God’s Word of Faith
Ephesians 1:1-23: The Letter to the Ephesians is concerned with God’s plan “to bring all creation together, everything in heaven and on earth, with Christ as head” (1:10), along with an appeal to God’s people to live out the meaning of this great plan for the unity of the whole human race through oneness with Jesus Christ. In today’s reading, the apostle Paul greets the community and reminds them that they are welcomed members of God’s family because God forgives their sins through Christ. He prays that the Holy Spirit will help the followers in Ephesus to be wise and understand what it means to know God, and he reminds them that the power that raised Christ from death will be at work among those who believe.
1 From Paul, who by God’s will is an apostle of Christ Jesus—
To God’s people in Ephesus, who are faithful in their life in union with Christ Jesus:
2May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! For in our union with Christ he has blessed us by giving us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly world. 4Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be his through our union with Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before him.
Because of his love 5God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children—this was his pleasure and purpose. 6Let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift he gave us in his dear Son! 7 For by the blood of Christ we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven. How great is the grace of God, 8which he gave to us in such large measure!
In all his wisdom and insight 9God did what he had purposed, and made known to us the secret plan he had already decided to complete by means of Christ. 10This plan, which God will complete when the time is right, is to bring all creation together, everything in heaven and on earth, with Christ as head.
11All things are done according to God’s plan and decision; and God chose us to be his own people in union with Christ because of his own purpose, based on what he had decided from the very beginning. 12Let us, then, who were the first to hope in Christ, praise God’s glory!
13And you also became God’s people when you heard the true message, the Good News that brought you salvation. You believed in Christ, and God put his stamp of ownership on you by giving you the Holy Spirit he had promised. 14The Spirit is the guarantee that we shall receive what God has promised his people, and this assures us that God will give complete freedom to those who are his. Let us praise his glory!
15For this reason, ever since I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, 16I have not stopped giving thanks to God for you. I remember you in my prayers 17and ask the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, to give you the Spirit, who will make you wise and reveal God to you, so that you will know him. 18I ask that your minds may be opened to see his light, so that you will know what is the hope to which he has called you, how rich are the wonderful blessings he promises his people, 19and how very great is his power at work in us who believe. This power working in us is the same as the mighty strength 20 which he used when he raised Christ from death and seated him at his right side in the heavenly world. 21Christ rules there above all heavenly rulers, authorities, powers, and lords; he has a title superior to all titles of authority in this world and in the next. 22 God put all things under Christ’s feet and gave him to the church as supreme Lord over all things. 23The church is Christ’s body, the completion of him who himself completes all things everywhere.
Today’s Key Verse: Ephesians 1:13b
You believed in Christ, and God put his stamp of ownership on you by giving you the Holy Spirit he had promised.
Today’s reading speaks of God’s grace and “the free gift he gave us in his dear Son” (verse 6).
What does it mean to you to be a recipient of God’s grace? Paul prays that the Holy Spirit “will make you wise and reveal God to you” (verse 17). In what ways has God been revealed to you?
Lord God, thank you for putting your stamp of ownership on me through the gift of your Holy Spirit. Open my mind to see your light so that I may know the hope to which you have called me and the richness of your wonderful blessings. Amen.
Ephesians 2:1-22: The apostle Paul describes the oneness in Christ that believers share.