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FRAMEWORKS: Paul's letter to the Ephesians

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v.1-6 Unity in the Body of Christ
v.7-13 Differences in the body of Christ
v.14-16 Stability in the body of Christ
v.17-19 The way of the Gentiles
v.20-32 The way for the believers


[Chapter Synopsis: Be encouraged, not put off by Paul's present position, to live out your calling, remembering you are one body, a body that has been gifted by God with gifts and ministries to build it up and equip it to serve God. Know the security of the body and don't be tempted to live like unbelievers but hold fast to your calling as the body of Christ.]



v.1-6 Unity in the Body of Christ


[Passage Synopsis: Please him in prison by the way you live out your calling, exhibiting Christ's nature and being united at his body today.]


v.1 (although I am a prisoner, I want you to fulfil your potential) As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

v.2 (let humility, gentleness, patience & love be seen in you) Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

v.3 (work for unity) Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

v.4-6 (remembering you are one body with one Lord) There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.



v.7-13 Differences in the body of Christ


[Passage Synopsis: Recognise we have all received his grace but in different ways with different gifts and different ministries, some specifically to build up the rest of the body, the church.]


v.7 (yet each of us has grace as Christ has given it) But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

v.8 (as prophecy says, he gifted us when he ascended) This is why it says: “When he ascended on high,   he took many captives   and gave gifts to his people.” [Psa 68:18]

v.9  (he did that after he had descended to take the full extent of our punishment) (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions?

v.10 (but now he has ascended to receive all intended for him) He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)

v.11-13 (so he's given ministries to the church to equip and build up the body, becoming mature, becoming all God intended it to be) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his 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.



v.14-16 Stability in the body of Christ


[Passage Synopsis: As this happens we should feel more secure, rejecting the deceitful teaching of the enemy and being more and more secure as we grow in Christ becoming a mature strong body held together by love.]


v.14 (as this happens it creates a stability in us) Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.

v.15 (so we speak truth in love and grow in him) Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

v.16 (he's the one from whom it all grows, knitted together in love) From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.



v.17-19 The way of the Gentiles


[Passage Synopsis: No longer live like the unbelieving world lives, those who are separated from God and left to their own foolish thinking, going purely by personal desires.]


v.17 (so now you mustn't live as the rest of the world does) 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.

v.18 (they are ignorant and hard-hearted, separated from God by ignorance) 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.

v.19 (thus they live giving way to all sorts of desires) Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.



v.20-32 The way for the believers


[Passage Synopsis: That's not how we live for we have been taught to put off all those self-centred desires and confusing attitudes, but instead as part of his body, we are to be remade in Christ's likeness, living out our lives seeking peace harmony while working diligently, blessing and forgiving one another and building one another up as Christ does with us.]


v.20,21 (that's not what you have learned from us) That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.

v.22-24 (we taught you to put off your old life and put on a new Christlike one)   You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

v.25 (so don't let lies come from you, deal only in truth) Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

v.26,27 (if you have cause to be angry, don't hold on to it and let it fester and grow) “In your anger do not sin” [Psa 4:4 (see Septuagint)]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

v.28 (if you have stolen in the past, no more! Instead work gainfully to bless others) Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

v.29 (don't let bad stuff come in your speech, only what will bless others) Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

v.30 (and therefore don't grieve or upset the Holy Spirit who dwells in you) And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

v.31 (get rid of all negativity towards others) Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

v.32 (instead be kind, compassionate & forgiving) Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.



Continue to Chapter 5



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