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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Ephesians (lightweight paraphrase)

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Frameworks: Ephesians chapters 4-6

 

FRAMEWORKS: Ephesians 4 (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. For the usual text PLUS comment style, please CLICK HERE

   

v.1-6 Unity

 

v.1 As Jesus' prisoner, he calls them to live lives worthy of Christ

v.2 humble, gentle, patient, loving

v.3 keep unity

v.4 we're one body with one Spirit, one hope

v.5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism

v.6 one God & Father who is everywhere

 

(Lessons: Lives that reflect Christ will be humble, gentle, patient and loving and work at creating unity in the body of Christ)

 

v.7-16 Maturity in the Body of Christ

 

v.7 we each have grace as given by Christ

v.8 as Psa 68:18 says, when he ascended he took captives (of believers) and gave his people gifts

v.9 ascending also implies descending to the place of punishment

v.10 but then he also ascended higher than any other

v.11 so he gave gifts on men, of ministries – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors & teachers

v.12 so they may equip God's people for service and that the church, the body of Christ, will be built up

v.13 carrying on like this until we all reach unity, the knowledge of Christ and become mature in the way we express Christ

v.14 when that happens we'll no longer be like infants swept here and there by deceptive teachings

v.15 instead, by truthful speaking in love, we will mature to be like our head, Christ

v.16 it's from him we the body grow, linked together by love, as we each do our part

 

(Lessons: We are a grace enabled people, expressed in the form of gifts imparted to us by Christ that enable ministries to be revealed that are essential for the church to be built up, equipped, empowered to do what God wants each believer to do, thus crating a fruit and effective mature body, linked together by love)

 

v.17-19 The way the world lives

 

v.17 don't live like the unbelievers with senseless thinking.

v.18 they don't understand the truth, separated from God by their hard hearts

v.19 insensitive to spiritual matters they live for all kinds of wrong pleasure

 

(Lessons: we always need to remember we are separate and distinct from the rest of the world in our thinking, our heart attitudes and how we live out our lives)

 

v.20-24 The way believers now live

 

v.20 that is not what we were taught

v.21 when we heard the Gospel and heard what Christ wanted for us

v.22 you were taught to put off the old life with its deceitful desires for pleasure

v.23 we were given new minds

v.24 that showed us how to put on a new life, led by God into righteous living & holiness

 

(Lessons: the teaching we receive shows us how to put off the old life and live a new one in Christ)

 

v.25-32 The Practicalities

 

v.25  Therefore don't lie but speak truthfully to those next to you, we're all part of one body.

v. 26  If you get angry don't sin”. Don't take your anger stretch into the next day

v.27  and do not give the devil a foothold.

v. 28  Anyone who used to steal must stop 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 nasty word come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for blessing others

v.30  Don't grieve the Holy Spirit of God, who you received when you came to Christ

v.31  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

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

(Lessons: this teaching is not academic but practical. There ARE things Christians DON'T do – lie, let anger prevail, steal, speak unpleasantly, engage in bitterness, rage, brawling, slander, malice. Instead we are to replace those with speaking the truth, work, speak to bless others, be kind and compassionate and forgiving and in this way we will not grieve the Holy Spirit.)

 

FRAMEWORKS: Ephesians 5 (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. For the usual text PLUS comment style, please CLICK HERE

 

PART ONE: v.1-20 Holy Living

 

v.1-7 Things & people to avoid

 

v.1 Follow God's example as His children

v.2 let your path be one of love, just like Christ demonstrated giving himself for us

v.3 don't let there be any hint of sexual immorality, impurity or greed that are inappropriate for God's people

v.4 Nor let there be obscenities, silly talk or coarse humour which also have no place in us, but instead let there be thanksgiving

v.5 Be quite clear, immorality, impurity, or greed (which is worshiping things) has no place in the kingdom of God

v.6 Let no one lead you astray by wrong talk because disobedience incurs God's anger

v.7 so don't partner with such people

 

(Lessons: as believers there is behaviour that is no longer acceptable (even if the world does it!) - sexual immorality, impurity, greed, obscenities, silly talk or coarse humour. A challenge to TV watchers!)

 

v.8-14 Light & Darkness

 

v.8 Once you lived in darkness but no longer so live as children of light

v.9 light implies goodness, righteousness & truth

v.10 so find out what pleases God

v.11 having nothing to do with the unproductive deeds of darkness but instead expose them

v.12 it shocking to even talk about what unbelievers do in darkness

v.13 but when (Jesus') light shines all is revealed and transformed

v.14 hence the scriptures that teach that when we come alive Christ's light shines on us.

 

(Lessons: Light and darkness seen in the Bible contrast goodness and evil. We now live in the light – see Col 1:13 and therefore things unbelievers do (in their darkness) have no place in our lives)

 

v.15-20 Further things to avoid

 

v.15 be care to live wisely

v.16 making the most of your time in these evil days

v.17 understand what God's will is

v.18 instead of getting drunk which makes you vulnerable to other wrongs, be filled with the Spirit

v.19 letting Him inspire songs and music with which to worship the Lord

v.20 always giving thanks to Him through Jesus.

 

(Lessons: thus the ‘Friday night' and ‘Saturday night' activities of the world have no place in the life of a believer)

 

PART TWO: v.21-33 Instructions for Families

 

v.21 as a general rule, submit yourselves to one another for Christ's sake

v.22 wives have the same submissive attitudes to your husband as you do to Christ

v.23 for he is you head as Christ is head of the church – also its saviour ( hint to husbands )

v.24 so in the same way the church submits to Christ let wives to their husbands

v.25 husbands (meanwhile) love your wives with Christ's sacrificial love we see as he gave himself up for the church

v.26 to make her holy through his word

v.27 and save and preserve the church as holy and beautiful

v.28 so let husbands love their wives in exactly the same way, loving her as much as he does himself.

v.29 because we care for our own bodies as Christ does for the church

v.30 i.e. us, members of his body now

v.31 remember Gen 2:24 we become one flesh, and should see ourselves as one with our spouse

v.32 I know it's a mystery – Christ and the church

v.33 but it's an example to follow: husbands sacrificially loving their wives honouring their husbands

 

(Lessons: Christian holiness – godly difference – should impact our family lives as much as any other area of our lives. The example is always to be Christ. Christ is the head of the church and he designates the man to be head of the family. Christ laid down his life for the church and calls husbands to lay down their lives for their wives. As we are called to respect and honour Jesus as head of the church, so wives are called to respect and honour their husbands. There is mutual responsibility flowing in their love)

 

FRAMEWORKS: Ephesians 6  (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. For the usual text PLUS comment style, please CLICK HERE

 

v.1-4 Family Instructions continued

 

v.1 children should obey their parents

v.2 being in mind the command to honour your parents

v.3 a command with a promise of blessing on your life and of long life

v.4 fathers don't wind up your children but train them carefully in the Lord

 

(Lessons: Order in family life is essential for stability & security, and obedience on behalf of the children (taught by the parents) is key, with a reminder to dads not to provoke the kids with over-heavy handedness)

 

v.5-9 ‘Work' instructions

 

v.5 obey your employer as you would Christ

v.6 don't do it just to win their favour but as servants of Christ doing God's bidding

v.7 work wholeheartedly as for Christ

v.8 because god will reward your good

v.9 employers think the same way, don't threaten because God is as much for them as you.

 

(Lessons: Rules about slaves is not appropriate today, but employer and employee relationships certainly is. Doing what you do, as to Christ, is the golden rule for both)

 

v.10-17 Spiritual Armour

 

v.10 be strong in God

v.11 imagine putting on armour to stand against the enemy

v.12 for our battle is against spiritual forces not physical ones

v.13 so put on the armour God gives you so when attacked you can stand your ground and keep on holding it

v.14 so imagine wearing a belt of truth and a breastplate of righteousness

v.15 and your feet shod with a readiness to take the gospel

v.16 and a shield of faith to counter enemy lies

v.17 and a helmet that is your salvation, and a sword wielded by the Spirit, which is the word of God.

 

(Lessons: This unique passage on spiritual warfare is essential as a ‘survivor's manual' - remember it is a battle and things like truth, righteousness, gospel readiness, faith. salvation and the word of God are vital to ward off attacks and help ypu 'stand your ground' i.e. hold on to the life Christ has given you. Remember Satan can't inhabit your 'ground' but he can shout over the fence, so ignore him)

 

v.18-20 The Prayer Dimension

 

v.18 your prayers should be Spirit-led as you talk to God and ask for God's people

v.19 He wanted prayer for himself as well to enable him to fearlessly share the gospel

v.20 because although in chains he was still an ambassador of the gospel.

 

(Lessons: simple but powerful – learning to be Spirit-led in prayer, while praying for others and ourselves)

 

v.21-24 Final Greetings

 

v.21 Tychicus will tell you about us

v.22 he's coming with this letter to tell you of us and encourage you

v.23 peace by yours and love from God

v.24 and grace be the experience of you all who love the Lord.

 

(Lessons: An otherwise anonymous believer is heralded as an encourager to them. You and me? Awareness of peace, love, and grace as vital elements of our daily lives)