

Ephesians 1:11-14

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, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 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, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

 

According to Ephesians 1:13-14, there are three distinct events which take place as we become a part of being “in him.”  They are:

1.   Heard the Word of Truth

2.   Believed in Him

3.   Sealed with the promised Holy Spirit

 

Ephesians 1:15-18

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 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,

 

Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians was that God would give them “a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:17). This would cause them to have “the eyes of your hearts enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18). The effect of this wisdom, knowledge and enlightenment would be three-fold: (Ephesians 1:18-19) “that you may know…”

1.   “What is the hope to which He has called you”

2.   “What are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints”

3.   “What is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe” 

 

Ephesians 1:19-21

and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 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.


It was God’s great power and might working 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 the one to come” (Ephesians 1:20-21).  Read also Matthew 28:18-20, Philippians 2:5-11 and I Corinthians 15:24-26.

 

Question:  When did he receive this power?

Answer: When He was raised from the dead.

 

Question:  When will he give it up?

Answer: At the end of time when all enemies are placed under His feet. 

 

Ephesians 1:22-23

And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.


One of the things that he was given power over, to be its head, is the church which is also described as his body (Ephesians 1:22-23). The following scriptures will help you understand this concept: Matthew 17:5, Luke 6:46, Acts 4:12, II Timothy 3:16-17, Galatians 1:6-9

Review Questions:

1.   The scriptures describe at least seven blessings of being "in Christ."  List them and scripture references where they are found.

 

2.   What do the scriptures say one must do to get "into Christ?"

 

3.   What are the distinct events that Paul describes in this chapter as taking place as we become "in Him?"

 

4.   How would you describe "the fullness of time?"

 

5.   Since Jesus was given power over all things, to whom should we listen regarding what is expected of us in our lives?

____ Men who claim to have had visions about what God wants us to do

____ Councils who get together to make rules

____ The pope, cardinals, bishops or other church leaders

____ Creeds that have been accepted by the church for a long time (e.g. the         Apostles’ creed, the Nicene creed, etc.)

____ The words of Christ and the Apostles as they are revealed in scripture

 

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