v1-2 - The introduction reminds us that once again we're reading a letter written to a specific people in a specific place at a specific time.
Yet even though you are not an Ephesian, this letter is written to you as well, since you are one of God's saints (His holy people).
Therefore, God's grace and peace are extended to you as well.
v3-6 - These verses comprise the core of your identity:
You were chosen to be included in Christ before the creation of the world!
God predestined you to be adopted into His family.
v7-12 - In Christ you've been given some massive benefits:
you've been redeemed;
you're sins are forgiven;
God's will has been made known to you:
Certainly you don't know all of the details of God's will,
but you do know that His purpose is to bring all things into unity in Christ.
God is working out all things (even - especially - the things in life you don't understand) to conform to His plan.
v13-14 - Paul is writing this reminder to you so that you know that you're included in these promises.
You may not remember when you became a Christian, but it's when you first heard and understood "the message of truth" - the gospel.
The only reason you can understand this good news is because you've been given the Holy Spirit (put another way, if you can understand the truth of the gospel, that's a sure sign you have the Holy Spirit and are included in His promises.
v15-23 - Paul's prayer for the Ephesians, and for you, is that you may know more and more:
Who God is (specifically in the person of the Holy Spirit)
the hope to which you're called;
the rich inheritance you've been given;
and the incomparably great power God has for you as a believer.
That power was made visible when God:
raised Christ from the dead;
lifted Christ above all things, giving Him all power and authority (both right now and in the age to come);
appointed Christ as the head of the church.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
Predestination is not just a New Testament doctrine. Psalm 135 tells of how God has predestined all things and uses His incomparable power to bring His will to completion despite the evil in the world.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: As Paul repeats his prayer for the Ephesians, what is the first thing he asks God to give them? (See verse 17.)
After reading this chapter, how would you describe what it means to be included 'in Christ?'
Question1 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Your Father who chose you before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight (v4)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that as you read through Ephesians the next few days you will come to know God, yourself (your identity in God) and your salvation more and more
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: