“It is very difficult to speak of [Ephesians] in a controlled manner because of its greatness and because of its sublimity. Many have tried to describe it. One writer has described it as ‘the crown and climax of Pauline theology’. Another has said that it is ‘the distilled essence of the Christian religion, the most authoritative and most consummate compendium of our holy Christian faith’. What language! And it is by no means exaggerated.”
~ D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
I must agree that Ephesians is the climax, the high-water mark of Paul’s letters. In fact, early manuscripts of this letter do not include the word “Ephesians” in the introduction, and instead have a line, where a group of believers could insert their own city name. It is believed, therefore, that the letter to the Ephesians was intended as a circuit letter, to be read by all the churches in that region. It seems that Paul set out to record his highest vision and understanding of Christ, His purposes or intentions, and how the church is included in this purpose, as well as how to practically live together in Christ.
In the first three chapters, Paul expounds on the Person of Jesus Christ and his central place in God’s plan and that He alone is the church’s source for all things.
Everything draws its essence from him, and God gave him, him alone, to the assembly as the source of everything it needs. The assembly is, in fact, his body, and every individual contributes to bring his body to a state of completion.
(Ephesians 1:22-23, The Source NT)
In this light, I have read through the first chapter of Ephesians and made a list of all of the things that I can find that are “in Christ”.
My hope is to ENLARGE our vision of who Jesus Christ is, who we are in Him, how vital Jesus Christ is to our lives and the life of the church, His bride and body.
- Christ is our faithfulness. (v. 1)
- Grace and peace are through Christ. (v. 2)
- EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES is given to us in Christ. (v. 3)
- The heavenly places are in Christ. (v. 3)
- We were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. (v. 4)
- We are holy and blameless in Him. (v. 4)
- Love is in Christ. (v. 4)
- Our spiritual adoption as sons and daughters of the Father is in Christ. (v. 5)
- The glory of the Father’s grace is given to us in Christ. (v. 5)
- In Him we have redemption through His blood which also provides forgiveness for our trespasses. (v. 7)
- In Him, redemption and forgiveness are lavished on us by the Father’s grace. (v. 7)
- God’s mysterious plan revealed to us in Christ is about Christ. (v. 8)
- God’s plan is to sum up all things in the heavens in Christ. (v. 10)
- God’s plan is to sum up all things in the earth in Christ. (v. 10)
- Our inheritance is in Christ. (v. 11)
- Our hope is in Christ. (v. 12)
- Our identity is in Christ. (v. 13)
- We are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Christ. (v. 13)
- The Spirit given to us in Christ is a guarantee that God will give us our full inheritance in Christ. (v. 14)
- We are purchased in Christ as God’s own children. (v. 14)
- All things are in subjection to Christ. (v. 22)
- Christ is Head and Source of all things for the church. (v. 22)
- The church is made full and complete by Christ. (v. 23)
- All things everywhere are filled with Christ. (v. 23)
What a Christ!
Follow the LIFE!