Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 1
As so often in Paul’s letters, Paul writes with a real sense of excitement at what God has done. He speaks about God’s great plan, which existed before the beginning of that world. He describes the greatness of God’s love, which brings people into God’s own family as the children of God. He explains how, in the future age, Christ will rule all things both in heaven and on earth (1:3-10).
We can imagine the reaction of the Christians in Ephesus as they heard these words for the first time. They would have wanted to know how many of these wonderful things were truly for their benefit. Unlike Paul and the first Christians, Ephesus’s Christians did not belong to Israel, God’s special people. In their city, people served false gods - in particular, a female god called Diana or Artemis (Acts 19:23-41). Many of the people who were now Christians there had previously used magic (Acts 19:18-20). God’s law warns strongly against such practices (Deuteronomy 18:9-13).
Until now, Paul has used the words ‘we’ and ‘us’. Now, he suddenly uses the word ‘you’. He will show Ephesus’s Christians, and other Christians like them, how much of God’s kindness is for them. Paul wants all Christians everywhere to know how much God loves them.
It is to them that God sent his wonderful message. That message is the gospel, the good news about Christ. By it, God has given them salvation, a right relationship with himself (Romans 1:16). He saves (rescues) them from the power of sin (evil deeds), the devil and death.
God has also given them his Holy Spirit, so he is present in their lives to direct and to help them. The Holy Spirit marks them as God’s holy people - so God will complete all that he has promised to do in their lives. God’s great plan is truly for their benefit too.
Next part: The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of God's promises to his people (Ephesians 1:14)
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© 2019, Keith Simons.