Ephesians 1:1-3

In Ephesians 1:1-2a Paul begins his letter to the church at Ephesus in normal style. He makes clear that he is an apostle of Jesus and doing God’s will as a Christ Follower. “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus” Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is different compared to many of the other New Testament letters he wrote. Like Romans, Ephesians was not written so much to address problems in a particular church; more so, it was written to explain some of the great themes and doctrines of Christianity. It is one of the favorite books in the New Testament.

Bruce explains “Ephesians has been called “the Queen of the Epistles,” “the quintessence of Paulinism,” “the divinest composition of man” and even “the Waterloo of commentators.” Some say that Ephesians reads “like a commentary on the Pauline letters” and probably it has been best termed “the crown of Paulinism. It sums up in large measure the leading themes of the Pauline writings… But it does more than that; it carries the thought of the earlier letters forward to a new stage.” Spurgeon wrote “The Epistle to the Ephesians is a complete Body of Divinity. In the first chapter you have the doctrines of the gospel; in the next, you have the experience of the Christians; and before the Epistle is finished, you have the precepts of the Christian faith. Whosoever would see Christianity in one treatise, let him ‘read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest’ the Epistle to the Ephesians.”

Paul’s intro to the church at Ephesus is brief and to the point. But it is written to the believers there who live there, a special place where Paul spent three years doing the work of missionary and pastor and teacher. The letter was likely intended to be passed along to other Christ Followers as it explained God’s eternal plan and how that works itself out through the church and our individual lives. Paul’s greeting is typical for him – focused on grace and peace which is the outcome of God’s work of grace in our life. “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Paul calls for a blessing upon the Father (in the sense of recognizing His glory and honor and goodness), because the Father has already blessed the believer with every spiritual 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….”This blessing is ours. God’s resources are there for us always. Paul is referring to an attitude of certainty and assurance. Paul describes both the kind of blessings and the location of those blessings. These are spiritual blessings, which are far better than material blessings. These blessings are ours in the heavenly places in Christ, they are higher, better, and more secure than earthly blessings. What a Savior!

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