Ephesians 1: 1-10
Paul is the author of the this letter as proclaimed in the opening of the verse. And he is writing to the people of Ephesus. Without going into a study on Ephesus, its helpful to remember this is the city Paul was run out of with the people chanting “Great is Artemis!” and drove Paul from the city.
To the people still living in Ephesus Paul would write them first praising God for the blessings poured out on Christians. We also see God has given us every spiritual blessing in Christ. The first blessing we should think of here is the gift of eternal life given to us through the death of Jesus on the Cross. This gift of eternal life is then what is focused on by Paul next.
We see Paul say God has predestined us for adoption to sonship. Here we are introduced to the concept of predestination was huge for John Calvin and Calvinists. This concept will be expounded upon in topical studies, here it suffices to say that God has worked out history and has chosen us before the foundation of the world. In fact, he has chosen us for adoption, which many people today fail to understand because of our concept of adoption.
Especially in America, we think of adoption in terms of choosing some lucky kid to become part of our family. We choose from the lowly and bring them to us. However, that was not the way adoption worked in Rome during Paul’s time. In Rome the concept of adoption would be a wealthy family looking for someone to add to their family to boost the family name. It was often done for someone without an heir. Those who could adopt would look for children that had the best pedigree and choose them, expecting the children to add to the name of the family. However, we can’t add anything to God, He already has everything, we are simply the benefactors of His grace. Especially when you consider that even our good deeds are but filthy rags in the presence of God.
All of this is cause for us to praise God, and then remember that our redemption comes through the blood of Jesus. This redemption allows for the forgiveness of sins and more of God’s grace that He pours out upon us. This is why we can say every good and perfect gift is from God. It all comes from God. But in wisdom, God made known the good news of Jesus Christ to be distributed to the world at the exact perfect timing in history. While many studies could be done on the timing of God’s word, it will suffice here to say that God’s timing is completely perfect in all aspects.