At first glance, this passage feels like a speed bump, “Why did Paul go so negative?” In reality he gives us a warning to remember the truths of Jesus and constantly remind one another to pursue a constant renewal of our lives in the gospel—refusing to go return to the slavery of sin and the tyranny of a life with ourselves as god.
Ephesians 3:14-21 is prayer for the Church to understand, know, and grasp the power and depths of God’s love. With this prayer Paul wraps up one large section on what God has done for us in the gospel and who the church is. Now, Paul will turn his attention to encouraging and urging the church to be and live in accordance to their calling. Before he does that, he prays for us to know God’s love.
In Ephesians 2:1-10, Paul describes grace. The human heart can hardly conceive of a world where grace is the highest truth. Where God’s mercy triumphs over death. Where God’s love outlasts our sin. But Paul says it does. In fact, Paul says in this passage that God’s grace shown to us is immeasurable.
In Ephesians 1:15-23, Paul continues his exhortation and blessing to the people of the church in Ephesus. But now, he’s talking about why he prays and how he prays for this church. Hint: it’s in light of power of Christ. The fact that Jesus was raised to life and seated at the right hand of God, is his motivation for everything. This is also one of those passages where you find the greek word, soma, or body.
The opening lines of Ephesians bring us into a pre-existing relationship between the Apostle Paul and the church he helped start. Furthermore, it begins with a poem about the glory and majesty of God the Father and his remarkable work in Jesus. Later in this letter Paul describes this grace as a mystery for himself but also for every believer. And it is just that. It’s a profound and beautiful mystery of God’s incredible grace to bless us and adopt us into his family.