Ephesians 1:3-14 English Standard Version (ESV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee[c] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
1) What part did each member of the Trinity play in our salvation?
2) What are the benefits of our salvation? Who are we, now that we are saved?
3) What does it mean to be “sealed” with the Holy Spirit?
4) What purposes for our salvation are found in these verses?
A trip to www.studylight.org is in order here.
We will get super cozy with this site as we study Scripture together!
Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom!
It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.
Want to know more about a specific word in a verse?
Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!
Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage?
Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))
The Findings for Original Intent
1) Make sure to pay attention to pronouns as you read this passage, so you know which member of the Trinity is indicated by each “him.” A careful reading shows us that all three members of the Trinity were involved in our salvation. God the Father chose us (v. 4), Christ redeemed us (v. 7), and the Holy Spirit sealed us (v. 13).
2) We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing, we have been chosen, we are holy and blameless before God, we are adopted as God’s children, we have redemption (which means our penalty has been paid), we have been lavished in the riches of his grace, we have obtained an inheritance, and we have been given the Holy Spirit. Read those again, and let them really sink in.
3) Here and in 4:30, we are told that we have been “sealed by the Holy Spirit”. The word “seal” means to stamp with a private mark for security or preservation, as an ancient king would stamp a letter with a signet ring to signify that he was the author and to keep it from being tampered with. The Holy Spirit comes to live in us when we first become believers, and verse 14 says that the Spirit is a guarantee, or down payment, of the inheritance we will receive. All these things teach us that being sealed by the Holy Spirit means that we are saved forever, marked secure in God and preserved for eternity with him.
4) In verses 6, 12, and 14, it tells us that all these things that have been given to us, according to the will and purposes of God, are to the praise of His glory. We are saved, blessed, adopted, holy and blameless, lavished in Christ’s riches, redeemed and sealed for eternity, not so we can think highly of ourselves, but so that we can praise the glory of the One who gave us such great gifts. What amazing grace!
Some Applications for Our Everyday Lives
1) Sometimes, the only application that a truth from Scripture needs is simply to praise God. Praise be to the mysterious, triune God, for planning and working to save me! Often, when we turn our focus to praise, our frustrations quickly disappear in light of all we’ve been given. Try it!
2) If I am a believer, these things are true of me—because they depend on what God has done, not on what I have done. Am I living as if I really believe they are true? Do I believe I am chosen, holy and blameless, etc.? Or am I still living as if I need to do something to earn those titles?
3) Oh, the relief of knowing that I am sealed by the Holy Spirit! Rest in the knowledge that as believers, although our sins and behaviors still carry earthly consequences, our souls are marked for eternity with Christ.
4) When I think about my salvation and its benefits, do I immediately think to praise God? Am I worshipping my Savior, or His gifts to me? Lord, help me to fulfill the purpose of my salvation, to bring praise to Your glory!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!