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Introduction to the Books of the Bible

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Paul's Letter to the Ephesians




BOOK : Ephesians

Description : A letter of doctrine about the position of the believer and the nature of the church

Author: The apostle Paul

Date written : Probably about AD60

Chapters : 6



Brief Synopsis:


An amazingly compact small book of doctrine on who we are in Christ
•  The chosen, redeemed, spirit body of Christ
•  Those who were once objects of wrath, now made alive and seated with Christ
•  One body made up of Jews and Gentiles, the temple of God 's Spirit
•  Revealing God's wisdom, through the Gospel that was once a mystery
•  Called to live holy lives, as Jesus' gifted body
•  Submitting to one another, in families and in work
•  Holding our position in Christ against all spiritual enemies



Outline :


1:1-2 Greetings
1:3-14 The Divine Purpose: Blessings in Christ
1:15-23 Prayer Request 1: for wisdom, revelation & insight of who we are
Ch.2-3 Steps Toward the Fulfillment of God's Purpose
2:1-10 Made alive in Christ
2:11-18 Reconciliation of Jew and Gentile through the Cross
2:19-22 Unity of Jew and Gentile in God's Household
3:1-13 Revelation of God's Mystery, Wisdom through the Church
3:14-21 Prayer Request 2: for Deeper Experience of God's Fullness
4:1-6:20 How to live a life worthy of our calling
4:1-6 United
4:7-16 A gifted body
4:17-5:20 Renewal of Personal Life
5:21-6:9 Deference in Personal Relationships
5:21 The Principle of submission to one another
5:22-33 The principle working between husbands and wives
6:1-4 The principle working between children and parents
6:5-9 The principle working between slaves and masters
6:10-20 Standing firm in the Spiritual Conflict
6:21-24 Conclusion, Final Greetings and Benediction



Some Key Verses:


A compact description of what has happened to us who are Christians (worthy of meditation)

1:4-8 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.


A good prayer!

1:18,19 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.


A sharp description of what we were before coming to Christ

2:1-3 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. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath


What we now are- a temple of the Holy Spirit

2:21,22 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit


There is a clear goal!

4:1 I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.


Jesus' body today with gifts of ministries and an end goal

4:11-13 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.


A clear warning of what to avoid, and what life to aim for

4:17-19 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.


A humility principle to be worked out in all areas of life

5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.


The Christian life is a battle to hold to the position Christ has given us

6:10-13 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.



Concluding Comments


•  Some would suggest that this is the most powerful and dynamic of all the letters in the New Testament full of truths that are worthy of meditation.
•  The Outline and the verses above should whet the appetite for a slow reading of this little book. It needs to be slow reading because so much is said and so many words need thinking about.
•  For example, look up, study or meditate in these words:
    •  Predestined 1:5
    •  Adopted 1:5
    •  Redemption 1:7
    •  His glory 1:12
    •  Faith 1:15
    •  Wisdom and revelation 1:17
    •  Enlightened 1:18
    •  Inheritance 1:18
    •  Heavenly realms 1:20
    •  The church 1:22
    •  His body 1:23
    •  Dead in transgressions and sins 2:1
    •  Sinful nature 2:3
    •  Rich in mercy 2:4
    •  Made us alive 2:5
    •  Incomparable riches of his grace 2:7
    •  God's workmanship 2:10
    •  Covenants of promise 2:12
    •  Wall of hostility 2:14
    •  God's household 2:19
    •  Cornerstone 2:20
    •  Administration of God's grace 3:2
    •  Mystery of Christ 3:4
    •  Unsearchable riches of Christ 3:8
    •  Manifold wisdom of God 3:10
    •  His eternal purpose 3:11
    •  The fullness of God 3:19
    •  Immeasurably more 3:20
    •  Darkened in their understanding 4:18
    •  Sensuality 4:19
    •  Impurity 4:19
    •  Righteousness and holiness 4:24
    •  Unwholesome talk 4:29
    •  Grieve the Holy Spirit 4:30
    •  Light in the Lord 5:8
    •  Fruitless deeds of darkness 5:11
    •  Submit to one another 5:21
    •  Reverence for Christ 5:21
    •  As Christ loved the church 5:25
    •  The first commandment with a promise 6:2
    •  The full armour of God 6:11
    •  Pray in the Spirit 6:18



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