A Simple Outline
- The Prelude, vs. 1-2
- The Plan of the Father, vs. 3-6
- The Provision of the Son, vs. 7-12
- The Pledge of the Spirit, vs. 13-14
- The Prayer of the Apostle, vs. 15-23
Here Is A Useful Yet Simple Outline of Chapter One
- The Emphasis of a Divine Provision, vs. 1-3
- The Eternity of a Divine Performance, v. 4
- The Exhibition of a Divine Purpose, vs. 5-6
- The Execution of a Divine Purchase, vs. 7-9
- The Extent of a Divine Planning, vs. 10-12
- The Explanation of a Divine Prospect, vs. 13-14
- The Expression of a Divine Hope, vs. 15-18
- The Exercise of a Divine Power, vs. 19-20
- The Exaltation of a Divine Position, vs. 21-23
A Chapter on Redemption
- The Father—Predetermined it, vs. 3-6
- The Son—Paid for it by His blood, vs. 7-12
- The Spirit—Put His seal on it, vs. 13-14
- The Apostle—Pleaded that it be understood, vs. 15-23
As we move forward to open our minds and hearts to the content of this book, we will see that this Epistle has the simplest structure, yet the profoundest language of any of Paul's Epistles. Here we are lifted above the earth and sit in the Heavenlies in Christ.
- We are Entranced by the Beauty of our Canaan life
- We are Enriched by our Inheritance
- We are Engaged with the wonders of our Risen Head
- We are Enlightened by the Holy Spirit as to our Calling and Conduct
The Apostolic Introduction
I. See the Predule to the Book, vs. 1-2
These are the opening verses of the book. Opening verses are always full, fertile and fascinating.
- See the OPENING—God's will, v. 1
This is the starting point—The primary cause.
See His will in this chapter—It is ever before us.
- Conversion is by His will, v. 1
- Consummation is by His will, v. 5
- Contriving is by His will, v. 9
- Completing and Perfecting is by His will, v. 11
- See THE ORGAN USED—God's Man—Paul
- The Man Paul—God's Instrument
- The Ministry—called to it
- The Master—Jesus Christ
- See THE OBJECT—to God's People—Saints, v. 1
The Message is in the Will of God
The Message is for the People of God
- Their POSITION—At Ephesus
- A Wise City—educated
- A Wealthy City—Big business
- A Wicked City—Heathenish
- Their CONDITION—"Saints"
To be a saint there meant something
They preferred Heaven to Asia Minor
- Their COMPANIONS—"The Faithful"
- See THE OVERFLOW—"Grace and Peace," v. 2
- Grace in the Heart of God is Salvation
- Grace in the Cross of Christ is Redemption
- Grace in the Church of Christ is Obedience
- God is the God of Peace
- Jesus is the Prince of Peace
- Gospel is the Gospel of Peace
- See THE "ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS" OF THE BELIEVER, v. 3
The Apostle opens with a grand doxology, "Blessed."
It precedes a great revelation—His grace.
God is the Blessed One, Who has blessed us with blessings.
The blessing of God through the Second Adam is to fill the new creation with the products of grace.
In this verse we have:
- The Source of All Spiritual Blessings—"God"
- The Substance of Our Blessings—"Spiritual"
- The Sum Total of Our Spiritual Blessings—"All" They are free, full and final.
- The Sphere of these Spiritual Blessings—"Heavenly Places"
- Our Wealth is in the Heavenlies, 1:3. See the Heavenlies in Ephesians:
- It is the Precinct of the Christian's Spiritual Blessings, 1:3
- It is the Place of the Throne of our Lord, 1:20. He is there now.
- It is the Present Home of the Christian's Heart, 2:6
- It is the Public Area from which Christians are in their conduct by the enemy, 3:10
- It is the Perpetual Field of Conflict, 6:11-12
See Our Rich Endowment
The opening verses of this chapter are related to the Trinity in their affecting man's salvation and the formation of the Church which is His Body.
See three activities of the Trinity:
- The Mercies of God the Father, vs. 3-6
- The Meditation of God the Son, vs. 7-12
- The Ministry of God the Holy Spirit, vs. 13-14
This is not a long portion of Scripture, but it is a strong portion. See our rich endowment.
I. We Are DIVINELY ENDOWED, 1:3
We have all that we need for the life which now is, and for the life to come.
All our blessings are in safe keeping—"In the Heavenlies"
- We have Spiritual Life—to save us from Death
- We have Spiritual Light—to save us from Darkness
- We have Spiritual Songs—to save us from Despondency
- We have Spiritual Gifts—to save us from Defeat
- We have Spiritual Discernment—to save us from Deadly Error
- We have Spiritual Liberty—to save us from Dry Formality
II. We Are DIVINELY ADORNED, 1:4—"Holy"
- Clothed in His Holiness.
- Dressed in His Robe of Righteousness.
- Adorned with all the Perfection of Christ.
III. We Are DIVINELY DESIGNATED, 1:5
This is our future prospect—It sure looks good.
- Our Damnation has been Cancelled, John 5:24
- Our Disgrace has been Covered, Isa. 1:18
- Our Dress has been Costly made, 1 Pet. 1:18, 19
- Our Destination has been Certified.
IV. We Are DIVINELY ACCEPTED, 1:6
It means something to be accepted in some social circles. There are some places I wouldn't be welcomed. The believer is well received in Heaven.
Our acceptance in Heaven is—
- Based on Our Acceptance of Christ
- Based on Our Acquaintance with Christ—I know Him
- Based on Our Advantages in Christ—We are heirs.
V. We Are DIVINELY ACQUIRED, 1:7
We are redeemed by Blood
- It is Personal Blood—of Christ
- It is Precious Blood—it cleanses
- It is Purifying Blood—it cleanses from all sin
- It is Powerful Blood—it makes a black heart white
- It is Public Blood—it is for the world of men
VI. We Are DIVINELY VALIDATED, 1:13-14—"Sealed"
- That Sealing Is a Mark of Personal Ownership, v. 13
- That Sealing Is a Mark of Provided Security, v. 14
- That Sealing Is a Mark of Promised Possession, Amen
In these first fourteen verses Paul is unfolding the truth of our redemption. Verse seven speaks of Redemption.
- Redemption Is our Present Possession, v. 7—"We have"
- Redemption Is our Personal Possession—For each one
- Redemption Is our Prized Possession—Nothing like it
- Redemption Is our Permanent Possession—Ours forever
The Special Plan of God in Ephesians 1:3-14
I. Includes All Time
From Eternity Past, 1:4
To Eternity Future, 1:10
II. Embraces All Parties
Jews and Gentiles—They are saved and in Him
III. Engages All Persons of the Trinity
The Father Selects, 1:4-5
The Son Saves, 1:7
The Spirit Seals, 1:13-14
IV. Defines an Ordered Plan
All is according to His—Good Pleasure—Will and Purpose, v. 9
V. Imparts Permanent Benefits
Forgiveness—Settles the Past Redemption—Secures the Present Sonship—Safeguards the Present and Future
VI. Discloses the Nature of the Trinity
Tribute is given to God the Father—To the Praise of His Glorious Grace, 1:3-6
Tribute is given to God the Son—To the Praise of His Glory, 1:7-12
Tribute is given the God the Spirit—To the Praise of His Glory, 1:13-14
The Prayer of the Apostle, 1:15-23
In the opening of this first chapter, Paul has been letting us see the tremendous blessings we have because we are related to Christ. Truly the wealth of the believer is seen in these opening verses. We are endowed with heavenly wealth in Christ. In fact, chapters one to three speak of—
- The Riches of His Grace, 2:7
- The Riches of His Mercy, 2:4
- The Riches of His Love, 2:4
- The Riches of His Glory, 3:21
There are two great prayers in this Epistle that have to do with truth related to the Church which is His Body.
Three things can be clearly seen in this Prayer—
- The Occasion of the Prayer—"For this cause"— v. 15, 16
- The Object of Prayer—vs. 17-19a
- The Outlook of the Prayer—vs. 19a-23
Here is a blinding unveiling of Christ's resurrection, enthronement and authority—We have a long Praise Section, 1:3-14
We now have a long Prayer Section—In this section we see—vs. 15-23—
- This is the Greatest Prayer that can be prayed.
- The Greatest Power that can be experienced.
- The Greatest Position that can be occupied.
- See the word "That Ye May Know"—v. 18
- The word "know" here means "to have insight" or "to perceive clearly."
- See the three things Paul wants them to understand.
- To Know the Prospect He Has in Store for Them
- To Know the Pleasure He Takes in Them
- To Know the Power He can Release to Us
I. To Know the Prospect He has in Store for Us—
"The Hope of His Calling," v. 18
This has to do with the future of the Child of God. In that calling there is set forth all the truth mentioned in verses 3-14. Paul wants the Saints to see and know the rich blessings we have in Christ. Our hope is radiant because of a number of basic truths that give us sure hope—
- God Chose to Have a Church (v. 4) We are in it.
- God Predestinated Us (Church) (5-11) We are in it.
- This is in our "Calling"
- This is an Act of Divine Initiative—His will—v. 11
- This is an Act of Divine Intelligence—"Counsel of his own will"
- This is an Act of Divine In working—"Worketh in us"
- He Has Redeemed Us (v. 7) It is completed
- Our Consummation is in His Calling (vs. 9-11)
Our end is the best.
It was all in view when God saved us.
Paul wants the Saints to know this prospect.
II. To Know the Pleasure He Takes in Us—
"The Riches of the Glory of His Inheritance in the Saints," v. 18b
We have found a rich storehouse in Him, vs. 4-14
Now, what does He see in us—His Holy Bride?
The text speaks of "The Riches of the Glory of His Inheritance in the saints"—What a statement!
He takes pleasure in us because—
- We are Divinely Purchased at an enormous price—The Blood of His Son. It cost Him a lot. We are precious in His sight. We belong to Him—We are priceless to Him.
- We are His Showcase. God gave the Church to Christ. All this is an amazing wonder—Mystery of Mysteries. In all the universe of God—the material world, starry world, angels and archangels—there is no element of real value or object of priceless worth, but redeemed souls. His delight is with the "Sons of Men."
- We are the Object of His Affection. The love of a cleansed sinner is more precious to Him than stars and worlds.
In this prayer for "Revelation" (v. 17), the enlightened believer is to see what marvels God has put within his grasp.
- There is a Hope that beckons us on
- There is an Inheritance that blesses us now
- There is a Power that backs us up
We see here—
- The Father's work—Calling us
- The Son's work—Loving us
- The Spirit's work—Empowering us
It is always true that:
- The Lord Cheers us with His Promises
- The Lord Cherishes us for His Pleasure
- The Lord Charges us with His Power
All the Power of God is there for us, but it is unknown and unappreciated because it is unappropriated by us.
That power that Paul speaks about is:
- The Power that Enabled Christ to Rise from the Dead, v. 20a
- The Power that Elevated Christ to Heaven, v. 20b
- The Power that Enthroned Christ in Heaven, v. 20
- The Power that Exalted Him Above All Other Powers, vs. 21-22
Now listen—We have no excuse for our being powerless Christians. We have here set before us what God has made possible "to usward who believe."
- An Exposition of the Power that is Available, v. 19
- An Experience of the Power that is Attainable, v. 18
- An Expression of the Power that is Acceptable to God
That Power that was Exercised at the Resurrection—that Elevated Christ, that Enthroned Christ is for us—
- To Enhance us for Living
- To Enable us for Service
- To Embolden us in Testimony
III. To Know the Power He Can Release to Us—vs. 19-21
- That Power is Often UNHEARD of
- "We don't know if there by any Holy God"
- That Power is Often UNKNOWN
- There is little known about the Spirit and His ministry
- That Power is Often UNREALIZED
- It is never exercised in conduct and service
- That Power is UNLIMITED
Paul prays that we might know that Power. He, himself, prayed to know that Power, Phil. 3:10.
The Three "Whats" in Paul's Prayer, 1:15-23
- The Encouragement of Our Hope, v. 18
- Our Calling is high, holy and heavenly
- The Enrichment from His Resources, v. 18
- The Energizing of His Power, vs. vs. 19-23
- His Divine power was seen when—
- He was raised from the dead
- He was received up into heaven
- He was recorded as Sovereign
- He was registered as Head of the Church, 22b-23
I. This Is the Greatest PRAYER that can be Prayed, v. 17
Why is this so?
- It has to do with the Christian's greatest need
A knowledge of Him, Phil. 3:10
- It has to do with the Christian's reservoir of help
- It has to do with the Christian's heritage
II. Here We See the Greatest POWER than can be Experienced, vs. 19-20
- It is a Divine Power
The very power of God—supernatural power
- It is a Demonstrated Power
- It was demonstrated at the Crossing of the Red Sea
- It was demonstrated at Christ's Resurrection
- It is demonstrated at the Conversion of Every Sinner
- It is Displaying Power, 20b-21
It transfers us from a lowly place to a Heavenly position
III. Here Is the Greatest POSITION that can be Occupied, vs. 20-23
- It is an Exalted Position—In the Heavenlies
- It is an Excellent Position—God's Right Hand
- It is an Excelled Position—"Far above all," v. 21
His Requests are Concerned with—
- The Revelation of God's Purpose, v. 17
- The Realization of God's Position—in His People, v. 18
- The Recognition of God's Power, v. 19
- The Relationship of Christ's Position
"A Prayer that Enlightens"
Notice three great truths in this prayer.
I. The ENCOURAGEMENT of Hope, 1:8, "What Is the Hope of His Calling"
See our calling by Him:
- In Origin it is Heavenly
- In Overtone it is Holy
- In Outcome it is High
II. The ENRICHMENT from His Resources, 1:16
We have an Inheritance in us.
We have an Inheritance in Him, 1:4 & 1:11
- "Riches" is in the book five times
- Riches of His Grace—twice
- Riches of His Glory—twice
- Unsearchable riches—once
III. The ENERGIZING Power of God, 1:19-23
This is not "Creation Power." It is not the power that was manifest at the Exodus in Egypt.
To show us the greatness of the Power, Paul brings before us the subsequent verses. The exceeding greatness of His resurrection is seen in the power He wrought in Christ at certain experiences in His life. See four great facts:
- When He Was Raised from the Dead, 1:20—Acts 2:24-25
- When He Was Received up into Heaven, 1:20—Heb. 9:24
- When It Says "All things are under His feet," 1:22
- When God Made Him to be "Head of the Church" He can control every member
"In Christ" in the Prison Epistles
- In Ephesians we wee the Inestimable Christ
- Unified "In Christ"—NO DIVISIONS
- In Philippians we see the Imperishable Cross
- Gratified "In Christ"—No DISAPPOINTMENT
- In Colossians we see the Incomparable Christ
- Satisfied "In Christ"—No DEFICIENCY
- In Philemon we see the Impressionable Christ
- Reconciled "In Christ"—No DISTANCE
The Holy Spirit in the Prison Epistles
- In Ephesians—
- The Prominent Factor
- Indwelling the Believer
- In Philippians—
- The Powerful Influence
- Supplying Daily Needs, 1:19-4:19
- In Colossians—
- The Producing Agent
- Directing Us to Christ
- In Philemon—
- The Personal Guide
- Guiding in Difficult Matters
The Person of Christ in the Prison Epistles
- His Presence is Real
- His Passion is Clearly Seen
- His Position in Glory is Emphasized
- His Provision for us is Inexhaustible
- His Preeminence is Indisputable
- The Purpose of God is that Christ be "All—and in—All"