The Blessings of Redemption
1 Paul, an apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed), by the will of God [that is, by His purpose and choice],
To the [a]saints (God’s people) [b]who are at Ephesus and are faithful and loyal and steadfast in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 [c]Blessed and worthy of praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ, 4 just as [in His love] He chose us in Christ [actually selected us for Himself as His own] before the foundation of the world, so that we would be holy [that is, consecrated, set apart for Him, purpose-driven] and blameless in His sight. In love 5 He predestined and lovingly planned for us to be adopted to Himself as [His own] children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the kind intention and good pleasure of His will— 6 to the praise of His glorious grace and favor, which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved [His Son, Jesus Christ]. 7 In Him we have redemption [that is, our deliverance and salvation] through His blood, [which paid the penalty for our sin and resulted in] the forgiveness and complete pardon of our sin, in accordance with the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and understanding [with practical insight] 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, 10 with regard to the fulfillment of the times [that is, the end of history, the climax of the ages]—to bring all things together in Christ, [both] things in the heavens and things on the earth. 11 In Him also we have [d]received an inheritance [a destiny—we were claimed by God as His own], having been predestined (chosen, appointed beforehand) according to the purpose of Him who works everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him as our Lord and Savior] would exist to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, when you heard the word of truth, the good news of your salvation, and [as a result] believed in Him, were stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit [the One promised by Christ] as owned and protected [by God].(A) 14 The Spirit is the [e]guarantee [the first installment, the pledge, a foretaste] of our inheritance until the redemption of God’s own [purchased] possession [His believers], to the praise of His glory.
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers; 17 [I always pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may grant you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation [that gives you a deep and personal and intimate insight] into the true knowledge of Him [for we know the Father through the Son]. 18 And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the [f]hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the [g]saints (God’s people), 19 and [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of His mighty strength 20 which He [h]produced in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion [whether angelic or human], and [far above] every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and world but also in the one to come. 22 And He [i]put all things [in every realm] in subjection under Christ’s feet, and [j]appointed Him as [supreme and authoritative] head over all things in the church,(B) 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills and completes all things in all [believers].
Made Alive in Christ
2 And you [He made alive when you] were [spiritually] dead and separated from Him because of your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you once walked. You were following the ways of this world [influenced by this present age], in accordance with the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit who is now at work in the disobedient [the unbelieving, who fight against the purposes of God]. 3 Among these [unbelievers] we all once lived in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by the sinful self], indulging the desires of [k]human nature [without the Holy Spirit] and [the impulses] of the [sinful] mind. We were, by nature, children [under the sentence] of [God’s] wrath, just like the rest [of mankind]. 4 But God, being [so very] rich in mercy, because of His great and wonderful love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were [spiritually] dead and separated from Him because of our sins, He made us [spiritually] alive together with Christ (for by His grace—His undeserved favor and mercy—you have been saved from God’s judgment).(C) 6 And He raised us up together with Him [when we believed], and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, [because we are] in Christ Jesus, 7 [and He did this] so that in the ages to come He might [clearly] show the immeasurable and unsurpassed riches of His grace in [His] kindness toward us in Christ Jesus [by providing for our redemption]. 8 For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; 9 not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation]. 10 For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].(D)
11 Therefore, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, who are called “Uncircumcision” by those who called themselves “Circumcision,” [itself a mere mark] which is made in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that at that time you were separated from Christ [excluded from any relationship with Him], alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise [with no share in the sacred Messianic promise and without knowledge of God’s agreements], having no hope [in His promise] and [living] in the world without God. 13 But now [at this very moment] in Christ Jesus you who once were [so very] far away [from God] have been brought near [l]by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace and our bond of unity. He who made both groups—[Jews and Gentiles]—into one body and broke down the barrier, the dividing wall [of spiritual antagonism between us], 15 by abolishing in His [own crucified] flesh the hostility caused by the Law with its commandments contained in ordinances [which He satisfied]; so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thereby establishing peace. 16 And [that He] might reconcile them both [Jew and Gentile, united] in one body to God through the cross, thereby putting to death the hostility. 17 And He came and preached the good news of peace to you [Gentiles] who were far away, and peace to those [Jews] who were near.(E) 18 For it is through Him that we both have a [direct] way of approach in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens [outsiders without rights of citizenship], but you are fellow citizens with the saints (God’s people), and are [members] of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the [chief] Cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure is joined together, and it continues [to increase] growing into a holy temple in the Lord [a sanctuary dedicated, set apart, and sacred to the presence of the Lord]. 22 In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
- Ephesians 1:1 “Saints” refers to born-again believers. All believers are holy, that is, set apart or sanctified for God’s purpose.
- Ephesians 1:1 Three early mss do not contain “at Ephesus.” Some scholars suggest that this was intended as a circular letter for various churches of Asia Minor (modern Turkey), sent first to Ephesus and then to the other churches. See Paul’s instruction to the Colossians in 4:16. Others believe the letter was directed only to the Ephesians because of its many personal references. The books of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon are believed to have been written by Paul while he was a prisoner under house arrest in Rome (a.d. 60-62) (cf 6:20).
- Ephesians 1:3 In Greek this passage (vv 3-14), also referred to as a doxology, is one sentence.
- Ephesians 1:11 Or our destiny.
- Ephesians 1:14 Or down payment.
- Ephesians 1:18 In the NT the word “hope” expresses a cherished desire along with the confident assurance of obtaining that which is longed for.
- Ephesians 1:18 See note v 1.
- Ephesians 1:20 The first of three manifestations of God’s power exhibited in Christ.
- Ephesians 1:22 The second manifestation of God’s power exhibited in Christ.
- Ephesians 1:22 This is the third manifestation of God’s power exhibited in Christ.
- Ephesians 2:3 Lit flesh.
- Ephesians 2:13 Or in.