The book of Ephesians is actually a letter written by Paul to the
church at Ephesus. Some believe that Paul was not the writer, but I
tend to believe he was. This letter was written somewhere around 60 to
64 A.D. This letter is a call for the Jewish converts to Christianity
and the Christians to be united. The key to the whole letter is unity
in Christ. Each church had its own little peculiarities. Paul's
special thrust, here, is the unity of the believers in Christ, both
Jew and Gentile.

     Ephesus was a thriving city. It was on the coast of Asia Minor.
The people were a mixture of Greek and Asiatic. Diana, a false
goddess, was worshipped here. The temple built for Diana had been 220
years in the building, and was thought of as one of the wonders of the
world.  All sorts of sorcery were practiced here.  There were many
Jews here, as well.

     On one of Paul's visits to Ephesus, he stayed 2 years and 3
months. Aquila and Priscilla helped Paul here at Ephesus. In
Revelation chapter 1 verse 11, we see that Ephesus was one of the 7
churches mentioned. Ephesus was visited several times by Paul. He was
very interested in Ephesus. On one of his visits many received the
baptism of the Holy Spirit. He fought against great odds here. The
silversmith fought him over the false goddess Diana. The Jews fought
him, and he even speaks of fighting wild beasts.

     We will now begin in Ephesians 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Jesus
Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to
the faithful in Christ Jesus:"

     We immediately see a declaration that this letter is from Paul.
He explains that his authority to be an apostle is from Jesus Christ.
This is written to the church at Ephesus. Paul explains that he is an
apostle of Christ. Paul did not choose to be an apostle, God called
Paul to this office. The saints and the faithful in Christ Jesus are
the same. "Saints", in this instance, means those who have been set
aside for God. "Faithful" means believers in Christ.

     Ephesians 1:2 "Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father,
and [from] the Lord Jesus Christ."

     Just as grace was the key word in Galatians, it is prominent in
all of Paul's letters. He does want the blessings and favor of God to
fall upon these people. True peace, just like true grace, comes from
the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

     Ephesians 1:3 "Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly
[places] in Christ:"

     In this verse, we see the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our way
to the Father is through Jesus Christ, our High Priest. The spiritual
blessings for the believer are applied through the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps in this third verse here, Paul wants us to see the unity of
the Father, Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Christians are in
Jesus, and Jesus is in the Christian. He is seated in heavenly places,
and we are sitting with Him in heavenly places. Notice, the
involvement of them all in the blessings for the believer. Take a
look, also, the word "all" in the spiritual blessings. Ephesians 2:6
"And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit in heavenly
places in Christ Jesus:"  John 14:20 "At that day ye shall know that I
[am] in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you."

     Ephesians 1:4 "According as he hath chosen us in him before the
foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame
before him in love:"

     I believe that this is explaining that God {who knows everything
for all time}, prepared a plan for the fall of man before He made man.
Many call this predestination, I prefer to call it foreknowledge. It
is really the omniscient of God. "Omniscient" means knowing all
things.  It is one of the descriptions of God alone, no human has this
attribute. We do know that the desire of God was to fellowship with
us. It is His desire for all to be saved. He even provided a Way for
that to be possible in His Son Jesus. Mankind is not holy within
itself. We are righteous in Jesus Christ. He has clothed us in His
righteousness. The righteousness that Jesus has clothed us in, makes
us acceptable in the sight of the Father.  We are chosen of God.
I Peter 2:9 "But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an
holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises
of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"
You do not read anywhere that God has chosen anyone to be lost. His
desire is that all would be saved. We, of our own free will, accept
the salvation He offered us, or reject it.

     Ephesians 1:5 "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of
children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of
his will,"

     His plan from the beginning was to make us His adopted children.
We see from the beginning, the plan to save the very elect. God did
not choose who the very elect would be, He just knew ahead of time who
would choose to follow Him. The plan, all along, was for Jesus Christ
to be our Saviour.  John 1:12 "But as many as received him, to them
gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe
on his name:"  Romans 8:14 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of
God, they are the sons of God."  Romans 8:15 "For ye have not received
the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit
of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."  Romans 8:16 "The Spirit
itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of
God:" Romans 8:17 "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and
jointheirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we
may be also glorified together."

     Ephesians 1:6 "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein
he hath made us accepted in the beloved."
     We must admit that it is to His praise, and not ours. Salvation
through grace is none of our doing, it is His. "Grace", as we have
said before, is unmerited favor. Even the fact that we are acceptable
to the Father, is because we have taken on the righteousness of
Christ.  Our righteousness was as filthy rags. It is His righteousness
that puts us in right standing with the Father. The Beloved, here, is
Jesus Christ.  It is only in Him, that we are acceptable. Jeremiah
23:6 "In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely:
and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR

     Ephesians 1:7 " In whom we have redemption through his blood, the
forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;"

     On day of atonement in the Old Testament when the blood was
carried into the Holy of Holies for the sins of the people, the sins
were covered over with the blood. This did not do away with the sin,
it only covered it up. It did not clear the conscience of the sinner.
In the case of the Lord Jesus Christ, His blood does away with the
sin. It blots the sin out. It leaves us free of sin. Jesus' precious
blood clears our conscience. He not only takes away our sin, but He
gives us His righteousness in return. We do absolutely nothing, except
repent of our sins and have faith in Jesus as our Redeemer. He
redeemed us from the curse of the law. Colossians 1:14 "In whom we
have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:"
While we were yet in sin, Jesus shed His blood to save us from sin,
self, and the devil.

     Ephesians 1:8 "Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom
and prudence;"

     "Wisdom", in this particular instance, is speaking of worldly or
spiritual wisdom. Jesus was full of both. Prudence means mental action
or activity. This was not just something that happened, He had given
it plenty of thought. We must think on these things, also.

     Ephesians 1:9 "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will,
according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:"

     The mystery is how a just God of law could ever justify a sinner,
such as you and me. He revealed to us the plan. It is up to us to act
upon it. The word "according" here, tells us a lot. With man's
reasoning, there would have been no reason for God to give His Son on
the cross that we might live. He did it not because it was the logical
thing by our reasoning to do it, but because it brought Him pleasure
for us to be saved. Notice, also, that this was not someone else's
plan, it was His plan. It was not on advice from others, but was His
plan from the foundation of the world. All of this is true, because
God willed it.

     Ephesians 1:10 "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times
he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are
in heaven, and which are on earth; [even] in him:"

     We are all one in Christ, whether we be Jew or Greek, whether we
be male or female. Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek,
there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for
ye are all one in Christ Jesus."  In man's scheme of things, this
would be an impossibility. In God's plan, it is not only possible, but
will happen. Acts 17:28 "For in him we live, and move, and have our
being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also
his offspring." I John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God
toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world,
that we might live through him. We Christians are His church, we are
His bride, we are His building. He is the head of the church, we are
the body. He is the chief Cornerstone, and we are the lively stones
which are held together by Him. We are, also, His inheritance. He is
Creator God, we belong to Him. We are His creation. Read the first
chapter of John to know that not anything was made without Him. The
heavens are His and the earth, as well. At the name of Jesus all will
bow. Philippians 2:10 "That at the name of Jesus every knee should
bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under
the earth;" Philippians 2:11 "And [that] every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

     We will continue with this in the next lesson.

                        Ephesians 1 Questions

1.  What is the book of Ephesians?
2.  About when was it written?
3.  Who does the author believe the penman to be?
4.  What is this letter a call to do?
5.  What was Paul's special thrust in this letter?
6.  Describe Ephesus.
7.  The _____ _______ ______ was thought of as one of the wonders of
    the world at that time.
8.  What false worship was going on here?
9.  Where, in Revelation, is the church at Ephesus mentioned?
10. What were some problems Paul had here?
11. What description does Paul give of himself in verse 1?
12. Who chose for Paul to be an apostle?
13. What does the word "saints" mean in verse 1?
14. Where does true peace come from?
15. What is our way to the Father?
16. What unity does Paul want us to see in verse 3?
17. Quote Ephesians chapter 2 verse 6.
18. When had He chosen us?
19. When did God make a plan for fallen man?
20. Do you believe this to be predestination or foreknowledge?
21. What does omniscient mean?
22. How are we righteous?
23. Quote 1 Peter chapter 2 verse 9.
24. Verse 5 says, He predestinated us to what?
25. Quote John chapter 1 verse 12.
26. The 8th Chapter of Romans tells us who are the sons of God?
27. What special name can the children of God call the Father?
28. Who are the Christians, jointheirs with?
29. Who is the Beloved in verse 6?
30. What is "grace"?
31. Quote Jeremiah chapter 23 verse 6.
32. We have redemption through His ______.
33. How did the blood of the animal shed in the Old Testament vary
    from the blood of Jesus in the New Testament?
34. What is "wisdom", in verse 8, speaking of?
35. What does "prudence" mean in verse 8?
36. What is the mystery in verse 9?
37. When will Christ gather together all things in Him?
38. Quote Galatians chapter 3 verse 28.
39. Quote Acts chapter 17 verse 28.
40. Quote Philippians chapter 2 verse 10.