Ephesians 1:15–23 (NKJV)
15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.Ephesians 1:15-23
22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
A quick outline of this passage:
- Thankfulness and Prayer (15-16)
- Prayer For Hopefulness In Him (17-18)
- Prayer to Understand and Utilize the Power Available to us Through Jesus Christ and by His Holy Spirit (19-21)
- Prayer to Recognize Christ as the Head and the Church as the Body (22-23)
Paul’s writings include long, well-developed thoughts (lengthy run-on sentences) that carry out the meaning of his teaching to the fullest degree. This passage is one long sentence followed by a short sentence. The first is a prayer for the wisdom of the people of Ephesians that they might understand the greatness of God. It is a theology in microcosm, speaking of the greatness and the works of God. He is glorious, and calls people to salvation and ministry. His inheritance for His saints is glorious. His power exceeds that of any other being in all of creation. He provided salvation through His Son, Jesus, who died, but God raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand. God exists far above all powers, rulers, mighty men, and kings. He is supreme over all. The name of God is greater than any other name, meaning that His being is more magnificent than that of any other, age on end. This is the first sentence explained.
The second sentence speaks of the authority He gave the Son, putting all things under His feet and making Him head over the church, which is the body of Christ. This passage firmly places Jesus as one with the Father, and fully God. This specific theological discussion of God and Christ and their positions in the Godhead was a needed and important part of the formation of the theology of the early church. With no specific Christian documents outlining theology in the first century, Paul’s writings helped determine the vernacular of theology. This book is full of theological thoughts and the development of that thought. Although the church would debate some of the points of theology for hundreds of years, this book helped begin the formation process of beliefs that last even today.