EPHESIANS‬ ‭1:1-14‬‬‬

“This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.”

Ephesians‬ ‭1:1-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

As we begin the letter to Ephesians, it is important to note Paul’s state of mind. This will be prevalent throughout this entire letter. To the church at Ephesus, he delivers a message of hope and security amidst a watching world that hates them. As Paul had been jailed for preaching the gospel, this would’ve been an extremely important and timely message to the young church. It would’ve been easy for them to be scared or focus on the social justice of it all. But Paul gives them direction in his persecution to adhere to the things he had taught them. He wants them to not be distracted by earthly difficulties, but instead to realize how blessed he and they are, despite being targeted by the state. In a world of injustice and outcry for social reform, this message remains important. We must never lose the hope that the gospel brings us. It is so freeing to us that it makes mens shackles seem like a blessing in the face of eternal ones. Our focus must be on our next steps as God’s people. For Paul, this meant educating the church, even from a jail cell, in how to love each other and God. What will it mean for us?

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy. https://sleek.bio/joshmcgary

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