PLUS Resource: 6 Prayers for When You Are Fighting Anxiety

Ephesians 1

SUMMARY.--The Salutation. Our Election and Adoption by Grace. This the Source of Salvation. The Mystery Made Known. The Inheritance. Prayer that Wisdom and Knowledge Be Given to the Saints.

      13, 14. In whom ye also trusted. The "we" of verse 12 refers to Jewish believers; the "ye," to Gentile believers, like most of the Ephesians, who also trusted, after that they heard, etc. They not only hoped, but believed. That is, they became believers, by trusting obedience; then they were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise. After they were converted, the Holy Spirit was bestowed upon them. It was a "promise" ( Acts 1:4 ). The seal was attached to a letter or legal document to authenticate it to the world. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of adoption, was God's authentication to the world that the converts to Christ were accepted as his children. The presence of the new Spirit was shown by a new life exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit ( Gal. 5:22 ). 14. Which is the earnest of our inheritance. The "earnest" money was a small part of the purchase money given in hand to bind the bargain. Paul says that the Holy Spirit given to God's children is such earnest of the inheritance that he will bestow, a small part given now as a proof to his adopted children. Until the redemption, etc. Rather, "Unto." This "earnest" given is looking unto the final and complete redemption from the grave of the purchased possession, the children of God bought with Christ's blood.

      15, 16. After I heard of your faith. This verse has been thought to show that Paul was not personally acquainted with those to whom he wrote, and hence that this letter could not be addressed to the Ephesians; but he used similar language of Philemon, one of his own converts. See Philemon 5 . The language is natural if Paul left Ephesus in the spring of A. D. 57, and wrote this letter about the close of A. D. 62 (Conybeare and Howson), more than five years after. During this period he could only know of the faith and love of the Ephesians by what he heard. 16. Cease not to give thanks. Because he heard so favorable a report.

      17-19. That. This introduces the things for which he prayed God in their behalf. The Father of glory. The source of all spiritual glory. Give unto you the Spirit of wisdom. A gift of the Spirit. See notes on /Commentaries/PeoplesNewTestament/pnt.cgi?book=&chapter=000#_" Divine wisdom works wisdom in believers. And revelation. The Spirit that reveals a knowledge of God and spiritual mysteries. This Spirit would enable them to better comprehend the "mystery" of God, the divine plans for human redemption in a better knowledge of him. 18. The eyes of your understanding being enlightened. "Heart," in the Revision. The moving of the Spirit gives light. See Gen. 1:2 . This would follow if they were given "the Spirit of wisdom," etc. That ye may know. Have a fuller comprehension. The hope of his calling. The hope of eternal life to which God had called them. The riches, etc. See Col. 1:27 . The heavenly inheritance given in the saints, rich beyond our conception. See Acts 20:32 Acts 26:18 . 19. The exceeding greatness of his power. He prays that they may have greater knowledge of three things: (1) Of eternal life (the hope); (2) of the glorious inheritance, and (3) of God's mighty power towards believers. This mighty power works to raise them from sin, as it worked to raise Christ from the dead. However the power works, it is the same power that raised Jesus.

      20-23. Which he wrought in Christ. God's power wrought in Christ in the tomb so that he came forth living. At his own right hand. The Scriptures represent Christ at God's right hand. See Mark 16:19 Hebrews 8:1 Hebrews 10:12 Hebrews 12:2 10:12 . His seat there indicates his glory, and also that the work of redemption has been wrought. 21. Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion. Above all the angelic hierarchy. See Romans 8:38 Romans 8:1 1 Peter 3:22 also Eph. 3:10 . The same terms are applied to evil spirits in 6:12 . Christ is above all angels, good or evil. Above every name. Every person, office and dignity, whether in this present state, or in that to come. 22. And hath put all things under his feet. All power was given into his hands when he was raised from the dead ( Matt. 28:18 ). He is the rightful ruler of all. And gave him to be the head, etc. He was, when raised from the dead ( verse 20 ), exalted to be the ruler of all things and made the Head of the church; not merely its ruler, but the Head of the Body, which derives its life from the Head. Compare 1 Corinthians 10:17 1 Corinthians 12:27 . Note that this exaltation is after the cross and the resurrection, definitely showing that Christ's church was not organized until after our Lord's suffering. 23. Which is his body. His spiritual body, living by union with the Head, pervaded by the life of Christ. The fulness of him. The church is a manifestation of the fulness of Christ, the body filled by his life, who filleth all in all. Filleth all things with his majesty and power. The object of the last four verses is to describe Christ's glories. These are: (1) His resurrection; (2) His Exaltation to God's Right Hand; (3) His Supreme Dominion; (4) His Headship to the Church, his Body, filled with His Fulness. These glories all follow his stooping unto the death of the cross. He abased himself that he might be exalted. "For the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

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