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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Ephesians (lightweight paraphrase)

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Frameworks Paraphrased: Ephesians chapters 1 - 3


FRAMEWORKS: Ephesians 1 (lightweight paraphrase)


In this ‘Framework' we use our simple outline or lightweight paraphrase explanation (simply following the NIV text) of what you find in this letter of Paul, not the text, to enable you to, as simply as possible, catch the sense of his writing.


v.1,2 Greetings


v.1 Paul, the apostle, to the church at Ephesus

v.2 May you know grace & peace from God


PART 1: v.3-14 About what God has done for us


v.3-10 God's work through Christ


v.3 Praise God for the blessings He has given us ‘in Christ'

v.4 He chose us

- before the Creation
- to be holy & blameless in His sight

v.5 He predestined us

- for adoption
- according to His will

v.6 – through the grace that comes from Him through Christ – so praise Him

v.7 We have redemption

- in him through his blood
- the forgiveness of sins
- according to the riches of God's grace

v.8 that He lavished on us

With wisdom and understanding

v.9 he shared the mystery of His will

- according to His good pleasure
- purposed in Christ

v.10 to be put into effect

- when the times reach their fulfilment
- to bring unity to everything under Christ


(Lessons: Paul's salvation package here reminds us of key elements that undergird it. They establish our security because it all comes from God.)



v.11-14 Its Effect 


v.11 In Christ we were

- chosen & predestined
- according to God's will, His plan

v.12 so we will bring glory to Him

v.13 This happened to these believers

- when they heard the message of Christ, the Gospel of salvation
- and when they believed they were sealed with the Holy Spirit

v.14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until we are fully redeemed to His glory.


(Lessons: Because God has, through Christ, chosen and predestined us, redeemed us and shared the mystery of salvation through Christ, we glorify Him as we share the gospel and receive his Spirit who guarantees our futures.)



PART 2: v.15-23 About Paul's Prayers


v.15,16 Thanksgiving


v.15 Thus because of this, having heard of their faith and love

v.16 He hasn't stopped giving thanks for them and praying for them.



v.17-23 Prayer Requests


v.17 Prayer requests that they may receive the Spirit of wisdom & revelation to know Him better

v.18 Prayer desires for their hearts to be enlightened in order to understand their hope 

v.19 and His great power in them, the same power

v.20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in heaven

v.21 far above all other rule or authority both now and in eternity,

v.22 placing all things under Jesus who He has appointed head over all things, for the church

v.23 which is his body, which is to be the full expression of him reaching out to all things.

(Lessons: Prayer, which is a vital element of Paul's life, is expressed in his yearning for them to know God better, understand their hope and the power their have received, the same power that raised Christ, and made them part of Christ's body, the church, expressing him.)


FRAMEWORKS: Ephesians 2 (lightweight paraphrase)


In this ‘Framework' we use our simple outline or lightweight paraphrase explanation (simply following the NIV text) of what you find in this letter of Paul, not the text, to enable you to, as simply as possible, catch the sense of his writing.


v.1-3 Our past (1)


v.1 we used to be spiritually dead because of our falling short and general sins

v.2 that's how we used to live, following the ways of the world and Satan who now works in those who are disobedient

v.3 that's how it was for every one of us gratifying ‘flesh' - our senses - and following its desires and thoughts


(Lessons: We are reminded of our past, before we knew Christ, when we were spiritually dead, following the world's example and Satan's prompting, living according to our physical desires)



v.4-10 Made Alive in Christ


v.4 Because of God's merciful love

v.5 He has made us alive with Christ, even though we had been dead in our sins previously, saved by grace.

v.6 so God raised us up and seated us with Christ in the heavenly realms

v.7 so in the coming days He might show the incomparable riches of His grace shown in his kindness to us in Christ

v.8 this is all by grace through faith, a gift from God

v.9 it's not by our activities so we can't boast

v.10 we are made by God, made in Christ, to do good works He's prepared for us.


(Lessons: But now we have been transformed by God's love, made alive with Christ, seated with him, works of grace, all His work to enable us to do good works as led by Him)



v.11-12 Our Past (2)


v.11 Formerly we Gentiles were called ‘the uncircumcised' by the Jews

v.12 being separated from Christ, excluded from Israel and aliens to all the covenants of God, without hope and without God


(Lessons: we Gentiles used to be called the uncircumcised, distinguishing us from the Jews, separated from God, different from the Jews who had a relationship with Him, hopeless)



v.13-18 Christ's Reconciling Work


v.13 Now in Christ, although once far away, now been brought near, by his blood.

v.14 He is our peace. Making Jew & Gentile one, destroying the barrier previously there between them.

v.15 by his sacrifice he did away with the law and its demands, to create one new body from the two.

v.16 by reconciling them he made them into one through the Cross thus removing any grounds for hostility


(Lessons: Now by the work of Christ on the Cross we have been made one with the Jewish believers in that we are now God's people.)



FRAMEWORKS: Ephesians 3 (lightweight paraphrase)


In this ‘Framework' we use our simple outline or lightweight paraphrase explanation (simply following the NIV text) of what you find in this letter of Paul, not the text, to enable you to, as simply as possible, catch the sense of his writing.



v.1-6 The Mystery of Christ


v.1 Paul, a prisoner, writing to the Gentiles

v.2 He assumes they have heard of his call and gift from God for them

v.3 it is a mystery revealed to him, as he's already written before to them

v.4 as they read they will be able to see this mystery about Christ

v.5 it wasn't known or understood by previous generations

v.6 this mystery (now revealed) is that the Gospel shows it applies to Gentiles as well as Jews, so all together are one body share the promises that come through Christ


(Lessons: The gospel used to be a mystery about Christ but now it has been revealed.)



v.7-9 Paul's Part in the Mystery


v.7 he was called by God's grace to proclaim the gospel by the power of the Spirit

v.8 although he sees himself as the least of God's people, God's grace gifted him to tell of the endless riches of Christ

v.9 to make known to everyone how this works, a mystery in the past, hidden by God the Creator


(Lessons: Paul was called to proclaim the gospel even though he sees himself as a nobody, it was a gift of God.)



v.10-13 The Outworking of the Mystery


v.10 God's intent was that His wisdom would be revealed through the church to the onlooking powers and principalities in heaven

v.11 this was His eternal purpose worked out through Christ

v.12 so that by faith we can come to God

v.13 bearing this in mind (understanding his calling) they shouldn't be discouraged by his present suffering in prison


(Lessons: This gospel revealed the wisdom of God so even the angelic watchers could see it and understanding this means we don't need to be discouraged by present limitations.)



v.14-19 A Prayer for the Ephesians


v.14 All this makes him kneel before God

v.15 who has made every person, every family

v.16 he prays they will be strengthened in the Spirit by his wonderful riches of grace

v.17 with Christ in their hearts, and thus being established in his love,

v.18 they may all have the power to grasp the fullest extent of that love

v.19 a love that passes understanding, so they can be filled with all of the goodness of God.


(Lessons: The wonder of this makes Paul pray more and more for the believers that they may be strengthened, established and grasp the incredible extent of God's love.)



v.20,21 Glory to God


v.20 he speaks about God who can do more than anything they can dream of by his power which now works within us

v.21 desiring that God will be glorified in both the church as well as in Christ – for ever!

(Lessons: this all means that God can do much more than we think and should be glorified through us.)