This picture doesn't show it, but verse one actually says, "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus..." He says he's an apostle of Christ by the will of God. He wasn't an apostle on his own faith. Christ appeared to Saul, a Pharisee, on the road to Damascus, and asked him, "Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" (Acts 9) You see, Saul loved to execute Christians. But his encounter with the Lord changed his mind -- and his name -- to Paul. Therefore, it was GOD'S will, not his own, that he became an apostle of Christ.
This verse is mind-boggling. I will likely remember it always since it has struck such a chord with me. We have EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenly places through Christ. Not some, not most, but ALL. That floors me. Every blessing in Heaven is ours right now. We are sons (and daughters) of the Most High. And with that comes a GREAT inheritance. But it's not for a future "someday", but today. We are co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).
And we come to another glorious nugget of truth. God chose us in Christ before He made CREATION. That oughta humble a few of us! Wow. He knew me before Genesis 1:1. He chose me in Christ to be without fault. Let me just pause for a sec to post this pic:
Oh yeah, proclaim it! If you're a believer, He CHOSE you before the foundations of the world! Before He hung a single star! Okay, let's move on.
Why did God choose us? It has always been His plan to adopt us through Christ! How amazing is that? When Moses climbed Mt. Sinai, it was always God's plan to adopt you in Christ. When Noah filled the Ark, when Solomon built the temple, when Boaz married Ruth. ALWAYS God's plan. That means YOU have always been God's plan as well, meaning there has never been a time in eternity-past when God didn't know you and love you. For those of us who often wonder "why me?" The answer is "because it gave Him great pleasure."
The Beloved is Christ. We are accepted by God through Him.
This verse tells us HOW we are accepted through Christ -- our redemption comes through His blood by the grace of God.
The "mystery" of His will according to His good pleasure was what we just read back in verse 1:4 - the mystery was adopting us (gentiles) as sons and daughters!
Again, Paul re-iterates that God predestined us to be sons for the purpose of His will, so that we who were first to believe in Him will bring Him glory. Seriously, how blessed are we as the Bride of Christ? Not only do we have all spiritual blessings in heavenly places, but we were CHOSEN by God, before creation, to be adopted into His family through Christ. Being co-heirs with Christ is an astounding inheritance. Revelation 3:21 says we will be allowed to sit on His Throne! We have the authority of GOD behind us. Not in the future, but right NOW. This knowledge sheds new light on Romans 8:31 - If God is for us, who can be against us?
If we're chosen by God and called by God to be adopted children of God, then no power in this universe can stop us, because we have His authority to back us!
Because we were chosen, called, and adopted, we have thus been SEALED by the Holy Spirit, who is the promise of our redemption - our glorification upon the Rapture of the Church, also known as the Resurrection. Being "sealed" means that nothing can break the seal. If God chose us, called us, and adopted us, then He seals us as well, and we can never be lost to Him.
Here, Paul thanks God for the Ephesians, likely thanking Him for choosing, calling, and adopting them into His family.
Paul YEARNS for all the brethren to know what their inheritance is in Christ as children of God. He prays for the eyes of their hearts to be opened so they can know the secrets, the intimate knowledge of this mystery, and the riches of this GLORIOUS inheritance we are given in Christ. We're not just saved from sins, brethren. We're elevated ABOVE the angels! Given the very authority of Christ because we are one with Him as His Body. We will one day become like Him in glorified bodies and rule and reign with Him in His millennial Kingdom. We are kings. (Revelation 1:6, 1 Peter 2:9) And He is our King. The King of kings.
(No pretty picture for these verses, but they couldn't be left out. Notice Christ is seated at God's right hand in the HEAVENLY PLACES. Where do we get all spiritual blessings from in verse 1:3? Yup. Christ is FAR ABOVE every other authority in the universe -- and above every name -- even in the age to come.
And here's the clencher of the entire chapter! God placed all things under Christ's FEET and appointed Him to be HEAD over all for the church - His Body. Does a HEAD have FEET? No, but the BODY does! The Body of Christ is His hands, His feet, His eyes, and His ears in this world. We are one with Christ through the sacrifice He made for us because He became our sin and we became His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). When we first believed, His sacrifice bonded us and sealed us to Him forever. He has authority over us as the Head, but we are His Body, carrying out His authority in this world. Which means, if God has placed all things under His feet, they are under OURS as well, because WE ARE HIS FEET!!
I just ADORE the book of Ephesians! And it only gets better... Ask the Spirit to open your eyes and re-read it. Chapter 2 is just as amazing!