This is my favourite chapter in the Bible. It is packed with encouragement and spiritual truths. I could write a commentary on it and not just a blog post but will restrain myself and just comment on a few of the verses.
Verse 3* tells us that we have ‘every’ spiritual blessing we can have in Christ. These aren’t mystical blessings, and in order for us to understand that Paul goes on to mention a number of them in the rest of the chapter. He chose us (verse 4), He predestined us (verse 5), He has adopted us into His family (verse 5), we are redeemed (verse 7), we are forgiven (verse 7), He has shared His plans with us (verse 9-10), we have an inheritance (verse 11) and we have the Holy Spirit (verse 13).
This chapter is ‘scary’ to some people because of the words ‘chosen’ and ‘predestined’ but I take great encouragement from them as a believer. Firstly, given ‘we were dead in our trespasses and sins’ (Ephesians 2:5), we could never have made ourselves alive and so God choosing to redeem me is a great mystery, but one I am profoundly thankful for. I did not deserve an eternal inheritance; I did not deserve to be a co-heir with Christ; I did not deserve to be part of God’s family. I deserved eternal punishment and separation from God, and so my response to these verses is always one of thankfulness for God choosing me (a wretched sinner) and giving me these Spiritual blessings.
It is hard to get around trying to explain any other meaning for the words ‘he chose us in him before the foundation of the world’ (verse 4) except for them to mean what they say, that God chose us, we never chose Him. Once we accept that (even though we might not understand why), it is much easier to see and accept that because He has chosen us, He must have chosen us for something. And that ‘for something’ is that He has ‘predestined us’ to be adopted into His family (verse 5). He chose us because He had predetermined (predestined) to make us part of His family. What should our response be to that? Paul tells us that He did all this so that we could glorify God (verse 11-12).
And finally, if you’re still looking for a reason to glorify God (as if that isn’t enough already), He has given us His Holy Spirit which is our guarantee that we will inherit eternal life (verse 13,14). WOW! Incredible! Ongelooflik! God has done all of this for me! Why? So that we could glorify Him. Surely these words of Ephesians 1 should drive us to do exactly that.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for choosing me. I don’t know why you picked me specifically but I am eternally grateful for what you have done for me through Christ. Help me to live to Your praise and glory in everything that I do. Amen.
*All quotations are from the ESV