Main point summary
Paul praises God from whom all blessings, in Christ, flow —adoption, redemption, an inheritance and the Holy Spirit— all to the praise of God's glory, as God unites all things in Chirst.
Paul, a an apostle of Christ Jesus b by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus,
and c are faithful 1 in Christ Jesus:
d Grace to you
and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
e Blessed be f the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing g in the heavenly places,
h even as he i chose us in him j before the foundation of the world,
that we should be k holy and blameless before him.
l he predestined us 1 for m  adoption as sons through Jesus Christ,
n according to the purpose of his will,
o to the praise of his glorious grace,
with which he has blessed us in p the Beloved.
q In him we have r  redemption s through his blood,
t the forgiveness of our trespasses,
u according to the riches of his grace,
which he lavished upon us,
in all wisdom and insight
v making known 1 to us the mystery of his will,
n according to his purpose, which he w set forth in Christ
as a plan for x the fullness of time, y to unite all things in him,
things in heaven and things on earth.
In him  we have obtained z an inheritance,
a having been predestined
b according to the purpose of him who works all things according to c the counsel of his will,
so that we who were the first to hope in Christ
might be d to the praise of his glory .
In him you also, when you heard e the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation,
and believed in him,
f were  sealed with the g promised Holy Spirit,
who is h the guarantee 1 of our i inheritance
until j we acquire k possession of it, 2
l to the praise of his glory.
Being "holy and blameless before him" is the purpose of God here. In ver 6, 12 and 14, God's purpose is "the praise of his glory.
The precise location to which Paul sent this letter is debated because some manuscripts include the phrase “in Ephesus” (1:1) while others do not. Factors favoring the omission of this phrase include the general content and impersonal tone as well as the lack of any personal greetings in the letter. These reasons suggest the letter was not written to any one specific location; it may have been intended as a circular letter and not merely for the Christians in Ephesians. There are, however, compelling reasons for seeing “in Ephesus” as authentic. Not only is this addition found in a diversity of manuscript traditions, but also it makes the syntax of the Greek awkward (making it more likely that the phrase was removed in some manuscripts than that it was added to others). The general content and impersonal tone of the letter could have been necessary for multiple reasons: (1) about five years had passed since Paul last visited the church at Ephesus, which would have allowed for numerous new converts unknown to Paul to join the church; (2) the letter could have been sent to several house churches scattered throughout the city as well as to some located outside the city in the surrounding area. Additionally, there are also no personal greetings in 2 Corinthians, Galatians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, or Philippians. ESV Expository Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon Volume 11 Series edited by Iain M. Duguid, James M. Hamilton Jr., Jay Sklar, Contributions by Benjamin L. Merkle, Jason C. Meyer, Alistair I. Wilson, David W. Chapman, Denny Burk
cf. Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Phil. 1:2; 2 Thess. 1:2; Philem. 3
While the customary Hellenistic "Greetings" was similar to "Grace" (cf. Acts 15:23; 23:26; James 1:1) and the Hebrew phrase was Shalom - "peace", Paul here brings the two together. Interestingly enough, in this letter: 'grace' occurs 12 times: Eph. 1:2, 6, 7; 2:5, 7, 8; 3:2, 7, 8; 4:7, 29; 6:24 and 'peace' occurs eight times: Eph. 1:2; 2:14, 15, 17; 4:3; 6:15, 23
Cf. 1 Pet 1:3-5; 2 Cor 1:3-5
The purpose of election is holiness and blamelesness, not an excuse for sin.
Not merit. Not me, but God. God's love, to be specific.
Cf. ver 4 amd 5:1
Verse 9 is best understood as stating the means by which God made his purposes known (“by making known to us”). “Making known” is often used in connection with God’s unveiling of his revelation (Rom. 16:26; Eph. 3:3, 5, 10; Col. 1:27). “Mystery” in Paul’s writings refers to something once hidden but now disclosed, especially as it relates to God’s plan to unite all things (including Jews and Gentiles) into the one body of Christ (Rom. 11:25; 16:25–27; Eph. 3:3, 4, 9; Col. 1:26–27; 1 Tim. 3:16). The term occurs twenty-eight times in the NT, twenty-one of those times in Paul’s writings, including six times in Ephesians (1:9; 3:3, 4, 9; 5:32; 6:19).
This election: has in it, the express purpose of holiness (therefore, it isn't an excuse to sin) was done in Christ, before the foundation of the world —before we did anything (implying our deep need for humility)
Cf. Ex. 21:8; Lev. 25:48 Cf. Deut. 7:8; 9:26; 13:5; 1 Chron. 17:21 Cf. Rom. 3:24; 8:23; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 1:14; 4:30; Col. 1:4 Cf. Heb. 9:15; 11:35)
Cf. Rom 13:9 Cf. also Col 1:15-20
Cf. Gal 3:29; Rom 8:17 See Eph 1:5,14,18
We could refer to Jews or all believers, but the context seems to favour Jews —who hoped for the Christ and to whom the blessings, inheritance and the Christ came first.
Isa. 32:15; 44:3; Ezek. 11:19; 36:26–27; 37:14; Joel 2:28–29; cf. Acts 1:4; 2:33; Gal. 3:14
If God the Holy Spirit was a downpayment —a first installment of the final amount — implied that the inheritance to come was in fact the enjoyment of all of God, forever.
INTRODUCTION ( 1:1-2 ) Author Paul —apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God Receipients The saints in Ephesus: - who are in Christ Jesus - who are faithful Message Grace and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ the Lord BLESSED IN CHRIST (1:3-14) Praise God from whom all blessings flow (1:3-4) 1:3 Paul opens in an almost Trinitarian eulogy - as he praises and blesses God the Father because He blesses us: - in Christ Jesus, the anointed one - with every spiritual (from the Spirit) blessing (cf. 1:13) - in the heavenly places, where the Christ is ruling 1:4a These blessings are akin to what the Father did very intentionally before the foundation of the world: - in him, i.e. Christ Jesus - he chose us - with the express purpose of our being holy and blameless before him Paul then explains these ideas in ver 4b-14 Blessing 1: Adoption as sons (1:4b-6) 1:4b-6 The Father predestines 'us' for adoption as his own sons: - This predestined adoption is an act of love - It is through our union with his son, Jesus the anointed one, the Davidic king, the Son of God - It is not an accident, but in line with the delightful purpose of his will - With the end purpose of his glorious grace being praised - And this same glorious grace is also a blessing that we enjoy in the Beloved, i.e. in Christ Jesus Blessing 2: Redemption (1:7-10) 1:7-8 Another blessing we have (from the Father) is that of redemption, which Paul equates to 'the forgiveness of our trespasses': - This redemption is through the blood of Christ - We receive it because of our union with Christ - This redemption flows from the riches of the Father's lavish grace, and the manner it was lavished on us wasn't random or coincidental, but stemmed from all of the Father's wisdom and insight 1:9-10 A result of this redemption and forgiveness from rich grace is a revelation of a mystery —that of the Father's will and purpose which was displayed in Christ: a cosmic plan for the fullness of times —to bring all things (creation and humanity) together in unity under the headship of Christ. Blessing 3: An Inheritance (1:11-12) 1:11 The third blessing we have obtained (from the Father) is an inheritance: - Again, we — those who first hoped in Christ — receive this 'In Christ' - Because we were predestined according to God's intentional all-sovereign purpose 1:12 The purpose of this blessing: that we (those who first hoped in Christ —most likely, the Jews ) might praise the Father's glory (cf. ver 6,14) Blessing 4: The Holy Spirit (1:13-14) 1:13-14 The fourth blessing Paul highlights is the sealing of the Holy Spirit: - Again, the Father gives this blessing 'In Christ' - The people addressed here are ' you also' indicating difference from the 'we' in the previous verses, and yet these people —most likely, Gentiles — are also included in the blessings that the Jews enjoyed - This blessing was bestowed when they heard the gospel and believed in Christ - The purpose of this blessing, again, is the praise of God's glory The blessing of the Holy Spirit is qualified by: - Him being promised by God —the indwelling of the Spirit was a big aspect of the new covenant - People are sealed with him, i.e. God stamps his sons' hearts with His Spirit as a sign of ownership - The Spirit is a guarantee —a downpayment for the inheritance that was to come. If the Spirit is the downpayment, it implies that the inheritance is all of God. 1. Can we, with Paul say "Blessed be...God..."? Why/Why not? What specifically hinders this spontaneous adulation in our lives? 2. If what we see here is a glimpse of God's ultimate plan, how are we, as individuals, engaged with God's grand design? How do you see God working in and through you to further his plan? Think of one instance. Can you, in response to this working of God through you, say "Blessed be...God"? 3. What is your ultimate purpose in life? Write down a mission statement stating why you will do all that you do. Feel free to change this as you grow more day by day. 4. What specific life change requirement are you convicted of by this passage? Write down specifically what you will do to incorporate this.