1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment--to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory. (NIV)
The GREATEST need Facing the Universe today is the reconciliationbetween us (all of mankind), not the reconciliation between peoples. We all need to be made right with God for we are sinners.
Ephesians was written:
To the Ephesians. Paul was in Ephesus in Acts 19:8-10 Letters from the apostles back then were copied and circulated around the region. The letters were addressed to (and initially sent to) the largest city of the region. This letter has a general application for the entire area - it is to everyone.
God - predominately. He did it all, He gets all the credit
Christ - God works in Christ. All things are reconciled in Christ.
Us - Given every spiritual blessing (v3)
The Heart of Ephesians
The Summing up of all things under Christ 1:9-10
These two verses give the theme of Ephesians:
Back to the Beginning
Perfect harmony. The spiritual realm in creation.
Satan -> Snake -> Sin -> breakdown in relationship between us and God -> separation, conflict.
Gen3:15 - One will come who will crush the serpent, JESUS
All in one plan - everything is part of the plan
All of creation, heaven and earth, united under the headship of Jesus.
The revelation of the mystery in the Old Testament.
He is what the entire Old Testament leads to. He is what all the prophecies were primarily about.
The harmony of the Universe is restored under Him.
At the fulfilment of time
Everything is revealed, the harmony is re-established under Christ.
The theme for Ephesians is this:
Unity in Christ - He is the head of everything.
God is Sovereign - He's always been in complete
The Future is Secure - All things work out for the good of those who love God (Rom 8:28)