After all the observations and bombarding the passage with the 5 W’s questions, and determining what the passage says, we then move on to the stage of interpretation: what does the passage mean? Many times this becomes obvious through the observations we make. Other times it takes a little more digging. The more observations we make, the more accurate our interpretation will be. Once we have determined what the passage means (what it meant to the original audience, as it will never mean now what it never meant then), then we can check commentaries to see if our interpretation is correct or off the mark. But it is good to not use commentaries until we’ve done the hard work ourselves of determining the meaning.
When we have determined the meaning of the passage, from careful observation and looking at it in context, we see what principles are in this passage that are timeless. That is, principles that were true for the original audience that are also true for us. This helps us to make application from the passage from the timeless principle. A word of caution here. Not every passage is going to have application in the sense of telling us what to do or how to live. Sometimes the application of a passage may simply be showing us Who God is or part of His character. The application of that helps us to live in light of Who we know God to be.
So what is Ephesians 1 telling us? A summary statement for the chapter could be something like this: God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing. The chapter then goes into detail on what some of these blessings are. How do we then take that and apply it? Application will be different for each person. There is only one meaning, but multiple applications. Here are some ideas to get you thinking in regards to personal application for this chapter:
-How does knowing our forgiveness and inheritance cause us to live differently? What impact does that cause in my daily life?
-Who can you pray for with the prayer Paul used? How are you praying this for yourself?
Monday Meat will return in 3 weeks and we will look at Ephesians 2.