Sunday, September 22, 2013

Musings on Ephesians 1:1-2

  Let's Get Social Sunday  Life on Lakeshore Drive  

The folks at Do Not Depart are running a scripture memorization challenge of Ephesians, Chapter 1.  Only one or two verses a week...very doable right?  What if you start two days after everyone else does?  Still doable.  Most people started Monday (16 September).  I started Wednesday.  Fortunately for me, memorization comes fairly easily - must have been all the theatre I did in college.

So this week, we covered verses one and two of Ephesians 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.
When Paul's name was Saul, he persecuted Christians.  Then, he was on the road to Damascus one day (to find more Christians to tie up and cart back to Jerusalem), when Jesus appeared to him.  The experience was so life-changing that he could not see for three days.  Thereafter, became a Christian himself, and a missionary, and was finally persecuted himself and killed.

I found  my most satisfying definition I found for the word 'apostle' in an answer at as an 'ambassador'.  Thus an apostle of Jesus would be an ambassador of Jesus.  The use of the word apostle as opposed to follower or disciple means to me that Paul could speak of Jesus and act, in Jesus's name, with some authority.  And of course, nothing happens if not by the will of God.  But sometimes we just need to be reminded of that.

So Paul tells us by what authority he writes, then proceeds to tell us to whom the message is written.  Of course there are saints in Ephesus of the day.  But maybe there are other Christians passing through the city or visiting relatives, etc.  Certainly a missive from one of the foremost apostles of the day would want to reach the biggest possible target audience.

2.  Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. gives a definition of 'grace' as a manifestation of favor.  So Paul is conveying a message of grace and peace to the Ephesians both from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.  What better gift is there in the world?  One word:  NONE.


Most, if not all of the Bible verses I quote will come from the King James Version (KJV).  I just love the formality of the language.  But then, Shakespeare is one of my favorite authors.  No matter the version of the Bible, I think a wonderful poetry shines through the language, so you get:
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.  Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Instead of simply:  "To Whom It May Concern".


Now, it's your turn:

1.  Are you participating in the 'Hiding Ephesians 1 in My Heart' challenge at Do No Depart?  Would you like to?

2.  Do you have a favorite Bible verse to share?

3.  If you are not religious and/or not Christian, do you have a favorite quote or saying to share?



  1. My favorite is the simple verse fragment - "Love one another." Not as easy a task as it appears!
    I smiled at your fondness for "Shakespearean" versions of the bible! Ten years ago, our pastor challenged us to read the bible from cover to cover. He suggested we find a modern version to follow if the ones loaded with "thoust" and "begats" were intimidating to us! I took up his challenge and completed the task. I am so proud of myself for doing it - yet not in a "sin of pride" way!

  2. I agree, J, loving people who have wronged us is not something that happens without work on our part. I've been reading a book of Scottish proverbs, and after all those Gaelic terms, KJV seems like cake!

    And congratulations to you on reading the Bible from cover to cover. I have not been able to accomplish that ... yet. I signed up for some emails this year that send me a portion of both the Old and New Testaments each day, that if I had followed through each day, would have completed the Bible in one year. least I have read more this year that previously. :O) Have a blessed week!

  3. I like how the various letters of the Bible are so thoroughly addressed to whom they were intended. It not only puts historical perspective to them but also gives us a sense of perspective for ourselves.

    Favorite verses? So many that it's difficult to even start. I especially like the Psalms. I have a Sunday blog that focuses on a verse from Psalms each week.

    A Few Words

  4. You are right, Arlee. I went back and scanned the first several verses of each of Paul's Epistles, which are indeed tailored to the individual audiences to which they are written.

    Something else I noticed yesterday is that each of the epistles contain some variation of the words, "Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ." Titus and Philemon got an extra dose of "mercy" thrown in. Just an observations.

    I'm a follower of "A Few Words" now. Thank you for your visit. Have a great week!

  5. Hopping here from Let's Get Social Sunday. Although I'm not part of the Ephesians 1 memory group I memorize scripture a lot. I'm currently working on the Book of James. My life scripture is Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your works acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. Marie @ and

  6. Wow, Marie, a whole book of the Bible. That will be quite an accomplishment! Thank you so much for stopping by! :O)

  7. I like the KJ version too, though the updated versions are starting to grow on me a bit.

  8. Yes, I am in over at Do Not Depart...and loving the challenge! If I look at memorizing Ephesians 1 I think I can't do it...but if I look at it just a verse or two at a time and then add another one or two it is very doable. I especially appreciate the way you've commented on these two verses, LuAnn!

  9. This is a wonderful idea! I need to get better at memorizing scripture!!

  10. @Rosey, sometimes when I'm having trouble with a KJV phrase, I will go to another version to get a sense of what is being said. That can be quite helpful.

    @Dianna-how did week 2 go? When I went back to do verses 1-4 together, I kept wanting to skip verse 2 for some reason. But it all worked out. You can do this!

    @Jocelyn-It's actually a lot of fun. is a site that can help a lot with that. :O)