Ephesians is the first of the four Roman prison Epistles. The other three were Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon. It was written about 61-62 AD which was approximately 2 years before the home going of Paul by the Nero express. Ephesus was also the center of the worship of the false goddess “Diana” or sometimes called “Artemis.” Acts 19 gives the story of the struggle Paul had there with those who were adherents to this false gospel.
The term “in Christ” appears ten times in this book. The word “in” appears 105 times in 80 verses. This is significant because it is emphasizing the believer’s union with the Lord Jesus Christ. This book is one of the strongest revelations of the believer’s position in Christ. It is one of the meatiest books of the Bible. In this study, you will find me quoting Paul or alluding to him instead of the Bible in certain areas. This is not to say that quoting Paul is any different than quoting the Word of God. Paul wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and whether I say Paul said or the Bible said, it is all the Word of God and there is no difference. I just wanted to make that point so no one feels there is a difference between the Word of God and Paul’s discourses, they are one and the same.
Eph 1:1 (KJV)
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:
Will - John 1:12-13 - Will may also be translated purpose or determination
Will of God - 2 Cor. 1:1; Galatians 1:4; Galatians 1:15
Notice Saints and Faithful - This is because sometimes the saints are not so faithful. We have it today in that 10% of the people do 90% of the work. You can be a saint and not be faithful to the cause of Christ meaning you may not be involved to the extent others are.
A friend of mine was visiting a large church out in Lancaster, PA and they were having a mission service. They took up a collection for the visiting missionaries and out of about 200 people attending they collected $167. These are the saints and not the faithful.
Once I was doing a fund raiser for the Activity Center of America’s Keswick in Whiting, NJ and was looking for volunteers to help. I received all kinds of excuses why they couldn’t help, these were the saints and not the faithful.  The key is that you cannot be faithful unless you are committed or sold out to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph 1:2 (KJV)
Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace is the bestowing of something completely undeserved such as salvation and stemming from that grace is the peace that passes all understanding.
Peace in the middle of turmoil.
Peace in the middle of tragedy.
The word peace comes from the Greek word “Eirene” which means a cessation of hostilities.  There was a theological discipline called “Irenic Theology” which attempted to bring harmony among Christianity and thus do away with all the factions. This theological thought was the forerunner of today’s ecumenical movement.
Our Father - One cannot have the Father unless they have the Son - 1 John 2:23; 1 John 5:12 - Notice the term "our Father."  This term is speaking of the limited Fatherhood of all the believers He has chosen for salvation and is not speaking of the universal fatherhood of God in either creation or salvation.
Eph 1:3 (KJV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Blessed = to praise (eulogeo) a cognate of Eulogeo which means extol or speak well of. We get the word eulogy from it. A cognate is a word that is similar to another in root meaning. 5 or 10 words can be created out of 1 root word.
Hath blessed = Aorist tense - (having blessed) It is a tense which speaks of a specific action that does not reveal duration or completeness. Basically this is the tense of ongoing action which in contrast to the perfect tense which is the tense of completion.
Spiritual = Notice the blessings are spiritual and not physical because the believer’s realm is in the heavenlies.
Ephesians 2:6 - Whenever we look and expect physical blessings such as health, wealth and prosperity we are looking in the wrong realm. It is not wrong to pray for daily sustenance or for anything we might think we need but it must be in concert with the will of God and we must accept his answer no matter what it is. James 4:3-4
The 4 D’s of answered Prayer
1. Direct
2. Delayed
3. Disguised
4. Denied
Eph 1:4 (KJV)
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:
he hath chosen - “eklegomai” which means to choose, select or elect
before the foundation - “pro kataboles” - which means before the foundations or the beginning. Before Adam and Eve God had already had the book of life filled in with the names of those He planned to save.
Even in business when a project is to be started, the people are picked to partake in that project before it begins not after it is under way. God’s salvation plan is like this. He chooses those whom he is going to save and then elects them to go out into the world and carry his salvation plan to the other elect.
Matthew 25:32-34 (Vs 34 blessed - Vs 3)
Revelation 13:8 & 17:8 - In these 2 passages you will notice they both speak of the believers being written in the Lamb’s Book of Life from before the foundation of the world.
Psalm 78:70 - David was chosen
Psalm 33:12 - The chosen nation is the believers.
Psalm 105:6 - The chosen of Jacob is the seed of Abraham
Abraham’s Seed - Genesis 12:1-3>>Genesis 13:14-15>>Genesis 15:18>>Genesis 17:6-8>>Galatians 3:7-9>>Galatians 3:16>>Galatians 3:29
Holy - Set apart unto the Lord, sanctified
Without blame - (no blemishes) Revelation 14:4-5
Eph 1:5 (KJV)
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Predestinated - appoint or determine before hand - Romans 8:29-30 - This doctrine is reprehensible to those who hold to free will doctrines. The simple reality is since people are spiritually dead, they are unable to understand the Gospel on their own and respond in a positive manner. If it was not for God predestinating a chosen people for Himself, then no one would become saved. (1 Pet 2:9-10 KJV) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: {10} Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Adoption of Children - To place from one household into another and to be given full rights as if we were born in heaven - Psalm 87 - Because of Predestination God sees us as being born in Zion
Good Pleasure - Good will or favor - it is God delighting in revealing the hidden things of Scripture. Why? Isaiah 62:4-5 - Hephzibah = ”My delight is in her” - Beulah=Married
Eph 1:6 (KJV)
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Praise - recognition or commendation
Glory of his grace - What is the glory of his grace?
1. It redeems
2. It changes us
3. It resurrects us
4. It never fails - eternal security
5. If we fall, grace is there to pick us up
Made us accepted - We did not make us accepted HE made us accepted - Job 42:9 - Really means he made us objects of grace - Aorist Active Indicative
The beloved - is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself - Matthew 12:18-21
Eph 1:7 (KJV)
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Parallel verse - Colossians 1:14
In whom - the Lord Jesus Christ
Redemption through his blood - Only through Christ can one become saved. These 4 words completely repudiate any idea of salvation outside Christ.
The Forgiveness of sins - Actually means the remission of our offenses.
Remission -”aphesis” an important word in the NT as it speaks of deliverance or release from sin’s eternal penalty.
Offenses - The word is “paraptoma” which denotes a falling beside something where we should have stood firm.
Our sins have been totally forgiven, not one shall be left to accuse us or agree with the adversary which is the law. Let us look at some pertinent Scriptures:
Isa 43:25 (KJV)
I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
Heb 8:12 (KJV)
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Heb 10:16 (KJV)
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
Heb 10:17 (KJV)
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Rom 8:33 (KJV)
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
Riches of his grace - Wealth or abundance of the grace of God which can never be depleted - Lamentations 3:22-23
Eph 1:8 (KJV)
Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
When we speak of the riches of His grace and the other spiritual benefits he has given us, we see this was all done in the wisdom of God with purposeful intent
Wisdom - remember how the world views the wisdom of God? Foolishness
Prudence=intention or frame of mind. It was God’s intentional plan to shower the believers with all these spiritual benefits. Psalm 103:2 - benefits = deeds or rewards - Remember 1:3 “ALL” spiritual blessings
Eph 1:9 (KJV)
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Having made known - “reveal or declare” Aorist active verb
Mystery - something which is kept hidden until the time of revealing
Will - Purpose
The gospel is sent to those whom God declares it to be revealed to. It is totally God’s decision concerning who He will reveal the gospel to. God’s purposes are wrapped up in the determinate counsels of heaven. Acts 2:23 - Determinate meaning something that has fixed boundaries and inflexible
Eph 1:10 (KJV)
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:
Dispensation - management or stewardship - The word dispensation is never used in Scripture as being a period or length of time as dispensationalists believe.
Fulness- totality or completion - Gal. 4:4; Gen 15:16 - God deals in fulness
The first gathering or uniting together was done at the cross when the Lord Jesus died for His elect and broke down all the walls of social separation as all Christians are on an equal footing - Gal. 3:28
The second gathering will be on the last day when all the believers, both in heaven and on earth will be united in the great gathering of believers and ushered into the presence of God where our faith will become sight
1 Thess. 4:16-17
Eph 1:11 (KJV)
In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Another great tenet of predestination is that we have obtained an inheritance.
Obtained an inheritance - it is in the verb form Aorist Passive Indicative. 1 Peter 1:3-4 This means we were passive in receiving the inheritance and did nothing to earn it.
Counsel = design or plan
Here we have a passage which reveals that salvation is all of the Lord and that not one iota of God’s salvation plan can be attributed to anything man can do. It was God’s own will that salvation be totally passive for man since man cannot do anything to either inherit it or design it. This is why God predestined salvation because of the inability of man to achieve it. God’s counsel will always stand and will never fall because it is perfect in structure and execution.
Isa 55:11 (KJV)
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
4 stuffed shalls
1. shall my word - the basic structure of salvation - Romans 10:17
2) Shall not return unto me void - “empty” - 2 basic fruits of God’s word: salvation and damnation as everything stems from these two antithetical conditions.
3) shall accomplish - “it will do” what God determines it to do - it will either soften or harden a heart
4) shall prosper - shall succeed - it will save the elect and guide them in life.
Psa 48:14 (KJV)
For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.