Saint Paul wrote this letter to the people of Ephesus and there was no personal greeting to the Ephesians as compared to his other epistles. He also did not present any particular problem that the people needed to work on.
For every person desiring to enter Christian ministry, a lodestar, Jesus, is the center of direction and focus for that ministry. A lodestar is defined as a star that leads or guides – a guiding star. Along every ministry pathway, God gives guiding-light examples in scripture to individuals that continually seek Him for their next steps. A Bible study starts us thinking about God as we seek Him for specific revelation to us. The Holy Spirit has limitless ways to make sure scripture speaks to our hearts in whatever situation we encounter.
Ephesians Chapter 1 (Paraphrased by Betsy Cobb Wise) – read along in your Bible version as you meditate on this paraphrase:
Ephesians 1:1: Each minister of God must first be an apostle of Jesus Christ and be faithful to Him. Being faithful means just that – trusting Him no matter what happens and not putting faith in what you see with your natural eyes.
Ephesians1:2 – 3: Grace and peace belong to us from God the Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ. We don’t have to strive for grace and peace; they are ours as spiritual beings of His kingdom. Because our heavenly Father is blessed beyond any form of measurement, the same is possible for those who align their lives with Christ.
Ephesians 1:4-6: Our main spiritual characteristics should be holiness and love because He chose us as His and adopted us as His. His desire was to do so! That makes us very accepted and we should rejoice in that one fact.
Ephesians 1:7: The only way we secure redemption is through the blood of Jesus, heaven’s forgiveness for our sins, and simply because of grace (we didn’t deserve it, but God decided we needed a Savior).
Ephesians 1:8-15: More benefits come to us through God’s wisdom and prudence that He bestows upon us. God does not hide His will from us and takes great pleasure in revealing His heart. He forever wants to bind all things on heaven and earth through Christ. We are privileged to be the first inheritors so that we praise and give glory to God. Our trust began when we heard the word of truth, the gospel, which saves us. Upon belief of this truth, The Holy Ghost marks us as His. This helps Christians truly love others that cross their pathways by giving thanks to God for all people.
Ephesians 1:16-18: We must forever praise God for placing us at this high position in Him. By communion with God through the Holy Spirit we receive His wisdom and revelation by knowledge of The Word. This knowledge will open our spiritual eyes to the calling He has on our lives opening all riches to us in His power.
Ephesians 1:19-23: This is the same power that God used to raise Christ from the dead and place Him at the highest level imaginable so that He has dominion over all things. Christians everywhere fulfill Christ’s position of authority by becoming His body for total fullness of His kingdom. We reign with Him because of this inheritance.
MINISTRY STEPS FROM EPHESIANS, CHAPTER 1
Securing these simple steps in your heart will bring you closer to your desire to minister to others through the power of The Holy Spirit:
Belong to Jesus
Receive grace and mercy from The Father, and ALL His blessings.
Be holy and show love because He adopted us.
Receive redemption through His blood.
Accept His will for you.
Be glad you are marked as His by The Holy Ghost
Praise Him always!
Use His authority by receiving His power.
Have I put anyone or anything ahead of God? List the names of people or things.
Do I honor man before God? (Examples: Pleasing people first knowing that God has given you an assignment that might offend others; putting family before God; or considering what others might think if you lay hands on people to heal them).
Who or what gets my praise the most? Be honest!
Have I received His inheritance? That means you walk in abundance in all areas of your life. If not, how can I receive more? What steps can I take to get closer to his riches?
Do I look like Jesus? We are made in the image of God. How do I resemble Jesus?
Do I believe I have the same power as God to raise people from the dead? If not, why? Jesus said we would do greater works.
Once you complete your spiritual evaluation, start applying the ministry steps of Ephesians daily in your day-to-day activities. In Ephesians Chapter 1, it is clear that every person from every nation should be one when we profess Jesus Christ as Lord over our lives. Our togetherness will be obvious once we decide that unity in spirit is more important than unity in a denomination. We are all part of Christ’s body and can participate in God’s plan of redemption for the entire world if we adhere to God’s way of being and doing right (righteousness).
Webster’s Dictionary, Eerdman’s Handbook to the Bible