Ephesians 1

The book of Ephesians is actually a letter written by the Apostle Paul to a church he had planted on one of his journeys. The book of Acts tells us that when Paul returned to Ephesus on his third mission tour, he spent three years preaching and teaching among them. This was a church Paul knew well, and he had a deep emotional connection with the believers there (see Acts 20:31-37). He wrote this letter from prison in order to encourage and strengthen the church.

Much of this letter focuses on the unity that should characterize the church. Paul begins with the primary unifying factor for every believer: our salvation in Christ. The list of spiritual blessings we have in Christ is encouraging and inspiring to read (v.3-14). Because of God’s great love for us, He chose us to be the objects of His affection (v.4), He adopted us into His forever family (v.5), He forgave all our sins (v.7), He made known to us the wonderful mystery of the gospel (v.9-13), and He sealed our salvation with the promise of the indwelling Holy Spirit (v.13-14).

Paul prayed that the believers of Ephesus would continue to be amazed by the power of the gospel as they grew in their understanding of their salvation (v.17-19). The power that raised Jesus from the dead — the power by which He rules over all things — is the same power that brings repentant sinners from death to life and sustains and preserves their salvation eternally (v.20-21). And that power is at work in the church, filling it with the fullness of Christ. With Him as our head, we carry out the work of the gospel in the world.

What a privilege to be the sons and daughters of God — His dearly-loved, chosen, adopted children! Not only has He lavished His grace on us, but He has entrusted us with the only hope for this broken world. When you gather with the church to worship today, celebrate what God has saved us from and what He has saved us for. Praise our glorious God for His grace (v.6, 12, 14)!