Session 1-1 - Valley View Christian Fellowship

Week 1-Personal Study Session 1
Scripture: Ephesians 1:1-23
 Written by Paul while he was in prison in Rome (Eph. 3:1; Phil 1:7; Col 4:10;
Philemon:9). Paul’s first visit to Ephesus was during his second missionary
journey (Acts 18:18-19). It was a brief visit. But Paul returned during his
third missionary journey and stayed in Ephesus for approximately 3 years,
teaching and preaching (Act 19:1-20:1)
 Intended to circulated to many of the Gentile Christian churches
 First 3 chapters contain a great deal of theological teaching. Paul bases his
practical teaching and requests on the reality of the truths contained in
Chapters 1-3.
 Chapters 4-6 contain practical teaching and instruction for daily living.
Personal Study
Let’s begin by reading Ephesians Chapter 1. Please read it at least once silently and
once aloud. Even better, if you have a spouse or friend that you are studying with,
listen as each other reads the chapter aloud. Paul’s letter was intended to be read
aloud to the churches. Hearing the letter provides a different insight into the
author’s intended meaning. This week we will divide our personal study time in two
sections: Eph. 1:1-14 and Eph. 1:15-23. There is much in each section but we will
choose just one aspect for each study.
Eph. 1:1-14
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms
with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy
and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in
accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in
the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance
with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And he made
known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put
into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth
together under one head, even Christ.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out
everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in
Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the
word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the
promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are
God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. 1
Paul begins Chapter 1 of Ephesians by identifying himself and his position as an
apostle of Christ Jesus, thus establishing the authority on which he writes to the
believers. But how did Paul come to be an apostle? Is this position something he
gained, earned, or was appointed to by men? No, Paul states that it was “by the will
of God.”
The theme of God’s will is one of the major themes of this letter. How many times in
Chapter 1 does Paul refer to the will or purpose of God?
. And what do you
think Paul means “by the will of God”?
Let’s consider for a moment what aspects of God’s will Paul is referring to. Below
God’s Will:
1:1 “by the will of God”
1:4 “he chose us”
1:5 “he predestined us”
1:5 “in accordance with his good pleasure and will”
1:7 “in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”
1:9 “according to his good pleasure”
1:11 “we were chosen”
1:11 “predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in
conformity with the purpose of his will”
God’s Purpose:
1:3 “bless us”
1:6 “to the praise of his glorious grace”
1:12 “for the praise of his glory”
God’s Motivation:
1:4 “in love”
What did God will for us, or toward us?
1:3 “bless us in the heavenly realm with every spiritual blessing”
1:4 “to be holy and blameless in his sight”
1:5 “to be adopted as his sons”
1:6 “redemption…,the forgiveness of sins”
1:9 “he made know to us the mystery of his will”
1:13-14 sealed by the Holy Spirit
The Holy Bible: New International Version. (1984). (Eph 1). Grand Rapids, MI:
1:14 “inheritance”
When did God carry out his will? When did God choose to do all he chose to do
for/toward us?
How did God carry out his will?
Finally, take a moment to consider all that Paul is teaching us about the
will/purpose of God toward us; when He choose to do all of this for us; how He
chose to work His will. And specifically how did God accomplish His will and
purpose? Record your thoughts and reflections for today’s study.