Introduction: Is gratitude part of your attitude? Have you
noticed people who speak as if they are entitled to certain
things when they have done nothing to earn them? I know I
react positively to those who are grateful, and negatively
to those who claim false entitlement. How about you? Paul
begins Ephesians with gratitude. He thanks God the Father
and he thanks Jesus for all that they have done for us. He
then moves on to thanking the Ephesians for what they have
done. Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and learn more!

I. Gratitude to God

A. Read Ephesians 1:3. What is the nature of the
blessings for which Paul expresses gratitude?
(Spiritual blessings.)

1. Why are our spiritual blessings linked to
heavenly places? What is being said by Paul?
(These are blessings that are ours in heaven.)

2. How would you define spiritual blessings as
opposed to material blessings?

3. In these lessons I often write about the
blessings that come from obedience to the law.
Are those blessings spiritual or material? (I
have material blessings primarily in mind.)

B. Read Ephesians 1:4. What blessing is this? (We
were chosen by God before the world existed.)

1. Is this a spiritual or material blessing?

2. Where is it given? (This is the first example
of what Paul is talking about in verse 3 – a
spiritual blessing that was given to us in

3. What, exactly, is this spiritual blessing to
be holy and blameless? (This sounds like
righteousness by faith. The problem is that we
had no faith before the creation of the

a. What does it mean that we are “in Him?”
(We become “holy and blameless” as a
result of the work of Jesus.)

4. Think about the timing. Why is the blessing
given to us before the world was created by
God? (Jesus decided to save fallen humans
before any humans were created.)

a. Why would Jesus do that? Why create us
when the odds of our failure were so
great that a contingency plan was

II. The Family Plan

A. Read Ephesians 1:5. Describe this new spiritual
blessing? (We were chosen to become sons and
daughters of God!)

1. If we were potential trouble, why make us
family? (Notice that the last part of
Ephesians 1:4 says “in love” and then recites
verse 5.)

B. Read Ephesians 1:6. Who is “the Beloved?” (Read
Matthew 3:17. Jesus is “the Beloved.”)

1. We became sons and daughters of God by the
blessings given to us through the “glorious
grace” of Jesus. What does this say about
those who claim works are important to
salvation? (How can works be part of this when
we were chosen before we existed?)

C. Read Ephesians 1:7. What spiritual blessing do we
find here? (Redemption and forgiveness.)

1. How do we receive these blessings? (Through
the blood of Jesus. Because Jesus is rich in

a. Think about what this rich grace cost

2. Some believe that Jesus’ blood only forgives
past sins. As to the future, well, we had
better be obedient to the law. What does the
word “redemption” mean? (It means we are

D. Read Hebrews 10:14. This text tells us that Jesus
made us perfect “for all time” by His sacrifice.
At the same time it tells us that we are being
sanctified. How can both be true simultaneously?
(We are declared perfect by what Jesus did on our
behalf by His blood and His grace. At the same
time we take His sacrifice seriously, we take His
plan for humans seriously, and we make the
decision to live an obedient life.)

E. Read Ephesians 1:8-9. Some commentators understand
this to mean that God gave us wisdom and insight
into His program. It sounds to me as if God is
using wisdom and insight in His redemption of us.
Assume I’m correct, what is the wisdom and insight
of Jesus in saving us by grace? (God knew that we
were not up to the job. The fact that He had a
plan from the foundation of the world to save us
(Ephesians 1:4)shows what He thought about our
ability to resist sin.)

F. Look again at Ephesians 1:9 and read
Ephesians 1:10. Has a mystery been revealed to us? (At this
point the text is clear that God made known to us
His plan for our salvation. However, I don’t think
this changes what we discussed in the prior

1. Notice that God has a purpose in all of this.
What is that purpose?

2. Ephesians 1:10 says God’s purpose is revealed
in a plan. What is God’s ultimate plan?
(Unity! At the correct time God will “unite
all things in Him.”)

3. We have been considering our spiritual
blessings. Is unity one of them? If so, how
would unity improve your life right now?

G. Read Ephesians 1:11-12. Once again we are told
that we are predestined for our inheritance as
part of God’s plan. This plan is in accordance
with the will of God. What is the specific goal
mentioned in verse 12? (That our lives might be
“to the praise of His glory.”)

1. What does it mean for our lives to give praise
and glory to God? (This is where “works” come
in. Our lives should bring glory to God.)

a. Consider your life. Is it bringing glory
to God?

III. The Holy Spirit

A. Read Ephesians 1:13-14. What is the “seal” of our
inheritance in Jesus? (The receipt of the Holy

1. What triggers that sealing? (We heard and
believed the gospel. We believed in Jesus our

2. Why is the Holy Spirit the seal and the
guarantee of our future with God? (The Holy
Spirit is available to every one of us right
now. God can be with us now if we ask.)

a. Note the reference to the ultimate
“possession” of our inheritance. What
will we possess? (We will live with God!
The Holy Spirit is a preview of our life
with God in the earth made new.)

B. Notice that Ephesians 1:12 and Ephesians 1:14 end
with the phrase, “to the praise of His glory.”
Ephesians 1:6 says something similar – “to the
praise of his glorious grace.” What is the Holy
Spirit’s role in this theme of us bringing glory
to God?

C. Read Ephesians 1:18. We have been discussing our
inheritance – a life in the earth made new with
our Lord. Notice the different language here. It
refers to “His glorious inheritance in the
saints.” What do you think that means? (We are
God’s inheritance. Not only do we have an
inheritance in the earth made new, but God has an
inheritance and that is us!)

1. Is God proud of you? Are you a great

D. Friend, God has chosen you for an inheritance.
Most people delight in learning that they are
inheriting something. Will you accept your
inheritance from God? Why not do that right now?

IV. Next week: The Power of the Exalted Jesus.

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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Holy Spirit as you study.