Ephesians 1 Commentary: Spiritual Blessings and the Power of Prayer

Ephesians chapter 1 is a powerful passage that can be divided into three parts:

  • A brief introduction (Ephesians 1:1-2)
  • The spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3-14)
  • Thanksgiving and prayer (Ephesians 1:15-23).

The introduction offers a standard greeting from Paul, mentioning the author and the intended audience – primarily the Ephesians but also other churches in the region. The greeting concludes with a blessing: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

What is the main message of Ephesians Chapter 1?

The main message of Ephesians Chapter 1 is the revelation of God’s plan for humanity through Jesus Christ, emphasizing our spiritual blessings, redemption and adoption as children of God, and highlighting the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Spiritual Blessings in Christ, Ephesians 1:3-14

Paul begins by praising God for the many spiritual blessings that believers receive in Christ. Not only is he proclaiming the many blessings we have been given, but he is also exemplifying God’s love for us and the appreciation we should show.

Several times Paul exclaims the theme of predestination:

  • First, in verse 5, he mentions “he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ”
  • And a second time, in verse 11, exclaiming “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will”

Predestination is the concept that God knew beforehand that He would choose certain individuals to become His followers (Ephesians 1:4).

Paul also talks about grace, which is the undeserved favor that God bestows on believers, allowing them to receive salvation (Ephesians 1:6).

The latter half of this section also focuses on the redemption believers experience through Christ’s blood, and that we have been included in Him when we heard the truth, aka the gospel of our salvation.

Paul explains that believers receive an inheritance that ultimately brings glory to God. When believers hear and accept the gospel, they are sealed with the Holy Spirit, which guarantees their future heavenly hope. This sealing with the Holy Spirit supports the doctrine of “eternal security,” which teaches that true believers in Jesus can never be separated from God’s love.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39, NIV

Thanksgiving and Prayer, Ephesians 1:15-23

In the second part of Ephesians 1, Paul expresses gratitude for his readers in his prayers and asks God to grant them wisdom and knowledge.

His prayer transitions into praise for God’s incredible power, touching upon:

  • The resurrection (Ephesians 1:20)
  • Christ’s exalted status (Ephesians 1:21)
  • Christ’s authority (Ephesians 1:22)
  • The significance of the church, reinforcing that is it His body (Ephesians 1:22-23)

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Ephesians 1:22-23, NIV

Key Bible Verses in Ephesians 1

Ephesians 1:4 – “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

Ephesians 1:7 – “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

Ephesians 1:13-14 – “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.”

These verses highlight essential themes within Ephesians 1, such as predestination, redemption, grace, and the sealing of the Holy Spirit. By connecting the teachings in Ephesians 1 to other parts of the Bible, we can gain a deeper understanding of the chapter and its relevance to our spiritual lives.

Connecting Ephesians 1 to Other Bible Passages

This passage from Romans helps us understand the concept of predestination and how it relates to God’s plan for believers:

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Romans 8:29-30, NIV

Here, Paul reiterates the idea of being sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our future inheritance, similar to what he wrote in Ephesians 1:

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22, NIV

Concluding Ephesians 1 Commentary

Ephesians 1 provides a wealth of spiritual knowledge, revealing the incredible blessings and promises that believers receive through their faith in Jesus Christ.

By examining the key themes of predestination, redemption, grace, and the work of the Holy Spirit, we can gain a deeper appreciation for our identity in Christ and the eternal security we have in Him.

As we reflect on these profound truths, we should not only be grateful for the spiritual blessings we have in Christ but also strive to live our lives in a manner worthy of our calling. Let us be encouraged to grow in our faith, deepen our understanding of God’s Word, and share the good news of salvation with others.

However, we must remember to put these truths into practice in our daily lives. As we do so, we will experience the fullness of the blessings that God has prepared for us, and we will be better equipped to serve Him and others in our communities.

Let us truly live as children of God and experience the abundant life that Jesus promised to those who follow Him.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10, NIV

What is Ephesians 1 about simple explanation?

Ephesians 1, in a simple explanation, is about God’s love and grace towards us, His divine plan for redemption and unity through Jesus Christ, and the presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers.

What are the attributes of God in Ephesians 1?

The attributes of God in Ephesians 1 include His love, grace, mercy, sovereignty, and omnipotence. As He chooses us, redeems us through Christ’s sacrifice, and empowers us with the Holy Spirit.

Read Ephesians 1, NIV

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment – to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.

Thanksgiving and Prayer
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.