1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul opens up his letter in familiar fashion. He says grace and peace from God and from the Lord Jesus Christ. He addresses his letter to the saints which are in Ephesus, and to all those who are faithful in Christ Jesus. This letter was not meant for those outside the church. It is meant for those who have already accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. It is important to remember that as we go through the text. Today we know that there are many verses in Ephesians that we use as entrance verses to the kingdom of God. This was not the case in Paul’s day.
Sending grace and peace to them, as Paul always did at the beginning of his letters, is a way of saying hello in our language today. Sometimes I wish we’d be more formal. Can you imagine the reaction if you walked into a business or walked down the street and used that greeting? Grace and peace be to you from God! It might be just the encouragement they need that day. Perhaps it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to adopt that!
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love
God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places. Notice that he adds the fact that these spiritual blessings are in Heavenly places. If we want to stay in those spiritual blessings it’s important that we stay in the Heavenly places. How often do I walk contrary to the law of God and hope that his blessing will be upon me? I don’t see any where in scripture that will back that thinking up. If you desire the spiritual blessings of God, you need to stay in the Heavenly places in Christ. Don’t get sidetracked. If you’ve read through the wanderings of Israel in the wilderness, God kept telling them not to turn to the right or to the left. This same admonition that he gives us today. Don’t turn off the path to eternal life.
And here Paul talks about the fact that before the earth was even formed God had made the decision that Christ would need to be sacrificed and that we could come to Him and be made holy and blameless in love. God chose us in Him. That is the only way that we can appear holy and without blame before God. To be in Christ Jesus
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Now we get into a difficult portion of scripture. Talking about predestination. All of us have probably heard of the fact that we have free will. We have the ability to choose whether we will serve God or not. We have the ability to turn from sin or walk in sin. We have the ability to turn away from God, even if we have accepted Him as Savior. God will never turn from us. But we can’t turn away from Him. When Paul says here that God has predestined us into the adoption of children by Christ Jesus according to the pleasure of his will, what does that mean? Well to me it means that by Jesus Christ we can be adopted as children. That determination was made long before we were born. And we can decide whether we will walk into it or not. God wants us to but we have a choice.
If we decide to walk into that predestination and be adopted as children by Jesus Christ then we need to give the glory to God for the grace that He showed us. He has accepted us into the fellowship of the beloved. We did not deserve it. We did not earn it, We did absolutely nothing to gain it. Jesus Christ did it all on the cross. He make it possible for us to be heirs together with Him in Heavenly places. We will never be able to earn a thing from God. He gives it to us by His grace and His mercy.