For the believer in Jesus, as Lord and Savior, a clear understanding of Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians is foundational. It is important to see it as a writing that is Inspired by God, and is spiritual and relational in its focus. The title of this chapter could be called “The Choosing.” Following this study of Ephesians, I will discuss similar topics, such as “The Calling” and “Reprobation,” not as specific studies but as they are contained within other books or letters that I will be addressing.
We see the creation of the body being planned, purchased, and preserved in 1:1-14.
An effective method of understanding is a three-step process, as follows. (1) “Tell them what you’re going to tell them. (2) Tell them. (3) Tell them what you told them.” This procedure of study is now in the third step of the discussion of Chapter 1 of Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians.
The Apostle Paul’s writing of Ephesians 1 can be contained in an outline, where he opens his letter to the “spiritually born again” body of Christ in Ephesus, which is the true church. A building is not the church, but is a location where the church meets. The totality of the Trinity can be see at work in the creation of His body. (1:1-4).
The body was planned by the Father (1:1-6), whereby He blessed us, who are the spiritual body of Christ (1:1-3), and He selected us (1:4). God chose us “before He made the world” (1:4a). We were chosen so that we would be “holy and without fault in his eyes” 1:4b). Holiness is the spiritual state of those of us who have been “spiritually” born again, and which was performed by God’s Holy Spirit (John 3:8). Because of our depraved state, God chose us so that we could choose Him. Before we were “born again,” there was nothing within our “unholy spirit” to draw us to the Holiness of God (1 Corinthians 1:18, 2:14). And, God adopted us, whereby He made us to be a part of His holy and spiritual family. (1:5-6). It is important of us to know that the term “in heavenly places” (1:5, 1:20) relate to the presence of God. After we have been born again, we are in the spiritual presence of God, in the heavenly places where God dwells.
The body was purchased by the Son, Jesus (1:7-12). He redeemed us by His blood (1:7-8). Someday, He will gather us in His Name (1:9-10). He purchased us so that we might give praise to God (1:11-12).
The body is preserved by the Spirit, by His Presence (1:13-14). The Holy Spirit serves as a special seal (1:13). He guarantees our eternal security (1:14).
We can see the consecration of the body, as it is shown in 1:15-23. Consecration means the separation of a believer from things that are unclean, and would impair a believer’s relationship with our Holy and perfect God. Consecration also relates to sanctification, holiness, or purity. The Apostle Paul prays that God will allow His church, which is the spiritually born again body of believers in Christ, to understand the following things about Himself.
God wants His church to understand His person, “so that you might grow in your knowledge of God (1:15-17). And, God wants His church to understand His promise, “so that you can understand the wonderful future he promised to those he called” (1:18). Also, God wants His church to understand His power, “and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,” (1:19-20). God also wants His church to understand His position in heaven and on earth. In Christ’s position in heaven, “He occupies the exalted place at the right hand of the Father (1:20-23). In Christ’s position on earth, “He has been named head of the church (1:22-23).
Please consider the following food for thought. Consider the fate of those people who are unable, for one reason or another, to choose God. Remember that all of us are created with the presence of a depraved spirit. Let your mind roam.
Now, let us worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus, as we are blessed by the orchestra and 500 Member Choir of Prestonwood Baptist Church.
Prestonwood Baptist Church
Southern Baptist Convention
Senior Pastor Dr. Jack Graham
Fort Worth, Texas, USA