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OUR churches come in all styles and shapes

VITAL STATISTICS

secret meetings in homes; wide-open gatherings


in amphitheaters; worship services packing thousands into a sanctuary while an overflow crowd

PURPOSE:
To strengthen the believers in
Ephesus in their Christian faith
by explaining the nature and
purpose ofthe church, the body
of Christ

watches on closed-circuit television; handfuls


who kneel in urban storefronts. Buildings will
vary but the church is not confined to four walis.
The church of Jesus ChrrsL is peopLe, his people,
ofevery race and nation, who love Christ and ale
committed to serving him.
The "church age" began at Pentecost (Acts 2).
Born in Jerusalem, the church spread rapidly through the ministry of the
apostles and the early believers. Fanned by persecution, the gospel flame
then spread to other cities and nations. On three courageousjoumeys, Paul
and his associates established local assemblies in scores of Gentile cities.
One of the most prominent of those churches was at Ephesus. It was
established in A.D. 53 on Paul's homewardjourney to Jerusalem. But Paul
retumed a year lateq on his third missionary trip, and stayed there for three
1'ears, preaching and teaching with great effectiveness (Acts I 9: l-20). At

another time, Paul met with the Ephesian elders, and he sent Timothy to
serve as their leader (1 Timothy 1:3). Just a few years later, Paul was sent
as a prisoner to Rome. In Rorne, he was visited by messengers from
various churches, including Tychicus of Ephesus. Paul wrote this letter to
the church and sent it with Tychicus. Not written to counteract heresy or
to confront any specific problem, Ephesians is a letter of encouragement.
In it Paul describes the nature and appearance of the church, and he
:hallenges believers to function as the living body of Christ on eafih.
After a warm greeting (l:1,2), Paul affirms the nature of the churchilre glorious fact that believers in Cbrist have been showered with God's
kindness (1:3-8), chosen for greatness (1:9-12'), marked with the Holy
Spirit (1: 13, 14), filled with the Spirit's power ( 1: 15-23), freed from sin's
--urse and bondage (2:l-10), and brought near to God (2:11-18). As part
of God's "household," we stand with the prophets, apostles, Jews, Gen:iles, and Christ himself (2:19-3:13). Then, as though overcome with

3motion by remembering all that God has done, Paul challenges the
Ephesians to live close to Christ, and he breaks into spontaneous praise
3:14-21').
Paui then tums his attention to the implications of being in the body of
Christ, the church. Believers should have unity in their commitment to
Christ and their use of spiritual gifts (4:1 16). They should have the
righest moral standards (4:l 7-6:9). For the individual, this means rejectng pagan practices (4:11-5:20), and for the family, this means mutual

'ubmission

and love

(5:21-6:9).

Paul then reminds them that the church is in a constant battle with the
:crces of darkness and that they should use every spiritual weapon at their
isposal (6:10-17). He concludes by asking for their prayers, commis;ioning Tychicus, and giving a benediction (6:18-24).
As you read this masterful description of the church, thank God fbr the
:iversity and unity in his family, pray fbr your brothers and sisters across
:e world, and draw close to those in your local church.

AUTHOR:
Paul

TOWHOMWRITTEN:
The church at Ephesus, and all
believers everywhere

DATEWRITTEN:
Approximately A.D. 60,

fiom Rome, during Paul's


imprisonment there

SETTING:
The letter was not written to
confront any heresy or problem
in the churches. It was sent with
Tychicus to sfengthen and
encourage the churches in the
area. Paul had spent over three
years with the Ephesian church.
As a result, he was very close to
them. Paul met with the elders of
the Ephesian church at Miletus

(Acts 20: 17-38)-a meeting


that was filled with great sadness
because he was leaving them
for what he thought would be
the last time. Because there are
no specific references to people
or problems in the Ephesian
church and because the words
"in Ephesus" ( 1: 1) are not present
in some early manuscripts, Paul
may have intended this to be a
circular letter to be read to all the
churches in the area.

KEYVERSES:
"We are all one body. we have
the same Spirit, and we have all
been called to the same glorious
future. There is only one Lord,
one faith, one baptism, and there
is only one God and Father, who
is over us all and in us all and
living through us all" (4:4-6).

KEYPEOPLE:
Paul, Tychicus

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Several pictures of the church
are presented: body, temple,
mystery, new man, bride, and
soldier. This letter was probably
distributed to many of the early
churches.

EPHESlA,ryS

1870

THE BLUEPRINT

Unity in Christ

(l:l-3:21)

2. Unity in the body of Christ

(4:l-6:211

In this lctte! Paul explains the wonderful thin_qs that we have received
thlough Christ and ref'ers to the church as a body, a temple, a bride, ancl a
soldier These all illust"atc unity ofpurposc and show how each individual
member is a parl that nust work togcther with all the other pafls. In our own
Iife, rve should rvork to eradicate all backbiting, gossip, cdticrsrn, jealousy,
an,gcr, and bittemess, bccause these arc baniers to unitv in the church.

MEGATHEMES
THEME

EXPLANATION

IMPORTANCE

Gocl's Purpose

According to God's etemal, loving plan.


he dirc. tr. clnies out. rnd ru:tlin: oLrr
salvation.

When we respond to Christ's love by tmstir.rg


in hirn. hi. purpose be.omes our miisioD.
Have you comntitted yourself to fullilling
God's putpose?

Christ is exalted as the center olthc universe


and the tbcus of history. He is the head of the
body. the church. He js the Crcator and
sustainer ol' all creation.

power ntust be central in us. Begin bliplacing


all your pdorities under his control.

[,ivirtg Churclt

Paul describes the nature of the church. The


church, under Christ's control. is a living body,
a family, a dwelling. God gives bclievers
special abilities by his Holy Spirit to build the
church.

We ere part ,'lChrr.t', botll. and rre mrrst lire


irr r ilrl un iorr u ith hirr r. Oul condtr..t murt be
consistent with this living relationship. Use
your God-given abilities to equip believcrs 1br
service. Fulfill your role in the living church.

Neu,Fcntily

Bcrirrrre Co! rhruLrglr Cfu i.r prid ()lrr pcnrlt)


loT rrn lrnd lurg:rre us. tre hlrre hecn recortciled-brought near to him. Wc are a ncw
society, :r new family. Being united with Christ

We are one farnily in Christ. so thcrc should


be no biuliers, no divisions. no basis for
Jiseriminrtion. We rllbchrng ro him, su ue
.hoLrld lir c in lrrrrnorrl u idr onc another.

Chri.st rlte Center

means we arc to treat one another as fautily


members.

Chri,stittn

Contluct

Paul encourages all Christians to wise,

Because Cldst is central to cvervthits. his

Cod provides his Holy Spirit to enirble us to


live his rvay. To utilize the Spirit's power. we
must hy aside our evil desires and draw on
the power of his new lilc. Strbmit your will
to ill-ist. and seek to love otlers. '

dyniulic Chri.tian living. lor.u ith prjvileges


famr ly lesponsihiliiy, Ar a neu comi
-rroes
munity. we are to live by Cllist's new
standards.

1. Unity in Christ
Greetings from Paul

This letter i: frorn Purrl. chosen b1 Cod to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.


It is \ riucn to Ctrd': holl people in Ephesus,l' who are faithful followers
Chlist Jesus.

1I

1i2

"f i?nl

2May grace and peace be yours,


sent to you fi'orn God our Father and Jesus christ our

Lord.

1:1 Some manuscripts do not lnclude in Ephesus.

1:1

Paul wrote thls letter to the Ephestan belrevers and al other


be ievers to g ve them in-depth teachlno about how to nurture
and maintaln the unity of the church He wanted to put th s lrnpor
tant nforrnation n wr tten form because he was n 0T son for
preach ng the Good News and could 10t visrt the churches him
se f. The words " n Ephesus' are not present n some ear v man!
scripts Therefore thrs was very keiy a circular letter lt wis first
sent to Ephesus and then ctrculatecl to ne ghbo|ng oca

Ct J'. ne,. Pau r., ton,' Opo.tC .ro.o.ob"r.


'r0' . a 0'e O'.., -O
OerSOna g 6o-:.9

oio.o,,.,o-

1:1 Pau had been a Chr stian for near y 30 years. F1e hacJ taken
three m ssionary tflps anci estab shecl churches al around the
f/edrl.'rJl^a' Sea. W-". ne I OIe Ep, e. a >, PJut 4aS _noer
LOUSed.esr,nQ6rg1.eg^
r.

)B.

l6,lr Tho.gnop.cO e,.n^

was free to have vrsitors and \,vrte etters. For more tnformation
on Paul see his Profile n Acts 9

1:1
'

Ephesus was one of the five mator c t es tn the Ronran

lp'o

ot6.g

r'.

BOre

CO

i-

. An,O

a,d

o,on6.ra.

Paul frrst v s ted Ephesus on his second m ssionary


lourney
(Acts l8 19 21). Durlng h s third m ssr0nary
i0urney. he stayed
g).
pau
there f0r a rn0st three years (Acts 1
ater met agatn
with the elders of the Ephes an church at l\l letus (Actt20;.16
I
p
:B\
d cor-e.,,a o0r I.
aTo .errgrouq ceT pr
for al of As a Minor The temple to the Greek gocld;ss Artemis
(D ana is her Roman equivaient) was ocated ihere.
1:1 "Failhfu/ followers of Christ Jesus" what an exce ent
reputat onl Such a labe would be an honor f0r any llelrever
What would it take for others to characterize vou is a fatthfl

e . ld

'Or

O^dl 0l Cr''.

'^,L,S1rlOO a. O,OU,'ai

time: faithfu/ly obey God even

heEp

e.o c..0- l' bo.I0^ a. optr')0

the Lord.

O.ode1a,o

the detar s of llfe. Theh llke

A10,c d

.ru

EPHESIANS

1871

Spiritual Blessings
1i4

2 Thes 2 13
1 PeI 1:2, 2A

1:5
Rom 8 15,29

1:6
Rom 3:24

Col 1:13
1i7

Co

1:14
Heb 9:1 2

3How we praise God, the Father of our Loid Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with
every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because.lve belong to Chlist. aLong
ago, even before he made the world, God loved us andrsfiose us in Clgriqt to be holy
and without iuult in his eyes. 5His unchanging plan has alwl;s been rdfrdopr u. into
his own tamily by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great
pleasure.

65o we praise God fbr the wonderful kindness he has pouredrJqut on us because we
belong to his dearly loved Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness that he pdrchased our freedom

LOCATION OF
EPHESUS

Ephesus was a
strategic c ty
ranking in mportance w th Alex
andria n Egypt
and Antioch of

Syraasaport.
It lay on the most
western edge
of Asia lVinor
(modern-day
Turkey), the most
rnportant port on
the Aegean Sea
on the ma n loute
from Rome to
the east.

1:3

"Who has blessed us with every spir lua blessrng n the


heavenLy realms" means that in Christ we have al the benef ts of
knowrng God-be ng chosen for sa vation, being adopted as his
children, forg veness insighl, the gifts ot the Spirit power lo do
God's wj I the hope of iv ng forever w th Christ. Because we have
an intimate relationship with Christ, we can enjoy these bless ngs
now. The "heaven y realms" means that these blesslngs are eterna , not tempora The b essings come from Chr st s sp rltual realm,
not the earthly rea m of the goddess Artemis. Other references to
the heavenly realms ln thls letter include 1.2A,2.6,3 10. Such passages reveal Chr st in his v cto|ous, exalted role as ru er 0f al .

1:4

Pau says that God "chose us" to ernphas ze that sa vation


depends total y on God We are not saved because we deserve
t but because God is gracious and treely gives salvat 0n \ /e
did not influence God's dec s on to save usi he saved us according to h s plan. Thus there s no way to take credit for our salvation
or to al ow room for pride. The mystery of sa vat on orig nated in
the t meless mind of God long before we existed. lt s hard to
understand how God could accept us. Bul because of Christ, we
are holy and blameless n his slght. God chose us, and when we
be ong lo hrrn through Jesus Chrlst, God looks at us as lf we had
never s nned. A I we can do rs express our thanks for h s wonder-

ful

ove.

1:5

God's "unchanging plan" is another way of say ng lhat sal


vatron is God's work and nol our own do ng. In h s infinite 1ove,
God has adopted us as his own ch dren. Through Jesus' sacrif ce,

he has brought us lnto hrs fami y and made us herrs along wlth
Jesus (Romans 8:17). In Roman aw, adopted children had the
same rights and privileges as bio ogical ch ldren, even if they had
been slaves Pau uses this terrn to show how stronq our relatonsh p to God s Have you entered lnto this oving relationship with
God? For more on the meaning of adoption, see Galat ans 4:5 7.

1:7 To speak of Jesus' blood was an irnportant first'century way


of speak ng of Chrrst's death. His death po nts t0 two wonderfu
truths-redemption and forgiveness. Bedempti,:n was the price
pa d t0 ga n freedom for a s ave (Lev t cus 25.47-54). Through his
death, Jesus paid the pfce to release us from slavery to sin. For
glveness was granted n 0 d Testament times cn the basis of the
shedd ng of an mals' bLood (Levtticus 17:1 1). Now we are forgiven on the basis of the shedding oi Jesus' b ood he died as
the perfect and final sacrfice (see also Romans 5:9; Ephes ans
'1
2:13; Coossians 1r20t Hebrews I 22: Peter 1:19).

8 God showered his kindness on us-th s s also ca led


Goos qroce -l^s,h:uolu-ta'yo d ov^o'a/0rgive^lo

1:7,

Ltiose ^e saves We ca'l ea'n sd \olion, nor 0o \4e 0osef.e


N0 re ig ous, intel ectua, 0r mora effort can gain because t

comes only from God's mercy and ove. Wlthout God's grace,
no person can be saved To rece ve t, we must acknowledge that
we cannot save ourselves, thal only God can save us, and that
our only way to rece ve thls lov ng favor s through falth n Chrlst.

EPHESIANS

1872

through the blood of his Son, and our sins are forgiven. 8He has showered his kindness
on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
,tL,
eGod's secret plan has now been revealed to us; it is a'$lan
centered on Christ,
designed long ago according to his good pleasure. lOAnd this is his plan: At the right time
he will bring everything together under the authority of Chdst-evp.{ything in heaven
and on earth. llFurthermore, because ofChrist, we have received aF4nheritance from
God,* for he chose us liom the beginning, and al] thilgs_lqppggprsr as he deqided long
lzGod's purpose was that we who were the first ilru{CEiisrTEdUa pralse oui
_qgo.
glorious God. 13And now you also have heard the truth, the Good News that God saves
you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his.own by giving you the
Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. laThe Spirit is God'$'guarantee that he will
give us everything he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. This
is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God.

1:9
Rom l6:25
Eph 3:3, I
1:10
N,4ark

1 ;1

Gal4 4
Col

1 :1

6, 20

1 :'11

Rom 8:28-29
Eph 3:l 1

1i12
Eph 1:6,14
1:13

2Cot

1.22
Eph 4:30

Col 1:5
1i-14
Rom 8123

2Cor 1.22, 5:5

Paul's Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom

1sEver since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for
1:16
Christians everywhere, 16I have never stopped fhanking God for you. I pray for you Col 1:9
constantly, lTasking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you 1:17
1Ca( 2.9 12
spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your k4owledge o-f God. 1:18
'BI pra) that your hearii will be flooded_wirh lighl so thar you can.undersrand rhe Acts 26:1 8
Ephl:11;4:4
wonderful future FEas pibmKeflto-thoiele?aTieii. f *:iniyou ril;;ltA what a rich
1:19
and gldio riiin"liEiitanuenetuigiG; k; hd tieofi;*
Eph 3r7, 16t 6:10
leI pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us Phll 3r21
1:2O
who believe him. This is the same mighty power 2othat raised Christ from the dead and
2l
seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he 1121
Ph I 2:9
is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else in this world or in Col
:1 6i 2:1 0
22And
the world to come.
God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and he 1122
gave him this authority for the benefit of the church. 23And the church is his body; it is Eph 4:1 5
Co 1:18,2 19
filled by Christ, who fills everything everywhere with his presence.
1123
1

1111 C)( we have

people.

become God's inheritance. 1i18 Ot realize how much God has been honored by acquiilng his

10 God was not intenttona ly keeping his plan a secret,


but his plan for the world could not be ful y understood until
Ct'st rose'ror the deao. F s pu.oose'oi ,e oi g Ch.,st ,na<
to unite Jews and Gentrles in one body wlth Chlst as the head.
Many peop e still do not understand God's plan; but at the
rghttirne he will bring us togetherto be wth him forever Then
everyone w I understand. 0n that day, all peop e will bow to
Jesus as Lord, e ther because they love hrm or because they
fear his power (see Philipp ans 2 10, 1 1).
1:9,

1:11

God's purpose rs to offer salvation to the world, lust as


he p anned to do long ago. God s sovere gn; he ts in charge
When your life seems chaotic, rest in this truth: Jesus s Lord,
and God is in control. God's purpose to save you cannot be
thwarted, no matter what evtl Satan may bring.

14 The Holy Sp rt s God's guarantee that we belong to


m and that he w I do what he has promtsed. The Holy Spirit
is like a down payment a depostt, a validat ng srgnaiure on the
contract. The presence of the Ho y Spirit in us demonstrates
the genuineness of our faith, proves that we are God's children,
and secures eternal life for us. His power works tn us to transform us now, and what we expe|ence now is a taste of the tota
change we w I exper ence in etern ty.
1:13,
h

Eph 3:19; 4:10


1 :1 9: 3:1 1

Col

1:16, 17 Paul prayed that ihe Ephesrans would know Christ better Christ s our model, and the more we know of hrm, the more
we will be ike him. Study Jesus' lfe in the Gospe s to see what
he was like on earth near y 2,000 years ago, and qet to know
hrm Personal knowledge of Chr st w ll change your life.

1:19, 20 Theworld fearsthe power of the atom, yetwe belong


to the God of the universe, who not 0n y created that atomic
power but also raised Jesus Chr st from the dead. God's incomparably great power rs ava ab e to he p you. There is nothing too
difficult for him.

1:20-22

Nav ng been raised from the dead, Christ is now the


head of the church, the ultjmate authority over the world. Jesus is
the l\lesslah, Gods anointed one, the one lsrael longed for, the
one who w0uld set their broken wor d r ght. As Christians we can
be confident that God has won the final victory and is in contro of
everything. We need not fear any dictator or natton or even death
or Satan hrmself. The contract has been s gned and sea ed; we
are walting just a short wh le for delivery. Paui says, rn Romans
Br37-39, that nothing can separate us from God and his love.

1:22, 23 Christ fi ls the church wrth gifts and blessings. The


church should be the ful expressron of Chrst, who himself fills
everythrng (see 3:19). When reading Ephesians, it is important
to rernember that it was written primar y to the entire church, not
merely to an individual. Christ ls the head, and we are the body of
hrs church (Paui uses thrs metaphor in Romans 12:4,5; 1 Corinlhlans 1212-27; and Colossians 3:15 as well as throughout the
book of Fphes ans). The mage of the body shows the church's
unity. Each member is nvolved with all the olhers as they go aboui
dolng Chrst's work on earth. We should not attempt to work serve,
or worshrp merely on our own. We need the entire body.

EPHESIANS 2

1A72

2:1
Eph 2:5
Col 2:13
2"3
Ga15.24
Co 3:6
2"5
Rom 5:6; 6:4
Eph 2:1
Co 2.13

Made Alive with Chilst


6 Once vou were dead, doomed forever because of youl many sins' 2You used to live
I iust liie the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of,,h9 -tro,-"
power of the air. He is the spirit at wolk in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 5 i,
3All of us used to live that wiy, following the passions and desires of our evil nattrre. We
were born with an evil nature, and we were under God's anger just like everyone else.
aBut God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much, sthat even while we were
dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only
6For he raised us from the dead along
by God's special favor that you have been saved!)
realms-all because we are one
heavenly
with Christ. and we are seated with him in the

OUR TRUE
IOENTITY IN
CHRIST

Romans3:24.... ..

RomansS:1

... ...

No condemnation awaits us.


We are set free from the law of sin and death
.We are sanctified (made holy) in Jesus Christ

RomansS2.......

lCorinthiansl:2....
1 Corlnthians 1:30 . .

1 Corinthians 15.22 .

2 Corinthians 5:17 . .
2 Corinthians 5:21 . .

Ephesiansl

... ..

4......

We are new Persons.


We are made right with God.

. , We are adopted as God's children.

7......

Ephesians 1:10,11 .
Ephesians 1:13

.....

Ephesians2:6......

. . Our sins are taken away, and we are forgiven


.

. . We will be brought under Christ's authority


. . We are marked as belongrng to God by the Holy Spirit
. .We have been raised up to sit with Christ in the heavenly realrns

Ephesians21O.....
Ephesians2:13.....

. . We are God's nasterPiecc.

Ephesians3:6

. . We share tn the promise ln Chrtst.

......

. .We have been brought near to God.

Ephesians312....

. . We can come wtth freedom and confidence into God's

Ephesians 5:29, 30

We are rnembers of Christ's body, the church


. .We have been given fullness in Christ
. We are set free from our sinful nature

....

Colossians2:11
2 Timothy 2:1O

presence.
.

Colossians210....
,

. .We will have eternal glorY.

2:2 "fhe mighty prtnce of the power

of the air" ls Satan Paul's


-eaders believed that Satan and the evil spiritual forces nhabrted
.re region between earth and sky. Satan is thus pictured as rultng
:n evii-spiritua kingdom the demons and those who are aga nst
lhrist. Satan rneans "the accuser." F1e is also cal ed the Dev I
I 27). ln the resurrection, Christ was vlctorious over Satan and
-rs power Therefore, Jesus Christ is the perrnanent ruler of the
,,hoe wor d; Satan is only the temporary ruler of the part of the
,',orld that chooses to follow him.

people, wthoutexcepton, comrntsin


:roves that without Christwe have a srnful nature We are lost in
: n and cannot save ourselves. Does this mean only Chr stians
:o good? Of course not many peop e do good to others On
. relative scae, many are moral, kind, and law abiding Com:aring these people to crimlnals, we would say that they are
:ry good indeed. But on God's absolute scale, no one s good
.rough to earn sa vation ("dead, doomed forever because of
-.ur many sins " 2:1) Only through being united with Christ's
::rfect life can we become good in God's sighl "Under God's

2:3 Thefactthatall

i
I

i
t

one in Christ with all other believers.

. .We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ'


. .We are holy and without fault.

Ephesiansl;5,6....
Ephesiansl

We are pure and holY in Christ.


We will be made alive at the resurrection.

. . We are

Galatians3.28......
Ephesians 1:3

We are justified (declared "not guilty" of sin)

anger" refers to those who are to recelve God's wrath because


of the r reject on of Chr st

2:4,

5 ln the previous verses Paul wrole about our old sinful.

(l: -Jl
a1v o^oel u'det s^> powe'
nature

ot-s

we do not need to live

l"epp'atyol s^ a10 ls ponel

*e.e racJoustT &s 'oyeo 0y Cl" st 0n lhe c'oss


Through faith in Christ we stand acquitted, or not gutlty, belore
Cod rhona" 3?' ,2?). Cod ooes ^o- Ia{e 's ouL o't1e ,l/orld
ng anO soretrTes
o. ral,e -s roools ,te w ll st.l{eel ike sinn
we will sin The difierence is that before we becarne Chrstians'
we were dead in sin and were slaves to our s nful nature But
now we are alive wlth Chr st (see also Ga atians 2:20)

2:6

Because of Chr st's resurrection, we know that our body

wil also be raised from the dead (1 Cornthlans.l512-23) and that


we have been glven the power to live as Christ ans now (1:19)
These ideas are combined n Paul's image of sltting with Chr st in
"the heavenly realms" (seethe noteon 1:3) Our eternal ifewith
Christ s certain because we are united in his powerful victory

't"i

EPHESIANS 2

1874

with christ Jesus. TAnd so God can always point to us as examples of the incredible

2i7
Tltus 3:4

wealth ofhis favor and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us through
Christ Jesus.
sGod saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for 2;8
John 4:1 0
this; it is a gift from God. eSalvation is not a reward fbr the good things we have done, 2i9
so none of us can boast about it. 1oFor we are God's masterplgce. He has created us anew Rom 3:28
2Tim I I
in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the gooa tninffiplanned foius long ago.
Titus 3:5
Oneness and Peace in Christ

rlDon't lbrget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders by birth. You were :alled "the
uncircumcised ones" by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it
afl-ected only their bodies and not their hearts. 12In those days you were

living apart from

2t'11

Ca

2.11

2:12
Rom 9:4
1 Thes

4113
Christ. You were excluded from God's people, lsrael, and you did not know the promises
2t'13
God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. lsBut Co 1:20
now you belong to Christ Jesus. Though you once were far away from God, now you
have been brought nezLr to him because of the blood of Christ.
2t'14
l aFor
Christ himself has made peace between us Jews and you Gentiles by making us 1 Cor 12:13
all one people. He has br.oken down the wall of hostility that used to separate us. 15By 2:15
2Car 5.17
his death he ended the whole system of JerfiSh*IIil-ihar excluded the Gentiles. His Gal 3:28
purpose was to make peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new Col 1.21-22
person from the two groups. loTogether as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to 2116
Co 1:20
Cod b5 means ol his death. and our hostilitl toitard elch other \\as put lo death. I He 2;17

hasbroughtthisCoodNe*'olpeacffiar,raylromhim.and

to us Jews who were near. l8Now all of us, both Jews and Gentiles, may come to the
Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.

2:8,

When someone gives you a grft, do yoLr say "That's


very nice now how much do I owe you?" No, the appropnate
response to a g ft is "Thank you." Yet how often Christ ans, even
after they have been given the gift of savaton, fee obligated to
try to work their way to God. Because our salvation and even our
faith are g fts, we should responcj with gratitude, praise, and joy.

2:8-10

We become ChIstians through God's unmerited favor,


not as the result of any effort abi ty, intell gent cho ce, or act of
service on our pa( However, out 0f gratitude for thls free gift,
we wi seek t0 help and serve others with krndness, love and
gentleness, and not merely to p ease ourse ves While no action
or work we do can help us 0bta n salvation, God's tntent on is
that our salvat on w i result n acts of servrce. We are not saved
merely for our own beneft but to serve Chrisi and bui d up the
church (4r12).

We are God s masterp ece (work oi a( workmanship)


0ur salvation is somethrng on y God can do lt is his powerfu
crcaL le ,ro't rr'
God ( o-sioers
> Tas-e oie(e) le 0a.e
2:1

no''

-'

e o

o u-, se r,

2:11-13

^s

fr i-rFGJ

-)
li:_rj $IS dS 1,.:-.j

ous Jews cons dered all non,Jews (Genti es) cere-

monial y unclean. They thought of themselves as pure and clean


because of the r nat ofa heritage and rel gtous ceremonies.
Paul pointed oui that Jews and Genttles a ke were unclean

before God and needed to be cleansed bv Christ ln order to


rea ize how great a gtft salvation is, we need to remember our
former natural, unclean cond tion. Have you ever felt separate
excluded. hopeless? These verses are for you \q.gne.l$aLre,rAted from Christ's love or from the body of be ieveis.

2:11-13 Jews and

Gentrles alike cou d be guilty of spir tual

de-Jews for thinking the r faith and traditions e evated thern


aboue ere',0'e e se, Genii esJg t.- r ng ntnpi.oc- erprc"
pr

oowe'. or oos:rie . r$p ''-.al p.ide-p ,. oc


r0 o .' o,,r ^ 'au rs a^o
.lag'r'e" Ihe [du.ts doTle'tBe co.e1- -s
ror'o oe(one p 0_o oyour salvat on. lnstead, humb y thank God for what he has done,
and encourage others who might be strugg ng in the r fatth

2:11-16 Be'o e Ch.s . cor.g Ge"ri es ano Je^s .epl dp.rt


'or o'e anol"er,e/.s c0 >oe ao Cent es oerono Goris sa.-

2:14

lsa 57: 1 9
Zech I 10
2:18
Eph 3 12; 4.4

ing power and therefore w thout hope. Gent les resented Jew sh
claims. Christ revea ed the total srnfulness of both Jews and
Genti es and then he offered h s salvat on to both Only Christ
breaks down the walls of prejudice, reconc les a I be ievers to
God, and unif es us tn one body.

2:14f1 Ch'rs has oeslro/e0 r'e oarr ers people_0, o


'emserr)e5 Becarse lhese walls nave oee'

ierbved

oAl\Aeen
,ve ca

have real un ty wlth peop e who are not like us Thls s true reconciliation. Because of Christ's death, we are all one (2.14). olr
host lity against each other has been put to death (2:16); we
can a have access to the Father by the Holy Splrit (2:18) we
are no onger strangers or foreigners to God (2 19); and we are
a being bullt into a holy temp e with Christ as our chief cornerstone (2:20 21)

2:14-22

ll.rere are many barr ers that can divide us from other
Christrans: age, appearance, inte Iigence, pol ttcal persuasion,
econom c status, race, theologrca perspective. One of the best
ways to strfle Chrrst's ove s to be friend y with on y those people
that we ike. Fortunate y. Christ has knocked down the barr ers
and has unified a I bel evers n one fam ly. His cross should be
the focus of our unity. The Holy Sp r t he ps us ook beyond the
barr.ers to the uni) ,.rp are ca led ro e^joi

2:15 By his death, Christ ended the angry resentrnent between


Jews and Gent es caused by the Jew sh laws that favored the
Jews and excluded the Gent les. Christ died to abol sh that who e
system of Jew sh laws. Then he took the two groups that had
been opposed to each other and made them parts of himself.
"One new person" means that Christ made a single entity out 0f
the two. Thus he fused a believers together to become one n
hlmself

2:17,18 Ihe Jews

were near to God because they already


knew of him through the Scr ptures and worshiped h m n the r reI g ous cerernonies. The Gentiles were far away because they
knew ittle or nothtng about God Because neither group could be
saved by good deeds, knowledge or stncer ly, both needed to
hear about the salvation available through Jesus Chr st. Both
Jews and Gent es are now free to come to God throuoh Chrrst
You have been brought near to h m (2:13).

EPHESIANS

1875

Lord

A Tempte tor the


,trI,trSf,J":r/r,
leSo now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and fbreigners. You are citizens along'7-'?. lc.tu/'{'3
20We
are his howe';f lfi ,*
with all of God's holy people. You are members of God's family.
>J
built on the fo_qndati_on of the apostles and the prophets..$,nd_the corqerstone is Chris{1j.,
Jesus himself. 21We who believe are carefully joined together, becoming a !q.!1-temple
fbr the Lord. 22Through him you Gentiles are alsojoined together as part ofthis du'elling

2i2O

lsa 28;1 6
Matt 16:18
Acts 41 1 1
1 Cor 3:1 1
1 PeI2:4 B

Rev 21:1 4
2:21
1

Cor3r16

Eph 4i15 16

where God lives by his Spirit.

3:1
Eph 4:

D
O

God's Secret Plan Revealed


l, Paul, am a prisoner of Christ Jesus because of my preaching to you Gentiles. 2As
yoo already know. God has given me this special ministry of announcing his favor
to you Gentiles. 3As I briefly mentioned earlier in this letter, God himself revealed his
secret plan to me. aAs you read what I have written, you will understand what I know
about this plan regarding Christ. sGod did not reveal it to previous generations, but now
he has revealed it by the Holy Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets.
6And this is the secret plan: The Gentiles have an equal share w:ith the Jews in all the
riches inherited by God's children. Both groups have believed the Good News, and both

Tim 1:B

3:2
Col 1;25
3:3
Eph 1 :9-1 0

Ca

1t26

3:5
Eph 1 17
3:6
Eph 2:14 16

3:7
Rom 15118
Cal 1.23, 25

3:8
1 Cor 15 9-10
e.o
Rom 16 25

OUR LIVES
BEFORE AND
AFTEB CHRIST

are pafi of the same body and enjoy together the promise of blessings through Christ
Jesus. 7By God's special favor and mighty power, I have been given the W911f,qr.f-q-1
privilege
of serving him by spreading this Good News.
'- aillfftinU
Thsush."l-djd_[9t!!ry !q deserv-e- iL {:g tt-qVeh I am the.least deserr ing

Chffi;,l;il;h#"f*it.ii'.i*iii]"';i..iiing.iheGentilesaboutthe
eI
ivailable to them in Christ.

Before

Dead

oecauseo[sn .......

Unoer God's anger .


Fo lowed the ways of the world

God's children
Free in Christ to love, serve, and slt with hirn

Followed our evil thoughts and


des,res

Raised up with Christ to glorY

is somet rnes cal ed God's house. ln


reality, God's househo cl is not a build ng but a group of people

2:19-22 A church bui ding

all]lqj&o:d

hto-gh ',s
s Lo'o as .te ire
n harmony wlth each other and in accordance with what God
says n hsWord Wearecitizens of Gods Kingdom andmem-

[L,fC: ,-|'ll gno_lpqtJfEelr

lq a

see hat God s o.e a-d

td

Ch'st

bers of his househo d.


What does it mean to be bu t on the foundat on of the
apostles ancl prophets? lt means that the church ls not bui t on
modern ldeas but rather on the spiritua heritage given to us by
the early apostles and prophets of the Christian church.

2:20

Pau was under lx).usearest ln Rome for preach ng about


Christ. The re igious leaders in Jbrusalem, who fe t threatened
lly Chrlst's teachings and didn't believe he was the lVessiah,
pressured the Ronnans to arrest Paul and bring h m t0 trial for
treason and for causing rebel ton among the Jews Paul had
appea ed for his case to be heard by the emperor, and he was
awaiting tr al (see Acts 28:16-31). Even though he was under
anest Paul maintained histirrn belief that God was in contro
of all that happened to him Do circumstances make you wonder if God has ost control of this world? L ke Paul, remember
that n0 matter what happens, God directs the world's affa rs

3:1

After
Made alive with Christ
Shown God's mercy and given salvation
Stand for Chrtst and truth

FnslavedtoSatan.....

Goo s ene'ries

Paul's "special ministry" refers t0 the spec a stewardship, trust, 0r cornrn tment that Pau had been given He had
been asstgned the special work of preach ng the Good News
io the Gentiles, God's great p an shown to Pau in a reveation

3:2,

was chosen to explain to everyone this

"rJl"r;i;;;.*
plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.

Peoo F*cin

3:5,
God's plan was nol revealed t0 prev ous generatlons,
not because God wanted to keep somethlng from h s peopLe
but because he would revea t t0 everyone in his perfect t ming
God planned to have Je\,vs and Gentlles compr se one body
the church. lt was known in the Old Testament that the Genti es
wou d rece ve salvation (lsaiah 49:6) but it was never revealed
in the O d Testament that all Gentlle and Jewish be evers would
become equai n the body of Christ. Yet this equality was accom
p shed when Jesus destroyed the "wa of hostllity" and created
"one new person" (2:14, 15).

3:7

When Paul began spreading the Good News, God gave

him the abil ty to speak effectively You may not be an apostle or


even an evange st but God wi I give you opportunit es to tell
others about Christ. And wth the opportunities he will provide the

courage, and povrer Whenever an opportunity presents


make yourself avai ab e to God as his servant As you
focus on the other person and his or her needs, God w I communrcate yourcarng atttude. Yourwordswll be natural oving,
and compel inq.
3:8 When Paul describes h mse f as "the least deservlng Christlanthere is " he meansthatwithoutGod's help hewould never
be able to do God's work Yet God chose h m to share the Good
News with the Genttles and gave him the power to do it. lf we feel
that our role s mlnor, we may be rlght-except that we have forgotten what a difference God makes. How does God want to use
you? Draw on his power do your part, and falthfu ly perform the
specia role God has ca ed you to p ay in his p an.

ab ly
itself ,

EPHESIANS

1876

loGod's purpose was to show his wisdom in all its rich variety to all the rulers and
authorities in the heavenly realms. They will see this when Jews and Gentiles are joined
togethet' in his church. 1r This was his plan from a-ll etemity, and it has now been carried

3:10

out through Christ Jesus our Lord.


l2Because of Christ and our faith

3;11

in him. we can now come fearlessly into God's

pf"t-dltcg,-+;tU-.EE-fi-gieA=:y9[&a.j?Sop-t"u*" Oo"'t dispair because of what thev are


ii ir for you that I am suffering, so you should f'eel honored and
aoing to -" t
encouraged.

Rom

1:33

1 Cot 2.7
Eph 1 :21, 6112
1 Pet 1:12

Eph 1:11
3112
Eph 2:1 B
Heb 4:1 6

"i..

Pauls Prayer lor Sptritual Empov,,ering


laWhen I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to 3i14
16I pray that fiom his Ph 2:10
the Father,* 15the Creator of everything in heaven and on eeLrth.
3:16
glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Phil 4:13 19
Col l:11
you
tlust
Spirit. 17And I pray that christ will be more and more at home in your heafis as
3i17
l8And
may
love.
marvelous
of
God's
the
soil
into
in him. tvlay yout roots go down deep
John 14:23
you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how Cal 27
Ligh, and hoiv deep his love really is. leMay you experience the love of Christ, though 3:18
John 1 16
it is so great you *i11 never fully understand it. Then you wiil be filted with tbe fullness Col 2:9 10

of life and power that comes from God.


20Now glory be to God! By his mighty powel at work within us. he is able to
21
accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given
glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen.

3119
Ca 2.1A

3:20
Eph 1 :1 9-20
Col 1:29

2. Unity in the body of Christ


beg you to lead a life worthy of your
t Theretbre l, a prisoner for serving the Lord,
4l
2Be
humtrle and gentle. Be patient with
God.
calling. fn, yo, have been calledly

Eph 3:1
Phll 1:7.13

sAlways keep
each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love.

4i2
Co 3:12

yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace'

4:3

3:14 Some manuscripts read the Fathet of our Lod Jesus Christ

The "rulers and authorilies in the heavenly realms" are


ther ange s who are witnesses to these events (see 1 Peter
1 12), or hostiLe spirtual forces opposed to God (2 2; 6112).

3:10
e

3:12

1t is an awesome privilege to be able to approach God


w th f reecjom and confldence Most of us wou d be apprehens ve
in the presence of a powerfu ru er But thanks to Chr st, by faith
we can enter direct y into God's presence through prayer. We
know we'll be welcomed with open arms because we are God's
chlldren through our union w th Chr st. Don't be afra d of God.
Ta k w th him aboLrt everything. He s wa ting to hear from you

3:13

Why shoud Paulssufferlng makethe Ephesiansfeei honored and encouraged? lf Paul had not pfeached the Good News
he would not be in
but then the Ephesians wou d not have
heard the Good News and been converted either. Just as a rnother
endures the pain of chi db rth in order to bring new life lnto the
worid, Pau endured the pain of persecutton in order to bring new
believers to Christ. Obeying Christ s never easy. le calls you to
take your cross and fol ow him ([/atlhew 16:24)-that s, to be willlng to endure pain so that God's message of salvat on can reach
the entire world. We shoulcl feel honored that others have suffered
and sacrif ced for !s so that we rn ght reap the benef t.

jar

15 The fam ly of God ncludes al who have bel eved in


him in the past a who be eve in the present and a who wil
believe rn the future. We are a I a fam y because we have the
sarne Father. He s the source of a I creation, the r ghtfu o\//ner
of everything. God prom ses h s love and power to his family,
the church (3:16-21). lf we want to recetve God's bless ngs, it
s mporiant thai we stay n contact with other beJ evers ln the
body of Chr st. Those who isolate themselves from God's family
and try to go t alone cut themselves off lrom God's power.
3:14,

3:17-19 God's ove is total, says Pau

lt reaches every corner of

our experience. it s wlde-t covers the breadth of our own experience and it reaches out lo the who e wor d. God's love is /onglt
cont nues the length of our 1ives. lt s hrgh-it rises lo the heights

4i1

13

Col 3:1 4-1 5

deep it reaches to the


depll-s of dlscouragement, despair, and even death. When you
leei shut out or iso ated, remember that you can never be Jos[ to
God s love For another prayer about God's mmeasurable and
rnexhaust ble love, see Paul's words ln Romans 8:38, 39.
3:19 Ths "fu Jness" is fuly expressed only in Chrst(Colossians
2:9 10). n union with Christ and through his empowering Spirit
we are cornplete We have al the {u ness of God available to us.
But we rnust appropriate that fu Iness through faith and through
prayer as we da ly I ve for him. Paul's prayer for the Ephesians .
ls aiso {or you. You can ask the Hoiy Sp ril to fill every aspect of
your fe to the fullest.
3120, 21 Th s doxo ogy-prayer of prarse to God-ends part 1
of Ephesians ln the f rst section, Pau described the t rne ess role
of the church. ln part 2 (chapters 4-6), he will exp ain how
church members should Iive in order to bring about the unity God
wants. As n most of his books, Paul first lays a doctrina foundation and then rnakes practical app icatons 0f the truths he has
presented.
of our celebrat on and elat on. His love is

4:1,
God has chosen us to be Chr st's representat ves on
earth. n I ghtotthistruth, Paulchalenges usto ivelivesworthy
of the calling we have recelved-the awesome prlvr ege of be ng
ca led Christ's very own. Th s inc udes being humble, gent e,
patlent, understand ng, and peaceful.,Peop e are watohing your
rle Can they see Chr st in you? llow wtlll are you do ng as his

'eo ese' alive l


4:1-6- "We are all one body," says Paul Unity does

not just
happeni we have to work at it. Often differences among peop e
can ead to division, but this should not be true in the church.
Inslead oi concentrat ng on what divides us, we should remember what un tes us: one body, one Spirit, one future, oneLord,
ore faith, one baptism, one Godl Have you earned to appreclate
people who are different from you? Can you see how their d ffering gl1ts and viewponts can help the church as it does God's

FPHESIANS

1877
4i4
Rom 12:5

Cot 12.12 13
Eph 2;T6, 18
1

4:7
Rom 123
1 Cat 12.7
4:9
3
John
Acls 2:27
3:1

Pet318

4:10
Eph 1:23
4111

Cat 12:28

4i12
l Cot 12.27
4:13
Eph I :23

Co

1:28

aWe are all one body, we have the same Spirit, and we have all been called to the same
6and there is only_ one God
glorious future. sThere is only one LoId. one faith, one baptism,
THowever, he has given
zill.
us
through
and
living
ind Father. who is over us all and in us all
sThat is why the
each one of us a special gift according to the genelosity of Christ.
Scriptures say,

"When he ascended to the treights'


he led a crovr d of captives
and gave gifts to his PeoPle."*
gNotice that it says "he ascencled." This rneans that Christ first came down to the lowly
world in which we live.* 10The same one who came down is the one who ascended
higher than all the heavens, so that his rule might fill the entire universe.
l,H" i, the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the
2
evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Jheir responsibility is to equip God's people
l3until we come to such unity
to dJis work and build up the church, the body of Christ,
1

4:8 Ps 68:

THE ONENESS
OF ALL

BELIEVERS

8.

4ig

Believers are
one in

. .....
Spirit ......
Body

Ot to the towesl pa,ts ot iie eann

"-

'

aur unity is exPeienced tn:


. . . .The fellowship of

believers-the church

. . . .The Holy Spirit, who activates the fellowshrp

Hope . .. .. .. . . . .That glorious future to which we are all called

Lord........

. . . . Christ, to wl-orn we all beLong

Faith ..

.. . . . . Our singular cornmitment to Christ


Baptrsm..... . . . . Baptism the sign of entry into the church

God . . .

. .God, who is our Father who keeps us for eiernity

here shows those areas wher"o


Too often believers are separated becausrr of minor diflerences in doctrine. But Pau

C"ftiiiiiinsmuitiqreetodttalntrueunity Wh,nbellevershavethisunrtyof spirit,pettydiflerencessh0uldneverbe


allowed to dissolve that unity.

work? Learn to enjoy the way we members of Christ's body


complement one anoiher. (See I Corinth ans 12:12 13 for more
on thls thought.)

4:2

Noone isever goingtobe perfecthereonearth sowe

must accept and love other Chr stians n spite of their laults
\{/hen we see faults ln tel ow believers, we should be patient
and oentle. ls there someone whose actions or personal ty realLy
anno"ys you? Rather than dwe lng on th4 person's weaknessies
or ooking for fau ts, pray for him or her' Then do even more
spend t rie together and see if you can learn to Jlke him or h:r'

4:3

To bui d unity is one 0f the HOly Sp rit's important roles.


He leads, but we have to be w lling t0 be ed and to do our part
t0 kAeo t1e peace. We do lhat oy'o(-sing o'l God rot ot o'-l''
>elves. ro'no'e aoo-l w^o the lory So ril s a'o uhat he dt'e>
seethe notes on John 3:6; Acts 1:5; and Ephesans 1113, 14

All believers in Chrisl belong i0 one body; all are united


under one head, Chrrst h mself (see 1 Corinthians 12 12-27)
Each believer has God given abilities that can strengthen the
whoLe body. Your special abiiity may seem smal or large, but it.
ls yours to use in God's service. Ask God to use your.unique g fts
to;ontribute to the strenqth and health of the body of believr:rs
4:6 God ls "over all"-this shows hls overrullng care (transcendence). He is "in us all" and "livlng through us all"-this shows
his acive presence in the wor d and in the lives of believers (im-

4:4-7

manence). Any view of God that violates elther his transcendence or hrs lmmanence does not pa nt a lrue p cture of God.
4:8 ln Psalm 68;18, God is pictured as a conqueror marchlng
to the gates ancl taking tribute from the fallen city Pau uses that
o cture-to teac* thar Ch'isl ln h s cr-, f < or and 'e> recL on \ as
-o l'eaue ne gave
oueT Satan. Wnen Chrtst asce'oed

"i,,nr.n,,.

glfts to the church, sorne of which Paul d scusses in 4:1 l-13

The "lowyworld" may be(1)theearth itsef (low1y by


comparrson to heaven), (2) the grave, or (3) Hades (many
belreve Hades ls the rest ng place of sou s between death and
resurrection) However we understand it, Christ s Lord of the
who e un verse past, present, and future Nothing oI n0 one s
h dden from him. The Lord of alL came to earth and faced death
to rescue a people. No one rs beyond his reach

4:9

4:11.

12

our one^ess in cn'sr does

nol,qqtlloi!L'.[o!]d!q:

', *. -re,y!fiilh?-fqTe-4cf-C{islia

soeLid gitts ro 01,,0-

rjq up lhe cnu'c^ Now l^dl !^/p hdve Inese q't5 rl rs.ttl"'"'10
usiether. Areyou spirtuaiy mature exercising the gifts God has
ore- ro,r'lf /o-l' o,\ wha'you grftsa'e too'-0'opoorl-nLres

serie ,f
rne ne o of
io

\0"

don l .now, asl. Goo to s10"t yolr. pernap" ,vilh

''ie'clc T er as yo- oeg


vo-, lt'isle' or Cl rlstid'
-t\
lo ecoqri.e you' spec a drea of >e'v'ce -5e voL' I lo

strengthen and encourage the church


13 God has given his church an enormous responsibility
to make disc p es tn every nation (Matthew 28:18-20) Thts nvo ves

4112,

--riJrng g ;^g dornisle"g


oreac^nq, leacni'g. l'eal'nq
rr- loir o i^o rra-\ ol-er tas\s. l[ ,te ^ao l0 f-'l lr lnis Lonrdld
it
lo
ve p wlhoLl t
as i^l.J,d-als, ue n.g as
^o
^e'g
be rmpossib e. But God calls us as members of his body Some of

)g

us can do one task; some can do another. Together we can obey


God more fu ]y than any of us could alone. Ll.s a human terd.ency
to overestimaie what *'e can clo by ourselvei anfio tnddresiimate

dodsa q'0 p Bulbsl"ebodybfC'

^naL\4e(a^ io,e locr'iitej


,litoroiis^

ra" ,

r'i lecon

d orean ooss o e wo4 no


bv ourselves. Workino together, the church can express the fu lness of Chnst (see the note 0n 3:19).
e wou

EPHESIANS

1B7B

in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature and full grown in the
Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.
laThen we will no longer be like children, forever
changing our minds about what we 4:14
believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has
Ith";11r0
cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. lslnstead. we will hold to the
iir5"
truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of hiq epn I zz
body, the church. r6under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. Ar
lot,u, ,o
each part does its own special work, it heips the other parts grow so that the whole tody "' ' ''
is healthy and growing and full of 1ove.
Living as Children of Light
17With the Lord's authority let me say this:
Live no longer as the ungodly+ do, for they 4i17
l:21
are hopelessly confused. lBTheir closed minds are
of clarkness; they are far away Bom
Eph22
from the life of God because they have shut their minds and harclened theii hearts againit 4:19
him. leThey don't care anymore about right and wrong, and they have given themselves Rom 1:24
Col35
over to immoral ways. Their lives are filled with all kinds of impurity and greed.
4i22
20But that isn't what you were taught
when you learned about ahdsi. 21 Since you have Rom 6;6
Col 3 5, B-9
heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, 22lhlowj,lEyquls]d gvll Jas 1:21

flll

!qtsr_.-s{IP_}r_lryl
t.,- ?!-Itupe4, tbsgrg$iq_q-pr4Iuui

4t23
Fom 12:2

d g. qpltgr

j1I,

11gl,-g5pl"y-t_ryf1a!*_!g9e!E_y."I_jr9_o-r1gw__p._rsqr', iriif.a-iuCods.

4:24
2 Cor 5:17

Col 3:1 0
teous, holy, and true.
aSo prt awoy att futsettooa ancll't"ll your neighbor the truth',*
4125
because we belong to +Zech
8 T6
each other. 'oAnd "don't sin-!yleiling
anser
Co
3:B 9
sain
control
orer
_
_*_
Don't
let
.__:=-i^
-:.:
the
1ou."'k i::_::_;'_.-_.' sun
_+.. -* *_*.*,-__27lor
r.-toi
go;[o.wnrvhilJ
you
are s_t|U,.;glgly,
stil! i4g5r.
do.uLr-while
4i28
rnger giveil mEhT"ltoififfidrdjffier,il.-*
1Thes411
ll1ou .'e a tiiiei.li6p slealing. BGruJ;! yo-lrlranaif"r 6ne.r work.
rnd then give
4:29
2eDon't
generously to others in need.
use foul or abusive language.
2:36
t*:ygy[gCJgg_Luy N4att
Rom l4:Tg
be

goodandhelp

4:17 Greek Gentiles. 4i2SZech

g{eg9p*rl9lbs!9@u.

8:i6.

4;26 ps 4:4.

4:14-16

Christ rs the truth (John 14:6), and the Hoty Spilt, who
gu des the church, is the Sp rit of truth (John 16:13) Satan, by
contrast, is lhe father 0f lies (John 8:44) As followers of Christ,
we must be committed to the truth. This means both that our
words shou d be honest and that our acttons shou d ref eci
Christ's rftegrty. Holding tothetruth n love is notaways easy
convenient or pleasant, but tt is necessary if lhe church is gorng
to do Chrrst's work in the worlcl.

16 Some Chrrstians fear that any mistake will destr0y their


wtness for the Lord They seetheir own weaknesses, and they
know that many non-Chr stians seem to have stronger characier
than they d0. How can we qrow up into Chr str The answer s that
Christ forms us tnto a body into a group of ndivrduals who are
un ted in ther purpose and in their love for one another ancl for the
Lord f an indivtdual stumbles, the rest of the group rs there t0
p ck that person up and help h m or her walk trth God again. lf
a person s ns he or she can f nd restoraton through the church
(Galatians 6:1 ) even as the rest 0f the bodv continues to witness to
Gods trlrr. As oa.r orIhrisLs 000r'. 00vo_ re.ec pa,rol C .sts
Cnd acle' a'd Cd"y O:t7Out Sper a rOle n hS nO.r'
4:15,

4:17

natura tendency of human beings s to thrnk therr way


.The
away from God-leaving them "hopelessly conf used.', lntellec-'
tual pr de, rationalizations, and excuses a I keep people from
Co0. Do' l oe su,o.sAcl rr o.opre car t grasp rhe Cooo \er,rs.
lhe Good News w r seerr '00 tsh l0 ttsose .rho o'sar e ,:irh and
rely on thetr own understandrng.

4:17-24

?eople shou d be able to see a dtfference between


Christ ans and non-Christ ans because of the wav Chr stians
tve. We are to lrve fuil of light (5:8) paul told the Lphesians to
leave behind the old life of sin s nce thev were foliowers of
Cn'sr I i,li^g lne Ch'5la- 'e rs a oroce-s. A, r.ougr .r,e -a,e
a new nature we don't automattcally thlnk all good thoughts ancl

Col 3;8

express al r ght attitudes when we become new people n Chrisr


But rf we keep I stening t0 God, we w ll be chang ng a I the t rne.
As you ook back over last year, do you see a process of change
for the better tn your thoughts, attrtudes, and actions? Althougd
change may be slow, it comes as you trust God to change you.
For more about our new nature as be evers see Romani 6:6:
8 9 Galatians 5:16-26; Coiossians 3:3-8.

4:22-24 aur

old way of lfe beforewe beieved n Christ rs com


We should put it behind us like o d clothes
to be thrown away. When we decrde to accept Chr st's g ft of
Sa\dtion()B-101 tSDOI' donet.neOeC,StOn, as
"a/el'a:aOa r
co^scious co.n-l'tne"l. We;.e -ol o oe d.,en by oes'.e ano '
ou !o We rusr buloe ^e\ nal-.e r aao i. ino rou o re,
p etely in the

past

li

o._andn-.ffi,1b-?,riql

6il.tr;

4:25

Lying to eacn otner Jsrupts urily by ca.f rg


destroying trust. lt tears down relat onships ancl leads to open
warfare n a church.

4:26,27 lleBible doesn'ttell

us thatwe shoudn'tfee angry,


but t polnts out that it s important to hand e our anger proper y
lf vented thoughtlessly, anger can hurt others and distroy relationshlps lf bottled up ins de, rt can cause us to become bitter

and d-"stroy us from withrn. Paul tells us to deal with our anger
immedrately rn a way that builds relationships rather than d;:l'o,s Lher. , \{e n,.se ou'arger r,te .trt g ve Sata- dn oppo.rJ-iry to di\ide us Are ro . d.gr) \4,rn 50Teone rrgnr ^ow- W.a.
can you d0 t0 resove your differences? Don't let the dav end
be'O'e yo.r begr' lO ,vo.r Or
0, g y'Ou e drrorSh p.

re

4:28-32

We can bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit by the way we


I ve. Paul warns us against unwholesome languagb,
bitterness

rmproper use of anger, harsh words, s ander andbad attitudes


ro,la'd oile's. nstead o'acr,"g -at ,va' v{e s-Ou 0 oe 'o.q . n0.
Ic' a5 Goo ras lorgi. en us Are , o_ b. ng ng co..o,\ o p easr" q

"879

EPHESIANS

t:30

30And do not bring solrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you
live. Remember, he
is the one who has identitied you as his own! guaranteeing that you will be saved on the
day of redemption.
3r Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger.
harsh words, ancl slander, as well as all types of
malicious behavior. 32Tnstead. be kind to each other, tenderhearted.

:? 63:10
1:13 14

::r

l9

Thes 5

l:31

I38
-eI

2:1

aqother, just a1 God through Ch.i.tt lrai f-orgiven

,t31213

you.

forgiving
e

une

Living in the Light

6
rJ

r'l

'att 5r48

at2

rhn 13:34
.a) 1 14,2.20

,r

35

5;4

:fh,1:29

-o

3:8

Cor 6:9 10
3:5

,:

5r6

:cm

lo

1:18
2:4, B; 3 6

5r8
-

thn

=;th

B:1

5;11

ofevii

12

anr 3:20-21

5l

:a 26:19
:2:1 ; 60:1
rohn 5:25

lom

3:1

lind out what is pleasing to the Lord. llTake no part in the worthless

cleecls

and diu'kness; instead, rebuke and expose them. 12It is sharneful even to talk about

the things that ungoclly people do in secret. l3But when the light shines on them, it

5:13
5r14

you and gave hin'rself as a sacrifice to lake away your sins. And God was pleased, because
that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him.
3Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such
sins have no
place among God's people. aobscene stories, fbolish talk, and coarse jokes-these are
not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. sYou can be sure that no inrmoral.
impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of christ and of God. For a greedy
person is really an idolaterwho worships the things of this worlcl.6Don'tbe fooledbv
those who tr) ro c\cuse these sins. lor the tcrlihle ungel of cod cornes rrpon all thosc
who clisotey frirn. TDon;ip;iticDaie in the things these people clo. BFor though yoiii
hearts werd oiice full of darkness. now you areluil of light'fiom the Lord, and your
behavior should show it! s For this light within you produces only what is good and right
and true.
10Try to

2:2

rom 13

Follow God's example in everything you do, because you are his clear children.
2live e life filled with love tbr others, following the example of christ, who loved

17

becomes cleal how evil these things are. raAnd where your
their evil deeds. This is why it is said.

light shines, it will expose

"Awake, O sleeper',
rise up from the dead.
and Christ will give you light."

3od wilh your att tudes and actions? Act ln love toward yOur
rrothers and s sters in Chnst just as God acted in ove by sendng hrs Son to die for your sins.

4:30

The loly Spir t within us is a guarantee that we be ong


.o God. For more on this thought, seethe nole on 1:13 14.

Th s s Chr st's aw of torgiveness as taught n the


Gospels (N'4atthew 6:14, 15t 1B:35; lt/ark 11:25) We aso see
tin the [ord's Prayer-"Forgive us our stns just as we have
iorgiven those who have s nned aoa nst us " God forqives us.
ot beca:se IF -org /e or.e'.. o .t SO o,y .e c .,e oih . g ea
mercy. As we come to understand his mercy, however, we w ll
rvant to be like him Havtng received forg veness, we w I pass
t on to others Those who are unw llrng to forgive have not become one with Chr st, who was wi ling to forg ve even those
who cruc fled h m (Luke 23:34).

4:32

5:1,2

Just as children imitate lheir parents we shou d folow God's example. H s great love for us ed him to sacr ftce
hrmsef sothatwe might ive. Our ove forothers shou d be
0f the same kind a Ove that goes beyond affect on to se f,
sacr f cing service

5:4 Obscene stor es and coarse jokes are so commOn that


we begin to take thenr for granted Paui cautions, however, that
mproper language shou d have no place in the Chr sl an's con
versation because it does not reliect God's gracrous presence
rn us. How can we praise God and rem nd others of his goodness when we are speaking coarse y?
5:5-7 Paul s not forb dding a contact with unbe ievers.
Jesus taught h s fol Owers to befnend s nners and ead them
to hlm (Luke 5:30-32). Instead, Paui s speak ng against con
don ng the ife-style of people who make excuses for bad
behavior anc recommend its pract ce to others-whether

they are n the church or 0utside of it. Such people can quickly
pol ute the church and endanger its unrty afd purpose. We
must befrrend unbe revers if we are to ead them to Christ, but
we must be wary of those who are v c ous y ev l, irnrnoral, or
opposed to a I that Christ anity stands for Such people are
more I ke y to nf uence us for ev 1 than we are ikely to lnflu
ence them for good

5:8 As people f lled w th light, our acttons shou cl reflect our


fa th. We should ive above reproach mora y s0 that we w
reflect God's goodness t0 others Jesus stressed th s truth n
the Serrnon on the N4ount (l\/atthew 5:15, 16).

t s mporlant t0 avord the 'worthless deeds of ev I


and darkness" (any p easure 0r act vrty that resu ts in sin), but
we must go even further Pau nstructs us to expose these
deeds because our siience may be nterpreted as approva.
Gocl'needs people who w ltake a,stand for whal.,is rjqht.
Chris{ ans must lovingiy.speak outJor'whaf i:s:tiue-and r1g1{i'''5:10-14

5:14

"

Th s is nol a diiecl quote frorh Sbriptuib bui v;;:is piOtunfy..

taken from a hymn well known to the Ephesians The hymn


seemsto have been based on saah 26:19. 51:17 52:1, 60:1;
and flalachj 4:2. Paul was appeal ng t0 the Ephes ans t0 wake
up and rea ze the dangerous cond tion int0 r,h ch some of them
had been slipp no.

EPHESIANS

l BBO

L^ing ay lhe Spirtls Power


rsso be c;Lreful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. l6Make the most
of every opportunity fbr doing good in these evil days. 7 Don't act thoughtlessly' but try
to understand what the Lord wants you to do. l8Don't be drunk with wine, because that
will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. leThen you will sing
psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in
your hearts. zoAnd you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the
nume of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1

SpirilGuided Relationshtps: Wives and Husbands


21And further, you will submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22You wives
will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord. 23For a husband is the head ofhis
wife as Christ is the heacl of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior- 2aAs
the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to ycur husbands in everything.
25And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the
church. He gave up his life for her 26to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and
God's word.* 27He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot
28In the sarne
or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.
5;26 Greek having cleansed her by the washing of water with the wotd

5:15, 16 By referring to these days as ev , Pau was communicatrng his sense of urgency because of evil's pervas veness. We
need the same sense of urgency because our days are also diffcull. We must keep our standards high act w sely and do good
whenever we can.

5:18 Paul contrasts gettlng drunk with wtne, lvh ch produces a


temporary "h gh " t0 be ng fllled wth the Spirit, which produces
asting joy. Gettlng drunk wrth wine is assocjated w th the o d way
o{ ifeand ils selfrsh desires In Chrst we liave a betterioy,
higher and onger lasting, to cure our depress on, monotony, or
tension. We should not be concerned wth how much ofthe Floly
Sp rit we have but wlth how much of us the Noly Spir t has. Subm t yourse f daily to his eading and draw constaftly on his power.
5:20 Whenyoufeel down youmayf nd tdifficutlogive
thanks. Take heart rn al1 things God works for our good f we
ove him and are ca led by h m (Romans 8:28). Thank God
not for your problerns but for the strength he is bu ding in you
through the d fficu t exper ences of your iife. You can be sure
that God's perfect ove wi I see you through.

22 Submitting to another person is an oflen m sunderstood


concept. lt does not mean becomrng a doormat. Chr st-at whose
name "every knee wi I bow, n heaven and on earth and under the
earth" (Phll ppians 2 10) subm tted h s wi I t0 the Father, and we
honor Christ by fo 1ow ng his example When we submit io God,
we become more wi J ng to obey h s command to subm t t0 others,
that is, t0 subord nate our r ghts to the rs. In a marriage re at onsh p both husband and wife are ca led to subrn t. For the wife, this
means wi lngly following her husband's leadership ln Chrtsl. For
the husband it means puttinq as de his own interests in order to
5:21,

5:22-24

ln Paul's day, women, children, and slaves were to


submrt to the head of the family: Slaves would submit unl lthey
were f reed ma e chlldren untrl they grew up, and women and
girls their whole ives. Paul emphasized the equality of al be tev
ers in Chr st (Ga at ans 3:28). but he did not suggest overthrowng Roman society to achieve it. lnstead, he counse ed a l
be revers to submit to one another by cho ce-wives to husbands and a so husbands to wives; slaves to masters and also
masters to s aves; ch dren to parents and a so parents to ch
dren. This k nd of mutual submission preserves order and har
mony n the fam 1y, wh ]e it increases love and respect among
farniy members.

5:16
Col 4:5

5i17
1

Thes 4:3

5:18

Prov201i23:31
5:19
Col 3;1 6

5i21
1

Pet55

5t22
Gen 3:16
5:23
1

Cor 11:3

5:26
John T5:3;
Heb 10:22
5:27
Eph 1:4
Cal 1.22

5:22-24 Although some people have d storted Pau's teach ng


on subm ssion by giv ng unlimited authorlty to husbands, we
cannot get around t: Pau told wives to submlt to their hus
bands The fact that a teach no s not popular is n0 reason to
discard it. According to the Bible, the man s the spiritual head
of the family, and his wlfe should acknowledge his Leadership.
But rea sprr tual leadersh p invo ves service. Just as Chrlst
served the drsc ples, even to the po nt of washing their feet, so
the husband rs to serve h s wfe. A w se and Christ-honor ng
husband r,vi not take advantage of his eadership role, and a
w se and Christ honoring wrfe will not try to underm ne her husband's leadership. Either approach causes dlsunity and frict on
in marriage.

5:22-28

Why did Pau le I wrves to submit and husbands to


love? Perhaps Chrlstian women, new y freed in Christ, found submission diff cult; perhaps Chr stian men, used to the Roman custorn of giving unl mited power to the head of the famty, were nol
used to treatrng their w ves wtlh respect and love 0f course both
husbands and wjves should submit to each other (5:21), iust as
both should love each other.
Some Christians have thought lhat Pau was negat ve
aboul marriage because of the counse he gave in 1 Corinthians
7:32-38. These verses n Ephes ans however, show a high view
of marriage Here marrtage rs not a practical necessity or a cure
for lust, but a p cture 0f the relationship between Christ and his
churchl Why the apparent difference? Paul's counse in 1 Corinthians was desicrned for a slate of emergency during a time of
persecution and crisis. Paul's counsel to the Ephes ans is more
the bib ical deal for marriage. Marriage, for Pau, is a hoy un on
a living symbo , a prec ous re at onship that needs tender selfsacr frcing care.

5:251f

5:25-30 Paul dev0tes tw ce as many words to tel ing husbands


to Ove the r wves as t0 tel ing wves to submrt t0 lheir husbands
How should a man love h s wfe? (1) Ne should be wi lrng to
sacrif ce everythrng for her, (2) make her well-being of pr mary
importance, and (3) care for her as he cares for his own body.
No wrfe needs lo fear submittrng to a man who treats her in this
way

27 Chr st's death makes the church ho y and clean. He


cleanses us from the old ways of sin and sets us apart for h s
spec al sacred service (Hebrews 10r29; 13:12). Christ cleansec
the church by the wash ng of baptism. Through baptism we are
prepared for entrance rnto the church just as anc ent Near Easl'
ern brrdes were prepared for marriage by a ceremonial bath l: God's Word that cleanses us (John 17;17 Titus 3:5).
5:26,

EPHESIANS

1BB1
5:29
l Cat 12:27
5:30
1

Cot 6.15, 12:27

5:31

+Gen 2.24

lvatt 19:5
5:33
1 Pet

3:1-2, 5

6:1

Coi 3:20

6:2-3
iExad 2A.12
'Deut 5:1 6
Matt 15:4
6:4
Col 3;21

way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man ls
actually loving himself when he loves his wife. 2eNo one hates his own body but lovingly
30And we ale his body.
cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church.
31As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife,
and the two are united into one."* 32This is a great mystery, but it is an illustlation of the
way Christ and the church are one. 33So again I say, each man must love his wife as he
loves himself, and the wif'e must respect her husband'
Children and Parents
|! Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing
O tn do. 2.'Honor vour father and mother." This is the first of the Ten Commandments
that ends with a promise. 3And this is the promise: lf you honor your father and mother,
"you will live a long life, full of blessing."*
aAnd now a word to you fathers. Don't make your childlen angry by the way you treal
them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord.
5:31 Gen

GOD'S ARMOR
FOR US

2:24.

612-3 Exod 2O.12i Deut 5;16.

Piece of Armor

Use

Truth

^l+

We are engaged
n a

spiritual

battle-all
believers find
themselves
sublect to
Satan's attacks
because they ar"
no long"r on
Satan's side.
Thus, Paul tells

Body armor

Shoes

Righteousness

Readiness to

spread the
Good News

t0 use everl
p/ece of God's
armor to resist
us

Satan's attacks
and to stand true
to God in the
mldst of those
attacks.

Shield

Faith

Helmet

Salvation

Sword

Word of God

Application
Satan fights with lies, and sometimes his lies sound like
truth; but only believers have God's truth, which can
defeat Satan's lies.
Satan often attacks our heart-the seat of our emotions,
self-worth, and trust. God's righteousness is the body
armor that protects our heart and ensures his approval
He approves of us because he loves us and
sent his Son to die for us.
Satan wants us to think that telling others the Good
News s a worthless and hopeless task-the size of the
task is too big and the negative responses are too
much to handle. But the shoes God glves us are the
motivation to continue to proclaim the true peace that is
available in God-news everyone needs to hear.
What n/e see are Satan's attacks in the form of insults,
setbacks, and temptations. But the shield of faith
protects us f rom Satan s fiery arrows. With God's
perspective, we can see beyond our circumstances
and know that urtimale v'clory ;s ours
Satan wants to make us doubt God, Jesus, and our
salvation. The helmet protects our mind from doubting
God's savinq work for us.
The sword is the only weapon ol offense in this list of
armor There are times when we need to take the
offensive against Satan. When we are tempted, we
need to trust in the truth of God's Word.

The union of husband and wite merges two persons ln


such a way that itt e can affect one wlthout a so affecting the other
Oneness n marriage does not mean osing your personal ty in the
personality of the other. lnstead, lt means car ng for your spouse
as you care for yourself, learning to antic pate hls or her needs,
he p ng the other person become al he or she can be The creation

Parents should care gent y for their chlldren, even if the children
are disobedlent and unpieasant. ldeally, of course, Chr stian par
ents and Christian children wrlL relate to each other with thoughtfuiness and love. This will happen if both parents and children put
the others' rnterests above their own that is, if they submit to one

story tells of God's plan that husband and wife should be one (Genesis 2:24), and Jesus also referred to thrs plan (N/atthew 19:4-6).

6:3

5:31-33

There is a drfference between obeying and honorlng To


6:1,
obey means to do as one is toldt t0 honor means to respect and
ove. Ch ldren are not commanded to d sobey God in obeylng
their parents. Adult children are not asked to be subservient t0
Com neenng parents. Chtldren are to obey while under the r parents' care, but the respons bility t0 honor parents is for life.

6:1-4 lf ourtaith in Christ is real, itwl usualy prove itself

at

home, in our relationships with those who know us best Ch ldren


and parents have a responsibility to each other Children should
h0nor their parents even f the parents are demanding and unfair.

another.

Some societies honor their elders. They respect the r wlsattentron to their comfort
and happiness. Th s is how Christians shou d act. Where elders
are respected, long life s a bless ng, not a burden to them

dom defer to their authority, and pay

6:4

The purpose of parenta discip ine is to help children grow,

not to exasperate and provoke them t0 anger or discouragement


(see also Colossians 3:21). Parenting is not easy-it takes lots

0f patience to raise children in a iov ng, Christ-honoring manner


But frustratron and anger should not be causes for d scipl ne
Instead, parents should act in love, treating their chi dren as
Jesus treats the people he Joves. This is vital t0 children's development and to thetr understanding of what Chr st is ke

EPHESIANS

1882
.,',,

Slaves and Masters

,,,r..];.

,".)

""' !t

5S1aves, obey

your earthly masters with deep respect and f'ear. Serve therpsincerely as
you would serve christ. 6work hard, but not just to please your masters,'when they are
watching. As slaves of Christ,-do
Twork with
-tb-e-will= o-f Go4 i'ith _all your hearr:
enlhusil\m. a\ thotrgh )ou were r,rorking lorthe Lord ratherrhan l.rrpeople. BRenrember
that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we clo, whethe, *" u.. slaves or

6:5-7
iiCo 3:22-23
Titus 2 I 10
6:8
Col3.24-25

free.

sAnd in the same wayJ you masters must treat your


slaves right. Don't threaten them;
remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he has no favorites.

6:9

Joll 31:13-14
Col 4:1

The Whole Armor of God

, :. .
" "',"

l0A final word: Be strong with the Lord's


mi-ghty power. 11 Put on all of God's arrror so 6:11
13 12
that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. 12For we Rom
1 Thes 5:B
are not fighting against people rnade of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and 6t'12
authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this Eph 3 10
world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.
13Use every piece of God's
armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after
the battle yo-11 will still be standing film. lastand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt 6:14
lsa I 1 :5; 59:1 7

of truthandrhebocll armorolGod'.righteousnesr. :no1 s,tioe_i.pr-itonrh.p.n.lrh"L


will be fully pt"p'ui.al iuln
tattle you

bomes from the Goocl News, so that you

"u".y

Thes 5:B

6:15
lsa 52:7
6;16

:qJ-vqtjon ar yotrr'helmet. and tuke the swordjul the Spirir. whlch is rhe r.rord ol'Cod. 1 Jn 5:4
all linjes and o1 eyery occasion in the power tf the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and 6:17
sa59r1/
be perdistent in youi'pidyers for all Christians everywhere
1 Thes 5rB
reAnd pray for lr e, too. Ask God to give
leb
4 12
me the iight words as I boldly explain God,s
secret plan that the Good News is for the Gentiles, too.'i. 2oI am in chains now fbr 6:18

' ]tfft{lt
'
':
rf'. pt:i:h+g this me-ssage as God's ambassador.
r" boldly fbr him, as I should.

But pray that

I wilr keep on speaking

'.

6:1 5

Or For shoes. put an the readness to preach the Good News ol peace wilh Cod.

b:ry Ljreek e^ptdtn lhe mystery of the gaspet.

i-lL*J

:.", .. 'r-'.,

ir.:i :.{ii.:

.'.- ,.:i. ,,-.,,,-:

,;r1,

6:5

Slaves played a s gn ficanl part in this society. There were


several mril on of them ln the Rornan Empire at this t rne. Because
many s aves and owners had become Chr stians the ear y
c' -rrh ad L0 dea')i.atg UOr,^d.dli *rr L.e Q."bL0T Ot Td>
ler sa\e'ea tors Dau s,latero.r rrt-e., o oet rs norcondones slavery. lnstead, it te/ls masters and slaves how to ve
togelher n Chrrstran househo ds. n Paul's day, women, children
and slaves had few flghts ln the church, however thev had freedo'rq ' dt SOC el. 09' "Cl IhoT Da- 'o ts UcOdnOS pa.anl)
and masters to be caflng

6:6-8

Pau's instructtons encourage responsibi ity and integrity

on the job. Christ an employees should clo the r jo'bs as i{ Jeiud


Chrrst were the r superv sor And Chr stian emp oyers should treat
the r emplOyees fairly and with respect Can you be trusted to do

your best, even when the boss is not around? D0 vou work hard
and with enthusasm? Do you treat your employees as people,
not machines? Remember thal no matter whom you work for, and
n0 matter who works for you the one you ult mate y shouid want
lo oea>e . ro.r.atl'a.i^ roa.e"

6:9 Although Chflstians may be at different levels rn earthlv


soc ety,.we are al equa befoie God. He does not play favoitest
no one is more important than anyone else. paul,s lett'er to phile_
firon stresses the same point: ph lemon. the master, and Ones _
mus his s ave, were brothers in Chrisl.
6:10-17

ln the Chr st an life we battle against rulers and authori(the powerfu evi forces of fal en ang-els headed by Satan,
ItLO Sa.i-out'9 e' se" I D"-e.r:Bt. lo.rii-. ta.o ri a,.allacr..
t es

ue nust deoe-o o. cod. 5-.e-g' dno

rse e,e.) p e ^ ot hrs


cl1-0r. ldU to -Ol 0^, Or, nO h.S Co_nse 'O Lhe CT ..Cr .-n^ booy
of Chr st, but to a I individua s within the church. The whole bodv
leeds lo b.-a'f e0. Ao ro. clo baLtteaoa; >t.he rio-', p61p,'5
ol da'rness. rg-t.''^ecr'"ng-hof t
"ef urch ,n oiepo,re.
comes from lhe loly Sp rit.

.r. r.'.

6i16 Greek by the evil one


.

r ,i

6:12

Aam8.26 27

Phi 4:6
Ca 4.2-3
6:19

Co

434

. .1.,

',,:.

These who are not "flesh and b ood" are demons over
whom Salan has contro. They are not mere fantasies they are
very real. We face a powerful army whose goal is to defeat
Christ's church When we bel eve in Christ these bengs become
our enem es, and they try every dev ce t0 tutn us away from h m
and back to sin Although we are assured of v ctory we must
engage in the struggle untrl Christ returns because Salan s con,
stantly battl ng agatnst a I who are on the Lords s de. We need
supernatural power to defeat Satan, and God has prov clecj this
by giving us h s Holy Splrit wlthin us and h s armor surroundlng
us 1l you fee discouraged, remember Jesus'words t0 peter:
"Upor this rock I will bu ld my church, and al ihe powers of he I
w ll not conquer t" (Matthew 16:18).

6:18 H0wcananyoneprayata/ltmes?Oneway stomake


qu ck, brief prayers your habrtua response to every situatron you
meet throughout the day. Another way rs to Orcler your life around
God's desires and teachrngs so lhat your very life becomes a
prayer. You don't have to iso ate yourself from other people and
from daily work in order to pray constantly you can make prayer
your I fe and your ife a prayer whr e livrng tn a world that needs
God's powerful influence. We also should pray for all believers n
Christ; so pray for the Christians you know and for the church
around the world.
6:19, 20 Undiscouraged and undefeated, paul wrote powerful letters of encouragement from pr son. paul clid nOt ask the
Ephes ans to pray that his cha ns would be removecl bLrt thal
he would continue to speak fearless y for Chr st in splte of them
God can use us in any circumstance to do hrs will. Even as we
praylor a change tn our crrcumslances, we shou d also pray
that G0d wlll accomp sh hrs plan throuoh us riqht where we are

n-owrg Goo>e'e'nal ou'poseto.-S

d ff cult times.

^i'

-ep ." t-ro,g-

r. e

EPHESIANS

1BB3

i]T
,'l

i'i
Final Greetings
6121

Acts 20:4

2\n

4:12

Titus 3:12

6122

Col4:7-9
6:23
Gal 6:16
2 Thes 3:1 6

Tychicus, a much loved brother and faithful helper in the Lord's work, will tell you all
I am getting along.22I am sending him to you for just this purpose' He will
let you know how we are, and he will encourage you.
23May God give you peace, dear friends,* and love with faith, from God the Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2aMay God's grace be upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ
with an undying love.
21

about how

6:23 Greek brothers.

6:21 lychicus

is also mentioned in Acts 20:4, Colossians 4:7,


2Timothy 4:12, and Titus 3:12.

6:24 This etter

was written to the church at Ephesus, but it was


ar on among olher chu'cnes. In t'is 'etter.
Paul high ights the supremacy of Christ, gives information on both
the nature of the church and on how church members should live,
and stresses the unity of all beiievers-male, female, parent, child
master, slave-regardless of sex, nationalty, or social rank. The
a so

neant for crrc-

home and the church are dilficult places to live the Chrlstian ltfe,
because our real self comes through to those who know us well.
Close relationships between imperfect people can lead to
trouble- or to increased faith and deepened dependence on
God. We can build unity in our churches through willing submission io Christ's leadership and humble servtce to one another.

nl)