More On Ephesians

In reference on March 31, 2008 at 8:09 pm

I realized yesterday that after posting my nifty little diagram, I didn’t actually say anything about the passage…

As Paul does fairly often in his letters, he opens up Ephesians with a doctrinal explanation before exhorting his readers towards godly living. This passage in Ephesians 1:3-14 seems to be Paul praising God for what He has done. He starts off by saying, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has…” A friend of mine made the point that all praise comes from doctrine; you praise God because of what you know about Him through His revelation to us and you praise Him because of what He’s done knowing that doctrine teaches you what God does and does not do. For example, you praise God for His creation but doctrine teaches you that He was the one that created it.

Paul then explains what God has done for us in Jesus. He:

  • chose/elected us (v4)
  • predestined us for adoption (v5)
  • redeemed us and forgave our sins (v7)
  • gave us an inheritance (v11)
  • sealed us with the Holy Spirit (v13)

And this seems to be the main point of this passage, that we praise God for giving us every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus.

But along the way, Paul makes these great little sidetracks that dig deeper into what Christ has done for us. In v11 Paul says that we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the council of His will. Whatever your view of predestination is, these passages make us thankful that God is sovereign because His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are perfect and therefore we can trust in His will for our lives. It reminds me of Christ telling us not to worry about anything in Matthew 6:25-34.

Even with these sidetracks, which we could get lost in thoughts about God’s sovereignty for hours from, Paul always ends up praising God by saying that all things are to the praise of His glory. This seems to be what Paul wanted his readers to see, that we are so blessed in Christ and that it was all done to the praise of His everlasting glory.


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