Paul writes to Ephesus from the prison. He is cold, hungry, and there are sounds of shouting from the other prisoners. Paul writes by a single flame. And in his horrible state he manages to still be a strong servant and Apostle of Christ, spreading the gospel the only way he knows how in his situation. He knows his time is short, and so he must write as much as he can, until they hear his words. He doesn’t sleep, only prays.
Apostle: A person personally commissioned by Jesus Christ with special authority to preach the gospel..
Paul has been to visit the Ephesians before. Three times actually.
Ephesus was a hearty part of the trade route.
It was also the place where the goddess of fertility Diana’s statue was placed.
The atmosphere was awaited confrontation for any believer in Christ.
In the time Paul preached the gospel there, and led others to do the same, major miracles started to happen.
I can only imagine what it was like for someone who grew up believing in gods, to turn to Jesus.
In time as more people started to believe, riots broke out.
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians in Chapter 1, he tries to accentuate that Jews and Gentiles are the same.
In Search of Grace…
Ephesians 1:3- 14
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed
(blessed: Hebrew: barak: an act of adoration, or praise)
us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Spiritual blessing: Anyone, anywhere could be seated with Christ.
4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
In love(agape: love by choice or one’s will)
5 he predestined
( predestined: loving choice on God’s part; In greek translation “ proorizo” – determine before, ordain.
us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely
When I read through and saw “ freely” the word alone says SO much!
It didn’t cost us anything for God to take away our sins, and enter into salvation, but in a way, it did.
Giving up our dead life to Him, that is payment, but obviously not worth as much.
given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption ( To buy back, ransom out of slavery)
through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he[d]
made known to us the mystery( something once hidden by God now revealed)
“ I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery brothers, so that you may not be conceited:”
of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
11In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined (Past tense, but meant for present)
according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth,
Not only heard by the ears, but the heart. Therefore knowing the purpose, and set to become as Christ over time.
the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, (Past tense but meant for present)
you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
The Holy Spirit is God’s assurance that we will be with Him.
God’s motive was always salvation, and always love.
“ By pouring out His blood on the cross Jesus redeemed us from slavery to sin, forgave our sins, lavished God’s grace on us, revealed the nature of God’s wisdom and previews His ultimate purpose to unite the universe under His rule”- Strong Bible Commentary.
In conclusion of this part of the chapter, we know the setting, we know the motive and we know the foreshadow of things to come.