VB045: Eph. 1:1-6

[VB045 Podcast Notes]

Ephesians 1:1-6

The key thought in chapter one is the wealth of blessings we have as Christians – spiritual blessings that are ours because we are in Christ (1:3). Paul tells us that each Person of the Godhead has blessed us (vv. 3-14), and then he prays for us to have an understanding of these blessings, and the exceeding greatness of His power that can be in our lives (vv. 15-23)

Paul’s opening greeting (v. 1-2)

Eph 1:1-2 (NKJV) – Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: [2] Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul, an apostle [apostolos (a-po’-sto-los) – a sent messenger]. Given of Jesus Christ for the equipping of the saints (4:11-12; 1Cor.12:28). It was not man’s choosing or plan. Therefore he had God’s authority backing him. He was commissioned and sent by God.

This letter is addressed to the saints [hagios (ha’-jiy-os) holy, set apart by Yahweh God unto himself and apart from the world] the holy ones at Ephesus. God has made them holy (different) through His salvation.

The phrase “in Christ Jesus” is used 27 times in this letter! Keep in mind that “Christ” is a title (Messiah, the Anointed One and His anointing), not Jesus’ last name. If you are not in Christ, then you are not anointed, and not a saint.

Who is “in Christ?” A member of the body of Christ, vitally united with Him by baptism of the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 12:12-13). Everything God has for the believer is in Christ. If you are born-again, God calls you a saint. (Please STOP calling yourself, “An old sinner, saved by grace!” That confession comes from hell! You are either and old sinner, or you are saved by grace.) Your position is either “in Adam” or “in Jesus.” This phrase, “in Christ Jesus” implies a vital union with the Son of God. Just as the life of a root is found in the soil, or a branch in the vine, or a fish in the sea, so the believer’s true life is found to be in Christ.

[2] Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace to you… [charis (cha’-ris) the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life.] and peace [eirene (ei-ree’-nee) one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again.] God’s grace always comes before human peace, they are gifts that are received by faith. They can be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God (2 Peter 1:2). Understanding more of God’s Word always increases our capacity to handle more of His blessings. When we understand His grace, and realize God has already done all the work, all we need to do is receive His gift of grace. All the pressure is off, and peace is the result.

In the Greek, verses 3-14 is one sentence. Even though some translations have a period after verse 12, there is no pause in the Greek.

Let’s look at how the God-head has blessed us;

  • We Have Been Blessed by God, The Father (1:3-6)
  • We Are Blessed in God, The Son (1:7-12)
  • We Are Blessed with God, The Holy Spirit (1:13-14)

We Have Been Blessed by God, The Father (1:3-6)

Eph 1:3-6 (NKJV) – 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, [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, [5] having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, [6] to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Blessed: [eulogy (eulogô) i.e. thanked, praised.] We bless God when we praise him for, and acknowledge him in, his excellent gifts or benefits.

Has blessed (past tense) us with all spiritual blessings. Spiritual [pneumatikos (pnev-ma-tiy-kos’) that which is motivated and controlled through the spirit.] 1Cor. 12:1 uses this same word for “spiritual” referring to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which indicates that they too are among Paul’s list of blessings (v. 4-14).

Blessings [eulogeo (ev-lo-je’-o) literally to speak well of someone.] These blessings are pure doctrines of the gospel, and the full graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit which are necessary in the work of God among men.

Heavenly [epouranios (e-pou-ra’-niy-os) above the sky.] Translated: heaven (Phil. 2:10); heavenly (Mt. 18:35; Jn. 3:12; 1Cor. 15:48-49; Eph. 1:3, 20; 2:6; 3:10; 2Tim. 4:18; Heb. 3:1; 6:4; 8:5; 9:23; 11:16; 12:22); high places (Eph. 6:12); and celestial (1Cor. 15:40).

He has chosen us (v. 4)

[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,

The Doctrine Of Election. We must realize that God did not choose us in ourselves; He chose us in Christ, by grace. (1Cor. 1:26-29; 2Thes. 2:13-14; Jn. 6:37).

Notice in all these verses, the verbs are past tense. All these things were done for us before the foundation of the world. I have to ask, “How could God do all these things before we were even here?” The answer is because we had a representative, Jesus Christ. God bestowed all these blessings on the Son, and they were held (and are held in Him for those not yet born) in him until our redemption day.

He has adopted us (v. 5)

[5] having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

Predestined: proorizo, (pro-or-id’-zo) to pre-design, pre-determine, predestinate.

Chosen: eklego, (ek-leg’-om-ahee) to call out. The word “election” (chosen, v. 4) refers to a person; all people are offered salvation, some elect not to be saved. “Predestination” refers to the plan for those who are saved. Election is God’s choice “in Christ” of a people (the true church) for Himself.

Predestination is not fatalism that excludes some while including others, but assures a guaranteed destiny for all the redeemed. Predestination applies to what will happen to God’s people (all genuine believers in Christ). The Bible does not say anything about people being predestined to hell, predestination is always for the corporate church. (see Rom. 8:28-30).

The word “adoption” in the New Testament refers to the official act of a father who bestows the status of full adulthood on a son of minor status. It is not the taking in of an outsider; it is the placing of a family member into the privileges and blessings of adulthood. So even the youngest Christian has everything that Christ has and is rich in grace.

He has accepted us (v. 6)

[6] to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

In ourselves, we are not acceptable to God, but in Christ, we are “made accepted.”

Every blessing we have in time or eternity is made possible because of the Lord Jesus Christ. All blessings from God come through Jesus, and all of our blessings back to the father go through Jesus. He is our mediator, the God-man. Righteous God and fallen man can become one in Jesus.

We can trace this wonderful phrase “in Christ” throughout Paul’s letters for a deeper understanding of what we have in Him and how to walk in Him! (vv. 3-6 Blessed by the Father.)

To be continued:

God bless you my friend,