As you know I like to mix up our reading series, so after a delve into the early chapters of Isaiah, we now switch to Paul’s letter the Ephesians. So our reading today is Ephesians Chapter 1 verses 1 to 14.
Firstly just a few notes of introduction. The Ephesians were from Ephesus, a city on the western side of what we now call Turkey. Paul briefly visited Ephesus on his 2nd missionary journey (Acts Chapter 18 verse 19) which we saw in our recent Sunday morning sermon series, but his main dealings with them were on his 3rd missionary journey (Acts Chs.19-20).Some Bible experts think this letter may not be just to the Ephesians, but a sort of round-robin letter around several churches in the region.
After the introductory greetings, there is a great opening line, ‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ.’ (v.3). And then the rest of this section unpacks that a little by naming some of those blessings with some very rich theology. These include,- ‘He chose us before the creation of the world…’ (v.4)- ‘He predestined us to be adopted as His sons (and daughters) into His family… (v.4)- ‘He redeemed us through the blood of Christ and forgave us all our sins… (v.7)- ‘He made known to us something of His ultimate cosmic plans to bring things in heaven and earth under one head, even Christ… (vs.9-10)- ‘He has chosen and predestined both Jew and Gentile according to His plan to both be included in Christ… (vs.11-13)- ‘He has given His Holy Spirit to all believers as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come… (v.14).
And intertwined through several of these blessings are words like love and grace, because that is the motivation of the Lord in revealing and putting His plans into action. Well I hope this gives you a little spring in your step today as you reflect on these great truths of the gospel, and there will be an opportunity to speak out our thanks and praise in our monthly church prayer meeting this evening starting at 7.30pm.
In our cycle of prayer, please remember today in your prayers,- Robert & Jan- Nova