Let us observe from an overview perspective, the doctrinal letter the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to pen to "the saints which are at Ephesus." (1:1) The involvement of all 3 Members of the Godhead are seen in creation (Eph. 3:9), the redemption of mankind (1:4,7,13), the maturing of the body of Christ (4:4-6), and eternal well-being of His elect (Eph. 1:3-6,10; 2:6).
Date written: 64 A.D.
Author: Paul, the servant and apostle of God (1:1)
Theme: Ephesians is the 2nd of only 2 doctrinal letters in the NT cannon, the 1st is Romans. By divine inspiration, Romans sets forth the sinful state of depravity of all of mankind (doctrine of man), the Propitiator's death, burial and resurrection which one-time fully satisfied the claims of the Father's justice, and, how the ones who have been "justified by faith" are to live lives crucified to the sins of this present evil world. Ephesians, the 2nd doctrinal letter, pictures the believer as positionally "seated together in heavenly places in Christ" (2:6). The believer's wealth and walk with Christ are expounded upon. As a doctrinal letter, the book of Ephesians contains the highest of truth for the Church. This is in contrast to other NT writings which deal with order and the practical implementation of local church functions to build up the saints and win the lost to Christ in light of His soon return.
KEY TERMS in Ephesians:
"In Christ" appears 12x
"In Him" appears 2x
· The fact that the terms "in Christ" and "in him" appear 14 times in this all-important letter to all the saints in this period of grace, reveals that God wants us to apprehend who He is and who we are in Him. This will take study, prayer and meditation. The believer's identification is to be Christ - above all else (1 Cor. 2:2, 6:19-20; Gal. 2:20, 6:14). The way a person sees/views himself (identification) determines how he will live this life. What possesses us propels us.
KEY WORDS in Ephesians:
"Love" appears 14x
"Grace" appears 12x
"Church" appears 9x
“Unity” appears 2x
2 KEY VERSES of Ephesians:
Divine, Eternal purpose: “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” Ephesians 1:10
Purpose/Goal of our Walk with Him: "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" Ephesians 4:13
PAUL’S PRAYER FOR ALL SAINTS UNDER THE NEW COVENANT 1:18-19
God wants to open our spiritual senses to reveal:
- “the hope of his calling.” v18
- “what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” v18
- “the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe.” v19
OBJECTIVE/GOAL OF THE TRIUNE GOD WITH HIS ONE UNIVERSAL CHURCH:
- NOW: "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect (mature) man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" Ephesians 4:13
- IN ETERNITY: "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times (eternity to come) he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:" Ephesians 1:10
"One body" (4:4) - Jew/Gentile: No difference between Jews and Gentiles in Christ/salvation: Acts 10:45-48, 11:18, 13:46-48, 14:27, 15:3-23; 26:17-23, 28:28; Rom. 2:28-29; 3:9,29, 11:11-25, 15:9-18,27; 1 Cor. 10:32, 12:13, Gal. 3:28, Eph. 2:11, 3:6-8, Col. 1:27, 3:11
NATURAL DIVISIONS IN EPHESIANS:
- Ch's 1-3 of the book of Ephesians deal with our Wealth in Christ
- Ch's 4-6 of the book of Ephesians deal with our Walk with Christ
- Ch 6 of the book of Ephesians deals with our Warfare in Christ with the enemy
By design God sets forth His wealth to and justification of the believer first (Ch.’s 1-3), then, how to walk out that new life He has freely given us (Ch.’s 4-6), including guarding it by vigilant warfare (Ch. 6).
God, by whom "we have obtained an inheritance" and according to "the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will...hath purposed in himself", according to "the good pleasure of his will", to adopt us as His "children by Jesus Christ to himself." (Ephesians 1:5,9, 11)
The Involvement/Work of Each Divine Member of the Godhead is Seen in:
1. Creation of "all things" 3:9
2. Redemption Ch. 1:
- Chosen of the Father 1:4
- Redeemed by the Son 1:7
- Sealed by the Holy Spirit" 1:13
3. Sanctification of each individual, redeemed saint and the corporate body of Christ in:
- "one Spirit" 4:4
- "one Lord" 4:5
- "one God and Father of all” 4:6
All these things have the Father, Word, and Holy Ghost done to secure the heavenly family eternally in His everlasting kingdom where Christ alone will be exalted and His saints blessed beyond comprehension. Watch for this love theme throughout this letter (Eph. 1:3-6,10; 2:6).
Grace In Christ,