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Ephesians 1:1-6

1 “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints who are at Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 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, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5He predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He favored us in the Beloved.”

Will of God: As will be developed in this chapter, Paul has a very broad view of the will of God. In context, Paul is speaking of God’s will to bring Jew and Gentile together in Christ through predestination (Ephesians 1:11-12).

Grace and peace: This is the message God has for the world. Not condemnation and fear, but grace and peace in Christ. All who receive God’s grace have peace with God.

Every spiritual blessing: Christians are fully equipped with every aspect of salvation (see also 2 Peter 1:3-4). Notice that Paul is speaking of spiritual blessings not physical or earthly blessings. Christ did not accomplish health and wealth for the Christian. Instead, He accomplished our spiritual salvation from start to finish. We don’t need to shop for more of Jesus or chase after the Holy Spirit for some extra blessing or extra portion of God. We may not feel this reality, but it is true, nevertheless.  

Chose us in Him: Paul is speaking of a corporate choosing, not an individual choosing. This group, comprised of Jews and Gentiles, is holy and blameless in Christ. This means that God is not blaming His children or condemning them (see also Romans 8:1). Our sins are gone, and we are completely righteous to the core of our beings (see 2 Corinthians 5:21).

Predestined: Here we see Paul’s view of election beginning to be fleshed out. The first group God predestined, the us in the passage, is the Jewish nation. This is God’s will which is founded in His kindness towards His creation. The second elect group is the Gentiles (Ephesians 1:11-13).

Favored us in the Beloved: There could never be too much grace according to Paul. Grace is completely lavished on God’s children. So often we try to balance grace and law, but Paul doesn’t allow room for this. Grace sets us free from the power of sin and law excites sin (Romans 7). So, if we try to balance grace with law, then we are inviting ourselves and others into a life of sin.

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