Ephesians: Introduction

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Ephesians: Exciting! Intriging! and Down Right heart warming! Just try to imagine all the “riches we have in Christ” and it might well drive you to tears…

I hope you will enjoy this commentary as much as I am in writing this and studying this deep book of the Bible.

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As part of the introductory comments, I want to say that this book is deep and will take much prayer from me and from you so we will understand:

  • what it means to be born again,

  • what it means to be one in Christ,

  • what is means to be in the Body of Christ,

  • what is means to be a Christian

 

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Background

Purpose:

To help believers understand what we are/have in Christ and to live that out for the bettering (if that is a word?) of the Body of Christ

Author:

Paul

Key Verse(s):

Eph 2:1-2     As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.    

Book Breakdown:

Chapters 1-3: What we have in Christ

Chapter 1:

  • Verses 1-2: Paul’s Introduction
  • Verses 3-14: What we are/ have in Christ (hint: we have all! Col 2:9-10)
  • Verses 15-23 Paul’s prayer for understanding (so we understand this position v.3-14)

Chapter 2:  What we are/have in Christ–Position, Duty, Unity (What salvation is, what we are in salvation, how it is obtained, and what we are to do in salvation.  The Doctrine of Salvation)

  • Verses 1-3: What was (The Past)
  • Verses 4-6, 8-9: What is (The Present)
  • Verses 7, 10: What will be (The Future)
  • Verses 11-22: Unity, brought near only through Christ

Chapter 3: Paul’s prayer for understanding (The Parenthesis)

  • Verse 1: Beginning of Paul’s prayer
  • Verses 2-12: Explanation of Paul’s ministry and clarifying of “mystery”
  • Verses 13-14:  Reason for prayer
  • Verses 15-21: Prayer for the Ephesians

Chapters 4-6: How to live out our position (what we are/have in Christ)

Chapter 4: Moving from the doctrinal stage to application (Our Walk toward:)

  • Verses 1-2: The urging for true change and how this is accomplished (Humility)
  • Verses 3-6: Reason for Unity and how we are unified (Unity)
  • Verses 7-13: Maturity in the body of Christ with gifts given for this (Maturity)
  • Verses 14-16: Growth centered in the Gospel truth and the Head
  • Verses 17-24: Changing the way we live, from the unsaved the the saved
  • Verses 25-32: Practical examples of living

Chapter 5: What it means to Imitate Christ as God’s dearly loved children

  • Verses 1-5: Living a life of Love in the Lord
  • Verses 6-14: Living a life of Light in the Lord
  • Verses 15-20: Living a life of wisdom in the Lord
  • Verses 21-33: Living a life of submission

Chapter 6: Continuing the life of Submission and true strength for the battle

  • Verses 1-9: Continuing the life of Submission
  • Verses 10-17: True Strength to walk in Christ from Armor
  • Verses 18-24: Prayer, going from walking to kneeling

 

Chapters 1-3: Teaches Doctrine // Theological // What our new man is

Chapter 4-6: Teaches how to live  // Practicality (Christian Behavior) // What the new man does (starting in 4:17)

Book Introduction:

Paul, who wrote this book, most likely did not designate the book just to the Ephesians.  In many manuscripts the words: “To the saints in Ephesus”, does not appear.  Because there is no mention of a particular situation, many believe that this was designed to be cirrculated among the churches in Asia Minor.   Ephesus was the “epi-center” so to speak, and the capital of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and became the central city for Paul’s letter which may have been why it received the designation of: “To the saints in Ephesus”.

In Acts 18:18-23, Paul came to Ephesus with Prscilla and Aquilla on his second missionary jouney but did not stay for very long and on his third trip he managed to stay three years (Acts 19:1-41).   After the uproar from Demetrius the “silversmith who made silver shines of Diana” (Acts 19: 4-5), Paul left and went to Macedonia (Acts 20:1).  It does appear that when Paul wrote this letter, he did not address any specific problems with the Ephesians even though he wrote Timothy who was a pastor there aprroximately a year and a half addressing some issues: false teaching (1Tim 1:3, 20), marriage and abstaining from certain foods (1Tim 4:3).  Later, in Revelation John wrote a letter from Christ regarding this church indicating the people left their first love (Rev 2:1-7).

Date Written:  60-62

From prison in Rome: See Eph 3:1, Acts 28:16-31 and often referred to as the “prison Epistle” along with Phillipians, Colosians, and Philemon.

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Chapters 1-3 Introduction:

Paul begins this book like many other books that he has written with a greeting (Eph 1:1-2).  Paul clarifies who he is in this initial statement by telling them that he is the apostle of Christ Jesus, by God’s will, and not his own.  

He then begins by giving all the “praise” (Eph 1:3) to God  for all our blessings.  Paul breaks down for us what God did for us by stating that He chose us (Eph 1:4), predestined us to be adopted as His sons (Eph 1:5), lets us know we have redemption, and forgiveness of sins (Eph 1:7), reminds us of our inderitance (Eph 1:11), and tells us of our sealing from the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13-14).

With all this in mind, Paul gives thanks, and remembers them in his prayers asking for them to have a spirit of wisdom and understanding so that we may know Him better (Eph 1:15-18).  Lastly in chapter one, we are told about the power we have “for us who believe” (Eph 1:19-22).

Now, in chapter two, what is discussed refers us back to the beginning before our salvation when we were “dead in” our “trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1).  Throughout this chapter, the use of what we were is basically stated in several ways but with an explanation as to how we were saved (Eph 2:2-10).  We are told we were “foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world” (Eph 2:12), “but now in Christ Jesus you who were once far away have been brought near” (Eph 2: 13).  “For through him [Christ] we…have access to the Father…” (Eph 2:18).  Now that we are “fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household” (Eph 2:19), we are “…being built together to become a dwelling place in which God lives by his Spirit” (Eph 2:22).

Next in chapter 3, he assumes that they have heard about the “administration of God’s grace that was given to” him.  He talks about the mystery that he already writen.  He tells them that the “mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus” (Eph 3:1-6).  Paul became the “servant of this gospel…although [he is] less than the least of all God’s people…and to make plain to everyone…this mystery…” and that it was “kept hidden in God…His intent” was that “through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be make known…” (Eph 3:7-11)

Paul again prays that “out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power though his Spirit in your inner being” and that they would “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge…” (Eph 3:12-19).  Ending his prayer, the glory goes to Jesus “for ever and ever! Amen.” (Eph 3:20-21)

Chapters 4-6 Introduction:

After Paul completed his praise and some of what it mean to be “in Christ“, he moves to living out what we now know and should understand.  The reason for this is because of all that Christ has done and given us and what we have and are in Him, this should move us to serve God out of thankfulness, gratefulness, and love for all that has been accomplished.

Beginning with chapter four (4), that Paul reminds them that he is a “prisonor for the Lord” and urges them “to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Eph 4:1).  Throughout this chapter Paul gives them examples of what we need to do and how to behave such as: humility, patience, “bearing with one another in love“, “no longer live as the Gentiles do“, “put off falsehood“, “do not give the devil a foothold“, “do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths“, “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger“, and to “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just a in Christ God forgave you” (Eph 4:1-32).

Continuing the same theme for chapter five (5), Paul says to “be imitators of God…and live a life of love“.  He talks about impurity, greed, obscenity, joking, and empty words (in moral content) letting us know that due to “such things God’s wrath comes on those who” do such things.  Paul reminds us that we are the “light in the Lord” and to “live as children of the light“, “have nothing do do with fruitless deeds of darkness“, to “be very careful…how you live“, “don’t get drunk of wine“, “giving thanks to God the Father for everything“, and lastly “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Eph 5:1-21).

As the last instruction in chapter five (5), Paul picks up on the family and starts telling us what to do in this situation.  Begining with the wives, he instructs them to “submit to their husbands as to the Lord” (just as we submit to the Lord they should also submit to their husbands).  He explains the roles in the household just a bit (Eph 5:22-24).  Now as if the men would have something over their wives, Paul does not neglect to tell the husbands to “love your wives, just a Christ loved the church and ga ve himself up for her“.  This demands lots of responsibility, so husbands need to take “heed thereto according to thy word” (Psa 119: 9 KJV).  He speaks much more to the husbands knowing the great responsibility God has placed upon their shoulders.  Explaining this “profound mystery” you can see in this portion of the chapter how much God places on the husbands and wives.

Now for the final chapter, six (6), Pauls finishes exhorting the family by including children, slaves and their masters and ending with the armor of God.  Paul concludes this mighty book especially with the armor so we can “stand firm” in Christ and God.  Paul compares the soldier with the many aspects of God’s armor for the believers in Christ.  He starts with the “belt of truth“, continues on with “the breastplate of righteousness“, talks about our “feet” being “fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace“, tells us to “take up the shield of faith“, to put on the “helmet of salvation” and lastly to take our “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God“. 

Lastly Paul closes exhorting “peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 6: 23).

End…

About Ernest Grogg

First and foremost I am married to Olesya and looking forward to the rest of our lives together. Marriage is a journey and it is interesting and fun. Saved at the age of 25 and while salvation has been a challenge, God has always been faithful.

Comments

  1. Miranda says:

    What would be your next topic next week on your blog.;,~’.

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