Introduction: Ephesians is addressed to a group of believers who are rich beyond measure in Jesus Christ, yet live as beggars, only because they are ignorant of their wealth. They are living as spiritual paupers. This is a description of what is in a Christian’s heavenly “bank account;” adoption, acceptance, redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, inheritance, the seal of the Holy Spirit, life, grace, citizenship – every spiritual blessing.
Ephesus was the commercial center of Asia Minor. Ephesus was a religious center as well, famous especially for its magnificent temple of Diana. The practice of magic and the local economy were clearly related to this temple. Paul remained in Ephesus for three years on his third missionary journey and he seriously effected the traffic in magic and images, leading to an uproar in the huge Ephesus theater. Paul then left for Macedonia, but afterward he met with the Ephesian elders while on his way to Jerusalem.
Paul wrote the “Prison Epistles,” Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon, during his first Roman imprisonment in A.D. 60-62. These epistles all refer to his imprisonment.
Verse 1 – Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
This letter is to all Christians who are faithful to Christ today also. Are you known as one who is faithful to the Lord? (An apostle was a person whom the resurrected Christ had commissioned and sent on special service, and who was gifted by the Holy Spirit for that service.)
Verse 2 – Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace and peace are unmerited gifts from God. We did nothing except believe to obtain them.
Verse 3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
This is one of those “Wow” verses! Are y in Jesus Christ? Then these spiritual blessings are yours and they are already done! They are assured to every believer, for they flow from God’s grace and wisdom, and eternal purpose. Because the believer has an intimate relationship with Christ, we have the power living on the inside of us to do God’s will.
The “heavenly places” means that these blessings are eternal not temporal. The blessings come from Christ’s spiritual realm, not the earthly realm. However, none of this does a Christian any good unless they know they have them. (You won’t use what you don’t know you have.)
Verse 4 – just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
Because Christ is in us and we are in Him, we as believers are holy and blameless in His sight.
The doctrine of election is one of the most central and one of the most misunderstood teachings of the Bible. At its most basic level, election refers to God’s plan where He accomplishes His will. The meaning of election is best understood as God’s Sovereign initiative in bringing persons to faith in Christ, resulting in a special covenant relationship with Him. God knows and knew every single person before they were ever born, who would believe in His Son!
Verse 5 – having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
It was God’s full intention, predestined, to bring all believers into His family, with all the rights and privileges – adopted.
Verse 6 – to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.
The doctrine of predestination and election lays the foundation of adoring gratitude and praise. It is the only foundation of hope for mankind. We didn’t earn this nor did we deserve this, and that’s why we praise Him.
Redeemed By the son
Verse 7 – In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace,
Christ paid to redeem us with His precious blood, the price was paid. Not only that but as believers, we have complete forgiveness. This was done because of God’s grace, not anything we have done.
Verse 8 – which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,
Verse 9 – having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,
Verse 10 – that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth – in Him,
God’s intention, His will, was never intended to be a mystery, however, His plan for salvation was not completely revealed until Christ rose from the grave. His plan included uniting Jews and Gentiles into one body of believers in Christ, with Christ being the head.
Verse 11 – in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
Paul tells us the end result of redemption from a stand point that stretches from eternity past to eternity future. The recipient of this inheritance are people whom God has chosen and predestined. They come to faith in Christ, not by chance, coercion, or unaided choice, but by the Holy Spirit. “He knocks on the door of your heart!”
Everyone who has been saved know what that thumping of the heart is. The calling will be so strong it feels like your heart is going to come out of your chest.
Verse 12 – that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
Sealed By the Spirit
Verse 13 – In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy spirit of promise,
Verse 14 – who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
The Holy Spirit living on the inside of each believer is the guaranteed promise of an eternity in the presence of Christ!
Prayer For Revelation
Verse 15 – Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all saints,
Verse 16 – do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.
Verse 17 – that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,
Personal knowledge of Christ will change your life. The more you know about and personally know Christ, the more wisdom and revelation you will have. A person can’t survive this Christian life only knowing what a pastor tells them once a week. Find out what a wonderful Savior we have, by reading and praying on your own.
Verse 18 – the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
The hope of His calling refers to the assurance of eternal life guaranteed by the possession of the Holy Spirit.
Verse 19 – and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power,
Verse 20 – which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
Here is an amazing fact that some believers don’t know and why some believers live a frustrated defeated life: The same awesome power that raised Jesus from the dead is working and living on the inside of each believer!! That’s the power to do God’s will for our lives and the same power that will raise each believer from the grave to an eternity with the Father!
Verse 21 – far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
Jesus was, is now, and forever will be exalted to the highest conceivable dignity and honor. He’s above any demon, angels, and anything that can be named. Think about that for a moment. Does your affliction, pain, disease, sorrow, grief, have a name? He is above it!
Verse 22 – and He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,
Verse 23 – which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Stop letting your circumstances run your life, if you are a believer. Speak forth, by faith, the end result. Keep the negativity from coming out of your mouth no matter what it looks life. You, as a believer, have the same power that raised Christ from the dead to see miracles through the working of the Holy Spirit!!