In Paul’s introduction to his letter to the believers in Ephesus, the Ephesians, he encourages those who are faithful in Christ and blesses them by speaking grace and peace over them. And not just any grace and peace, but the grace and peace that comes from God alone. Grace that is sufficient. Peace that surpasses comprehension. Discuss or respond in your journal: How can you accept the grace and peace God has to offer you and then give it to those you interact with?
Look at how Paul described himself: an apostle of Christ Jesus. This is his identifier—who he was as a person. If you had to pick one thing to identify yourself, what would it be? In the following words of Scripture, we discover how Paul became an apostle of Christ Jesus— by the will of God. Paul understood that his salvation was not based upon himself or his deeds but rather was founded in the power, mercy, and grace of God. Paul opened his letter in humility.
In verse 3, Paul spoke about the spiritual blessing we have in Christ. Because God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing, He is worthy of our praise, or to be blessed, as Paul says. What is a spiritual blessing? The Bible Knowledge Commentary explains, “Every spiritual blessing refers to every spiritual enrichment needed for the spiritual life.” Because these blessings originate in heaven and are from heaven, they are spiritual in nature rather than material. What spiritual (non-material) blessings can you identify in your life?
In verse 4, Paul revealed something about God that exemplifies His outrageous love for us. God chose us before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Despite the failures, the hardships, the trials of your life, God has chosen you. Not only this, but He has adopted you into His family. All for the sake of love—a love for you that is so strong, so powerful that He sacrificed his most valued possession, His Son, Jesus Christ. So you could be a part of His family and have a restored relationship with Him.
Verse 7 begins by reminding us what we have in Christ: Redemption. Salvation from sin. Deliverance from the slavery of sin. Our debt paid by Christ, through His blood shed at Calvary. We have forgiveness because of the wealth of His grace extravagantly poured out on us. The mystery, a once hidden truth, is now unveiled so that we might know God’s plan to unite all things in Christ.
Verse 11 tells us of something else we have in Christ—an inheritance. And life with Him forever in eternity. Verse 13 says we are sealed with the Holy Spirit upon belief in Christ. The Holy Spirit seals us, secures us, approves us, certifies us, and identifies us as His own. Praise God for all that we have in Christ, and for the Holy Spirit that marks our place with Christ in eternity.