Ephesians Chapter 1

Summary

Following a brief greeting (1-2), Paul begins this epistle with an expression of praise to God for the spiritual blessings that are in Christ (3). Verses 4-14 is one long sentence in Greek and is an expansion of the condensed praise of God’s purpose in Romans 8:28–30. It contains a list of blessings divided into three sections. The first section describes those blessings related to the Father, how He has chosen us in Christ, predestined us to adoption as sons to Himself, and made us accepted in the Beloved (4-6). The second section focuses on those blessings in relation to the Son, e.g., redemption through His blood, forgiveness of sins, the revelation of His will concerning Jesus Christ, and the inheritance we have obtained, as predestined according to God's will (7-12). The third section describes blessings related to the Holy Spirit, how we are sealed with the Spirit of promise, and how He serves as a "guarantee" (or deposit) of our inheritance (13-14). The key phrase throughout this section is "in Him" (or "in Whom") which stresses the point that all spiritual blessing come through Jesus Christ and enjoyed by those who are "in" Him (cf. 1:1, 3).

The last half of the chapter contains Paul's first of two prayers that are in this epistle. The prayer in this chapter is for their "enlightenment," that their knowledge and understanding might increase. Paul especially desires that they might know God more fully, what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the great power of God toward those who believe (15-19). Regarding this "power", it is the same power God used to raise Jesus from the dead and seat Him at His right hand. The exalted position now enjoyed by Christ includes authority over all things, especially the church which is described as "His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." (20-23)[1]


 [1]This summary is adapted from Executable Outlines, Mark A. Copeland, 2001, Ephesians, executableoutlines.com/pdf/ep_se.pdf