Summary of Ephesians 1 – Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Have you ever given much thought to your position as a child of God? Or to the blessings and authority have you been given in Christ? In this summary of Ephesians chapter 1, we will begin to look at Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus.

This letter if full of exhortation to consider all that God has done for us and why. It teaches us about the battle raging in the heavenly places and how we can prepare ourselves to engage within it.

What is Ephesians 1 Talking About?

In Ephesians chapter 1, the apostle Paul is explaining the spiritual blessings that we have been given in Christ. He then prays that the Holy Spirit would help the believers to understand the significance of all that we have been given in Christ.

Ephesians Chapter 1 Summary

The first chapter of Ephesians is divided into three main sections:

  1. Paul’s initial Greeting (v. 1-2)
  2. Spiritual Blessings in Christ (v. 3-14)
  3. Paul’s Prayer (v.15-23

Let’s dive in and take a look at each section in Ephesians chapter 1, verse by verse.

Paul’s Initial Greeting to the Church in Ephesus

Summary of Ephesians 1:1-2 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Here we see Paul’s initial greeting to the church in Ephesus. Ephesus was one of the leading cities in the Roman Empire. It was also the home to the temple of the greek goddess, Artemis and the Roman goddes, Diana.

These two landmarks became a means of economic survival during the time of Paul as they brought many tourist to the area. 

This historical context helps us to understand Paul’s concern for the believers in this region and why he wrote extensively about spiritual warfare.

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Summary of Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ…

Paul wanted this church to focus on the blessings they have received in Christ. This was a vast contrast to their culture which sought after the material blessings of weath, fame, and power.

Word Studies:

  • Spiritual – non carnal (humanly), supernatural
  • Blessings – celebrate with praise, invoke blessing, to speak well of, consecration
  • Heavenly places – existing in heaven, celestial, above the heavens

The blessings we have in Christ are so much more than physical blessings. Physical blessings are temporary, our spiritual blessings are eternal!

Even when we were dead in our transgressions, He made us alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved) and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus – Ephesians 2:5-6

Let’s take a look at the specific blessings mentioned in this chapter.

Chosen as Sons and Daughters

Summary of Ephesians 1:4-6 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He favored us in the Beloved.

This passage mentions two of our spiritual blessings:

  • We have become holy and blameless before Him
  • We are adopted as sons and daughters of God

Word Studies:

  • Chose: picked out for oneself
  • Holy: set apart
  • Blameless: without blemish, perfect sacrifice
  • Predestined: to pre-determine, decide beforehand

This passage of scripture has left many believers, including Bible scholars, with questions of how we reconcile our freewill with God’s soverignty.

While I think this topic is important for us to search out, I don’t believe it’s the point of this passage. Paul wants these believers to know the love of God for them. 

As believers God has chosen us to be His sons and daughters. We have been adopted into His family.

Redemption Through His Blood

Summary of Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our wrongdoings, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us…

This verse tells us that we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ according to the riches of God’s grace.

Word Studies:

  • Redemption: a releasing effected by payment of a ransom
  • Riches: fullness, abundance
  • Lavished: to abound in quality or quantity

In Christ we have been given the fullness of God’s grace. He redeemed us through the sacrifice of His Son, taking away the sting of death and granting us the righteousness that brings eternal life.

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10

  • Propitiation: means of reconciliation with God

The Mystery Revealed

Summary of Ephesians 1:8-12 In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He set forth in Him, 10 regarding His plan of the fullness of the times, to bring all things together in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. 11 In Him we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things in accordance with the plan of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in the Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

God’s plan to send Jesus to redeem mankind back to Himself was set from eternity. However, much of this plan was a mystery until Christ came.

who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was granted to us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel – 2 Timothy 1:9-10

This spiritual blessing in Christ is the revealed knowledge of God’s will of reconciliation through our Savior, Jesus Christ.

An Eternal Inheritance

Summary of Ephesians 1: 11-12 In Him we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things in accordance with the plan of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in the Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

In Christ we have the hope of eternity in heaven. We have an inheritance waiting for us. One that will never spoil or fade. Where the presence of sin, sorrow, and death will no longer exist. The time when we behold the fullness of God’s glory. 

This is the hope that we must cling to. It’s the hope that gives us the strength to press on through the difficult trials and circumstances we face in this life.

Sealed With the Spirit

Summar of Ephesians 1:13-14 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of the promise, 14 who is a first installment of our inheritance, in regard to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Our inheritance is guaranteed!

Word Studies:

  • Sealed: to stamp with a signet or private mark for security or preservation; to keep secret, to attest or confirm
  • Guarantee: part of the purchase money or property given in advance as security to the rest

When we placed faith in Christ we were sealed with the Holy Spirit. God has placed His mark of ownership on our lives! Not only that, but the Spirit is also the first installment of our eternal inheritance that God has promised us.

Paul’s Prayer for the Ephesians

This final section of Ephesians chapter 1 records Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians.

Summary of Ephesians 1:18-19 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the boundless greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.

Paul is praying that the eyes of their heart would be enlightened. We see there are three things that this enlightenment brings…

  1. the hope of His calling
  2. The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints
  3. The boundless greatness of His power towards us who believe

Word Studies:

  • Enlighten: to shed rays, to brighten up
  • Know: to know, perceive, be aware

Paul wants the believers in this region to perceive and be aware of the hope, glory, and power at work within them.

…the hope of His calling

The hope of our calling is directly connected with our future inheritance. We have an eternal home waiting for us in heaven. This is the hope that we can cling to during the trials and difficulties of this life.

to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you – 1 Peter 1:4

…the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints

So often we think of God as our inheritance. However, in this verse, Paul is suggested that we are also God’s inheritance.

This shows the depth of God’s care and compassion for His people. He loves us enough that he considers us to be His prize and His portion.

For the Lord’s portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance. – Deuteronomy 32:9

…the boundless greatness of His power toward us who believe

The power that rose Christ from the grave and lifted Him into heaven is the same power that is at work within you and me. Paul wanted these believers to know and understand how powerfully God had been and was continuing to work in and among them for His kingdom purposes and glory.

Summary of Ephesians 1:21-23 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and made Him head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. – 

Word Studies:

  • Rule: chief (in order, time, place, or rank); beginning, corner, magistrate
  • Authority: privilege, capacity, freedom
  • Power: force
  • Dominion: power, lordship, government

Christ has been seated above all these things. All rule, authority, power, and dominion is under His subjection. This includes the church.

“If Jesus is the head, then the community of Christians make up His body. The idea of the fullness of Him here is probably connected to the manner in which Jesus fills His church with His presence and blessings.” – David Guzik

Summary of Ephesians 1

Summary of Ephesians Chapter 1 Final Thoughts

Ephesians 1 has helped me to understand in a deeper way all that I have been given in Christ. True blessings are those that exist in the eternal realm of the heavenly places. While physical blessings can come and go, our blessings in Christ will remain forever.

We must continue to ask the Spirit to enlighten our understanding so that we may increase in our knowledge of God and in our ability to understand all that He has given us in Christ.

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