Ephesians 1
1Paul an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the purpose and working of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus. 2Grace be to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ
3Blessed be He from whom our blessings flow, even the God and Father of Jesus Christ our Lord. 4Prior to the existence of this physical universe, His blessing was upon us in a spiritual sphere in the heavenly world in Christ, and that blessing was the blessing of Spirit. 5-8There in the spiritual Christ, we, as perfect and without spot or blame before Him, were sought out and chosen to be His sons, foreseen and foreknown as such, an adoption which even now is coming to pass through Jesus Christ, as the good pleasure of His will unfolds itself, whereby he is adorned with the manifestation of this grace, the grace that becomes our own in the beloved one, through whom it works, grace that is now delivering us from sin, and putting off the chains from us through the victory so dearly purchased with his own blood by the Christ. 9-10Infinite and far-reaching beyond the bounds of all mortal vision is the wealth and power of that grace, so abundant in its wisdom and understanding, whereby there opens to the inner eye the wondrous revelation of His will, of His ever benevolent purpose, forseen and fore-ordained in the Christ, which the gathering up and unfolding of the ages was to effect, 11even the subjection of all things to the Christ, the making of him as the sum and head of all as his consequent effect, a purpose to be carried out on earth as in heaven. 12Yes, the inheritance which we have now obtained is part of that consummating purpose, is in him, in whom we were first seen and known as the objects of this infinite purpose which subdues all things, destined to adorn his glory as we even now hope and expect by faith to do. 13We have learned to know the Christ, in whom you too have embraced the word of truth, which is the good news of our salvation, in whom you have attained faith, and have been given that stamp and evidence of the genuineness and certainty of your hope and faith, namely, the gift of the spirit which was promised, the seal of the title-deed conferring the rich inheritance. 14It is our own now and secure, a possession that is purchased and made our own, as part of the adornment and wonder of His glory.
Paul's prayer for their enlightenment
15Since I learned that this faith is now ruling in your midst, and that your love is now extended in the faith towards other churches, 16you have daily been the subject of my prayers and thanks-givings, and this prayer is one for further light and increased understanding on your part, 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, father of all glory, may give you the spiritual wisdom and revelation, which are found in the clear full knowledge of Him, 18and illuminate your inner vision, the eyes of your heart, thereby explaining and opening to you the full nature of his calling and its aim and expectation, revealing too what an abundance of glory is implied in this “inheritance of the saints” (Deut. xxxiii. 3), 19and unfolding to your apprehension the extraordinary power which reacts from him upon all who believe. It is the enormous overmastering supremacy which the Christ showed forth, which operated in him, raising him from the dead. 20-21This power established the Christ “at his right hand” (Ps. cx. 1) in spiritual spheres supreme in every way, untouched, unimpeded by the innumerable authorities, influences, powers, potentates of the world, having power over all other names to which authority is lent not only in this age, but in the next. 22God has “put all things under his feet” (Ps. viii. 6), made him the head of all things for the Church, 23which thereby is constituted as the body of the Christ, that is to say, the full complete manifestation, the allness of that one who now is fulfilling Himself everywhere and becoming all-in-all.

This digitised version of St Paul from the Trenches 1916 © British and Foreign Bible Society 2014

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