Greeting: 1:1, 2.
The Epistle to the Ephesians is a prison epistle written by Paul. The writer identifies himself as Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God. Paul was directly commissioned and equipped by Christ to serve God. Paul was always conscious of the origin of his calling and the divine grace that sustained him throughout his ministry (1 Cor 15:10). This letter was addressed to the saints. Every Christian in Christ is a saint. Saints are sinners saved by the grace of God and set apart for God’s use. We are saints because of what Christ has done for us. Saints are not some special religious group. Nine times believers are called saints in this letter. They are believers in Christ and who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit to enjoy vital union with Christ. Scholars suggest that Paul uses the phrases “in Christ’ more than 30 times in Ephesians. Saints are not sinless or perfect people but faithful followers of Christ. Faithful, simply means "full of faith in Jesus Christ". Paul uses a standard greeting in this epistle. "Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ". Grace is the unmerited favor of God in Christ. It is the extravagant goodness of God lavished upon us in Christ Jesus. Only those who experience the grace of God can find peace with God and peace of God. We can never exhaust God's grace or comprehend it fully. Grace is primarily the gentile greeting. Peace is a Jewish greeting. Peace does not mean absence of trouble but tranquility. The only way to experience grace and peace is through faith in Christ. They come from our heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ. A Christian is a person who trusts in Christ and made holy by God
The Spiritual Blessings in Christ: 1:3-14.
Paul begins the epistle by describing the spiritual blessings believers have in Christ. God has a master plan for our salvation in terms of past, present and future. These are the blessings of grace. Everything in the scripture ultimately points us to the grace of God in Christ. Christians have been blessed with every spiritual blessing because we are united to Christ by faith. Since we belong to Christ, we inherit all the blessings of salvation. Our blessings are not primarily earthly blessings but spiritual in nature. They are heavenly blessings. Our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20), our citizenship is in heaven (Phil 3:20), our inheritance is in heaven (1 Pet 1:4), and our hope is laid up for us in heaven (Col 1:5). Paul describes six spiritual blessings of salvation in Chapter 1:4-14. These blessings include:
There are two prayers in Ephesians. Paul was a man of prayer. Prayer is likened to breathing for physical life. It is our lifeline to God. Paul’s first prayer is given in chapter one verses 15-23. Paul starts his prayer with thanksgiving (1:16). He makes three requests that can help believers to grow in their spiritual life. They were the recipients of the overflowing grace of God (1:3-14). Their faith in Christ saved them and that faith manifested by love. Love is the outgrowth of faith (John 13:35; 15:12). Almost ten years have passed-by since Paul left Ephesus. Paul might have heard about the quality of their faith and love for other believers from Epaphras (Col 1:4, 7, 8). This motivated Paul to pray for them. Someone has said “Faith and love are likened to the two pillars at Solomon’s Temple” (1 King 7:21). Faith and love are the marks of true Christians. Paul prayer was addressed to God, the Father of all glory (1:17; Jam 2:1).