Now we begin to study the text of Ephesians chapter one.

Eph 1:1-2 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s salutation: His office, His audience and His subject.


  • an Apostle (with a capital A) of Jesus Christ. Apostellw, literally, “to set apart”, in other words “to send out (with a mission). One sent by another with authority to carry out the mission, in this case, the preaching of the gospel, the establishing of churches and christian doctrine and of building the believers up in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. But the Capital A apostles were the ones of the first generation of Christianity who had physically been witnesses of the Lord Jesus in the flesh while He was here on this earth (1 Cor 9:1; 2 Cor 12:12; 2 Cor 5:16).
  • Besides the Apostles, these also others who were Apostellwed, or sent (with a mission, commissioned):
  • Jesus was ‘sent (with a mission)’, John 17:8; 1Jo 4:9-10, 14
  • John the Baptist was ‘sent (with a mission)’, Mark 1:2; John 1:6
  • Paul was ‘sent (with a mission)’, Acts 26:17; 1Co 1:17
  • Are plain old, normal believers in Christ also apostles, with a lower case “A”? No, you won’t find that office applied to all the saints. But we have been ‘sent out into this world with a mission’.  See Matt 28:18-20; Luke 24:45-48; Mark 16:15-16  the Great Commission.


  • by the will of God – Not by self will, see 2Cor 11:13; Rev 2:2; Act 20:29. Paul was reminding them by Whom he had been commissioned and sent to represent the Lord Jesus Christ in preaching to them the Gospel of Christ, establishing that first church in Ephesus from which many others sprang and in grounding them in the Christian faith in which they were to believe and walk.
  • to the saints – hagios, the Ones Sanctified in and by Christ. Every person who has repented of his sins, turned to God and put his or her trust in the Lord Jesus Christ has been born again into the family of God. And every born-again believer in the Lord Jesus is a saint, that is a sanctified one. Rome does not make saints, God does when the repentant sinner trusts in and receives Christ Jesus as his Lord and Savior. See Heb 10:1, 10, 14.
  • which are at Ephesus. and to the faithful in Christ Jesus, to the believers who are trusting continually in the Lord Jesus Christ. I think Paul is here meaning those faithful believers in Ephesus, but the way it is phrased he also intends for the believers of all churches and all following generations to receive his message as well.

Eph 1:2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and fromthe Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Eph 1:2 is the common greeting of Paul, and also of Peter. But even though it is common, it was packed with such wonderful truth. Paul, a man sent by God’s will to speak on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ, extends a greeting of Grace from God and Peace from God.
  • God has given us what we did not deserve, His grace. And because of that we have what can be found nowhere but in the Lord Jesus Christ, peace with God. We won’t turn there but 2Cor 5:17-21 speaks of this reconciliation in such a marvelous way.
  • Notice this grace and peace is from God. God the Father and God the Lord Jesus Christ.

And in verse 3 Paul begins the message that God has given him for the Ephesian believers.

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

  • The blessings. Actually, verse 3 transitions from the salutation to the message. It is the conclusion of the Salutation but it is also the over-arching subject for the first 3 chapters of the letter.
  • Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ – “blessed” –  Strong’s Eulogetos, from – g2127. εὐλογέω eulogeō; from a compound of 2095 and 3056 ; to speak well of, i.e. (religiously) to bless (thank or invoke a benediction upon, prosper): — bless, praise. AV (44) – bless 43, praise 1; praise,  celebrate with praises. Let us see where Bless is found in the Scriptures:
  • Blessed. Ge  14:20  Melchizedek blessed God and Abram; 1Ch  29:20  David the Lord; Ne  9:5 ; Ps  72:19 ; Da  4:34  Nebuchadnezzar blessed the Lord upon his repentance; Lu  2:28 ; Simeon blessed the Lord God for allowing him to behold the Messiah; 2Co  1:3; 1Pe  1:3 ; Re  4:9-11 the 4 Beasts & 24 elders blessed the Lord God Almighty! Rev 5:9-14 multitude of redeemed in heaven bless the Lord.
  • Who hath blessed us – Also from Eulegew … IV. of God  A. to cause to prosper, to make happy, to bestow blessings on  B. favoured of God, blessed. We bless the Lord for Who He is and because He has blessed us!
  • With All spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. Spiritual, not physical blessings. Israel had the promises of land and prosperity in it- great physical, as well as spiritual blessings. We Gentiles, those sanctified by Christ and faithful to Him are blessed with something far greater, all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ. Notice where these blessings are, in heaven and in Christ. Because we are “in Christ” we have these blessings that are in heaven, but that are availed of us in this life we live on this earth. They are found in heaven from which they originate from God’s throne. In Christ, our Lord and Savior and Redeemer and Intercessor and Head. Being spiritual and in heaven with Christ, they are only realized by the Christian practically by a walk with God in Christ by believing His word and obeying His commands. They are there and they are always available for our fellowship, but unfortunately for many, if not most Christians, they often go unappropriated and under appreciated.
  • There is a phrase I have heard bandied about “He/She is so heavenly minded that he/she is no earthly good.” and I understand where they are coming from, but at the same time, heaven is our home, that is where our true citizenship is located. We are just passing through this world for some 70 to 80 years. You can multiply that by 100s and 1000s and millions of years and still have an eternity to go of the length of time we will be with Christ in heaven! James 4:14 helps the Christian to keep things of life in the proper perspective. I think a major obstacle to an effective Christian’s walk with Christ is that we probably are “too earthly minded to be any heavenly good.” See Col 3:1-2; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17.

Now let’s look into all of our spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ !

Eph 1:4-5 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

  • Before the foundation of the world. This is when the electing, or choosing took place. In eternity past, before God spoke this world into existence, He had a plan of redemption ready and in place, for it is Christ Jesus that is that Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.Rev 13:8.
  • We are Chosen in Christ. Notice that before the world was created He did not choose us to believe, but that He chose us that are in Christ to be both holy and without blame! And this “being holy”, or being sanctified and blamelessness is in God’s very presence. When God looks at us who are “in Christ” He sees us just as holy and blameless as the Lord Jesus is.
  • What do you think when you read in verse 4 “that we should be holy and without blame”? Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is an obligation to do something on our part. True it is that we should conduct ourselves appropriately as God’s children as we are commanded elsewhere, but that is not what this verse means. What it means is that the purpose God had was to make possible for saved people in Christ to be holy and blameless. He is speaking here of Positional Truths– for it is in Christ.
  • In Leviticus 21:17-24  we see the various disqualifications that prevented otherwise qualified priests from carrying out God’s service at the tabernacle and from entering into the tabernacle before the Lord. However, we may enter the very throne room of God Almighty because He loves us and has taken the required work necessary to make us holy and blameless, and thus accepted in His beloved Son. He was able to do so because Christ offered Himself to God, as our sacrificial substitute-without spot, 1Pet 1:19; Heb 9:14 to obtain our redemption. Personally, this speaks directly to me. I have had a blind eye since the age of twenty nine. I would be disallowed due to the blemish of being blind under the Law. But, not in Christ, for in Him my Lord, Savior and Redeemer I am as accepted as He is before our Father! Praise the Lord for his blameless state and sanctification that He has given to each one of us His followers!
  • These are Positional truths that are ours in Christ: Eph  5:27 ; 1Co  1:8 ; Php  2:15 ; Col  1:22
  • These commands are for our Practice, or Walk, as we outwardly work the salvation that we possess in Christ, Phil 2:12. Peter tells us to also live blamelessly as we wait for Christ. See 2Pe  3:14. Paul told Titus of what the grace of God does in our saved lives in Titus 2:11-14.

These two are the beginnings of the many blessings that are ours in our blessed Savior Jesus Christ. We have been elected to holiness and blamelessness in Christ in God’s very presence. And there are two extremely important words that tie the first two blessings together with the next blessing: “in love.” Our election to holiness and blamelessness and our predestination to be God’s adopted children are grounded in God’s love.

  • Predestinated. First, let me say that nowhere in Scripture do we find that some were predestined to believe in Christ and others were not, or as some would say predestined to not believe unto salvation. As God’s election of us was unto sanctification and blamelessness, our predestination is also unto a place of blessing. It is into God’s family as adopted children. And the legal means of our adoption is by faith in Jesus Christ as we see here and as John declares in John 1:12-13.
  • Physically, and spiritually prior to our new birth, we are children of Adam. By faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and as the Son of God and by the regeneration of the Spirit, we have become positionally and experientially the children of God.  See Titus 3:4-5. Yet, God, through His foreknowledge (1Pet 1:2) and because of His love, He determined before the foundation of the world that we who are in Christ would become His own children by adoption. And notice this, it was done by His good pleasure, that is He delighted to do so. The Greek word here is eudokia and Strongs says it also carries the idea of benevolence or good will. It brings God great satisfaction in adopting us as His children. There have been countless benevolent deeds done by Christians through the centuries because they have discovered God’s grace, mercy, love and good will towards them. Just as we love because He first loved us, we too take pleasure in doing things that are a help for others who are in need because we have experienced and know that God took delight in adopting us miserable old repentant sinners into His redeemed family.
  • Another passage that speaks of this predestination is Rom 8:29-30. One day we will be conformed into the image of His Son! Positionally, we are already. Experientially we are striving for it as we mature in the faith and grow in grace and our knowledge of God and Christ. But one day we will realize it fully in our bodies  experientially, when we are eternally and gloriously changed at the resurrection/rapture as we rise to meet our Savior in the air.
  • The culmination of this adoption is found in Rom 8:17-23 and 1Jo 3:1-2. And we see this referred to in Eph 1:11 where Paul speaks of the inheritance being predestinated of us.

Eph 1:6-7  Acceptance, Redemption & Forgiveness

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

In our Savior we have redemption through His blood

  • In Christ our Savior, the beloved Son of God, and more specifically in His shed blood sprinkled on the mercy seat in heaven, we have redemption. Strong’s says redemption refers to a releasing effected by payment of ransom.
  • This word redemption is a word the world knows not much about anymore. When I was a boy in the 1950s and early 1960s my parents would receive either Gold Bond or S&H Green stamps when they bought gas for the car or when they went to the grocery store. Gasoline sold for about 20 to 25 cents a gallon and $20 would buy 4 sacks of groceries to feed the family of four for a week! But Dad was also only making about $3 or $4 per hour and Mom didn’t work outside the home! So, like Ecc 7:10 says it is not wise to long for “the good old days.” Anyway, they would collect these stamps and get redemption books and paste the stamps on the pages until they filled the book. Then they would go to the S&H store or the Gold Bond store and trade in their books for whatever goods they found that they wanted. I think they called these stores Redemption Centers. You see, the store owned the property, the lamps, toasters, coffee makers and all sorts of other hardware. And you had to pay the price with stamp books. Once you gave them the book, you owned the object. It was yours and it was no longer under their control. You paid the redemption price. It just occurred to me, but even the stamps in the book belonged to the Redemption Centers. They paid to print them and sold them to the stores and gas stations to pass out when customers bought their product. In the same way, Jesus the Son of God, became the Sinless Man so that He could pay that redemption price for us. It is and was all of God, the blood, the body and the gift!
  • As we shall see in chapter 2 we were by nature children of wrath, but God redeemed us out of that awful condition. He didn’t buy us with S&H or Gold Bond stamps, but with the precious blood of His Son. His Son was made like unto sinful man, yet without sin. We were the objects that God purchased in the marketplace of this old sinful world. And the purchase was made by His own shed blood.
  • And in His precious blood, we also find the blessing of forgiveness of our sins.

According to the riches of His grace-

  • If the count was correct, we see that Paul used this word Grace twelve times in this letter to the Ephesians. It was in his greeting to them, and now we see that these blessings are according to the riches of His grace. In verse 6 we saw that all these blessings are intended to bring us to lift up praise to Him for the glory of His grace. Grace is the gift of Christ’s riches given us at His expense as we just saw in the preceding statements concerning our redemption.
  • How much forgiveness of sins do we have? How much redemption do we have? Paul says it is “in proportion to” or according to the Riches of His Grace. Is there sufficient Grace? Paul says God’s grace is Rich. It is a wealth or fullness as far as its supply is concerned. God’s grace is never in short supply. It is always sufficient. Christ died for the sins of all the world, for all that will trust in Him. Again, what we see here are Positional Truths, blessings in Christ, but there is also application for these truths in our daily living.
  • We may think God’s grace is insufficient at times, but if we humble ourselves before Him we will find grace to lift us up as we find in James 4:10 and 1Pet 5:5-6. And we find this grace more than sufficient to help us in time of need, Heb 4:16. And we will find God’s grace to be our strength when we are weakened as Paul did 2Cor 12:8-10. I recall early in my Christian life that at one point I thought that maybe God’s grace would not be able to forgive me all my sins, I thought them to be worse than any. But when I saw Paul’s declaration that he was the chiefest of sinners, I realized there was hope for me as well !  1Tim 1:15-17
  • And let’s look at this forgiveness in the Bible: the forgiveness. Exo  34:7 forgiveness and Accountability; Ps  32:1 , 2 ; Psa 86:5 ; Psa 130:4 ; Isa  43:25 ; Isa 55:6 , 7; Jer  31:34; Da  9:9 , 19 ; Jon  4:2 ; Mic 7:18-19: Luke  1:77; 7:40-42; 7:47-50; 24:47; John  20:23; Act  2:38 ; Act 3:19; 10:43; 13:38- 39; Ro  4:6-9; Col  2:13; Heb  10:17-18; 1Jo  1:7-9; 2:12
  • Also notice this, it says: We Have …. It is presently in our possession and continues on forever without interruption. No one can take it from us! That is why we can approach God’s throne boldly–not arrogantly, but confidently as we read in Heb 4:16.
  • And again, this redemption and forgiveness of sins that we possess is according to the Riches of His Grace!

Eph 1:8  Abounding Grace

Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

  • Wherein He hath abounded toward us …
  • Abounded, from Perriseuw to give beyond measure, exceedingly, abundantly – more than enough. As mentioned previously, His grace He has given to us is in an excess of our need. We will never find it in short supply. In the world, those things in great demand are often expensive and in a short supply. We have seen the price of oil fluctuate greatly depending on either the current supply/demand ratio or the fear of the decline in supply in comparison to demand. Since 2000 we have since prices for a gallon of unleaded gas range from just over $1.00 to $4.00 here in Texas. The natural gas market on the other hand seems to have a great abundance and thus it’s price has gone down considerably in the past few years. It has gotten cheap to be had, there is a glut. But that is a finite supply and one day will be depleted.
  • But God’s grace is different. It is abundant, it is freely available – but as we see in Eph 1:6-8 His grace is described as glorious, rich and over abounding toward us. The world disrespects God’s grace, misapprehends it, misunderstands it and thinks that grace gives them license to continue in sin and rebellion against God. Our president (Barack H Obama) along with many politicians has listened to the lies of the culture and are calling what God calls an abomination a good thing. But he is as wrong as wrong can be. Marriage is the union of one man with one woman- and no other union is recognized by God as a marriage. The world thinks that God just winks as they continue on in rebellion against Him. And many people who claim to be Christians are just like the world, in Rebellion against God!
  • But the redeemed recognize the glory of His grace, the riches we find there, the redemption price and the blood sprinkled forgiveness that are ours in Christ. The redeemed also have a keen sense of the holy righteousness of our God Jehovah and that although He is long suffering not wanting any to perish (2 Pet 3:9), one day and eventually He will bring judgment on those who openly flaunt their sin, pride, wickedness and rebellion against Him,  His Word and His Son. His abounding, rich grace came through an extremely high cost — the death of His beloved Son by a cruel and bloody crucifixion.
  • Paul elsewhere, in Titus 2:11-15 speaks of God’s grace and it’s results. We were saved from sin, not to continue in it any longer! Also see Rom 6:1-6
  • How precious is His grace in your estimation?
  • In all wisdom and prudence. Isn’t the wisdom of God’s grace amazing? That He would love His enemies, send His beloved Son to die on a cross, raise Him on the 3rd day and then send just common old people to proclaim this gospel to a lost world so that all who would believe and accept Christ as their Lord and Savior would not just be saved but also receive such tremendous blessings in our Savior. His prudence, or moral insight if you will, knew that the life is in the blood and that blood must be shed to pay the price for a sinner, and that His own Son’s blood would be of infinite value in securing the Redemption and forgiveness of all who would trust Him. What a plan, what insight, what wisdom! Christ the wisdom of God! 1Cor 1:19-24; 1Cor 1:24-31
  • But it was also His wisdom and prudence in His grace hat brought Him to make known to Paul His plan for the ages in Christ. Wisdom belongs to God and those to whom He will give it through their seeking it from Him. Prudence speaks of His discretion and discernment. He has absolutely perfect understanding of all things, events and every heart of mankind. He knew exactly what was needed for mankind to forgiven, cleansed, justified, sanctified and glorified. And He has provided it all, available in His Son to everyone that will simply agree with the Lord (confess) that he has sinned against God’s holiness and righteousness, then turn to God from his sinful ways and accept that gift of forgiveness and eternal life that Christ offers, and receive Jesus Christ into his life as his new Lord and Savior. If you have not, I pray you will before it is too late. If you have, I pray that you will grow in God’s grace and in the knowledge of the only true and living God of the Bible, and His Son Jesus Christ.