Introduction to Ephesians Chapter 1
In this chapter are contained the inscription of the epistle, the salutation of the persons to whom it is written, the apostle's thanksgiving for blessings received by him, and them; in which the efficient, moving, procuring, and final causes of salvation are taken notice of, and the several parts and branches of it observed; and the whole is concluded with prayers for the Ephesians; in which mention is made of various things to the comfort of the saints, and to the glory of Christ. The inscription is in Ephesians 1:1, in which the author of the epistle puts his name, declares his office, and how he came into it; and describes the persons to whom he wrote it, by their religious characters, and the place of their abode. The salutation is in Ephesians 1:2, which is common to all his epistles: and in Ephesians 1:3, is the thanksgiving to God, as the God and Father of Christ, for spiritual blessings in Christ in general; and then he proceeds to particulars, and begins with election, which is represented as an act of God the Father, as of particular persons, as done in Christ, and from the foundation of the world, the end of which is perfect holiness and love, Ephesians 1:4, and which is further illustrated under the name of predestination; the blessing which that is an appointment to, is the adoption of children; the moving cause of it, is the good pleasure of the divine will; the instrumental cause, or means, is Christ Jesus; the end with God is for himself, Ephesians 1:5, and which, in the next verse, is explained of the glory of his grace; to which grace, acceptance with him in Christ is owing; and which is another spiritual blessing, or a branch of election and predestination, Ephesians 1:6. To which is added another, and that is redemption; the author of which is Christ; the price, or procuring and meritorious cause of it is his blood; a branch of which is forgiveness of sins; and the whole is according to the plenteous and free grace of God, Ephesians 1:7, the entire plan and scheme of which is the produce of abundant wisdom and prudence, Ephesians 1:8, and is no other than the mystery of the will of God revealed in the Gospel, according to his sovereign will and purpose, Ephesians 1:9, which lay hid within himself until the fulness of times, or the Gospel dispensation, in which Christ being sent, has gathered all together in himself, Ephesians 1:10, through whom the saints enjoy the inheritance they are adopted to in predestination, which is the effect of an unfrustrable purpose, and a wise counsel and will, Ephesians 1:11. The end of which is, that those predestinated, redeemed, and adopted ones, should be to the praise and glory of God, Ephesians 1:12, and who are described as such, who first trusted in Christ upon hearing the Gospel; and after they had believed in him, were sealed by the Holy Spirit, said to be the Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13, and who is also spoken of as the earnest and pledge of the saints' inheritance, and who will continue so until all the people of God are redeemed from the grave in the resurrection morn, which will also issue in the praise and glory of God, Ephesians 1:14, and now on account of all these blessings of predestination, adoption, redemption, calling, and the sealing of the Spirit; as also, because of their faith in Christ, and love to the saints, these believers were possessed of, the apostle gave thanks, and continued to give thanks to God in his prayers to him, Ephesians 1:15. The object of his prayers is described as the God of Christ, and Father of glory; the petitions to him are for an increase of knowledge of Christ from the Spirit, as a spirit of wisdom and revelation, Ephesians 1:17, and that they might have a clearer view of the nature of that glory they were called unto, and were hoping for, Ephesians 1:18, and observe the wonderful display of the power of God in their conversion and faith; which is illustrated by comparing it with that power which was shown in raising Christ from the dead, Ephesians 1:20, which leads the apostle to take notice of the exaltation of Christ at the right hand of God in heaven, consequent on his resurrection; where he is advanced above angels and men, and has all things in subjection to him for the good of his church, of which he is the head, and which is his body and fulness, Ephesians 1:21.