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Tuesday, July 16th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Ephesians 1

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


WHO SPEAKS? The book of Ephesians was written by the apostle Paul, v.1.

TO WHOM? The book was written to the church at Ephesus, and perhaps was also meant to be a circulatory letter for other congregations in Asia Minor.

ABOUT WHAT? The book of Ephesians concerns church truth, as it relates to the church as an institution, local, visible; not universal or invisible; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 3:6; Ephesians 3:9-10; Ephesians 3:21.

WHEN? The book was written about A.D. 64, the first in order of the Prison Epistles.

WHAT WAS THE OCCASION? The occasion was to confirm the church regarding her exalted position in salvation and commission responsibility as custodian of the gospel; to certify that the church, called from among Gentiles, racially made up of Jews and Gentiles, was the body (assembly) of Jesus Christ, to bear His message and carry His program of work to all nations; and to direct the members of the body (congregational body) to walk according to their position of high calling.

The term "body," when used regarding "the church" is always used in the organized, institutional sense, to refer to any organized local congregation, and in a similar sense that the term "body" may be used to refer to the "student body," the "legislative body," or the "judicial body," meaning an authorized, existing, functioning, orderly assembly of people --- never an invisible, mysterious, ethereal composite of spirits or souls of all the saved.

The term "body" is also used to refer to the physical body of Christ in which He "bore our sins in His body," in the body of His flesh, the cross body on Calvary; Ephesians 2:15-16.

Salvation, redemption, and reconciliation, when said to be received in or through His "body" always refer to the "cross body," not His "church body." The church is not a Savior nor is salvation obtained by getting "into". His church body; Colossians 1:20-22.

When Jesus is said to be the Savior (deliverer) of the body, "church body," it is simply meant that He is the preserver and deliverer of the New Testament assembly, institution which He instituted to be a custodian agency to bear His message of salvation and program of service until He returns, to which He pledged His preserving fidelity to the extent that the gates of hell should not prevail against or destroy or put her out of existence; Ephesians 5:23; Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 16:18-19; Ephesians 3:21. While Jesus is the Savior of the "body," the church; He is not the Savior, deliverer of the "church body" only, as is supposed by some.




1. Greetings, v. 1-2.

2. Believer’s position in salvation and the Church, v. 3-14.

3. Paul’s prayer for the Church at Ephesus, v. 15-23.


1. Gentile redemption disclosed, v. 1-10.

2. Natural Gentile position, v. 11-17.

3. The church as a temple of worship and service, v. 18-22.


1. The church mystery veiled in ages past, v. 1-12.

2. Prayer for knowledge and comprehension of glory to God in the Church, v. 13-21.


1. The walk of a worthy vocation, v. 1-3.

2. The seven unities to guard, v. 4-6.

a) one body

b) one spirit

c) one hope, v. 4,

d) one lord

e) one faith

f) one baptism, v. 5

g) one God, v. 6

3. Special spiritual gifts, v. 7-11

4. The purpose of spiritual gifts, v. 12-16.

5. The walk of believing church body members, v. 17-29.

6. How to avoid grieving the Holy Spirit, v. 30-32.


1. The call to a Christian walk (for church members at Ephesus), v. 1-20.

2. Holy matrimony and the proper relationships of each party as compared with that of Christ and His Church, v. 21-33.

a) a faithful wife, v. 24.

b) a man cannot love his wife too much, v. 28.


1. Domestic conduct of believers whether:

1) children

2) parents

3) slaves

4) masters, v. 1-9

2 A call to warfare, v. 1024 - What it Involves:

1) The warriors powerhouse, v. 10.

2) The warrior’s equipment, v. 11.

3) The warriors arch-foes, v. 12-17.

4) The ready resource, v. 18-24.

1) "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ" (paulos apostolos christou lesou) The term "apostle" means one authorized or commissioned of or by Jesus Christ, heaven’s authority, as John the Baptist was sent from heaven, John 1:6; John 1:33. The term "christou lesou" means “ anointed Jesus," and one "anointed," as used in the scriptures, refers to one with appointive authority, not assumed authority. Paul therefore affirmed that his calling and apostleship to the Gentiles came to him from the anointed Savior.

2) "By the will of God" (dia thelematos theou) "Through or by means of the high, holy will of God” not through his own flesh will, or carnal aspiration, Acts 9:15; Acts 26:13-18; Galatians 1:11-16; 1 Timothy 1:12.

3) "To the saints which are at Ephesus" (tois hagiois tois ousin en Ephesus) "To the holy ones (saints), the ones being (in Ephesus,)." The term "in Ephesus" is omitted in some early manuscripts.

4) "And to the faithful in Christ Jesus" (kai pistois en christo lesou) "Even to the faithful ones in- Christ Jesus." The faithful ones (plural) in Christ Jesus refers to the church assembly (local congregation) at Ephesus, the body of workers in and for Christ Jesus, those who carried on the service, labor, and program of worship of Jesus Christ in Ephesus or any other like body or assembly, Revelation 2:7; Revelation 2:11.

Verse 2

1) "Grace be to you, and peace" (charis humin kai eirene) "Grace to or toward you and peace," or "may grace and peace be to or toward you all." Paul desired that the abiding, unmerited favor of God’s goodness might hover over, around, and in the Ephesus saints.

2) "From God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus (apo theou patros hemon kai kuriou lesou christou) Men, whose fellowship with God has been broken by depravity and sin-deeds, may have their fellowship with God restored by Grace, which brings reconciliation between God and the sinner. Peace is a fruit of accepted grace and salvation Romans 5:11; Romans 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:2. God’s saving grace calls man to growing grace, 2 Peter 3:18; and giving grace; 2 Corinthians 4:15; 2 Corinthians 8:1; 2 Corinthians 8:6-7; 2 Corinthians 8:19; 2 Corinthians 9:14; Romans 6:1.

Verse 3


1) "Blessed be the God" (eulogetos ho theos) "Well spoken of (let be) the trinitarian God;" or "let God be eulogized, be highly esteemed, or be spoken of on a high plane or respect, or be praised," Luke 24:52-53; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Psalms 67:3; Psalms 67:5; Luke 2:13-14.

2) "And Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (kai pater tou kuriou hemon lesou christou) "Even Father of the Lord of us, Jesus Christ;" Paul believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God the Father, not begotten of Joseph. John 1:14 declares that He was the "only begotten of the Father," See also John 3:16; Hebrews 5:5; Psalms 2:7; 1 John 4:9.

3) "Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings” (ho eulogesas hemas en pase eulogia pneumatike) “The one having blessed us with all (kinds of) spiritual blessings."

Among our spiritual blessings are seven Christian virtues to be cultivated, 2 Peter 1:4-8; Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 3:21-23; Colossians 1:12-13. All of these things are given to the children of God, through the three spiritual gifts,

faith, hope, and love, 1 Corinthians 13:13.

4) "In heavenly places in Christ:" (en tois epouraniois en’ Christou) "in the heavenly things in Christ," or in heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. All kind of heavenly things, spiritual blessings, are given to believers in Christ Jesus.

Am I in Christ Jesus .. saved, sealed, secured? This is the greatest question of life. All true believers are in Him!! The true Vine, John 15:4-9; 2 Corinthians 5:17, safe, sealed, and secure!! Ephesians 1:13-14.

Verse 4

1) "According as he hath chosen us in him" (kathos ekseleks to hemas en auto) "Just as he chose us in Him." The salvation calling and election of the whole fallen universe of men, was and is "in Christ." The call of all men to salvation is universal and all inclusive, with none excluded or left out of the provision for and Gall to acceptance of Jesus Christ as one’s personal Savior.

2) "Before the foundation of the world" (pro kataboles kosmou) "Before a world foundation," or “prior to the casting down of the first world order." God purposed, ordained, or set Jesus in order as a Savior for the whole universe "in eternity," before time began. But the provision and calling comes or confronts each man for his acceptance in his own life, 1 Peter 1:18-20; 1 Timothy 2:5; John 3:16.

3) "That we should be holy and without blame" (einai hemas hagious kai amoumous) "That we should be holy and unblemished." The called, chosen, or saved, those who have personally accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and their Lord, are called or saved to a life of holy living and blameless service to the Master, Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 5:13; Galatians 5:25.

4) "Before him in love" (katenopion autou en agape)

Before His face in love." High, holy, and divine love in the redeemed is to express itself in the Master’s service in holy living, John 13:34-35; John 14:15; John 15:14; Romans 12:1-2. The "fulfilling of the law of the Lord" is love in action, Romans 13:11; Galatians 5:6.

Verse 5

1) "Having predestinated us" (proorisas hemas) "Predestinating us or having predestinated us, or prefixed the destiny of all "in Christ." God determined, before the foundation of the world, to give to every person who trusted in Jesus Christ "eternal life." This is the basis of the assurance of the glorified bodily resurrection of all "in Christ," John 10:27-29; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10; Romans 8:23.

2) "Unto the adoption of children" (eis huiothesian) "Unto heir-setting or adoption of sons." The believer’s salvation from the dangers of hell is sealed "in time" when he believes in or trusts Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. The predestination of God in eternity was, and is, that each who trusts in Christ shall have a glorified resurrection body, adopted to an heir-setting with Him in His kingdom, Ephesians 1:13-14.

3) "By Jesus Christ to himself" (dia lesou christou eis auton) rough Jesus Christ unto himself." All salvation or deliverance from the presence, power, influence, and consequence of sin is determined to be through or by means of Jesus Christ. The material universe, without a will, is to be redeemed through Him, but responsible men are saved only through an exercise of their volition, will, or choice of Jesus Christ as their Savior, John 8:24; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Romans 8:20-21.

4) "According to the good pleasure of his will" (kata ten eudokian tou thelematos autou) "According to, or in harmony with, the well conceived reasoning of the holy will of Him, the ("elohim" or -theos") trinitarian God." God predetermined, or prefixed, or preset the kind of “life" (eternal) and the kind of final "position" (heir-son-heritage) every believer in Christ should receive in time and experience in glory with Him, in eternity, 2 Peter 3:9. But He did not predestinate, predetermine, or prefix what individuals could and would be saved and write their names down, leaving others out, as is sometimes erroneously supposed, John 1:11-12; John 3:14-16; Romans 1:14-16; 1 Timothy 2:5; Romans 10:9-13.

Verse 6

1) "To the praise" (eis epainon) "Unto or to be toward the praise." No man may glory in anything he has done or does to obtain or retain salvation. For God takes the initiative by His word, His spirit, and the witness of His church to call men from sin and death to repentance and life, and though each must and may choose to obey or disobey God’s call, one can neither glory in what he is or does, but in God for his salvation.

2 " Of the glory of his grace" (dokses tes charitos autou) "Of(the) glory of the grace of Him." One should offer continual praise and glory to God for salvation, made available through His grace, unmerited provisional favor of salvation to all men, impartially, without respect, Romans 11:6; Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:4-7.

3 "Wherein he hath made us" (hes echaritosen hemas) r with which he favored us." God favored all the human race "in Christ" by providing in or through Him an escape for every responsible man for the guilt and consequence of his sins; a) He did not so favor the devil, b) He did not so favor demons or fallen angels. He did not provide for their redemption "in Christ," but He did for all men to His praise and glory. What favor!! Angels desire to look into it! 1 Peter 1:10-12.

4 "Accepted in the beloved" (en to egapemeno) "in the one (he who) has been loved." Jesus Christ, the beloved of the Father, sent for the salvation of all men, and in whom all men are accepted, contingent upon their voluntary, volitional acceptance of His call to repentance and faith in His Son, John 1:11-12; John 1:14; John 1:17. See also John 3:14-18. In the beloved one is accepted and shall be like Him when He appears, 1 John 3:1-3.

Verse 7

1) "In whom we have redemption" (en ho echomen ten apolutrosin) "In whom we have the redemption.

Redemption, repossession, recovery from the market place, slave-block of sin, is both in and through Jesus Christ, never said to be in or through a) self- righteousness, Isaiah 64:6-7; b) reformation, c) good works, d) baptism, or e) church membership.

2) "Through his blood" (dia tou haimatos autou) "Through", or by means, instrument, or agency of the blood of Him," Jesus Christ Salvation is affirmed to be "By faith in His blood," never by faith in baptism, church membership, etc., Romans 3:24-25, One never reaches the benefits (redemption of Christ) of His blood by baptism or by faith in baptism, but through trust or faith in His blood, Revelation 5:9. Even the redeemed in heaven sing this way.

3) "The forgiveness of sins" (ten aphesin ton paraptomaton) "The forgiveness or bearing away of our trespass penalty for breaking divine law." If redemption and the forgiveness of sins are borne away, carried from one, "by or through faith in His blood," (and it is!) there remains no sin for baptism to remit or wash away, except symbolically to declare that one baptized had already been cleansed through faith in the blood of Jesus, 1 John 1:7.

4) "According to the riches of his grace" (kata to ploutos tes charitos; autou) "According to or based upon the plutocracy (unlimited, invaluable riches) of his grace, or unmerited favors." Ephesians 1:3 certified that these favors, blessings have been made available by Almighty God, who is to be eulogized, blessed, praised or glorified for all that He offered to all men from eternity in and through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, to the praise of His glory, through the church, Ephesians 3:20-21.

Verse 8

1) "Wherein he hath abounded toward us" (hes eperisseusen eis hemas) "Which he made to abound to or toward us." He caused to be, for the purpose of our benefit, our availability for release from the slave-market of Satan and sin, a redemption available for mankind, including all men, excluding none, not revealed to or available for the redemption of fallen angels, Romans 11:32-36; 2 Corinthians 8:9.

2) "In all wisdom and prudence" (en pase sophia kai

proneness) "in all wisdom and intelligence.” The provision of salvation and eternal life for all men in Christ is not beclouded by mystery. It is now a revelation of the Love of God, the wisdom of God, the mercy of God, and the grace of God. It is provided in wisdom and prudence. God did not make men as an irresponsible robot or machine to act involuntarily at His command, as an inanimate machine does by button or switch, else God could not have been so richly glorified by the choices and decisions of men.

God made man a conscious, intelligent, volitional creature in His image and after (according to His volition) His likeness, Genesis 1:26-27. God calls, commands, elects, and instructs all men to or toward salvation and obedient service. Such is prudent, wise and according to the Book, Proverbs 1:20-33. Any teaching out of harmony with this is unwise and imprudent, Galatians 1:6-9; 2 John 1:10-11.

Verse 9

1) "Having made known unto us" (gnosis hemin) "Making known to (all of) us." Jesus Christ made known to man the "will," testament, final purpose and desire of God for the salvation of all men. Angels announced at His birth His "good will toward men," Luke 2:14. Jesus declared that He came to do His Father’s will, to "seek and to save that which was lost," John 4:34; Luke 19:10; and Paul certified the same, Galatians 4:4-5.

2) "The mystery of his will" (to musterion tou thelematos autou) "The mystery of the will of Him." After a mystery is made known it becomes a revelation, a thing no longer hidden, concealed, enigmatic, or in doubt. The mystery (enigmatic, shadowed, or veiled) will of God in ancient times was uncovered by the life and appearance of Jesus Christ, described; Romans 16:25-26; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:1-3; So that now all men are without-excuse, Romans 2:1-7.

3) "According to his good pleasure" (kata ten eudokian autou) "According to or based upon the good comprehension, reasoning, thinking or pleasure of Him."

It pleased God that through the "foolishness of preaching" unbelievers might become believers, unsaved might become saved, that those unredeemed might be redeemed by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 1:21.

4) "Which he hath purposed in himself" (hen proetheto en autou) "Which he purposed in Himself," without outside interference, influence, advice, or direction, from the devil, demon spirits, or holy angels. Redemption for all men from sin through faith in the blood of Christ was purposed, foreordained, set in order to be in and through Christ in eternity and each receiving this redemption was predestinated to receive eternal life --- including an adopted body to the praise and glory of God, 1 Peter 1:18-20; Romans 8:23.

Verse 10

1) "That in the dispensation of the fulness; of times" (eis oikonomian tou pleromatos ton kairon) "With relationship or regards to stewardship of the fulness; of dispensations or specific seasons or periods of time." Seven dispensations or historic periods of time seem to be identified as stewardship (house law) eras of earthly government. They are 1) pre- Adamic, 2) Adamic, 3) Noahic, 4) Abrahamic, 5) Mosaic, 6) Gentile or church, and 7) the Millennial or Kingdom of Christ era of rulership over all the earth, 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Luke 1:32-33; Acts 15:14-18.

2) "He might gather together in one all things in Christ" (anakephalaiosasthai ta panta en to christo ta epi) "He might head up all things in Christ, the things in or upon Him."

This refers to the eventual and ultimate restitution of the entire universe and subjection of all powers and orders of rulership under Jesus Christ as Lord and King, after which these shall be delivered up to the Father, 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 11:15.

3) "Both which are in heaven" (tois ouranois) "To (head up) things in heaven," in Him. The redeemed in heaven He will bring with Him at His coming in the air. Then His church, over which the Father has given Him to head, He will bring with Him when He comes to the earth in power and great glory, to be glorified in His saints, 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; 2 Thessalonians 1:10.

4) "And which are on earth, even in Him" (kai ta tes ges en autou) "And the things on earth in Him," He shall "head up" in the final dispensation or era of seasonal times, through the Millennial Age. This certifies that God the Father purposed and provided for the redemption and restitution of the created universe to His own glory (through Christ) from which it was alienated by Satan and by sin, Romans 8:20-21; John 3:16.

Verse 11

1) "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance" (en ho kai eklerothemen) "In whom also we were chosen as (His) inheritance;" as an heir-setting people, the church, His heritage. The church was called from among the Gentiles, in Galilee, not in Judea, to become His people, His house, bride, etc. Matthew 4:13-15; Matthew 4:19-22; Mark 13:34-35; 1 Timothy 3:15; Acts 15:14-17; 2 Corinthians 11:1-2.

2) "Being predestinated according to the purpose of him" “Being predestinated according to or based upon (the) projected purpose of Him." It was the church "we," not merely individuals or national Israel, who were predestinated, or had a destiny determined to be in an heir-setting with Jesus Christ in the ages to come, Acts 15:18; Luke 22:28-30; Revelation 21:14; Ephesians 3:21.

3) "Who worketh all things" (ta panta energountos)’ "The one operating all things," or holding the reins and control on all things that work progressively and continually to the ultimate fulfilling of His will, in dispensations, or fulness of seasons to come, Ephesians 1:10, 1 Corinthians 15:24-25.

4) "After the counsel of his own will" (kata ten Boulen tou thelematos autou) "According to or in harmony (with) the counsel of His will." God is bound or controlled neither by Satan, man or circumstances in the working and performing of His own high and holy will. The final redemption of all things will be effected through Jesus Christ, His church, Israel, and the redeemed of the ages. Jesus is the Redeemer, and Israel and the church are the two instrumental divine agencies which He has used and will use in fulfillment of all His promises and restitution of all things to Himself, Luke 1:32-33; Ephesians 3:21; Revelation 11:15.

Verse 12

1) "That we should be" (eis to einji hemas) "So that we should be." The "we" refers not only to Ephesian brethren, but also to the church (institutionally and locally), that was chosen to be the glory-agency and heritage of Christ; Ephesians 2:19-22; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 3:21.

2) "To the praise of his glory" (eis epainon dokses autou) “(Turned) to or toward the praise of His glory;" as the Bride of Christ, John 3:28-29; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7-9. It is the purpose of the church, as well as individual Christians, to praise and ’ glorify Jesus Christ in all her acts of worship and service, Matthew 5:15-16; Ephesians 1:6; Hebrews 13:15; 1 Peter 4:11; 1 Peter 4:17.

3) "Who first trusted in Christ" (tous prolpikotas en to christo) "(That is) the ones having previously put their hope or trust in Christ." Trust in Jesus Christ is the first step in order of Divine obedience to God that brings salvation to man and glory to God. Christ in man becomes the "hope of glory" to him, Colossians 1:27; Ephesians 5:27. While redeemed men glorify God first by trusting in Christ, they thereafter glorify Him most, to the greatest degree of glory, in and through the worship and service in the church, Ephesians 3:21; Matthew 5:15-16.

Verse 13

1) "In whom ye also trusted" (en ho kai humeis) "In whom (Christ) ye also (trusted)," or believed with all their hearts ’ as the Eunuch did, Acts 8:37; and as the Philippian jailer did, Acts 16:31-34; Romans 4:11.

2) "After that ye heard the word of truth" (akousantes ton logon tes aletheias) "Hearing (while hearing) the word’ of the truth." This is what Cornelius and his household did, Acts 10:43-46; Acts 11:21. Believing or trusting in the Lord is evidenced in one by a voluntary turning to worship and service toward Him, Acts 9:5-9.

3) "The gospel of your salvation" (to evangelion tes soterias humon) "The gospel of your salvation or deliverance." The salvation of the Ephesians came through Paul’s preaching and their acceptance of "repentance toward God," and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ, Acts 20:20-21; Acts 20:26-31.

4) "In whom also after that ye believed" (en ho kai pisteusantes) "in whom also (when) ye believed," or having fully believed. The Holy Spirit quickens every believer to life eternal and seals the stamp of divine ownership upon him to eternal life, John 6:63; John 10:27-29; 1 John 5:13.

5) "Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise" (esphragisthete to pneumati tes epangelias to hagio) "With the Holy Spirit of promise." This seal is heaven’s stamp of eternal ownership of the sealed property, 2 Timothy 2:19; Ephesians 4:30. If salvation could ever be lost, it would have to be after the resurrection of the body of the believer; for until the redemption of the body (the purchased (paid for) possession of every believer), one is sealed. See also Romans 8:23.

Verse 14

1) "Which is the earnest of our inheritance" (hos estin arrabon tes kleronomias hemon) "Who is an earnest (assurance, guarantee, or security) of our inheritance," or a "title deed" to our heir-setting or right as members of His church in worship and service, toward ruling and reigning with Him on the earth. Luke 22:29; Romans 8:14-18. The indwelling Holy Spirit not only seals and leads children of God in worship and service through the church, but also to an hour of glory reign, Revelation 5:9-10.

2) "Until the redemption of the purchased possession" (eis apolutrosin tes peripoieseos) "Until the redemption or recovery of the possession." The final redemption or recovery of man and the universe are effected in two things: 1) First, the adoption of the physical body of believers, and 2) Second, by the restoration, redemption, or restitution of all things to the Father, Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.

3) "Unto the praise of his glory" (eis epainon tes dokses autou) "To or toward (the) praise of his glory." Each of these two areas of redemption and glory --- man and the universe -- is to be to the praise and glory of God by the death of His Son, John 3:16; through the indwelling Spirit in redeemed believers who are sealed unto the redemption of the body from the grave, Romans 8:11; Romans 8:23; and through His church which He purchased with His own blood, empowered with His Holy Spirit, and commissioned as His praise and glory agency to the end of the age and ages to come, Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25-27; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-4; Matthew 16:18; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 3:21.



Now a layman has his troubles, And a layman has his joys, But he also has the training, Of the little girls and boys.

The Church is all that lifts us, From the course and selfish mob, But the Church that is to prosper, Needs the layman on the job.

For it’s not by song or sermon, That the Church’s work is done, For the Church that is to prosper, Needs the layman on the job.

Verse 15


1) "Wherefore I also" (dia touto kago) "On account of this I also." The divine nature of redeemed men responds to a recognition of divine love and grace bestowed on believers, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 1 John 4:19.

2) "After I heard of your faith" (aksousas ten kath humas pistin) "Hearing of the faith among you (all)," members of the church at Ephesus, to whom the letter was written. The faith or fidelity of believers is communicated as a blessing to other saints, 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3; 1 Thessalonians 1:7-8; 2 Thessalonians 1:4.

3) "In the Lord Jesus" (en to kurio iesou) "(located or placed) in the Lord Jesus." The gift of the believer’s faith in Jesus Christ is to be used, exercised in deeds of service, so that others may profit and be helped. by it 1 Corinthians 13:13; Galatians 5:6; James 2:1; James 2:17.

4) "And love unto all the saints" (kai ten agapen ten eis pantas tous hagious) "And (including) or also the love (of you all) to or toward all the saints (holy ones)." True faith in Jesus Christ manifests itself in- love, compassion, and care for others, in such a manner that even unsaved men can see Christ in such believers, John 13:34-35. The one saved, sealed, and secured in Christ Jesus to the redemption of the body in the resurrection, should also serve the Lord in the church which He purchased with His own blood. For it was to the church, each congregation that our Cord gave the commission to go into all the world; and make; baptize, and. teach believers to observe all things commanded by Him, Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8.

Verse 16

1) "Cease not to give thanks for you" (ou pauomai euchariston huper humon) "Do not cease (of my own accord) giving thanks on behalf of you all (at Ephesus). " Unceasing gratitude to God for the labors of others is a Christian virtue that should be cultivated and practiced by every believer. Paul thanked God for 1) the Roman brethren, Romans 1:8; Romans 2) the ’Philippian brethren, Philippians 1:3; Philippians , 3) Philemon 1:4.

2 "Making mention of you in my prayers" (mneian poioumenos epi ton proseuchon mou) "Continually making mention (of you) in my prayers." As our Lord prayed for His church and those who should later believe on Him, even for believers today; and as He now prays, making intercession for believers at the right hand of the Father, so should every true believer, especially those in bonds of a covenant fellowship church, pray one for" another and for missionaries and brethren in sister churches. Such is of divine command and brings heaven’s blessings on those who practice it. John 17:9-21; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 9:24; 1 John 2:2; Galatians 6:1-2; James 5:16.


The day was long, the burden I had borne Seemed heavier than I could longer bear; And then it lifted --- but I did not know Someone had knelt in prayer.

Had taken me to God that very hour, And asked the easing of the load, and He In infinite compassion, had stooped down And lifted the burden from me.

We cannot tell how often as we pray For some bewildered one, hurt and distressed The answer comes, but many times these hearts Find sudden peace and rest.

Someone had prayed, and faith, a lifted hand Reached up to God, and He reached down that day. So many, many hearts have need of prayer ---Then, let us, let us pray.


There’s a holy, high vocation

Needing workers everywhere; Ms the highest form of service,

’Tis the ministry of prayer.

Do you long to see the millions,

Who are perishing today, Snatched as brands plucked from the burning?

Do you long, yet seldom pray?

Come and join the intercessors!

Laurels, then, some day you’ll wear; For there is no higher service

Than the ministry of prayer.


Verse 17

1) "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory" (hina ho theos tou kuriou hemon iesou christou ho pater tes dokses) "in order that for the purpose that, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory." Unselfish Christian intercession and petition for others is a godly virtue that blesses the one praying and the object of the prayer, Acts 11:12-18; 1 Peter 3:7-8.

2) "May give unto you the spirit of wisdom" (doe humin pneuma sophias) "May give or dole out to you a spirit of wisdom." God grants wisdom in answer to prayer, James 1:5; Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 2:6. Solomon received it in answer to prayer, 1 Kings 4:29; 1 Kings 5:12. It is the heavenly, wise application of knowledge.

3) "And revelation in the knowledge of him" (kai apokalupseos en epignosei autou) "And an unveiling of Him, in full comprehension." Paul’s prayer included the petition that God might grant to the Ephesian brethren a comprehensive or full unveiling, or recognition of who the Lord (Master) Jesus (Savior) Christ (Anointed One) was.

This revelation of Jesus Christ is disclosed in and through a knowledge of His written Word, as it is read, taught, or preached, accompanied by the illumination of the Holy Spirit to both the speaker and listener, Proverbs 1:22-23; Ephesians 3:16-19; 1 Corinthians 2:12-14; 1 John 2:26-27.

Verse 18

1) "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened” (pephotismenos tous ophthalmos tes kardias [humon]) "The eyes of your heart (affections) having been enlightened." The affections of the heart are here referred to as "eyes of understanding." The spirit of God not only opens blind eyes and hardened affections of sinners to understand their doom, but also opens the eyes or affections of the saved to know the will of God for their lives. See 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Romans 8:14-15; Ephesians 5:17-18.

2) "That ye may know what is the hope of his calling" (eis to eidenai humas tis estin he elpis tes kleseos autou) "That you all (the church saints at Ephesus) should perceive what is the hope of His calling," to an espousal (engagement) to be married to Christ, 2 Corinthians 11:1; Revelation 19:5-9.

3) "And what the riches of the glory" (tis hoploutos tes dokses) "What (exists as) the plutocracy (abundant riches) of the glory." There is an heir-ship the church has waiting with Jesus Christ, in a position of esteem, reign, and glory in the millennial age that excels that of either Israel or the redeemed of the Gentiles, outside the church fellowship. 1 Corinthians 1:21-23.

4) "Of his inheritance in the saints" (tes kieronomias autou en tois hagious) "Of His heritage (inheritance) in the saints," the church. The term "the saints" is used in the New Testament in three ways: 1) to refer to the redeemed of Israel in her program of worship and service; 2) to refer to the redeemed from among the Gentiles who had been baptized and entered into local congregational church fellowship, and 3) to refer to redeemed people of the ages who had never served God either in the divine program of Israel’s worship or the church’s worship, alluded to in 1 Corinthians 10:31-33.

Verse 19

1) "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power" (kai ti to huperballon megethos tes dunameos autou) "And what exists as the excelling greatness of His dynamics," in the empowered church, the covenanted, baptized assembly of laboring and witnessing saints, Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:49. His power led in the Pentecost revival, Acts 2:1-47; the conversion of the Gentile household of Cornelius, Acts 10:1-48; and response to the Mars Hill sermon, Acts 17:1-34.

2) "To usward who believe" (eis hemas tous pisteuon Tas) “Toward those trusting." The usward who believed were those doing God’s work, in God’s way, according to or in harmony with His will, in spite of obstacles encountered by apostate Judaism, Gentile resistance, and false brethren within, Acts 7:51-54; Acts 17:22-33; Judges 1:1-7.

3) "According to the working" (kata ten energeian) In accord with the operation or functional performance," or in harmony with the working of work. Let it be recognized that it was the church "ye," not the apostle or preacher “ye," - who was given the commission, promised the empowering to go, endure, and perform unto the end of the age, Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:18-20.

4) "Of his mighty power" (tou kratous tes ischuros) "Of the strength or sustenance of His might." He has power to save, to change, and to lead men in victorious living. Paul was a mighty example, Acts 8:1 to Acts 9:43; Romans 1:16; Romans 1:1-3; Romans 10:1-4; the Thessalonians were mighty examples of this power, as they were turned from idolatry to divine service and loyalty to His church, 1 Thessalonians 1:3-10.

Verse 20

1) "Which he wrought in Christ" (hen energeken en to christo) "Which he has operated (set in function) in Christ." Not only was personal salvation secured through the resurrection, but the church which was purchased and paid for by His own blood, which He had from His early personal ministry, John 3:28-29. His bride could not begin her world-wide mission until His resurrection.

2) "When he raised him from the dead" (egeiras auton ek nekron) "Raising him out from among dead corpses." The mighty power of Christ, over the lives of redeemed men, became clearer and clearer after God raised Him from the dead and He appeared ten times thereafter to His disciples, ascending last of all in visible form into heaven before the Galilean church brethren, Acts 1:10-11.

3) "And set him at his own right hand" (kai kathisas en deksia autou) "And seating (Him) at His right (hand)." When Jesus was taken up into heaven, He was: 1) Seated on the right hand of the majesty on high, Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 2) making intercession for the redeemed, Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 3) on the right hand of the majesty in heaven, Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews , 4) made to be an advocate with the Father, 1 John 2:2.

4) "In the heavenly places" fen tois epouranisis) "in (among) the heavenly (things)." The heavenlies in which our Lord sits consist of - praises, rejoicing, and intercessions for us, in the presence of the angels and the Father and the spirits or souls of the redeemed of the ages. For "to be absent from the body" is to "be present with the Lord," 2 Corinthians 5:8, in whose presence there is joy forevermore." Psalms 16:11; Luke 15:7; Luke 15:10.

Verse 21

1) "Far above all principality and power" (huperano pases arches kai eksousias) "Far above all rule and authority," earthly administrative authority; such as kings, emperors, presidents, prime ministers, governors, senators, legislatures, judicial and executive powers below.

2) "And might, and dominion" (Kai dunameos kai kuriotetos) - And. dynamic (physical power) and mastership or lordship of men." Satan has might and dominion granted to him as prince (chief ruler) of the power of the air, yet his power is not absolute but below, subject to that given to Jesus Christ. John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11; John 3:35; John 5:22; John 5:27.

3) "And every name that is named" (kai pantos onomatos onomazomenou) “And (far above) every name being named," or used as an authority, or person of power and authority. His power or authority excels that of Satan, Gabriel, and Michael, the latter of whose principalities of angelic powers serve Him, Hebrews 1:14.

4) " Not only in this world" (ou monon en to aioni touto) "Not alone (only) in this age," (the church age) of the dispensational ages or seasons. Now and hereafter all power in this church age (Matthew 28:20) and the kingdom age to come, Jesus Christ is to be recognized for His preeminence, Colossians 1:18-19.

5) "But also in that which is to come" (alla kai en to mellonti) "But also in the (age) coming or about to come," the millennial or kingdom of Christ on earth age, Luke 1:32-33; 1 Corinthians 15:23-28; Revelation 11:15-17; Revelation 19:1-16; Revelation 20:4-15.

Verse 22

1) "And hath put all things under his feet" (kai panta hupetaksen hupo tous podas autou) "And he (God) subjected all things (by predestination) (to be) under His (Christ’s) feet" Satan, fallen angels, world governments, and powers have all been relegated to positions of subjection and inferiority in nature and position io Jesus Christ and the church which He has "purchased with His own blood," which He loved, for which He gave Himself, Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25-27.

2) And gave him to be the head" (kai auton edoken kephalen) ’"And gave (delivered over) to Him (Christ) (to be) head." God the Father, whose wife was Israel, was pleased to give His Son to be head over the church, to be the Bridegroom to her, because His Son voluntarily gave Himself to save the world, John 3:16; Jeremiah 3:8; Jeremiah 3:14; John 3:29; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7-9.

3) "Over all things to the church" (huper panta te ekklesia) “Over all things to the church," His custodial agency which He established while on earth and left on earth to carry on His program of worship and work until His return. At our Lord’s first post-resurrection appointment, which He made before His death, Matthew 26:31-32. He declared that all power (eksousia) and administrative authority had been given to Him "in heaven and in earth." Based on this affirmation He then gave to this Galilean "church assembly" the seed-system and principal program that was to perpetuate His program of worship and service, world-wide and age-long, until His return, Matthew 28:7; Matthew 28:10; Matthew 28:16-20.

Verse 23

1) "Which is his body" (hetis estin to onoma autou) "Which is (exists) as the body, assembly , congregation, institution of Him." The term "the church" is used in the scriptures in the same sense that the term "the school," "the court," and "the legislature" are used, meaning any school, any court, and any legislature --and does not imply that there exists or may exist a universal, invisible school, court, or legislature. In the same sense the term "His body" refers to any and each church body after the New Testament order. It is His and belongs to Jesus Christ

2) "The fulness of him" (to pleroma tou) "the fulness of the One (Him). "The church as an organization bears the full and only commission on earth to make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to observe all things whatsoever He has commanded. It was the "church ye," I church body" to whom this authority of full work was given, not governments or not individuals, and not earthly institutions. "Whosoever will" may say come, Revelation 22:17, but only a true New Testament church has authority or such jointly to do the full commissioned, three-fold labors of Matthew 28:18-20.

3) "That filleth all in all" (ta panta en pasin pleroumenou) "That one filling all in all." The New Testament church as an institution has the authority, commission, responsibility, and accountability to God and Jesus Christ to bear His message to all the nations, to every creature until He returns; at all times, in all places, under all circumstances the church is to be doing all His work 1) making disciples and believers, 2) baptizing them, and 3) teaching them, maturing them in separated, dedicated living from sin and selfishness to holiness and untiring labors for others, Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Corinthians 9:22-23; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:5-16; 2 Peter 1:4-11.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Ephesians 1". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/ephesians-1.html. 1985.
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