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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible
Ephesians 1



Other Authors
Verses 1-23



As an apostle of Jesus Christ, Paul writes this epistle as an authoritative communication from God. Indeed, his apostleship is "by the will of God." Nothing of his own or of any other person's activity is involved in this at all. God gave Paul this place: he must simply accept it and act for God in it. No other could possibly substitute for him here.

The epistle is not addressed to the Ephesian assembly as such, but to the saints at Ephesus, for assembly order is not the subject. They are "saints (sanctified ones) and faithful in Christ Jesus." This is the proper character of all believers: it is not the measure of their faithfulness of which he speaks, but of the fact, true of all.

Paul assures them of grace (v.2), not mercy, for -- considers one in circumstances of need, sorrow or misery, as used in some personal epistles, but grace lifts one above all circumstances. Grace presents the saints as "in Christ Jesus," the divine title that speaks of the glorified Christ. Peace is added, that which is calm tranquility, again above an earthly level. The source of this peace is God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.



The apostle's heart expands with fervent rejoicing at the mention of the name of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Our God and Father has revealed Himself in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. In doing so He has blessed every saint of this dispensation with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ (v.3). A dispensation is the special mode of God's dealings at any particular time, while an age refers to the time period of the dispensation. This statement of verse 3 is so amazing and sweeping that many suppose it cannot mean what it says. But it is as plain as language can make it, and absolutely true. It is not a promise, as was given to Abraham (Genesis 12:2-3) and certainly not a conditional promise on the ground of obedience to law, as was given to Moses (Exodus 19:5), but a present fact absolutely and eternally established. What are these blessings? Two elementary and basic ones are found in verse 7 - redemption and forgiveness of sins. Added to these are a host of others elsewhere mentioned -- justification, sanctification, new birth, eternal life, peace, nearness, reconciliation, the gift of the Spirit, etc. Not one of these is lacking to any child of God of the age. He may not understand this, nor enjoy his proper blessings, but this in no way affects the fact that God has blessed him with them all.

Israel was promised temporal blessings in earthly places on condition of obedience to law. But all of their attempted works have gained them nothing. But God has given, on the ground of His grace alone and by virtue of the infinitely valuable sacrifice of His Son, every spiritual blessing in heavenly places to all who receive His Son in this day of His grace. This verse entitles us to claim every spiritual blessing we find in either the Old or New Testament. We cannot claim the temporal blessings promised to Israel, but what is spiritual is ours.


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Ephesians 1:4". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. 1897-1910.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, November 30th, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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