“For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding.”
In books like Ephesians, we can see pretty quickly how God feels about us. When I study a book like this, especially when I am trying to sift everything through a specific lens like grace, I practice those little life long study methods using highlighters and colored ink pens, underlining and circling. So throughout this entire journey through Ephesians I spent about a half hour or so just skimming the chapter pages and verses for words that describe Godly attributes like, love, mercy, grace, peace, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. I look for concepts like influence, good works, lifestyle, and healthy relationships. Doing this simple step helps us grasp a concept that God wants us to have in our lives. Bible study doesn’t have to be a huge chore. Personal bible study is something that can enrich your own life and as you read through and study the book of Ephesians, you may find revelation in things not even mentioned in our study.
As we look through Ephesians we will be seeing each word and line through the lens of grace. We will see how our believing in grace through faith leads to a life full of healthy results.
So let’s dive in.
Take a few minutes to look at the passage above from Ephesians 1:4-8 and highlight every word that points to a Godly attribute, whether it is about God, something God does/did, or something about us as people.
You should have a highlighted list that includes: holy, blameless, loved, predestined, adopted, grace, Beloved, redemption, riches, grace, wisdom, understanding.
You may have other words added to your list, but I think you get the idea. In just a few verses the Word was downloaded with power just by doing a simple search, and I mean VERY simple, of words that describe Godliness in some form. I don’t want you to stop here, but you could close your bible right now after just doing that simple step and have joy overflowing in your heart and mind. God is that good. And each book of the Bible is this packed with truth and love. He wants us to enjoy our journey as we get to know Him better!
After Paul greets the church of Ephesus, he begins unpacking the desire God has for us and what His chief intention is for our lives. Indicating that we were chosen in Him before the beginning of time, to be holy and blameless in God’s sight through the redemption of Jesus, forgiven, and with the ability to understand and walk in wisdom. It goes on to say that He doesn’t want us to walk around in the dark – He made known to us the mystery of His will. In the Message version it says:
“He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.”
So as you can see, He is setting it all out there before us. We don’t have to wonder what is His will. It’s in Christ where we find out who we are and what we are living for! That is GOOD news! It is to the praise of His GLORIOUS GRACE that He favored us with the Beloved One, Jesus! (Ephesians 1:6) It doesn’t get much better than that!
As we discover His glorious grace throughout the pages of Ephesians over the next few weeks, we will find out that living in that grace will produce many results in our lives. A book that is only six short chapters has the power to transform the way you do your day to day!
I am so excited to begin this journey with you.
To study on Your Own:
- Read Ephesians 1
- Highlight the following words (and/or words similar): grace, mercy, peace, faith, love, wisdom
- Memorize Ephesians 1:4-6 (I dare you!)
- Search scripture to find other passages or verses that correlate with Ephesians 1.
- Share your thoughts and something new you learned in the comments below