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In the time of the apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry), Ephesus was a prominent Roman-controlled (see Ancient Empires - Rome) city in western Asia Minor (today known as Turkey). Although some Christianity was seeded there early, before Paul himself was converted On The Road To Damascus (there were some from Ephesus present at the Pentecost "birthday of the Church" after Christ's resurrection i.e. Acts 2:9), Paul was outstanding in the growth of Christianity throughout the area, from his missionary journeys there (see Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey) as well as from his letters (see Epistles) to them, including this epistle (Paul was not the only one who wrote to them; Ephesus was one of The Seven Churches that Christ wrote to, through the apostle John).
"1:1 Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: 1:2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father [see The Holy Father], and from the Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 1:1-2 KJV)
Some have been "predestinated" to be given the opportunity to accept The Lord's offer of salvation, a door that will be opened for everyone, sooner or later (see When Will You Be Judged?).
"1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings [see Spiritual Conception] in heavenly places in Christ: 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world [see Christ The Creator; also How Old Is God?], that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children [see Spiritual Adoption] by Jesus Christ to himself [listen to the Sermon The Divorce and Remarriage of Jesus Christ from our Sermons page], according to the good pleasure of his will, 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood [see Why Blood?], the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 1:8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
"Saint" simply means someone who is set apart from the world by seeking to live God's Way, rather than the way of the dead-end carnal world. "Saints" are ordinary people who have begun the journey of The Process Of Conversion (listen also to the Sermons First Day of Unleavened Bread: Beginning The Journey To Salvation and Seventh Day of Unleavened Bread: The Road To Life from our Sermons page).
"1:15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 1:16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him [see What Does 'Apocalypse' Really Mean?]: 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead [listen to the Sermon Christ's Passover: The Death And Birth Of The Saviour from our Sermons page], and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places [see What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now?], 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet [see The Coming World Dictator], and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Ephesians 1:15-23 KJV)
Ephesians Chapter 2
True Christians are conceived again, not yet born again (see Born Again, How and When? and Spiritual Conception), provided that they grow toward that birth by The Process Of Conversion, which is a process of gestation toward a new life.
"2:1 And you hath he quickened [see The Quick and The Dead], who were dead in trespasses and sins: 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience [see Who Still Rules The World Today?]: 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved [see Growing In The Grace And Knowledge]; 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 2:7 That in the ages to come [see Could Christ Return Tonight?] he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 2:9 Not of works [see Works Means Obedience], lest any man should boast. 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:1-10 KJV)
"2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ [see Zionism].
Ephesians Chapter 3
Paul was The Apostle To The Gentiles, which ultimately included his fellow Jews (see also Was Paul A Jew or a Benjamite?), because all Israelites are descendants of "gentiles" (again, see Abraham Wasn't A Jew; Abraham was an Iraqi - see Israel's Iraqi Roots).
"3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ [see Christianos] for you Gentiles, 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the Mystery; as I wrote afore in few words, 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy Apostles and Prophets by the Spirit [see also The Holy Ghost and The Holy Spirit]; 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
Paul's prayer for the Ephesians was that they would accept God's offer of adoption.
"3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 3:15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith [see A Pure Heart]; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 3:18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Fact Finder: When did the baptism of God's people begin?