I love Ephesians. When thumbing through the 6 chapters of Ephesians there is not a chapter that does not have highlighted verses in my Bible. It seems most of Paul’s letters to the churches were written to address issues in the churches that he wrote, but not Ephesians. This book has a more uplifting theme to it. It’s purpose seems to be to bless and explain doctrine rather than to admonish and correct. Paul starts this chapter much like he always does with this credentials and then who he is writing to, and with this one he goes right into a blessing.
“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 to himself 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.” Ephesians 1:3-5
Paul is sending a blessing to God in response to the blessing we have received in Christ. He is explaining here that if we are in Christ, we have every spiritual blessing. What are our spiritual blessings? Spiritual blessings are the new heart that he has given us, it is the relationship that we get to have with Christ. It is the knowledge that he will guide and direct our lives and show us the way we should go. It is the knowledge that he will watch over us and those we love and lay at his feet. Many of us can say we have been materially blessed as well, but all the material blessings in the world do not match up to the blessings of the heart that we receive through Christ. Those verses also point out that God chose us long before even the foundation of the world. He chose us to be adopted into his kingdom and he has blessed us and called us his Beloved!
Through what Jesus did for us on the cross, he has redeemed us from death, we have forgiveness for the sin in our life (v. 7). The spiritual blessings are the way he shows us what He wants us to do, what our purpose in life is (v. 9). The spiritual blessings we have received show us the inheritance that we receive from Him because of the hope that we have in Christ. (v11-12)
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.” Ephesians 1:13-14
This verse right here is your promise, it is your assurance that when you received Christ, you were sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit. He is our guarantee, that we belong to Christ. He is in your heart and your life to help you and to guide you. He is the seal on your life in Christ. I’m sure I frustrate him sometime with the lessons I have relearn over and over again, or begging him for direction. But one thing is sure, I know Christ and that means I have the Holy Spirit as my guide!
The latter part of this chapter is Paul giving thanks for the church in Ephesus and his prayer for the people. Paul has heard of their faith in Jesus as well as their love “toward all the saints” (v. 15). Paul knew that the church in Ephesus were doing a lot of things right because of their love for each other and for those who were preaching and teaching the gospel. The prayer that follows is a great prayer that if you have a loved one that you want to know Christ you can pray over them. I love praying scripture for my people.
“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” Ephesians 1:17-21
Lord Jesus we pray for us and for our people to know wisdom and revelation of knowledge of You. Lord, we pray that you will open the eyes of our hearts so that we would know our hope lies in You! Lord we pray to know what direction our steps should take us, what is our calling, what would you have us to do for You. Lord that we may know the power that is within us, the same power that raised You from the dead working in and through us. Thank You Jesus!
Please pray for our churches and our pastors today! Also, continue to pray for recovery efforts in Alabama, Florida and Louisiana.