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Ephesians

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What a wonderful picture of unity is the Book of Ephesians. When compared with the Book of Romans, we see there is a harmony among the Ephesians not found with the believers in Rome. In Romans, Paul begins his letter with:

1. The total ruin of man.

2. Man weighed in the balance of God since the days of the flood.

3. After knowing God, the Romans did not glorify God.

4. Then we see philosophical man.

5. Then man under the law.

6. We see man in every view before the subject of redemption and justification is ever presented.

 

But in Ephesians it is totally different. Here, comparatively speaking, man disappears and God is viewed as acting from Himself, so there is no need to prove what the state of man is. In Ephesians, instead of being raised up from corruption, the first thing Paul speaks of is God in heaven.

1. It is God showering blessings on man; not man brought up to God.

2. It is God telling of His plan for the Body of Christ before the world was made.

3. It is God forming a scheme of glory and blessedness for His own praise and glory.

4. It is about God delighting in the display of His goodness, and this for the purpose of blessing, and the very highest, fullest character of His blessing – Jesus Christ.

 

This Epistle is so full of God’s love that Paul begins with praising God: “Blessed be the God and Father.” The Ephesians were so willing to walk with God that Paul did not have to speak to them about their present state, but could start out speaking with praise and thanksgiving about their expected inheritance and blessing.

 

Paul introduces himself as an apostle, not as a servant as he did in his letter to the Romans. Why? There was no controversy as to who and what he was. They were a group of believers that had “advanced spiritually and intelligently” in things concerning God. Paul had been there, had taught them and they had believed and grown in the knowledge of God and God’s plan for their lives.

 

Before we undertake a verse by verse analogy of the Book, let us look at it as a whole. The Book is broken down into three distinct areas:

1. Doctrine – 1:3 – 3:13

2. The main prayer – 3:14 – 21

3. Practice – 4:1 – 6:20

 

 

Paul begins the book by declaring he was an apostle – Greek apostolos – “a messenger, ambassador.” Before we get into the study, we need to know what constituted being an apostle:

1. An apostle must have seen the Lord – (1 Corinthians 15: 8; 9: 1; Acts 22:14-15)

2. They had to be called and chosen by Christ Himself. (Luke 6: 13; Galatians 1:1)

3. Infallible inspiration was necessary. (Galatians 1:11-12)

4. Signs attested the apostolic commission. (Hebrews 2:4; 2 Corinthians 12:12)