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Ephesians 1


 1 Paul (1) an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the (*) Saints, which are at Ephesus, and to the (a) faithful in Christ Jesus:


(1) The inscription, and salutation, whereof we have spoken in the former Epistles.

(*) 1 Corinthians 1:2 .
(a) This is the definition of the Saints, shewing what they are.


 2 Grace be with you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.


 3  (*) (2) Blessed be God, (3) and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (4) which hath blessed us with (b) all (♣) spiritual blessing in (c) heavenly (♠) things in (5) Christ,


(*) 1 Corinthians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3 .

(2) The first part of the Epistle, wherein he handleth all the parts of our salvation, propounding the example of the Ephesians, and using divers exhortations, and beginning after his manner with thanksgiving.
(3) The efficient cause of our salvation is God, not considered confusedly and generally, but as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(4) The next final cause, and in respect of us, is our salvation, all things being bestowed upon us which are necessary to our salvation, which kind of blessings is heavenly and proper to the elect.
(b) With all kind of gracious and bountiful goodness which is heavenly indeed, and from God only.

(♣) As with the knowledge of God in Christ, with faith, hope, charity and other gifts.
(c) Which God our Father gave us from his high throne from above; or because the Saints have those gifts bestowed on them, which belong properly to the citizens of heaven.

(♠) Or, places.
(5) The matter of our salvation is Christ, in whom only we are endued with spiritual blessing and unto salvation.


 4  (6) (*) As he hath (♠) chosen us in (d) him, before the foundation of the world, (7) that we (e) (♣) should (f) be (♦) holy, and without blame (g) before him in love:


(6) He declareth the efficient cause, or by what means God the Father saveth us in his Son; because saith he, he chose us from everlasting in his Son.

(*) 2 Timothy 1:9 .

(♠) This election to life everlasting can never be changed; but in temporal offices, which God hath appointed for a certain space, when the term is expired, he changeth his election, as we see in Saul and Judas.
(d) To be adopted in him.
(7) He expoundeth the next final cause, which he maketh double, to wit, sanctification and justification, whereof he will speak hereafter. And hereby also two things are to be noted, to wit, that holiness of life cannot be separated from the grace of election; and again what pureness forever is in us, is the gift of God who hath freely of his mercy chosen us.
(e) Then God did not choose us, because we were, or otherwise should have been holy, but to the end we should be holy.

(♣) Colossians 1:22 .
(f) Being clothed with Christ's righteousness.

(♦) When Christ's justice is imputed ours.
(g) Truly and sincerely.


 5  (8) Who hath predestinated us, to be (*) adopted through Jesus Christ (h) unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,


(8) Another plainer exposition of the efficient cause, and also of eternal election, whereby God is said to have chosen us in Christ, to wit, because it pleased him to appoint us when we were not yet born, whom he would make to be his children by Jesus Christ; so that there is no reason here of our election to be sought, but in the free mercy of God, neither is faith which God foresaw, the cause of predestination, but the effect.

(*) Whereas we were not the natural children he received us by grace, and made us his children.
(h) God respecteth nothing, either that present is, or that is to come, but himself only.


 6  (9) To the (i) (*) praise of the glory of his grace, (10) wherewith he hath made us accepted in his beloved.


(9) The uttermost and chiefest final cause is the glory of God the Father, who saveth us freely in his Son.
(i) That as his bountiful goodness deserveth all praise, so also it should be set forth and published.

(*) The principal end of our election is to praise and glorify the grace of God.
(10) Another final cause more near, is our justification, in that he freely accounteth us for just in his Son.


 7  (11) By whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to his rich grace;


(11) An expounding of the material cause, how we are made acceptable to God in Christ, for it is he only, whose sacrifice by the mercy of God is imputed unto us, for forgiveness of sin.


 8  (12) (k) Whereby he hath been abundant toward us in (l) all wisdom and understanding,


(12) Now he cometh at length to the formal cause, that is to say, to vocation or preaching of the Gospel, whereby God executeth that eternal counsel of our free reconciliation and salvation in Christ. And putting in place of the Gospel all wisdom and understanding, he sheweth how excellent it is.
(k) By which gracious goodness and bountifulness.
(l) In perfect and sound wisdom.


 9 And hath opened unto us the (m) mystery of his will (13) according to his good pleasure, which he had purposed (*) in him,


(m) For unless the Lord had opened to us that mystery, we could never have so much as dreamed of it ourselves.
(13) Not only the election, but also the vocation proceedeth of mere grace.

(*) That is, in Christ.


 10  (14) That in the dispensation of the fullness of the times, he might (n) gather together in one (*) all things, both which are in heaven, and which are in earth, even in Christ;


(14) The Father exhibiteth and gave Christ, who is the head of all the elect unto the world, at that time which was convenient, according as he most wisely disposed all times from everlasting. And Christ is he in whom all the elect from the beginning of the world, (otherwise wandering and separated from God) are gathered together; of which some were then in heaven when he came into the earth, ( to wit, such as by faith in him to come, were gathered together) and others being found upon the earth, were gathered together of him, and the rest are daily gathered together.
(n) The faithful are said to be gathered together in Christ, because they are joined together with him through faith, and become as it were one man.

(*) By this he meaneth the whole body of the Church, which he divideth into them, which are in heaven, and them which are in earth; also the faithful which remain in earth, stand of the Jews and the Gentiles.


 11  (15) In whom also we are chosen when we were predestinated according to the purpose of him, which worketh (o) all things after the counsel of his own will,


(15) He applieth severally the benefit of vocation to the believing Jews, going back to the very fountain, that even they also may not attribute their salvation neither to themselves, nor to their stock, nor any other thing, but to the only grace and mercy of God, both because they were called, and also because they were first called.
(o) All things are attributed to the grace of God without exception, and yet for all that, we are not stocks, for he giveth us grace both to will and to be able to do those things that are good; Philippians 2:13 .


 12 That (*) we, which (p) first trusted in Christ, should be unto the praise of his glory.


(*) To wit, the Jews.

(p) He speaketh of the Jews.


 13  (16) In whom also ye have trusted, after that ye heard the (q) word of truth, even the Gospel of your salvation, wherein also after that ye believed, ye were (r) sealed with the holy (s) Spirit of promise.


(16) Now he maketh the Ephesians (or rather all the Gentiles) equal to the Jews, because notwithstanding they came last, yet being called by the same Gospel, they embraced it by faith, and were sealed up with the same Spirit, which is the pledge of election, until the inheritance itself be seen, that in them also the glory of God might shine forth, and be manifested.
(q) That word which is truth indeed, because it cometh from God.
(r) This is a borrowed kind of speech taken of a seal, which being put to anything, maketh a difference between those things that are authentical, and others that are not.
(s) With that Spirit, which bringeth not the Law, but the promise of free adoption.


 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance, (*) until the (t) redemption of the possession purchased unto the praise of his glory.


(*) Though we be redeemed from the bondage of sin by the death of Christ, Romans 6:22, yet we hope for this second redemption which shall be when we shall possess our inheritance in the heavens, whereof we have the holy Ghost for a gage, as Ephesians 4:30 .

(t) Full and perfect.


 15  (17) Therefore also after that I heard of the faith, which ye have in the Lord Jesus, and love toward all the Saints,


(17) He returneth to the former gratulation, concluding two things together of those things that went before; the first is, that all good things come to us from God the Father in Christ, and by Christ, that for them he may be praised of us. The second is that all those things (which he bringeth to two heads, to wit, faith and charity) are increased in us by certain degrees, so that we must desire an increase of his grace from whom we have the beginning, and of whom we hope for the end.


 16 I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers,


 17  (18) That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of (u) glory, might give unto you the Spirit of wisdom, and revelation through the (x) acknowledging of (*) him,


(18) The causes of faith, are God the Father lightened our minds with his Holy Spirit, that we may embrace Christ opened unto us in the Gospel, to the obtaining of everlasting life, and the setting forth of God's glory.
(u) Full of majesty.
(x) For it is not enough for us to have known God once, but we must know him every day more and more.

(*) Of Christ.


 18 That the eyes of your understanding may be lightened, that ye may know what the (y) hope is of his calling, and what the riches of his glorious inheritance is in the Saints,


(y) What blessings they are which he calleth you to hope for whom he calleth to Christ.


 19  (19) And what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us, which believe, (*) according to the working of his mighty power,


(19) The excellency of faith is declared by the effects, because the mighty power of God is set forth and shewed therein.

(*) Ephesians 3:7; Colossians 2:12 .


 20  (20) Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and (*) set him at his (z) right hand in the heavenly places,


(20) The Apostle wisheth us to behold in our most glorious Christ with the eye of faith, that most excellent power and glory of God, whereof all the faithful are partakers, although it be as yet very dark in us, by reason of the ignominy of the cross, and the weakness of the flesh.

(*) Made him Governor of all things both in heaven and in earth; so that Christ's body is now only there, or else it should not be a true body and his ascension should be but a fantastical thing and only imagined.
(z) To be set on God's right hand, is to be a partaker of the sovereignty which he hath over all creatures.


 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and domination, and every (a) Name, that is named, not in this world only, but also in that which is to come,


(a) Everything whatsoever it be, or above all things be they of never such power or excellency.


 22  (21) (*) And hath made all things subject under his feet, and hath given him over all things to be the (b) head to the Church,


(21) That we should not think that the excellent glory of Christ is a thing wherewith we have nought to do, he witnesseth, that he was appointed of God the Father as head of all the Church, and therefore the body must be joined to his head, which otherwise should be a maimed thing without the members; which notwithstanding, is not of necessity (seeing that the Church is rather quickeneth and sustained by the only virtue of Christ, so far off is it, that he needeth the fullness thereof) but of the infinite goodwill and pleasure of God, who vouchsafeth to join us to his Son.

(*) Psalm 8:8; Hebrews 2:8 .
(b) Insomuch that there is nothing but is subject to him.


 23 Which is his body, even the (c) (*) fullness of him that filleth all in all things.


(c) For the love of Christ is so great towards the Church, that though he do fully satisfy all with all things, yet he esteemeth himself but a maimed and imperfect head, unless he have the Church joined to him as his body.

(*) This is the great love of Christ toward his Church that he counteth not himself perfect without us which are his members; and therefore the Church is also called Christ as 1 Corinthians 12:12 .




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