Ephesians Sentence by Sentence: 1:7-10

Ἐν ᾧ ἔχομεν τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν διὰ τοῦ αἳματος αὐτοῦ τὴν ἄφεσιν τῶν παραπτωμάτων κατὰ τὸ πλοῦτος τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ ἧς ἐπερίσσευσεν εἰς ἡμᾶς ἐν πάσῃ σοφίᾳ καὶ φρονήσει γνωρίσας ἡμῖν τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ κατὰ τὴν εὐδοκίαν αὐτοῦ ἣν προέθετο ἐν αὐτῷ εἰς οἰκονομίαν τοῦ πληρώματος τῶν καιρῶν ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι τὰ πάντα ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ τὰ ἐπὶ τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἐν αὐτῷ. In the one whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions in accordance with the richness of his grace that abounds in us, he made known to us the mystery of his will in all wisdom and understanding in accordance with his good will that he set forth in him for an administration of the fullness of the times to sum up all things in Christ, all things in the heavens and all things on the earth in him.

In vv. 7-10, Paul actually continues from what he wrote in v. 6. In fact, it is arguable that this sentence (vv. 7-10) is actually part of the same sentence in vv. 3-6. The opening words Ἐν ᾧ tie this sentence (if we stick with the punctuation provided by Nesle Aland in the 27th edition) in with ἐν τῷ ἠγαπημένῳ from the previous sentence. Therefore, Paul is further discussing the person of Jesus Christ.

It is in Jesus Christ (dative of sphere) that we have redemption, and this redemption is provided by his blood (genitive of means). What is this redemption? It is the release from captivity (BDAG). Paul is specifically writing about the forgiveness (release of captivity) of transgressions. The word παράπτωμα has the idea of erroneous slips, but these slips can be willful or accidental (Liddell-Scott); the word can mean transgression, and it bears the idea of simply crossing the boundaries or stepping over the boundaries, which can be done willfully or accidentally. Transgression is thus trespassing—stepping over the boundary of a designated area that one is not to enter or cross into, whether intentionally or not. In the person of Jesus Christ, Paul states that we have been ransomed in full—our fines for trespassing have been completely paid—and this forgiveness is in line with the richness of his grace.

The grace of Jesus abounds in Paul and the recipients. The word ἐπερισσεύω means to have more than enough (Liddell-Scott), indicating that the grace that is within Paul and his recipients is more than enough to cover their transgressions.

God now becomes the center of the focus of Paul’s words. It is God who makes his will known—even though it is a mystery to us, and he has made it known to us in all wisdom and understanding. The phrase ἐν πάσῃ σοφίᾳ καὶ φρονήσει is a dative of means, and therefore we see that God has made his will known to us by means of wisdom and understanding. It is by wisdom and understanding that we know God’s will. God made his will known to us in accordance with his good will or intention. That good will was set forth or displayed in the person of Jesus Christ (again, dative of sphere).

God set forth his good will in Christ for an administration of the fullness of the times. What in the world does that mean? I’m glad you asked, let me tell you. The word οἰκονομία is not administration here, but plan (Liddell-Scott). God has ordered a specific plan in which it will come to a full and complete end (i.e., fullness of the times). This plan is significantly tied in with God’s making the mystery of his will known to Paul and the recipients. Evidently, this plan is part of the mystery. However, it is in Christ that this mysterious plan is summed up. The word ἀνακεφαλαιόω is an infinitive that indicates means. Christ is the means by which God sums up all things, both in heaven and on earth. We see more datives of sphere, where the two spheres—the heavenly and the earthly—are brought together in another sphere—Jesus Christ. Paul is emphatically demonstrating that Christ is the one in whom all things will be summed up or brought together in the end—i.e., everything will find its conclusion in him.

In the one whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions in accordance with the richness of his grace, which overflows in us, he made known to us the mystery of his will through all wisdom and understanding in accordance with his good will that he displayed in him for a plan when the times are full to bring everything together in Christ, all things in the heavens and all things on the earth in him.

The blood of Jesus Christ is the source of our redemption–the release from captivity. This redemption is in line with the overflowing grace of Jesus that is in us. We have all the grace we need to redeem us from our transgressions and then some left over. No transgression of ours is not covered in the grace of Christ. Furthermore, God has made known his good purposes and plans in the person of Jesus Christ, the one in whom we are identified to be in. It is in Christ that all things will be brought together. All things in heaven, and all things on earth will be brought together in Christ when time has reached its fullness.

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