Daybreak: Ephesians 1:1-14
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3)
All blessings come from God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. To me, one of the greatest blessings as a Christian is to be able to pray and have God
answer. At times, I don’t even know how to pray about a certain situation, but God’s Spirit leads me.
Some time back, the hospital where I am currently employed needed to make budget cuts. Although the team I work with provides a service that our physicians
and nurses deem useful and needed, administration decided that our team was on the front line to be reduced.
I did what I knew was best: prayed, asking for the Lord’s will in this situation. The Holy Spirit showed me that He had everything under control, and that
the changes would not be what the administration had planned. I shared my answer to prayer with my colleagues. For the next nine months, they would
say, “We know you have prayed about it; would you pray once more?” Each time I brought it before the Lord, the answer always came back the same.
When the new budget year arrived, you can imagine the results. Not only was our team retained in full force, but I received four raises during the following
twelve months! While the raises were nice, the most marvelous blessing was the evidence that God certainly answers prayer.
In our key verse, Paul wrote to the believers at Ephesus that we are blessed “with all spiritual blessings.” At times, these may be temporal benefits:
some are favored with health, financial comfort, adequate food, and shelter. At other times, the benefits may be less tangible: comfort in adversity,
strength for our day, or divine protection. Think about the joy of salvation, the gifts of the Spirit, power to do God’s will, the hope of spending
eternity in Heaven with Christ himself. Don’t forget the blessing of answered prayers. Clearly, the list could go on and on, yet, these are only part
of the spiritual blessings that God bestows upon our lives, and for which we are to thank Him.
Count your blessings! It is a wonderful way to get your day started right.
The times in which Paul wrote were difficult for new Christians; there was much to oppose them. Ephesus itself was a city steeped in heathen traditions
and idolatry. This letter was written while Paul was imprisoned; it probably was penned during his first Roman imprisonment, A.D. 60-62.
The Apostle began his epistle with thanksgiving and praise, and went on to describe, with considerable fluency, the great and precious benefits that believers
enjoy through Jesus Christ. He wrote that believers are chosen to be holy and blameless. In His infinite love, God adopted us to be His children when
He forgave our sins, and He gave us spiritual authority over evil.
This portion of the first chapter of Ephesians describes the foundation of the Church, and is a doxology composed of three stanzas describing the work
of the Trinity. Paul writes of the office of the Father (election — verses 3-6), the office of the Son (intercession — verses 7-12), and
the office of the Spirit (application — verses 13-14). Each stanza closes with a similar refrain praising His glory (see verses 6, 12, and 14).
The word chosen in verse 4 comes from the Greek word eklegomai, which means, “to pick out.” God’s plan of salvation was provided “before the foundation
of the world.” This statement does not mean that God arbitrarily assigned some to Heaven and consigned all others to Hell. Rather, God offers the opportunity
of salvation to all (see Romans 10:13) and man either receives or rejects His provisions in Christ. Every man not only has the opportunity to receive
Christ, but is invited and urged to do so.
The meaning of the word predestinated in verse 5 is, “marked out beforehand.” It alludes to God’s purposes rather than a selection of souls to
be saved, as all men everywhere are included in God’s invitation (see John 3:16). When God saves a soul, it is clear that He always intended to do
so. He has no new plan. It is not an afterthought. It is not the work of chance. God has predestined our adoption (Ephesians 1:5), our conformity to
Christ (Romans 8:29-30), and our future spiritual inheritance (Ephesians 1:11). Anything that God has done, we can be certain that He always meant
to do, and this is all that is intended by the words election or predestination.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines – Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. Introduction (1:1-2)
A. The author and recipients (1:1)
B. The salutation (1:2)
II. The calling of the church
A. The foundation of the church
1. The foundation revealed: the work of the Trinity (1:3-14)
a. The Father’s work:
election (1:3- 6)
by God (1:3)
by God (1:4)
to sonship (1:5)
in the beloved (1:6)
b. The Son’s work: mediation
from sins (1:7-8)
His will (1:9-10)
an inheritance (1:11-12)
c. The Spirit’s work:
of our inheritance (1:14)
A Closer Look
- According to verse four, why did God choose us?
- What special blessings, enumerated in the text, are available to us as Christians?
- Paul said that he “blesses God.” How do we bless God? What are the benefits of doing this?
One theme of Ephesians is that of praising God. In his opening comments, Paul affirmed the glorious fact that believers in Christ have been showered with
God’s kindnesses. When we review these, how can we help but praise Him?
- Ephesians Introduction
- Ephesians Complete Amplified Outline
- Daybreak Unit PDF (Matthew, Hebrews, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians)
- Discovery Unit PDF (Matthew, Hebrews, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians)
- Discovery Teacher’s Guide Unit PDF (Matthew, Hebrews, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians)
- Unit Binder Cover