Before looking at specific verses, one should first look at Ephesians 1:3-14 as a whole. How truly enthralling this passage is!
First, the most amazing feature of this passage is that in the Greek it is one sentence. In one long, flowing sentence, Paul pours out his heart in praise to God for what He has done. He just goes on and on, moving from one topic to another. After some thirty years of knowing and serving Christ, Paul was truly carried away with these thoughts. Commentator William Hendrickson writes: “The sentence . . . rolls on like a snowball tumbling down a hill, picking up volume as it descends. Its . . . words, and the many modifiers which they form, arranged like shingles on a roof or like steps on a stairway, are like prancing steeds pouring forward with impetuous speed.”
To use an Old Testament title, we might observe that if anything could be called “The Psalm of Paul,” it is this passage.
Tragically, most modern English translations destroy the primary point of this passage by dividing it up into several sentences. The popular NIV, for example, breaks the flow with eight sentences (even worse, two others use eighteen!). The tragedy of this is that the passage is purposefully one sentence because it presents one main thought, which is stated in verse 3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The rest of the passage goes on to support that main idea. Dividing the passage into several sentences destroys this purpose by making all the separate sentences equal to each other. Verse 3 is no longer the main idea; it’s simply one among many and equal to all the others. As we’ll see in our next installment, the point of verse 3 is worship, and everything flows from that.
Second, this “psalm of praise” divides itself into three distinct parts. While Paul is captivated by what God has done, he has not lost control. As always, he still presents truth systematically. This great “psalm” (“doxology,” or “song of praise”) contains three “stanzas:”
· First Stanza (vs. 4‑6) – Focuses on God the Father and speaks of past ELECTION.
· Second Stanza (vs. 7‑12) – Focuses on God the Son and speaks of present REDEMPTION.
· Third Stanza (vs. 13‑14) ‑ Focuses on God the Holy Spirit and speaks of future INHERITANCE.
As we progress, we’ll see that each stanza can be separated into specific statements that express Paul’s thoughts.
Third, we also see that each “stanza” demonstrates that specific riches come from each specific member of the Godhead: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It is this truth that we shall examine as we progress.
Again, in one beautifully flowing sentence, Paul exalts God for what He has done for man in Christ. As one expositor writes: “The lofty terms in which he extols the grace of God toward the Ephesians, are intended to rouse their hearts to gratitude, to set them all on flame, to fill them even to overflowing with this thought.”