[Ephesians] - Chapter 1

As I prepare to read, I want to remember the background. Paul is writing from prison, he's writing merely to encourage them and to share his heart with them. Having spent 2 years and a few months with them, he cares for them deeply. That is clear as well from the charge he gives their Elders when he meets them on his way to Jerusalem.

These are people who have turned from their old lives, perhaps live steeped in years of superstitious worship of Artemis or another God, to this new offshoot of Judaism. They are trying to follow this new way, a way not familiar at all to them, or to anyone really. Paul had taught them and he is reminding them in this letter of what they should stay true to. I can imagine hearing these words they were reminded of the man who came ans showed them the love and grace of God that had transformed their lives.

I wonder how foreign the words in Ephesians 1:3-10 were to them? Blessed, chosen, predestined, redemption, forgiveness. Grand, lofty, idealistic concepts that Paul is proclaiming as reality.

In Ephesians 1:13-14, after this grand description of what God has given us in Christ, Paul makes a point of reminding them that "In him you also, ... ". He did not want this to be just lofty ideas to them, no, "you also ... were sealed".

Ephesians 1:16-17 - You are still on my heart, and I've heard of your faith and love and I can't stop thanking God for it. I image, from Paul's perspective, that he leaves a place and he wonders if he's done enough, Will they hold onto what they've learned? So when word gets back to him about the strength of the saints in Ephesus, he's overjoyed and this inspires his letter.

Ephesians 1:15-21 is one of those amazing Pauline run on sentences where he can't seem to put too many words of praise for who God is and what he has done through Christ. It seems obvious that Paul is enthralled with Jesus and he's trying to make the Ephesians see what he sees. "Do you get it?" he seems to say, "Do you understand what an amazing God we serve, who has given us all this in Jesus?!?! No, no, really, do you see?!? 'The eyes of your heart enlightened', 'Glorious inheritance', 'immeasurable greatness'.

I wonder, is my enthusiasm for God's working in my life through Christ, the riches he's given me through my conforming to his will, am I this excited to have this amazing relationship with God? Perhaps I don't understand it like Paul did. I bet, if he were here, he'd implore me and our churches to 'get it'.

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Ephesians is alot to grasp. I know the eyes of my heart need to be enlightened to all that is written so that I might "know him better" (vs 17).
As you may know, Rhonda is adopted and on occasions she has joked that "my parents had to take me but her parents chose her". When I read that here in Ephesians and think that that is what God did for me, it is overwhelming. It helps keep me grounded.
As much doctrine that is written to the Ephesians, I must always reminded myself that my salvation was not earned by mastering a quota of doctrine, but it is because God chose me to be adopted as His son (vs 4-5).
"To the praise of His glory" (vs 6,12,14).

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  • Ephesians is alot to grasp. I know the eyes of my heart need to be enlightened to all that is written so that I might "know him better" (vs 17). As you may know, Rhonda is adopted and on occasions she has joked that "my...

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