Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus was written around 60 AD as Paul sat in a Roman prison. Paul was familiar with the Ephesian church, having spent significant time (about three years in total) ministering there during his second and third missionary journeys. This letter, while originally written for the Epheshians, was also meant to be circulated around to other early churches in other cities as well.
This book is split up into two distinct sections. The first half of the book (chapters 1-3) are more doctrinal and theological in nature. The second half is more practical and application-based in nature, answering the question “What should a Christian’s life look like?” As we read this book today, we are able to add tools to our theological toolbelt as well as understanding the practical implications for us as we follow Jesus.
There is much to learn from us each day as we dive into Ephesians. Each of these chapters are loaded with theological truths and practical applications for us. Pay attention to every word on the page–you don’t want to miss anything. Grab a highlighter and a journal. Take note of the words and phrases that jump off the page at you. Ask God to show you exactly what He wants you to learn each day.
Thanks for journeying along with us!
Read Ephesians 1
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
Today’s chapter was a great summary of what the Gospels tell us: We have a Father who knew we would sin, so He sent his one and only Son to die on the cross for sins that we’ve done. We are forgiven, and the Lord loves us so much that He gave us the opportunity to have a relationship with Him. He did this because He knew it would be best to save us to show his love.
In this reading, Ephesians 1 perfectly illustrates the vast love the Lord has for us. Paul, who is writing this chapter, also tells us that it is us who must believe and know that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit (v. 13), which allows us the inheritance to be in His Kingdom one day. Before Jesus, people who wanted a relationship with the Lord had to make sacrifices, such as killing animals. However, after Jesus, the Lord gave us the ability to accept the Holy Spirit and seal our relationship/inheritance with Him. This is not only a beautiful gift the Lord has given us, but He has shown his faithfulness through this action.
This passage also shows us that the Lord knew all along that we would stray away from Him and want the fleshly desires of the world (v. 5). However, in that verse, it also tells us that we were adopted and given over to Him–a holy and blameless God. Even though it seems weird that the Lord would allow us to walk away from Him just to save us, He did it out of his “pleasure and will.” He knows what is best for humankind and our relationship with Him, even if it does not make sense.
As we walk into today, remember this: The Lord loves you so incredibly much, to the point where He sacrificed the One He loved most just to save you. He is not a hateful or judgemental god, but a loving and wise Father. Also know that everything is in His timing. Even when it doesn’t make sense, He knows what is best for you and is doing it all within His goodness and will. Remember that as you take on today.
- What kinds of blessings does the Lord give us in the heavenly realms? (Refer to verse 3)
- Do you feel as though you cannot be saved? Why?
- What is one thing you are struggling with that you can hand over to God?
Lord, thank you for this day. Thank you for Scripture that illustrates how immense your love is while giving us instruction on how to live our lives. As I go into today, I ask that you allow me to praise your name despite all that is happening in my life right now. It is all within your pleasure and will, and I ask that you help me to believe that today. I thank you for sending your Son to die on the cross for me and all my wrongs, especially because I do not deserve it. You are a faithful Father, and you prove yourself over and over again. Thank you, Jesus. I love you. In your name, Amen.
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