The book of Ephesians is a letter from the apostle Paul to the believers in Ephesus. In the opening verses, Paul establishes his authority as an apostle and offers a blessing of grace and peace to the believers. He then praises God for the spiritual blessings that believers have in Christ. In this study, we will examine Ephesians 1:1-6 verse by verse and explore God’s plan for redemption.
Verse 1: Paul’s Introduction
“From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints [in Ephesus], the faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1, NET).
In this verse, Paul introduces himself as an apostle of Christ Jesus and addresses the letter to the saints in Ephesus who are faithful in Christ Jesus. He emphasizes their faithfulness to Christ, setting the tone for the rest of the letter, which is addressed to believers who are dedicated to the Gospel.
Verse 2: Grace and Peace
“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!” (Ephesians 1:2, NET).
In this verse, Paul offers a blessing of grace and peace to the believers in Ephesus. This is not merely a greeting, but it carries a deeper significance. Grace refers to the unmerited favour of God that has been extended to believers through Christ, while peace refers to the reconciliation that we have with God through Christ’s sacrifice.
Verse 3: Spiritual Blessings in Christ
“Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3, NET).
Paul offers praise and thanksgiving to God in this verse for the blessings that believers have in Christ. He emphasizes that these blessings are spiritual in nature and are located in the heavenly realms. This indicates that they are not merely temporal or physical blessings, but rather, they are eternal and rooted in our relationship with God.
Verse 4: Chosen in Christ
“For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love” (Ephesians 1:4, NET).
In this verse, Paul emphasizes that believers were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. This means that God had a plan for redemption from the beginning of time and that believers have been chosen to be holy and unblemished in God’s sight through Christ’s sacrifice.
Verse 5: Adopted as Sons
“He did this by predestining us to adoption as his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the pleasure of his will” (Ephesians 1:5, NET).
In this verse, Paul explains that believers have been predestined to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ. This means that through faith in Christ, believers become heirs to God’s kingdom and are adopted into His family.
Verse 6: Praise to God’s Grace
[to the praise of the glory of his grace that he has freely bestowed on us in his dearly loved Son] (Ephesians 1:6, NET).
In this verse, Paul emphasizes that all of these blessings are to the praise of God’s grace. The grace that believers have received through Christ’s sacrifice is freely given and comes as a result of God’s great love for us.
As we read through these opening verses of the book of Ephesians, we are reminded of the importance of recognizing our spiritual blessings in Christ. Through Christ, we have received grace, peace, and every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. It is a humbling realization that we are so unworthy, yet God has given us these blessings out of His great love and mercy. Let us take a moment to reflect on these blessings and offer our praise and thanksgiving to God.
Furthermore, as we recognize the spiritual blessings we have received through Christ, it should lead us to live in a manner that is worthy of these blessings. We should strive to live a life that is pleasing to God and reflects the goodness of Christ. This is not something we can do on our own, but through the power of the Holy Spirit working within us, we can live a life that is pleasing to God.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the grace and peace that we have received through Christ’s sacrifice. We thank You for every spiritual blessing that we have in Christ, and for the promise of eternal life with You. Help us to live in a way that honours you and to always remember the blessings that we have received through Christ. May our lives be a reflection of your goodness and may we bring glory to your name. In Jesus’ name, amen.