The letter to the Ephesians was written around AD60 by Paul while in a prison in Rome. It is packed full of life speaking words, which that in itself is amazing to me as I picture Paul in prison, yet still writing words of hope and encouragement to others. The book of Ephesians has five major themes: Salvation by Grace through Faith, Power of God over All Others, Christian Unity, Christian Conduct, and Christian Identity. It is most definately one of my favorite books in the Bible!
Paul jumps right in, too. In the first chapter, His prayer is that Jesus Christ will release grace over us and impart total well-being into our lives. Who doesn’t want that? We immediately are reminded that every single spiritual blessing belongs to us-we are lavished with this incredible love gift from God. Why? Because of the way He sees us, wrapped up like a bug in rug in Christ Jesus! Chosen long before the foundation of the universe. His love for us being so immense that we are seen as holy in his eyes with an unstained innocence.
I love this. After all my years of failures, mistakes, sin…He sees me with an unstained innocence! He has adopted us as his delightful children. You are delightful to him. Delightful means: giving great pleasure or delight. Highly pleasing.
Even on your bad days, you are delightful to him. The very same love God has for his Beloved Son, Jesus, he has for you!
“For it was always in his perfect plan to adopt us as his delightful children, through our union with Jesus, the Anointed One, so that his trememdous love that cascades over us would glorify his grace-for the same love he has for his Beloved One, Jesus, he has for us. And this unfolding plan brings him great pleasure!” verses 5-6
This grace gift is the best gift you will ever receive. It really is a gift that feels too good to be true. It’s so big, immersurable, that I’m not sure we can actually wrap our heads around it. It’s the kind of gift that takes faith to accept. We have been given this treasure of redemption by the blood of Jesus, and this treasure totally cancels your sin! We are totally saved! Like I said, it feels too good to be true, and yet it is a truth we cannot live without!
This gift just keeps on giving too. Grace is always working deep within us and releasing wisdom and understanding in such a way that we learn to understand his secret desires, his hidden mystery. We are clued in on God’s long term plan for our lives, the supreme plan through all of time. We are able to understand that we belong to God alone, we are his inheritance and we have his stamp of approval. His seal of Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our engagement ring, a promise of all that is to come. So, so much!
I don’t know about you, but as I think of all the stuff packed into the first chapter of Ephesians I am overwhelmed with gratitude, lifted with hope, and grounded in faith. Paul wrote these words so very long ago, yet they speak deeply to my heart and my life. It taps into a power that is only available through Christ Jesus, the power to live in his riches even when my circumstances feel otherwise. It supercedes my condition and confirms my position.
This is grace!
“I pray that you will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to you through faith. Then your lives will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through you! This is the mighty power that was released when God raised Christ from the dead and exalted him to the place of highest honor and supreme authority in the heavenly realm!” verses 19-29.1