Paul is the writer of the book of Ephesians and he writes a letter to the church of Ephesus to strengthen and encourage their spiritual faith. He also explains the purpose of the body of Christ and how to nurture and maintain unity amongst other believers.
There is literally SO much that we can pull from this book of the Bible, but for the purposes of this blog post, we’ll only focus on chapter 1. So let’s dive right in!
Paul starts his letter by acknowledging and admonishing his readers for being faithful followers of Christ. This letter was not a rebuke and it was not used to resolve a discrepancy in theology. It was used to bolster and encourage.
We quickly learn in the text that being in a relationship with God brings spiritual blessings. Verse 3 tells us that we are actually blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms, which is a reminder that we lack nothing with God. We have everything we need for life and godliness and we are deeply satisfied when we put our hope in Christ.
Overall, Ephesians 1 gives a great summary of the gospel!
In these verses, Paul teaches that God loved us well before he made the world let alone humankind, and even though man fell into sin, God sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, and decided in ADVANCE to adopt us into His family. He loved us and chose us to be holy and without fault in his eyes (the original design of creation).
This means that God had us in mind from the very beginning. Even in knowing sin would enter the world, it pleased God to save us! The greek word used here is eudokia which means pleasure, delight, satisfaction, good will, and benevolence.
So these next verses in 7-10 reveal the character of God. From these verses, we learn that God is kind. He is gracious. He is rich. He is generous. He has good plans towards all mankind. He is a GOOD God.
But the point to draw from this text is the fact that salvation and our personal relationship with God is not a result of anything we have done, but ALL because of Jesus. The good things in our lives don’t happen because of our works.
We had no type of influence over God’s decision. Salvation or better yet redemption was His intention all along. We couldn’t earn it and we honestly don’t deserve it, but because God is RICH in kindness and grace (meaning He has A LOT to give), we can rest knowing that we are loved more than we could ever comprehend.
These verses demonstrate that we have nothing to hide from God! He has nothing but good intentions towards us and His desire is for us to be saved, set free, and delivered.
And if the previous verses don’t overwhelm you, verses 11-14 are like the overflow blessings! Not only does God save us from ourselves – from shame, sin, hurt, failure, disappointment, and the list could literally go on – but He also gives us an INHERITANCE.
That means that there’s more that we can expect to receive from God! It’s one thing for God to take our brokenness away, but then to LAVISH MORE and leave more to inherit? That is what you call grace and unmerited favor.
The cool part is that we have an actual guarantee that solidifies the truth that we belong to God and He will do what He has promised. The King James Version uses the word earnest in verse 14, and for anyone who’s ever bought a house or is in real estate knows that earnest money is money given as a pledge that the full amount will be paid later.
My commentary says that the Holy Spirit is like a down payment, deposit, or validating signature on the contract. So when we get saved, (and if you’re not saved, send me an email and let’s chat), the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us guaranteeing that there’s more to come.
In other words, the fact that you have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of you RIGHT NOW means that God’s work is not done in you. There’s more to experience in Him. There’s greater promises and what you experience now in Christ is NOTHING in comparison to what you will experience later.
It’s just nuts to me that we worry about our futures or care about how things will work out when we are in RELATIONSHIP with a God who is in control and has more to give. It goes back to Ephesians 1:7 where it says that God is RICH in kindness and grace.
I mean seriously, is anyone else overwhelmed by God’s love for us right now or is that just me??
No wonder Paul said in verses 15-18 that he was praying for God to give the church of Ephesus spiritual wisdom to know God better because until we KNOW God at a greater level or in a greater capacity, we won’t be able to SEE Him operate in our lives at a greater level.
To have more OF God is to know HIM more! We’re not chasing after what God can do for us. We must chase after Him. That’s why the first part of this chapter is so important. If you think that you can work or earn more of God’s spiritual blessings, you will be left trying to earn it your whole life.
Everything that we receive from God can only be received by faith including the free gift of salvation! That is the confident hope verse 18 references – knowing and believing that God is faithful to do what He has promised.
And then we read later in verse 18 that WE are God’s rich and glorious inheritance. So verse 11 tells us that we will receive an inheritance and then verse 18 says that WE are the inheritance. In just a couple of verses, we learn that whatever we need from God is already been deposited inside of us through the Holy Spirit. We can access the inheritance.
So if you’re struggling to believe that God is capable and able to give you and show you more, pray what Paul prayed! Pray for spiritual wisdom and insight. Pray that the eyes of your heart would be enlightened.
Because as a result of knowing God, we have access to His power, and Paul shares that this power is the SAME power that raised Jesus from the dead. That means we have access to resurrection power!!! We can speak to dead things, dry things, broken things and everything else in between and command it to rise!
Well the rest of chapter 1 tells us. Christ is above any ruler, leader, power, or authority in this world AND the world to come and we are one in Christ Jesus. So number 1: Christ has complete authority and sovereignty. And number 2: We are His body (the church), and the full expression of Himself.
It doesn’t matter what our lives look like, feel like, or what we think will happen. What God says goes (refer back to verses 9-10) and in fulfilling His own good plan which is to bring everything together under the authority of Christ, everything works out according to that plan.
I don’t know about you but that is encouraging and this chapter alone makes me want to know God MORE. If you feel the same way and you’re looking for ways to grow in your relationship with God, I’d encourage you to sign up for the Jesus is Bae Challenge below and let me know in the comments what you learned from this!
Hanha Parham is a Christian author and speaker. Her personal mission is to provide the millennial woman with fun and practical resources that help them confidently believe who God has called them to be. When she is not encouraging others or writing her heart out, she enjoys watching Grey’s Anatomy, drinking iced chai lattes from Starbucks, and connecting with friends on Instagram. Come say hi!