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You Can Memorize the First Chapter of Ephesians in 17 Days. This Book Will Be Yo

You Can Memorize the First Chapter of Ephesians in 17 Days. This Book Will Be Your Guide.

Copyright

You Can Memorize the First Chapter of Ephesians in 17 Days. This Book Will Be Your Guide.

Copyright 2016 Joshua Nickel

website: joshuanickel.com

email: [email protected]

All rights reserved.

Shakespir Edition

Contents

Introduction

DAY 1

DAY 2

DAY 3

DAY 4

DAY 5

DAY 6

DAY 7

DAY 8

DAY 9

DAY 10

DAY 11

DAY 12

DAY 13

DAY 14

DAY 15

DAY 16

DAY 17

[]Introduction

You can memorize the first chapter of Ephesians in 17 days. This book with be your guide. In this book, I will give you a small part of Ephesians 1 to memorize each day. I’ll also talk you through the process. Consider this book as a kind of coach, offering tips, advice, and motivation along the way.

Right now you don’t need much motivation. You just need to say to yourself, “Sure, why not? I’ll give it a try.” Download this free ebook onto your phone or device and read the first chapter, Day 1.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never had a desire to memorize long portions of the Bible before. It doesn’t matter whether or not you think you can.

I know you can. I also hope that your desire will increase as you go along, and that after you have memorized Ephesians 1, you will go on to memorize the rest of Ephesians by yourself. After that, I don’t think you’ll be able to stop. You will look for the next long passage of Scripture that you want to commit to memory.

We will look at Ephesians 1 little by little. The text to be memorized each day will be in bold letters. I am going to do my best to break it down for you in a way that will make it easier to commit to memory.

The daily text will be repeated at the end of each chapter. Read it and recite it by memory as best you can. Try to recite it five times in a row. Maybe write it out on a piece of paper and keep it in your pocket all day. A few hours later, see if you can still recall it. If not, read it again and then recite it without looking. A few hours later, try to recall it again.

That’s all you will be doing, speaking a few lines out loud periodically throughout the day, and referring to the text for help when you need it.

If you can recite the text without help by the end of the day, you’ve almost done it. The real test comes in the morning. When you wake up the next day, see if you can still recall your text from the day before. If so, good. Go on to the next day’s text. If you can’t remember it in the morning, just take another day with it.

You don’t have to finish in 17 days. You don’t have to finish at all. Remember, this wasn’t even your idea. It’s my idea. I’m the one who thinks you can do it. I also think you’ll enjoy it. The benefits of memorizing Scripture make it well worthwhile.

I’ll talk about some of those benefits later. Right now, I just need to convince you to say, “Sure, why not? I’ll give it a try.”

Later, I ‘m going to ask you to help me make this book more effective. There are a few questions you can answer at joshuanickel.com/ephesians-survey (I will share the link again at the end of the book).

Please consider taking the survey even if you don’t finish the book or memorize Ephesians 1. It will help me tremendously just to know how far you got.

How long did it take you to read this introduction? Three or four minutes? Each day’s chapter is about this long, and they get much shorter towards the end of the book. So it’s not a big commitment. Why not go ahead and get started? Make today Day 1.

[]DAY 1

We are going to start with Ephesian 1:3. Later on, we will go back and learn the greeting found in verses 1-2. We want to start with something that will be fun to ponder and repeat throughout the day, something more interesting than “Paul, an apostle, etc.” The greeting is important, of course, but we will get back to it later.

We are going to look at a relatively short portion today—just one verse. You will memorize longer portions later. On the first day we want to get a good taste of success. You will see how easy it is.

Here is the beginning of the verse:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

This is a great way to start a letter. Paul also begins 2 Corinthians this way, and Peter too, begins 1 Peter with these words. So, as soon as you have this phrase memorized, you will already have a bit of a head start memorizing those two letters as well.

You might already have this phrase memorized just by virtue of reading it. It’s simple. Say it out loud:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

The thing about this phrase is that it’s always a good time to say it. Don’t be surprised if it comes out of your mouth spontaneously sometimes. Just say it at random times throughout the day today. You may be accustomed to sometimes saying “Praise the Lord” or “Thank you Jesus,” perhaps when you are praying. Just add this phrase to your list of things to say when you pray.

One of the benefits of memorizing Scripture is that you always have something good to say. When you are praying, you can pray the Scriptures. When you are thinking unwanted, negative thoughts, replace them by reciting Scripture. It’s hard to think negative thoughts while your saying, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The rest of the verse continues the idea of blessing, but in this case, it’s the Father who has blessed us.

Here is the opening phrase again, followed by the rest of the verse:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

Look at how the blessing comes right back at you. Blessed be God…who has blessed us.

As soon as you bless God, you are immediately reminded that He blesses you back. And not only that, but God blessed you first. It’s in the past tense. He has blessed us.

This verse introduces three important themes that will be repeated throughout the letter of Ephesians.

The first theme is spiritual blessings. Ephesians 6 is known for it’s teaching about spiritual warfare (see Ephesians 6:10-20), but much of the letter is about spiritual blessings. Just reading this letter brings spiritual blessings. To be able to recite it to yourself by heart is to ponder the wealth of blessing that is yours in Christ.

Which spiritual blessings are we talking about, exactly? All of them. Every one. God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.

The second theme that is mentioned here is the heavenly places. We will see this phrase again as we learn Ephesians 1, and you will encounter it again as you read the rest of the letter.

The third theme is in Christ. This idea gets repeated a lot, especially in these opening verses.

Watch out for the double use of the word in: in the heavenly places in Christ.

Here’s another thing that might help you remember this verse. The idea of blessing is repeated three times. Read this verse out loud again with the emphasis on the words blessed and blessing:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who has blessed us

with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

So there’s your first verse. You probably have it just about memorized already. But remember, it’s not really yours to keep unless you can recite it by heart after a night of sleep.

So say it frequently throughout the day today, and try to say it without looking at it when you wake up in the morning. If you can recite it by memory, even with a little difficulty, proceed to Day 2. If not, just take another day with it. Take two more days if you want. It’s not a race.

So what does this verse really mean?

I’m just here to help you memorize it. Maybe after reciting it by heart for several days in a row you will have fresh insight into what it means. Then you can share your insight with me.

Here is today’s text one more time:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

[]DAY 2

Today you will be memorizing Ephesians 1:4. This verse is a continuation of the sentence that you began to memorize on Day 1. (In fact, in the English version we are using, verses 3-6 form one very long sentence.)

We are using the New King James Version, by the way. One of the first steps in memorizing a passage of the Bible is choosing a translation. When you just read a translation, you are making a very small commitment to that version of the New Testament. You can read several translations side by side.

Memorizing a particular translation, on the other hand, is a bigger commitment. But it’s not permanent. Once you have it memorized, you can change it to a different version. In the beginning, however, when memorizing a passage of the Bible, it is much easier if you say it exactly the same way every time. That means choosing a version and sticking with it for the time being.

Here is your text for today:

just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love

As you can see by the words just as, this idea follows directly from what was said in the previous verse. Read the two verses together so you can see how they are connected:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love

Just as He chose us points back to the idea that God has blessed us, and adds to it. Maybe it goes back even further and deeper. On Day 1, we saw that God blessed us before we blessed Him. Here we see that He also chose us before we chose Him. He has blessed usjust as He chose us.

In Him points back to the phrase in Christ. I said on Day 1 that “in Christ” is a theme that will get repeated a lot. Here it is again already.

Before the foundation of the world. That phrase will probably be easy to remember. We will soon see Paul pointing to the future ages. Here he points back to the foundation of the world. (Before the foundation, actually.) This gives us some idea of the breathtaking scope of this letter. Ephesians is really a “big picture” letter.

Let’s repeat the first half of today’s text one more time: just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.

And now the second half: that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.

You can replace without blame with the word blameless if you find it easier to say. (Holy and blameless before Him in love.) If it’s easier to say, it will be easier to memorize. Just be sure to say it the exact same way every time. Consistency is very important at the beginning. After you know the passage by heart, you can always change the wording as you find other translations that you like better.

Don’t leave off those last two words, in love. Those two words will push us on to the next part of this long sentence, as we will see on Day 3.

This verse is full of meaning. Think about it as you repeat it to yourself throughout the day. When memorizing verses, sometimes we think about what we are saying and sometimes we just repeat it with our mouths without really thinking about it. That’s fine. It’s necessary, even, in order to get it memorized. If you can get it memorized, you’ll have lots of time to think deeply about it for the rest of your life, and you won’t even need to look at it to recall it. It’ll be in your heart, and you’ll understand it more deeply every time it comes out of your mouth.

So, although you might have to repeat these words without thinking about them, some of the verses in this part of Ephesians are so deep and packed full of meaning that it may be easier to memorize them by thinking deeply about them while you recite them.

How many times do you have repeat a sentence before you know it by heart? Not a lot, as long as you keep coming back to it periodically throughout the day. Try to say this text five times without looking. Then wait about four or five hours and see how well you can still recall it.

Don’t forget to recite yesterday’s text a few times today.

Here is today’s text. I bet you almost have it memorized already:

just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love

[]DAY 3

By now you know verses 3 and 4 of the first chapter of Ephesians, and are reciting them once in while throughout the day. You may remember that the verses we are currently looking at (verses 3-6) form one long sentence in the King James Version.

Today we are just going to look at half a verse. (Tomorrow you are going to learn a somewhat longer section.) Here is the first half of verse 5:

having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself

The verse you learned yesterday ended with the words in love. These two words may help you remember today’s verse.

Here is the verse you learned yesterday:

just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love

Concerning those two words, in love, it’s hard to know for sure if they belong with the words that come before them (without blame before Him) or after them (having predestined us).

There are no comma’s in the Greek version. Translators must decide where to put the commas. In this case, the comma could go before the words in love:

that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us

Or it could go after the words in love:

that we should be holy and without blame before Him, in love having predestined us

It makes good sense either way, and the King James Version, which we are following, puts the comma after the words in love. I only mention this at all because dwelling on this kind of detail might help you remember the verse better.

God has predestined us to adoption as sons. The word sons refers to legal status according to the way that Greek word was commonly used. Adoption as sons is actually one word Greek. It does not refer to gender.

You could probably memorize a longer portion today, but you also have to continue to recite the words you learned on Day 1 and Day 2. In memorizing a long passage of Scripture, you have to find the balance between learning new verses and not forgetting the verses you’ve already learned.

Whenever you learn something new you will probably have to repeat it every single day at first, to make sure you don’t forget it. After a while you will just have to recite it once a week. Then once a month. After several months of that, you could probably keep a whole book of the Bible committed to memory by reciting it out loud just a few times a year.

But why would you want to do that? Once you have a long passage of the Bible memorized, I’m sure you will want to meditate on it frequently. That’s when you will really start to reap the greatest benefits of Bible memorization. (There are also more immediate benefits that you can already begin to enjoy. I’ll be talking more about these in the next few days.)

Let’s look at today’s text again. What makes it tricky to remember is the repetition of those small words: to…as…by…to. Here it is with those words in italics:

having predestined us

to adoption

as sons

by Jesus Christ

to Himself

[]DAY 4

The text you will memorize today is about the same length as the texts that you have been memorizing so far. Soon you will be dealing with longer portions.

Tomorrow, however, you will not learn anything new, you will just review what you have learned so far. So really, you have two days to master this section.

Remember, so far we have been looking at one very long sentence at the beginning of Ephesians. Today we come to the end of the sentence. Here is the rest of it:

according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.

Let’s break this section down into three smaller sections.

According to the good pleasure of His will. These words point back to what we learned on Day 3, that God has predestined us to adoption.

To the praise of the glory of His grace also points back to the same thing.

By which He has made us accepted in the Beloved refers to the just-mentioned grace.

So today you will memorize these three medium-sized phrases that get piled up on top of each other at the end of this very long sentence that you have now committed to memory. (Congratulations, by the way.)

Spend some extra time on the phrase good pleasure of His will, not only because it’s deep and meaningful, but also because Paul is introducing some vocabulary words that he will be repeating in the next few verses.

Good pleasure is one word in the Greek language. Here it is connected with the word will. We will soon see these words again in a different order and connected in a different way. We will also see some very similar words (purpose and counsel) thrown into the mix.

This kind of thing makes memorizing Bible verses tricky. To memorize large portions of the Bible, you have to get down into the details.

Also, as I mentioned before, you have to pick a translation and stick with it. Later, you might find translations that use words other than good pleasure and will and purpose and counsel. You might like those words better and start to use them instead. You will be able to do that if you master this version first.

Another thing that makes memorizing Bible verses tricky is when different verses say very similar things—very similar, but not exactly the same.

For example, today you are memorizing this phrase: to the praise of the glory of His grace.

In the coming days you will encounter the following phrase twice: to the praise of His glory.

That’s very similar, but slightly different. These kinds of things get mixed up pretty easily, but they don’t have to. Spend some time today to get it fixed in your head: the first time this phrase appears, Paul adds the word grace to the end of it. To the praise of the glory of His grace.

At this point you may want to ask if it is really necessary to keep these things from getting mixed up. It doesn’t affect the overall meaning of the passage in any noticeable way. Maybe these phrases are interchangeable, so why sweat the details? Why not just skip the difficult passages and memorize the easier passages?

It’s true that you could just memorize selected verses here and there, the verses of the Bible that are often highlighted, the sections that are frequently quoted in sermons. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about keeping the details straight in some of the lesser-known verses.

There are benefits, however, to memorizing chapters and even books of the Bible in their entirety. One of these benefits is the way it affects your attitude toward the Bible.

In approaching Ephesians, for example, you are not picking and choosing which words are more worthy of your consideration than others are. You are receiving the whole letter as one very important message, not a collection of edifying sentences. That’s how the Ephesian believers first received this letter, clinging to every word. They persevered the whole letter for us, not just their favorite parts.

Memorizing long passages means coming to the Word of God with humility and submitting to the details, even when they seem irrelevant. And it means doing this even though you know that no English translation is going to exactly match the original Greek version and that every translation has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Doing this will deepen your love and appreciation for the part of the Bible that you are memorizing, and it will open your heart to fresh insight. I am going to talk more about these benefits in the coming days.

Today you have the chance to finish the sentence that you began to memorize a few days ago. Learn the rest of that sentence and tomorrow we will look at it one more time in its entirety. Then you will have had a good taste of Bible-memorization and you will decide if you want to keep going and learn all of Ephesians 1.

So here again are your 27 words for today:

according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.

[]DAY 5

So far you have memorized four verses of Ephesians, verses that make up one sentence in the English version. Now you will want to strengthen your grip on what you have already taken hold of, so that you will be able to recite it at will for the rest of your life.

That’s what you are going to do today. You’re not going to memorize anything new. You’re going to recite what you have already learned a few times throughout the day. Soon you will find that you only need to recite it every other day, then once a week, then once a month. It depends on how confident you are that you know it by heart.

Whether or not you continue on with the rest of Ephesians 1, you should feel good about what you have done in a few days. You have committed Ephesians 1:3-6 to memory. These are powerful words that have changed many lives over the centuries, and you have digested them in a new and lasting way.

You have probably passed these words many times as you have read through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. You have probably stopped to consider them on some occasions, being struck by their beauty. At other times you may have rushed through them because you wanted to finish a certain number of chapters in one day.

Now you have stopped to pick them up. You have interacted with them in a new way. You can feed yourself on these words anywhere, anytime. You can quickly recite this passage on a whim, or you can take your time with it, pondering every word, saying it like you mean it.

You may still have to recite this passage once a day for a few days more, in order to fix it firmly in your mind. You will have to do this even while learning new verses every day. This is something that slows you down as you memorize long passages of Scripture: learning new stuff while making sure you don’t forget what you’ve already learned. The other thing that slows you down is that your mind gets tired and needs to rest.

Eventually you will determine for yourself how fast you will be able to proceed. For this book, I have taken 17 days to encourage you to memorize 23 verses. After you finish this book you will set your own pace.

I do hope you will continue to the end of these 17 days. To that end, let me quickly point out a couple more benefits of memorizing Scripture.

For one thing, it slows you down and forces you to study the text more closely than you do when you are just reading it. You will notice things in the Bible that you never noticed before. You will wonder why things are said in one particular way and not another. You will gain fresh insight into the Word of God.

Another benefit is that it keeps you coming back to the Word of God throughout the day. This forms a habit, and it’s a very good habit. The words that you memorize will become dear to you and you will cling more closely to them than ever before. You’ll get used to having the Word of God in your mind and on your mouth, and you won’t want to spend too much time away from it.

Having said that, I hope to see you again tomorrow. Today, I want to give a quick overview of the Ephesians 1, so you can see where you are and where you will be going.

After the opening greeting, which you will memorize later, the rest of Ephesians 1 can be divided into two sections. The first section (Ephesians 1:3-13) is what you have been working on so far. In it, Paul opens his letter with a long profound blessing, reminding his readers about the gospel they had received and believed.

Ephesians 1:3-14 is made up of four very long sentences. You have just memorized the first of the four. The next three sentences all begin with the words in Him. That’s going to help you keep your place as you recite this section. (By the way, we are lucky that the English language enables us to break this passage up into four sentences. In the original Greek version, these eleven verses make up one very long sentence.)

Ephesians 1:15-23 make up the second half of the chapter. (It’s not exactly half. It’s shorter than the first section.) In this section, Paul describe the prayer that he prayers for the Ephesian believers. This passage is probably more familiar to Christians than the first half of Ephesians. You may have part of it somewhat memorized already by virtue of having read it often.

That familiarity, along with the practice you are getting now, means that things are going to get easier as you go along.

Below is the section you have memorized so far. Don’t look at it now. First, see if you can recite it by memory without looking. Then look and see if you made any mistakes. Perhaps you will have dropped a word or two. Perhaps you will get stuck at one point and have to peek. If so, this will let you know what part you need to work on today.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.

[]DAY 6

So far you have memorized one sentence from Ephesians. But what a sentence! It’s the first of four amazing sentences that make up the opening section of Paul’s letter.

As you are proceed to the learn the next sentence, you are going to start taking bigger bites. Today you have 31 words to commit to memory. Here they are:

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence

In Him marks the start of a new sentence. In the sentence which you have already learned, Paul talked about our being blessed in Christ and chosen in Him. Now he will go on to describe some of these blessings, repeating the words in Him.

So, when you are reciting Ephesians 1, and you get to the end of that first long sentence, you will need to remember what comes next. If you can’t remember, ask yourself, “What’s the next thing that Paul says we have in Him?”

The answer is redemption through His blood.

Like many writers, Paul sometimes says a phrase and then immediately says it another way so as to give a fuller definition of it. This is what he does here. After saying redemption through His blood, he adds these words: the forgiveness of sins.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. With these words Paul has laid a strong foundation, on which he will proceed to build an imposing structure, a revelation-packed sentence.

Paul begins to build on his foundation using one of his connecting words, translated in English as according to.

In this case, it’s according to the riches of His grace.

Having arrived at this important word, grace, Paul is certainly not going to stop there. He is going to use another connecting word to build on the idea of grace. In this case, the connecting word is which.

His grace which He made to abound toward us.

You may remember, from memorizing the previous section, that Paul used a phrase, in love, that could refer back to what he had just said or it could refer to what he was about to say. He does the same thing here. He says, in all wisdom and prudence.

We are going to follow the New King James Version and take this phrase, in all wisdom and prudence, as describing how God has made His grace abound toward us. However, it could also be referring to the next part of Paul’s sentence, which you will learn tomorrow. This double-reference may help you to connect what you learn today with what you will learn tomorrow.

Prudence is an old-fashioned word. You can replace it with understanding if you want to. But consider keeping it. It’s a lovely word and it fits well with what Paul is saying. It is possible for understanding to take place only in your mind, but prudence can’t help but to include your behavior as well.

As you recite this phrase throughout the day, you may notice a pattern. The important words are set in pairs, thus making four pairs of words, with the fourth pair taking a little bit longer to get to. This creates, in the English version, a pleasant-sounding rhythm, which might make it easier to memorize.

So here is today’s phrase again with the word pairs put in italics:

In Him we have redemption through His blood,

the forgiveness of sins,

according to the riches of His grace

which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence

[]DAY 7

Yesterday we saw that Paul began a sentence by laying a foundation—in Him—upon which he began to build, using pairs of words.

Today you are going to learn the rest of that sentence. You are going to memorize 51 words today, words like mystery and dispensation, and phrases like the fullness of the times.

This sentence is so profound that I think it’s safe to say to nobody—no theologian, prophet, or mystic, not Paul himself—nobody has exhausted the full meaning of what is being said in this sentence. Yet the essence of it is so simple that a child can grasp it: Jesus is above all things, He is super-important in every way, and this is what God wants.

Here are your 51 words. By the end of the day, you will know these words by heart:

having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.

The tricky part of this passage is the first half. There are some similar words—will, good pleasure, and purpose—that are put together in a string. The difficulty is in keeping them in the right order.

First, God’s will is mentioned. Not just His will, actually, but the mystery of His will.

Then good pleasure, which we have seen before, in the previous section.

Then purpose. But here it is not used as a noun, but as a verb: He purposed in Himself.

having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,

It may be tempting to stop there for the day, but the rest of this sentence is too good to keep waiting for another day. Everything Paul has said so far has been building up to this.

This part will probably be easier and more fun to memorize than a lot of other passages. It will be even more enjoyable now that you have memorized everything that comes before it. One of the benefits of memorizing long passages of the Bible is that you get to know the more familiar and often-quoted verses in their original context—their natural environment, if you will.

Having said that, I have to point out that this is not the most well-known verse in Ephesians. There are probably at least five more well-known passages. Still, what is said here is very important. It should be a joy to commit this to memory and train your mind to think about it often.

that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.

Paul ends this sentence by repeating the phrase that began it, in Him. This is a fitting reminder that Christ is the beginning and the end, the foundation of the building and its capstone.

Below is your passage broken down line by line. By the way, tomorrow you will not memorize anything new. It will be a day for taking a step back and looking forward. You are about to make greater and greater strides.

having made known to us the mystery of His will,

according to His good pleasure

which He purposed in Himself,

that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times

He might gather together in one all things in Christ,

both which are in heaven and which are on earth

in Him.

[]DAY 8

We’re almost done with the first half of Ephesians 1. You have a couple more sentences to memorize and then you will go on to the second half of Ephesians 1.

The second “half” is actually shorter than the previous section. Also, it’s probably more familiar to you, and therefore easier to memorize.

The more familiar you are with a passage, the easier it is to memorize. In fact, there may be some passages of the Bible that you could quote fairly accurately off the top of your head, not because you made a conscious effort to memorize them, but just because you have heard them and read them so often.

If that is indeed the case, then that means that you have familiarized yourself with certain parts of the Bible, and familiarizing is at least half way to memorizing.

Whether or not you happen to know any Bible verses that well, there are probably some songs that you know all the lyrics to, even though you have never tried to memorize the lyrics. This is the same principle. You’ve become familiar with the song, and familiarizing is like memorizing through the back door. It’s memorizing without the pressure to memorize.

When you memorize whole chapters of the Bible at a time, however, there are going to be verses that you are less familiar with. There are going to be parts that aren’t as fun to repeat over and over again. Planning ahead makes these parts easier to memorize and less intimidating. Plan ahead and familiarize yourself with the text before you even try to memorize it.

That’s what we are going to begin to do today with Ephesians 1:11-14.

Here it is. Read it without the pressure to memorize it, and then we will make a plan for how to tackle it.

In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

In preparing to memorize a passage, you want to first understand the structure of the passage and look for a pattern. Fortunately, there is a clear pattern in the two sentences above. They both begin with in Him and end with to the praise of His glory.

It will also help to see the reasoning behind what is being said. If you understand why Paul is saying what he’s saying, if you can see what he’s getting at, then memorizing will come easier.

In the first sentence, Paul repeats some of the ideas that he has already mentioned. He begins, though, with a new idea: inheritance. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance. This idea is very memorable, however, so it should stick in your mind easily.

Obtained an inheritance.

Obtained an inheritance.

You probably have it memorized already!

The next part is trickier, because Paul uses words that are very similar to one another. Also, he has already used some of these words together in a different order.

First, he mentions predestination with the phrase being predestined. Paul used this word once before in the part you have already memorized. This will be easy. Predestined is a big word, and big words are easier to remember, especially ones like this, with their own distinct identity.

The next line, however, contains three smaller words that are all more or less synonymous. Those words are purpose, counsel, and will: according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will

In and of itself, that line is not hard to memorize. What might make it intimidating is that you have already memorized a couple of similar lines.

On Day 4 you memorized this line: according to the good pleasure of His will.

Then, on Day 7, you memorized this line: having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself.

And soon (tomorrow) you will have to memorize this line: according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.

This is not as hard as it seems. It would indeed be difficult if you were going to be expected to speak those three lines off the top of your head, one after another. But that would be to pull them out of context and put them next to each other. You won’t have to do that.

You will know each of these lines in their own setting. When you recite Ephesians 1 from beginning to end, these lines will present themselves to your memory when their proper moment arrives.

That doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to pull them out of context. You may find that, if you want to quote a certain verse by heart, first you have to back up to the beginning of the paragraph in which that verse appears.

The next sentence in this passage (verses 13-14) also has its own logic, which will make it easier to memorize. We will familiarize ourselves with that sentence tomorrow. This has been a long lesson already.

Memorize nothing new today. Either review what you have already learned or rest your mind, whichever seems best to you.

[]DAY 9

Remember the text that we became familiar with yesterday:

In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Yesterday we looked at that first sentence. Today we will look at the next one.

Paul is getting ready to move on to the next half of Ephesians 1, where he will tell the believers that he has been informed about them and that he prays for them. So he addresses them here and reminds them that they have heard and believed the gospel.

You can see that he ended that first sentence with these words: so that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

Now he will shift from we to you: In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.

He had introduced the idea of obtaining an inheritance. He will now expand on that concept: in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession

Then, as we observed yesterday, Paul ends this sentence like he ended the previous one: to the praise of His glory.

Now, perhaps, you are a bit more familiar with Ephesians 1:11-14 than you were two days ago. Now you are going to memorize these four verses. That’s 94 words in one day.

You can do this.

Here is is broken down line by line. Also, since both of these sentence begin with in Him and end with to the praise of His glory, I will put those words in italics.

In Him also we have obtained an inheritance,

being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will

so that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

In Him you also trusted

after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation

in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise

who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession

to the praise of His glory.

[]DAY 10

You now have twelve verses of Ephesians committed to memory, more or less. If you still struggle with a word or two, if you still have to look at the text sometimes, that’s fine. Just keep going. You can always come back and fix it up later.

Today you are going to learn a short portion, the first two verses of Ephesians.

Maybe it’s not the most exciting part of Ephesians, but you will want to know it well.

Hopefully, you will go on and memorize rest of Ephesians. Eventually you will know the whole letter by heart, and you will want to recite it to yourself for your own spiritual benefit.

You will want to start strong. You will want the first couple of verses to roll right off your tongue. That will give you momentum. If, on the other hand, you stumble over the introduction and have to look it up, that will slow you down and possibly discourage you.

So here are the opening words of Ephesians.

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus.

You may notice that first he speaks of Jesus Christ, and then of Christ Jesus. Little differences like that add up after a while. Keeping them straight can be a challenge. Do the best you can and keep moving forward.

Here is the passage again. Work on this today, and I think it’s going to get easier from here. The rest of Ephesians 1 is probably easier to memorize for various reasons. Plus, you’re getting better at this.

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus.

[]DAY 11

Since you have made it this far, I’m pretty sure you will finish. However, you might find that your mind is getting tired. That’s normal. Your brain is getting a workout.

Don’t worry about finishing in 17 days. It may take longer.

As a reminder of why you are doing this, I want to share with you this quote from New Testament scholar N. T. Wright. This is from his book Paul: Fresh Perspectives. He talks about the adventure of thinking Paul’s thoughts after him. That’s what you’re doing. That’s why your memorizing all of Ephesians 1 (and the whole letter of Ephesians eventually, I hope).

Here is what Wright said about closely following Paul’s reasoning:

“I have to say that for me there has been no more stimulating exercise, for the mind, the heart, the imagination and the spirit, than trying to think Paul’s thoughts after him and constantly to be stirred up to fresh glimpses of God’s ways and purposes with the world and with us strange human creatures.”

Now, here is the part of Ephesians that you are going to memorize today. This introduces the next section of Ephesians 1, Paul’s prayer for the saints. You will not only be thinking Paul’s thoughts after him, you will be praying his prayers.

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers

Here it is again broken into four lines. I put the words faith and love in italics because I think it might help you to remember this verse.

Therefore I also,

after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus

and your love for all the saints,

do not cease to give thanks for you,

making mention of you in my prayers

[]DAY 12

Today you will begin to memorize Paul’s prayer for the saints in Ephesus. You might want to take two days with today’s text. Maybe memorize half today and half tomorrow. Maybe just look at it today and memorize it tomorrow.

that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe

Remember the first line from Ephesians 1 that you memorized back on Day 1: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s words here resemble that line: the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory.

Next, Paul describes what he is asking for: may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened

Then he lists three results of this revelation:

that you may know what is the hope of His calling,

what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe

In the upcoming verses, Paul will expand on that last thing he mentioned, His power toward us who believe.

Here is today’s (and tomorrow’s) text one more time:

that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of glory,

may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,

the eyes of your understanding being enlightened;

that you may know what is the hope of His calling,

what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe

[]DAY 13

You are going to finish memorizing Ephesians 1. There are just a few more lines left, and they are easy.

You will also go on to memorize other passages of Scripture. (Maybe after taking a break first.) I am confident of this because the benefits of memorizing Scripture are so wonderful.

Joshua 1:8 records what God said to Joshua when he became the leader of Israel: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

God was referring to the books that Moses wrote, but the same promise is true for all the Word of God. Keep it in your mouth and in your heart, and “you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

[]DAY 14

As you finish memorizing Ephesians 1, you want to finish strong. You don’t want to know the first half of the chapter very well and know the second half poorly.

In today’s text, Paul goes on to talk about the power of God at work in Christ, so he uses a lot of power words.

according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places

Notice that phrase in the heavenly places. Paul began with that phrase back in Ephesians 1:3, where he said that God has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”

Here again is your text for today:

according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places

[]DAY 15

Today you will memorize this line:

far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

Your main focus will probably be on that list of four similar words: principality and power and might and dominion.

The rest is easy.

Here is the text again:

far above all principality and power and might and dominion,

and every name that is named,

not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

[]DAY 16

By now you know what it takes to memorize a chapter of the Bible. You know how long it takes you, how often you have to repeat it when first learning it, and how long you can go before you need to recite it again.

You also have a sense of when your brain needs a rest. There are times when memorizing is a struggle and other times when it comes easy.

Don’t just recite Bible verses during the times when it seems to come easy. Don’t just do it when you are in the mood. Do it regularly, whether you feel like it or not. Develop the habit. Push through when you are tired. This will strengthen your grip on the Word of God.

If you are ready to learn one more verse, proceed to Day 17 and be finished.

[]DAY 17

Here are the final words of Ephesians 1. Learn them well and meditate on them for the rest of your life:

And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Perhaps you can help me make this guide better for the next people who read it. Perhaps you can encourage me by reporting your success. Take a few seconds and answer three anonymous multiple-choice questions at joshuanickel.com/ephesians-survey.

Thank you and God bless with good success as you meditate on His Word.


You Can Memorize the First Chapter of Ephesians in 17 Days. This Book Will Be Yo

  • Author: Joshua Nickel
  • Published: 2016-02-08 09:50:11
  • Words: 8965
You Can Memorize the First Chapter of Ephesians in 17 Days. This Book Will Be Yo You Can Memorize the First Chapter of Ephesians in 17 Days. This Book Will Be Yo