Ephesians Chapter 1
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without defect before him in love,
5 having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire,
6 to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he freely gave us favour in the Beloved,
7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
8 which he made to abound towards us in all wisdom and prudence,
9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him
10 to an administration of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in him.
11 We were also assigned an inheritance in him, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who does all things after the counsel of his will,
12 to the end that we should be to the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ.
13 In him you also, having heard the word of the truth, the Good News of your salvation-in whom, having also believed, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
14 who is a pledge of our inheritance, to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of his glory.
15 For this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is amongst you, and the love which you have towards all the saints,
16 don't cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers,
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him,
18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 and what is the exceeding greatness of his power towards us who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might
20 which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places,
21 far above all rule, authority, power, dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come.
22 He put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things for the assembly,
23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
- Verse 18 (hearts)
- Textus Receptus reads "understanding" instead of "hearts"
Version: World English Bible
- About World English Bible (WEB)
- WEB Glossary
- WEB Web Site (source documents)
- Bible on one web page
- Download WEB (for MS Word)
To Listen to this Chapter
The mp3 Audio File should start to play in a new Tab. Then return to this Tab to follow the text whilst listening.
Ephesians Chapter 1 Guide
The theme of this letter is pre-eminently of the Church as the medium for the accomplishment of the divine purpose. Those addressed are described as "saints," and as "the faithful in Christ Jesus." These the apostle greets in the words, "Grace to you, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." Grace is the river flowing from the heart of God. Peace is the consciousness of the trusting soul.
The letter itself begins with a great benediction in which the apostle speaks as a member of the Church, declaring the blessedness of God and the blessedness of the Church through God. In dealing with the subject of the Church, he first writes of its origin. It is predestined to be holy and without blemish," and that to the praise of the glory of the divine grace. The method of His predestination is threefold: redemption (verse Ephesians 1:7), revelation (verses Ephesians 1:8-12), realization (verses Ephesians 1:13-14).
This doctrine of grace creates in the heart of the apostle desires for the saints which are constantly expressed in prayer. He prays that they may have "a spirit of wisdom and revelation," and this by having "the eyes of their heart enlightened."
All this in order that they may know, first, the vocation, and, second, the power. The vocation of the Church is here described as the "riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints." God has an inheritance in His people, and it is that of the Church as a medium through which His grace is to be manifested. The apostle prays, moreover, that they may know "the exceeding greatness of His power." This he described as "the working of the strength of His might," and gave as supreme illustration the resurrection and ascension of our Lord.
From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.
Ephesians Chapter 1 Commentary
- A salutation, and an account of saving blessings, as prepared in God's eternal election, as purchased by Christ's blood. -- (1-8)
- And as conveyed in effectual calling: this is applied to the believing Jews, and to the believing Gentiles. -- (9-14)
- The apostle thanks God for their faith and love, and prays for the continuance of their knowledge and hope, with respect to the heavenly inheritance, and to God's powerful working in them. -- (15-23)
Verses 1, 2
All Christians must be saints; if they come not under that character on earth, they will never be saints in glory. Those are not saints, who are not faithful, believing in Christ, and true to the profession they make of relation to their Lord. By grace, understand the free and undeserved love and favour of God, and those graces of the Spirit which come from it; by peace, all other blessings, spiritual and temporal, the fruits of the former. No peace without grace. No peace, nor grace, but from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ; and the best saints need fresh supplies of the graces of the Spirit, and desire to grow.
Spiritual and heavenly blessings are the best blessings; with which we cannot be miserable, and without which we cannot but be so. This was from the choice of them in Christ, before the foundation of the world, that they should be made holy by separation from sin, being set apart to God, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, in consequence of their election in Christ. All who are chosen to happiness as the end, are chosen to holiness as the means. In love they were predestinated, or fore-ordained, to be adopted as children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, and to be openly admitted to the privileges of that high relation to himself. The reconciled and adopted believer, the pardoned sinner, gives all the praise of his salvation to his gracious Father. His love appointed this method of redemption, spared not his own Son, and brought believers to hear and embrace this salvation. It was rich grace to provide such a surety as his own Son, and freely to deliver him up. This method of grace gives no encouragement to evil, but shows sin in all its hatefulness, and how it deserves vengeance. The believer's actions, as well as his words, declare the praises of Divine mercy.
Blessings were made known to believers, by the Lord's showing to them the mystery of his sovereign will, and the method of redemption and salvation. But these must have been for ever hidden from us, if God had not made them known by his written word, preached gospel, and Spirit of truth. Christ united the two differing parties, God and man, in his own person, and satisfied for that wrong which caused the separation. He wrought, by his Spirit, those graces of faith and love, whereby we are made one with God, and among ourselves. He dispenses all his blessings, according to his good pleasure. His Divine teaching led whom he pleased to see the glory of those truths, which others were left to blaspheme. What a gracious promise that is, which secures the gift of the Holy Ghost to those who ask him! The sanctifying and comforting influences of the Holy Spirit seal believers as the children of God, and heirs of heaven. These are the first-fruits of holy happiness. For this we were made, and for this we were redeemed; this is the great design of God in all that he has done for us; let all be ascribed unto the praise of his glory.
God has laid up spiritual blessings for us in his Son the Lord Jesus; but requires us to draw them out and fetch them in by prayer. Even the best Christians need to be prayed for: and while we hear of the welfare of Christian friends, we should pray for them. Even true believers greatly want heavenly wisdom. Are not the best of us unwilling to come under God's yoke, though there is no other way to find rest for the soul? Do we not for a little pleasure often part with our peace? And if we dispute less, and prayed more with and for each other, we should daily see more and more what is the hope of our calling, and the riches of the Divine glory in this inheritance. It is desirable to feel the mighty power of Divine grace, beginning and carrying on the work of faith in our souls. But it is difficult to bring a soul to believe fully in Christ, and to venture its all, and the hope of eternal life, upon his righteousness. Nothing less than Almighty power will work this in us. Here is signified that it is Christ the Saviour, who supplies all the necessities of those who trust in him, and gives them all blessings in the richest abundance. And by being partakers of Christ himself, we come to be filled with the fulness of grace and glory in him. How then do those forget themselves who seek for righteousness out of him! This teaches us to come to Christ. And did we know what we are called to, and what we might find in him, surely we should come and be suitors to him. When feeling our weakness and the power of our enemies, we most perceive the greatness of that mighty power which effects the conversion of the believer, and is engaged to perfect his salvation. Surely this will constrain us by love to live to our Redeemer's glory.
From the "Concise Commentary on the Bible" by Matthew Henry.