Ephesians 1:1-2

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  32:18
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If you thought water to wine was good, think about turning stain to saint!

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Why are we studying Ephesians?
The Message of Ephesians Introduction to the Letter (Ephesians 1:1–2)

The letter to the Ephesians is a marvellously concise, yet comprehensive, summary of the Christian good news and its implications. Nobody can read it without being moved to wonder and worship, and challenged to consistency of life.

It was John Calvin’s favourite letter. Armitage Robinson called it ‘the crown of St Paul’s writings’.

Ephesians: An Expositional Commentary Chapter 1: Introduction to Ephesians (Ephesians 1:1–2)

William Barclay calls Ephesians “the queen of the epistles.” The English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge termed this book “the divinest composition of man”

Ephesians: An Expositional Commentary Chapter 1: Introduction to Ephesians (Ephesians 1:1–2)

John Mackay, a former president of Princeton Theological Seminary who was converted at the age of fourteen through reading Ephesians, called it the “greatest … maturest … [and] for our time the most relevant” of all Paul’s writings. “This letter is pure music,” he said. Ruth Paxson called Ephesians “the Grand Canyon of Scripture,” meaning that it is breathtakingly beautiful and apparently inexhaustible to the one who wants to take it in.

Ephesians: An Expositional Commentary Chapter 1: Introduction to Ephesians (Ephesians 1:1–2)

If Ephesians is profound, it is so not for the mysterious nature of its unfathomable deep secrets, but for the clear way it presents the most basic Christian truths.

What will we cover in Ephesians?
Exalting Jesus in Ephesians Why Study Ephesians?

In this book we will address the following questions:

• Why worship? (1:3–14)

• What should we pray for? (1:15–23)

• What is so amazing about grace? (2:1–10)

• Who are we? (2:11–22)

• Why is the church a big deal? (3:1–13)

• What should we pray for? (3:14–21)

• How can we be unified? (4:1–16)

• How do “new” people live? (4:17–32)

• How can we imitate God? (5:1–14)

• What is God’s plan for marriage? (5:15–33)

• How should we parent? (6:1–4)

• How should we see our vocation? (6:5–9)

• How do we fight? (6:10–24)

What was Ephesus Like?

What was Ephesus like? Ephesus was the capital of proconsular Asia and as such was the political and commercial center of a large and prosperous region. That is why Paul spent so much time there. Ephesus was on the Cayster River, not far from the Aegean coast. Its port was large and so became the chief communication and commercial link between Rome and the East. Merchants flocked to it. It became a melting pot of nations and ethnic groups. Greek and Roman, Jew and Gentile mingled freely in its streets. In Paul’s day Ephesus played a role not unlike that of Venice in the Middle Ages or Constantinople today.

Ephesus boasted the largest of all Greek open-air theaters; it held twenty-five thousand spectators. There was a stadium for chariot races and fights with animals. Chiefly, however, Ephesus boasted of its great temple to Diana or Artemis. It was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It measured 425 by 220 by 60 feet (about four times the size of the Parthenon) and housed the statue of Diana, believed to have come down from heaven. This temple was a depository for huge amounts of treasure and was, in effect, the bank of Asia. It was served by hundreds of the priestesses of Diana, who were temple prostitutes.

To this city the apostle Paul came to preach—briefly on his second missionary journey and extensively on his third. In this city God was pleased to establish a faithful church. To the Christians of this city, attempting to live for God in the midst of utter paganism, the apostle directs this letter.

If you believe the gospel you are a saint of Christ, don’t ever forget that!


Ephesians 1:1–2 ESV
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Christ Paul is no longer Saul.

Paul could well confess that he was the greatest of sinners, yet he could still speak for God, because it was God’s will for him to do so. = Bryan Chapell
For extra study Act 22.3; Phil 3:4-6; Gal 1:13-16, 2:6-9
The Author
The Man
Who was this man Paul and why does that matter to us?
Acts 13.9 “9 But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him”
Gentile mission here forward… Paul to gentiles
Named after King Saul
Roman Citizen / Jew
Act 22.25 “25 But when they had stretched him out for the whips, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it lawful for you to flog a man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned?””
Act 22.3 “3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as all of you are this day.”
Autobiographical description
Phil 3.4-6 “4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.”
Gal 1.13-14 “13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers.”
His Calling
Gal 1.15-16 “15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;”
Acts 26.12-18 “12 “In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by …”
What is an apostle and what does that mean for us?
The Office
Apostle includes…
Mark 3.13-15 “13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons.”
Sent ones with authority
Act 1.21-26 “21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”
Where does Paul fit in with the 12 then?
Gal 1.1 “1 Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—”
Gal 1.15-17 “15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.”
1 Cor 15.6-9 “6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”
The Authority
Where does His authority come from and what does that mean to us?
Gal 2.6-9 “6 And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. 7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised 8 (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), 9 and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.”
1 Thes 2.6-7 “6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.”
1 Cor 14.37-38 “37 If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. 38 If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.”
2 Pet 3.15-16 “15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.”
Eph 2.19-20 “19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,”
What is the commanded will and decreed will of God and why does that matter to us today?
Why did this matter to Paul, to the Ephesians or to us today?
Eph 1.5 “5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,”
Eph 1.11 “11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,”
Rom 9.19 “19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?””
James 4.13-16 “13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.”
Isa 46.9-10 “9 remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’”
Jhn 7.17 “17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.”
Jhn 9.31 “31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.”
1 Thes 4.3 “3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;”
1 Thes 5.18 “18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Eph 6.5-6 “5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,”

In Christ we have Grace and Peace.

The believer is in the world physically, but not of the world spiritually... Like a scuba diver, he exists in an alien environment because he possesses special equipment—in this case, the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. = Warren Wiersbe
For an extra look at Grace and Peace Eph 2:4-7, 14-17
The Address
What is grace and peace and what does this mean to us today?
The Blessing
Eph 2.4-7 “4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
Eph 1.3-6 “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”
Eph 2.14-17 “14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.”
The Source
God our Father
The Lord Jesus Christ
Eph 6.5-9 “5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.”
Rom 10.9 “9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
1 Cor 12.3 “3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.”
Eph 6.24 “24 Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.”

In Christ sinners become faithful saints.

If you are in Christ, then “Christ’s riches are your riches, His resources are your resources, His righteousness is your righteousness, His power is your power. His position is our position: where He is, we are … what He has, we have” = John MacArthur
For extra study Heb 10:14, 23; 1 Thes 5:23-24; 2 Tim 2:12-13
The Audience
Their Condition
Their Position
Local Church
Universal Church
Why does Paul call us saints instead of christians and why does this mater to us today?
39 total 9 Here in Eph
Eph 4.11-12 “11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,”
consecrated / dedicated / set apart to God
moral character of god / transcendent purity
Eph 5.25-27 “25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”
It his eternal purpose for us
Eph 1.4 “4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love”
1 Pet 1.15-16 “15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.””
Heb 12.10 “10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.”
Already and not yet...
Heb 10.14 “14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”
How is Gods faithfulness different then our own and what does this mean for us today? How can we be faithful as Paul says?
Faithfulness finds its root in God
1 Thes 5.23-24 “23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”
2 Tim 2.12-13 “12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.”
Titus 1.2 “2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began”
Heb 10.23 “23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”
The faithfulness of christians is they can be trusted to trust in God through christ unto death!!


Revelation 2:1–5 “1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 “ ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”
Don’t lose your first love!
If you believe the gospel you are a saint of Christ, don’t ever forget that!
Many of our spiritual troubles arise from our failure to remember that we are citizens of two kingdoms. We tend either to pursue Christ and withdraw from the world, or to become preoccupied with the world and forget that we are also in Christ. = John Stott

Group Questions

Which part of this message had the most impact on you and why?
Which of the quotes did you like best and why?
What did you already know about the Ephesians and what was new information to you?
Pastor gave a quick outline of the book of Ephesians, if you remember what he said, what part are you most looking forward to and why?
Paul was an apostle by the will of God… How do you think we come to know the will of God? Is it possible for a Christian to live outside the will of God? How so and for how long?
Why is it important for us as christians to understand the difference between the decreed and commanded will of God?
In your opinion what does it mean to be “in Christ”? How might we live out this truth daily?
If Paul calls you a saint what is one part of your life that you should/could become more “saintly”?
What part of sainthood is most encouraging to you?
How would you describe the temperature of your relationship with Jesus?
Why do you think it was Pauls choice to start with reminding us of our grace and peace?
What to you is so important to remember about this grace and peace? What does it mean to you personally?
Pray for your love for Christ to be increased through this series.
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