CITIZENS part 1 – All Things United In Christ (Eph 1:1-14) – Christian Martinsen
Ephesians Study Material- Eph. 1:1-14
Paul wrote the letter of Ephesians as a general letter to a large region of churches during his first Roman imprisonment. The letter to the Ephesians and the letter to the church in Colosse were most likely written around the same time and delivered at roughly the same time. The letter to the Ephesians is a passionate and beautiful letter, riddled with hymns and exhortations, rich in theology and eschatology setting it apart from all other Pauline Epistles. The letter emphasizes the nature of the church and the relationship of Christ as the head of the church. Ephesians 1:1-14 consists of a wonderful declaration of praise to God for the election and redemption of His people. The passage is poetic in form and uses a variety of synonyms to communicate key points.
Text: Eph. 1:1-14
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in 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 in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,to the praise of his glory.
In Paul’s introduction to Ephesians, it as if Paul “explodes” with delight as he poetically reminds the Church of who they are and to whom they belong. He uses repetition to emphasize the knowledge, power and will of God. Eph. 1:1-14 is a passage of adoration, starting the letter off with it’s primary focus; Who we are as the Church. In Paul’s introductory remarks he makes it clear, The Church is Christ’s body.
Suggested Discussion Questions
- Why do you think Paul started off the letter in this manner?
- What do you think Paul’s state of mind was when he wrote this letter?
- Why is it so important that we, as the church, know where we stand in the Lord?