Ephesians 1 - Breaking Down Our Favorite Thanksgiving Chapter.

I see Ephesians 1:16 on memes a lot each November (especially as we approach gobble, gobble day). This year, I decided to do a chapter study on it and was surprised at what I learned. It is truly amazing what is in this chapter.

Ephesians 1 English Standard Version

1 Paul, an apostle (Apostle: Apostolos, “Sent Person”, originally used to describe any of the 12 disciples chosen by Jesus Christ. In later years, church leaders, including Paul, expanded its definition to include others who were converted to Christianity a few years after Jesus' death.) of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful (this is not recorded in many original copies of the text. The word “Saints” is replaced with “Holy People” in the original text) in Christ Jesus:

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (This greeting follows the normal opening of most Pauline letters. We can safely assume Paul was the author)3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly (heavenly - epouranios: heavenly, celestial, in the heavenly sphere, not on earth. These blessings are spiritual in nature (so not your new car) and in heaven) places, (Paul is offering honor and praise to God in return for the blessings He has given us through His son, Jesus Christ. What blessing? The salvation of the elect.)4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, (God chose us, the believers, way before we were here and had the opportunity to think and feel, it was predestined before Genesis 1 if you believe scripture. We did not choose Him first but as a response to His chosing of us) that we should be holy and blameless before him.(Holy: hagios: different then the world. Blameless: amomos: unmarred by the effects of sin, in line with God’s commands and laws) In love (love- agápē – properly, love which centers in moral preference.) 5 he predestined us for adoption(adoption -huiothesia: legal, unreversible sonship) to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, (Will - theléma: Gods desire, plan, perfection)6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (God chose who would be adopted into His family, predestined, and who would not be included based solely on His standard and not ours)7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, (We are adopted, or saved, through the completed work of Christ on the cross and the empty tomb)8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight(again, God grants us, in what seems to looks like reckless abandon, grace that results from the ultimate source of wisdom and insight, Himself) 9 making known to us the mystery(mystery - mustérion:a mystery, secret, usually in document form, of which initiation is necessary; in the NT: the counsels of God, once hidden but now revealed in the Gospel or some fact thereof; the Christian revelation generally; particular truths or details of the Christian revelation.) of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Very reminiscent of Romans 8:18-22 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.)

11 In him(Jesus) we have obtained(received, a verb) an inheritance (salvation), having been predestined(Chosen by God) according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,(Only God knows why) 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory(So that current believers will not attempt to take the credit for “leading people to salvation” but praise God for choosing those who come to faith in our presents). 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed

(sealed – sphragízō: to seal (affix) with a signet ring or other instrument to stamp (a roller or seal), i.e. to attest ownership, authorizing (validating) what is sealed.) with the promised Holy Spirit, (once saved, always saved. You cannot give your salvation back because you are bored or just don’t want it anymore. The believer is “sealed”)14 who is the guarantee (Guarantee - arrabón: an earnest (a part payment in advance for security) of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

15 For this reason, (which reason? They were adopted into the same family as Paul) because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, (Set apart people, those who follow God’s commands and are “set apart or saints” from the devil’s children) 16 I do not cease (pauó: hinder. We should keep our focus on Heaven and not worldly things) to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, (Paul is expecting/hoping that God will give believers eyes to see the truth. Learning and doing the truth of God is a lifelong process called “sanctification”. The action or process of being freed from sin or purified.) 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, (seeing things the way God does) that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you,(Grace through Christ and living a set apart life, a testimony to Gods power of redemption) what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, (eternal salvation to the set apart people)19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, (irresistible grace and love) according to the working of his (God the Fathers) great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand (The “right hand” is seen as a place of honor and status throughout the biblical text. When the Bible makes statements that Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of the Father, it is affirming that he has a place of honor with God the Father. (Hebrews 1:3, 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22; Acts 7:55-56) in the heavenly places, (Heaven proper, not the sky where the birds fly) 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, (Angelic beings, those who are loyal and those who have rebelled, all involved in the spiritual battles behind the curtains. - Ephesians 3:10 and 6:12) and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Everything in creation, for all times) 22 And he put all things under his feet (Jesus stand preeminent and dominant over creation) and gave (God gave, an action) him (Jesus) as head over all things to the church, (Our Lord and Savior)23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (The word pleroma, “fulness,” is used in a definite and almost technical sense in the Epistles of the Captivity, and especially in the Epistle to the Colossians, having clear reference to the speculations as to the Divine Nature and the emanations from it, already anticipating the future Gnosticism. The word itself is derived from a verb signifying, first, to “fill;” …Elliott Commentary)

Interesting Thanksgiving Fact: More and more evidence is appearing that suggests that Thanksgiving was modeled after if not part of the Jewish Sukkot. Read here to learn more.

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