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PaulsLettertotheEphesians

LeadersNotesfor
CentralFocusandHomeGroups
2004/5

by
LeeGatiss

STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
TABLEOFCONTENTS
TABLEOFCONTENTS..................................................................................................2
EPHESIANS1:110 ........................................................................................................5
INTRODUCTORYCOMMENTS ...........................................................................................5
SUGGESTEDSUMMARY ..................................................................................................5
THEPURPOSE ...............................................................................................................5
THEDETAILS .................................................................................................................5
SUGGESTIONSFORLEADING ..........................................................................................6
EPHESIANS1:1114 ......................................................................................................7
INTRODUCTORYCOMMENTS ...........................................................................................7
SUGGESTEDSUMMARY ..................................................................................................7
THEPURPOSE ...............................................................................................................7
THEDETAILS .................................................................................................................7
SUGGESTIONSFORLEADING ..........................................................................................8
EPHESIANS1:1523 ......................................................................................................9
INTRODUCTORYCOMMENTS ...........................................................................................9
SUGGESTEDSUMMARY ..................................................................................................9
THEPURPOSE ...............................................................................................................9
THEDETAILS .................................................................................................................9
SUGGESTIONSFORLEADING ........................................................................................10
EPHESIANS2:110 ......................................................................................................11
INTRODUCTORYCOMMENTS .........................................................................................11
MAINPOINT .................................................................................................................11
THEPURPOSE .............................................................................................................11
THEDETAILS ...............................................................................................................11
SUGGESTIONSFORLEADING ........................................................................................12
EPHESIANS2:1122 ....................................................................................................13
MAINPOINT .................................................................................................................13
THEPURPOSE .............................................................................................................13
THEDETAILS ...............................................................................................................13
SUGGESTIONSFORLEADING ........................................................................................14
EPHESIANS3:113 ......................................................................................................15
MAINPOINT .................................................................................................................15
THEPURPOSE .............................................................................................................15
THEDETAILS ...............................................................................................................15
SUGGESTIONSFORLEADING ........................................................................................16
EPHESIANS3:1421 ....................................................................................................17
MAINPOINT .................................................................................................................17
THEPURPOSE .............................................................................................................17
THEDETAILS ...............................................................................................................17
SUGGESTIONSFORLEADING ........................................................................................18

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
EPHESIANS13 ...........................................................................................................19
INTRODUCTORYCOMMENTS .........................................................................................19
SUMMARYOFTHELETTERSOFAR... .............................................................................19
MAJORTHEMES ...........................................................................................................19
EPHESIANS4:116 ......................................................................................................21
INTRODUCTORYCOMMENTS .........................................................................................21
THEMAINPOINT ..........................................................................................................21
PAULSPURPOSE ........................................................................................................21
THEDETAILS ...............................................................................................................21
SUGGESTIONSFORLEADING ........................................................................................22
EPHESIANS4:175:2 ................................................................................................23
INTRODUCTORYCOMMENTSAPPLICATION ..................................................................23
THEMAINPOINT&PURPOSE.......................................................................................23
THEDETAILS ...............................................................................................................23
SUGGESTIONSFORLEADING ........................................................................................24
EPHESIANS5:314 ......................................................................................................25
INTRODUCTORYCOMMENTS .........................................................................................25
THEMAINPOINT&PURPOSE.......................................................................................25
THEDETAILS ...............................................................................................................25
SUGGESTIONSFORLEADING ........................................................................................26
EPHESIANS5:1533 ....................................................................................................27
INTRODUCTORYCOMMENTS .........................................................................................27
THEMAINPOINT&PURPOSE.......................................................................................27
THEDETAILS ...............................................................................................................27
SUGGESTIONSFORLEADING ........................................................................................29
EPHESIANS6:19 ........................................................................................................30
INTRODUCTORYCOMMENTS .........................................................................................30
THEMAINPOINT ..........................................................................................................30
THEDETAILS ...............................................................................................................30
SUGGESTIONSFORLEADING ........................................................................................31
EPHESIANS6:1024 ....................................................................................................32
INTRODUCTORYCOMMENTS .........................................................................................32
THEMAINPOINTANDPURPOSE ...................................................................................32
THEDETAILS ...............................................................................................................32
SUGGESTIONSFORLEADING ........................................................................................33
SUMMARYOFEPHESIANS16 ..................................................................................34
APPENDIX1:PREPQUESTIONSFOREPHESIANSSTUDIES .................................35
GENERALQUESTIONSONEPHESIANS ...........................................................................36
QUESTIONSONEPHESIANS1:110 ...............................................................................37
QUESTIONSONEPHESIANS1:1114.............................................................................38
QUESTIONSONEPHESIANS1:1523.............................................................................39
QUESTIONSONEPHESIANS2:110 ...............................................................................40
QUESTIONSONEPHESIANS2:1122.............................................................................41
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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
QUESTIONSONEPHESIANS3:113 ...............................................................................42
QUESTIONSONEPHESIANS3:1421.............................................................................43
QUESTIONSONEPHESIANS13ASAWHOLE.................................................................44
QUESTIONSONEPHESIANS4:116 ...............................................................................45
QUESTIONSONEPHESIANS4:175:2 ..........................................................................46
QUESTIONSONEPHESIANS5:314 ...............................................................................47
QUESTIONSONEPHESIANS5:1533.............................................................................48
QUESTIONSONEPHESIANS6:19 .................................................................................49
QUESTIONSONEPHESIANS6:1024.............................................................................50
QUESTIONSONEPHESIANS16ASAWHOLE.................................................................51
APPENDIX2:OUTLINEANDINTRODUCTIONTOEPHESIANS...............................52
GODWANTSAFIRMBODY.............................................................................................52
GODWANTSUSTOBEUNITEDANDMATURE...................................................................53
GODWANTSUSTOBEPREPAREDTOSERVE ..................................................................53
BIBLETEACHERSAREGODSGIFT .................................................................................54
W EAREONEINCHRISTNOW ........................................................................................56
BEONEINCHRISTNOW ................................................................................................57
PAULSPURPOSE ........................................................................................................58
TOWHOMISEPHESIANSWRITTEN ?...............................................................................58

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Ephesians1:110
IntroductoryComments
Remember that the most importantthingyoucandoinpreparingto leadaBiblestudy
onEphesians1:110isnottoreadthesenotes,oracommentary,oreventocometoa
SLOBgroup. Themosthelpfulthingtodoispray,readEphesians,andthink.Sayitlike
amantrathreetimesaday:Pray,readEphesians,andthink.ItsnotthatImaverseto
usingaidstostudy,butpray,readEphesians,andthinkisthepracticaloutworkingof
anevangelical doctrine ofScripture. Remember thatfamousversefrom2Timothy3?
Doyoubelieveit?AllScriptureisbreathedoutbyGodandprofitableforteaching,for
reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the Central Focus and
Homegroupleadermaybecompetent,equippedfor everyBibleStudy. Orsomething
likethat.
These notes will not provide a comprehensive commentary on Ephesians 1:110. For
that you need to read O Briens excellent commentary published by Apollos. But the
ideaistohaveafewsalientpointsononesideofA4tohelpyouasyouprepare.You
maydisagreewithmythemesentenceorapplicationsomeweeks.Thatsfine,aslong
asyouvethoughtaboutit.Wemustallgiveanaccountofourownteachingbeforethe
Lord(James3:1)andtheexcuseIwasonlyfollowingorderswillnotbecompellingon
thatday!However,pleasedochattomeoryourSLOBgroupleaderifyoudisagreeon
a major point of teaching: if one of us is wrong, then we need to be corrected.
Sometimesthesenotesmightbetoovagueforyourliking.Restassuredthatisprobably
adeliberateploytoprovokeyouintothinkingmoreaboutitforyourself!
SuggestedSummary
PraiseGodthathehasblesseduswitheverykindofspiritualblessinginChrist,making
uspartofhiscosmicstrategy.
ThePurpose
Thepurpose ofthisstudyisnot togetuscaughtupwith lotsofdetails(ofwhich there
aremany), orsidetrackedinto doctrinal discussions(whichwouldbeeasy,fromanyof
theseverses).SincePaulispraisingGodhere(verses3and6seeverses12and14
too)andgivingusreasonstodothat,weshouldallgoawayfromthestudyitselfpraising
Godratherthanscratchingourheadsorarguingaboutinterpretation.Trytomakesure
thathoweveryouleadthestudyyouaimforthatthroughout.
TheDetails
12 Noneedtospendtoomuchtimeintheseverses.Iwilldealwiththetextualvariant
inverse1attheintroductoryevening(thefactthatinEphesusisntmentionedinallthe
earlymanuscripts).InterestingthatthewillofGodgetsanearlymention.
3 Note that every doesnt mean every single one but every kind of (the Greek
excludes the firstidea). But its onlyworthmentioningthat ifsomeone getsthewrong
end of the stick and thinks it means we have every single spiritual gift its possible to
have.Thepointisthattheblessingsinviewherearespecifiedinverses414.
45 Remember,dontgetcaughtupinlongdebatesaboutpredestination.Itismeantto
makeusgowowpraiseGodratherthanHmm,Idontgetthat,howdoesitworkwith
free will etc.. Note that we are chosen to be holy and blameless this doctrine of
electiondoesntgiveusanexcusetosinbutisanincentivetoliveuptowhatwearein
Christ.WeareadoptedsonsanddaughtersofGod(adopted,notbynature)whichisan
incentivetoactlikeit.
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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
7 Redemptionandforgivenessarehereequivalents,nottwocompletelydifferentthings.
Do you know what these words actually mean? Or are they just jargon we assume
everyoneunderstands?
910 The mystery is not a secret anymore! It has been revealed. This is further
expoundedin3:16ofcourse.Theplaninverse10isthekeytothebookinmanyways.
Spendsome time on that. All thingsinheavenand on earth united inJesusoneday.
Muchoftheplanhasbeenachievedalreadyaccordingtothenexttwochapters,butwe
stillawaititsfinalcompletion.
Note the progression from eternity (v.4) to history (v.7) to future (v.10). Note also the
Trinitarianprogression from focusingon the Father (v.3) to Son (v.7) to Spirit in verse
13. Note the in him repetition throughout the chapter so far, which leaves us
wondering, ifalltheblessingshere are in Christ,howdowe get in Christ? Thats
whatverses1114willtellusnextweek
SuggestionsforLeading
Asawayin,afteryouhavelearnedeachothersnamesandfavouriteTVshows,you
could ask people to say how their summer was (briefly) and what they have thanked
Godforrecently.Thenwhenyoustartthestudyitself,youcanaskthemtorecallthose
thingsandthenaskthemtocontrastthemwiththethingsmentionedinthepassageas
causesforthanksgiving.Youdontwanttomakethemfeeltooguiltythough,ifalltheir
thanksearlierwereformaterialorthisworldlythings!
Youcouldmakealistonapieceofpaperofalltheblessingsmentionedhere,andthen
spendtheprayertimethankingandpraisingGodforthosethings.Itmightsoundlikea
chocolate box approach, just picking out the toffee cream (predestination?) or
strawberry fondant (forgiveness?) that you like most,butmaybe the point isnot to get
too caught up in the grammatical niceties of how each verse and subclause fits
together?

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Ephesians1:1114
IntroductoryComments
Remember:Pray,readEphesians,andthink.AllScriptureisbreathedoutbyGodand
profitable forteaching,forreproof, forcorrection, andfortraining inrighteousness,that
the CentralFocus andHomegroupleader maybecompetent,equippedforeveryBible
Study.
ItseasytoletapplicationgetsqueezedoutofaBiblestudy.Wecanspendallourtime
unpacking the details of a text or zeroing in on what the theme sentence might be,
especiallysincewe oftensweatbloodwithsuchthingsourselves inpreparation for the
study.ButitisvitalintheactualBiblestudytotalknotaboutourstrugglesinprepbut
about the impact a text has on us, in our thinking, our speaking, and our doing.
Applicationdoesntneedtobelefttotheend,ofcourse.Manytimesitisbettertoapply
aswego.Sonolectures!Think:whatsthepointofallthisforourgroup?
SuggestedSummary
Praise God that he has made us part of his cosmic strategy through believing the
gospel.
ThePurpose
Wearestillinpraisemodehere,sinceverses314isactuallyonelongsentencegiving
usreasonstopraiseGod(verses3,6,12,14).Soagainweshouldallgoawayfromthe
studyitselfpraisingGod.Specifically,weshouldbepraisinghimforthegospelthrough
which we have been included in Gods plan for the world, a plan that will come to
completion in the fullness of time (v.10) and when God redeems his possession
(verse14footnote).
TheDetails
1112 We have obtained an inheritance is actually we have been made an
inheritance, i.e.we are Gods inheritance.Thewehereprobablyrefers tothesame
people asverse 12 wewho were thefirst to hopein Christ, i.e.JewishChristiansas
contrastedwithGentileslike the Ephesians (verse 13, you also ). But we Gentiles
areGodspossessiontoo,ofcourse(seev.13).ReassuringlyGod,whohadaplanfrom
eternity past (v.4) has the power to work out his designs so that everything turns out
accordingtoplan.
13 Ifyoufollowthesentenceconstructioncarefully,youllseethatthethrustisyoualso
were sealed with the Spirit. Its a tricky sentence, but the bit in the middle basically
assertsthatweweresealedwhenweheardandbelievedthegospel.Tobesealedisa
sign of ownership: we are Gods possession, marked out as such by having the Spirit
withinus.
14 The Spirit is the initial downpayment on our inheritance, a first instalment that
guaranteestherest. Thefootnote inthe ESVforthisversearises because theGreek
says literally, until the redemption of the possession. NIV reads it as until we (as
Godspossession)arefinallyredeemedthuspickinguponthefactthatinverse11we
areGodsinheritance.ESVreadsitastakinguptheimmediatelyprecedingthoughtthat
we are getting an inheritance one day. Either way, there is a day of redemption (see
4:30) anditsdifficulttomakeadecisionbetweenthese tworeadings. Botharetrue
weareGodsinheritance,andweourselvesalsohaveaninheritance.Bothwillbefully
realizedonredemptionday.*WecantmakeaTrinitarianpointoutofwhoatthestart
oftheverse itisnotaproofofthepersonhoodofHolySpirit.InGreekitisaneuter
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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
relative pronoun (which) not a masculine one (who) because the word for Spirit is
alsoneuter.Althoughsomemanuscriptshaveamasculinepronounhere,itisprobably
because guarantee/downpayment is masculine not because the Spirit is. All the
same,heisapersonnotanit(thatpointisjustbestmadefromelsewhere).
Notetheprogressionfrometernity(v.4)tohistory(v.7)tofuture(v.10)isrepeatedhere
with eternity (v.11) to history (v.1213) to future (v.14). Note also the Trinitarian
progressionfromfocusingon theFather(v.3)tothe Son(v.7)tothe Spirit inverse 13.
Notetheinhimrepetitionthroughout314asawhole.NotefinallythefocusonGods
glory throughout: verses 3, 6, 12, 14. This reminds us that God is sovereign in our
salvation,notus,andsonaturallyhedeservesallthecredit.Itwashisplanfromstartto
finish (see all the vocabulary of planning: his will, his purpose, the counsel of his will)
but,praiseGod,weareincludedinit.
SuggestionsforLeading
You should spend a little time recapping on verses 310 to pick up the flow of things.
But not toolong thatyou have tosquash thisweeksstudy. It isgoodto spendsome
timeonthethingsabovewhichrunthroughthewholeof1:314ifyoudidntdothatlast
week.Thereis muchscope for applications around thethemeofthegospelbeingthe
wayweareincludedinChrist:howdoesthisimpactthewaywethinkaboutevangelism
andpeoplebecomingChristiansforinstance?Therearealsoapplicationstothewaywe
think about the Spirit: he is clearly not a second blessing but a blessing given to all
Christianswhentheyhearthegospel.IfwedonothavetheSpiritwearenotsealedand
possessedbyGod,sowewontbepartofhispossessionwhenRedemptionDayarrives
(or we wont receive an inheritance when Redemption Day arrives). This could be
helpfulformembersofthegrouptodiscuss.
If you are a new group, it could be useful to talk briefly about when each of you first
cametobeincludedinChrist(orjustafewofyou),butyoumustbewareofallowingthat
to take too long. Its certainly something to thank God for in the prayer time.
Alternatively, theres a what are you looking forward to? way in, that leads to
RedemptionDay.

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Ephesians1:1523
IntroductoryComments
Remember:Pray,readEphesians,andthinkItreallyisthekeytoagoodBiblestudy.
JustasitiseasytoletapplicationgetsqueezedoutofaBiblestudy,soitisalsoeasyto
inch out prayer. Several ideas were suggested at the leaders training weekend to
preventthisfromhappening.Youcouldtakeprayerrequestsatthestartoftheevening,
and then the study applies itself to where people actually are as you go, and also
remindsyoutoprayattheend.Youcouldpauseaftereachmajorpoint,andprayitin
beforemovingontothenextone.Youcouldspend5minutesjustprayingthingsoutof
thepassageforeachother,andthenafterthatprayforeachotherssecondaryneeds.
Youcouldsetyourwatchalarmtogooffat9pmtoremindyoutostopthestudyandget
onwithpraying. Youcouldprepareadeliberately shortstudysothat theresdefinitely
time to pray. Whatever you do, dont let your bad organisation stop the group from
responding to God and expressing their dependence on him in prayer. Why not try
something new to see if it helps get your group praying more this week? Especially
sinceweareactuallystudyingPaulsprayer!
SuggestedSummary
Paul tells the Ephesians that hes praying for them to know God better (can you
sharpenthatupmoreyourself?)
ThePurpose
This is a prayer for people who have everything (every kindof spiritual blessing). But
whydidPaulwritethisprayerdown?Wasittoteachushowtopray,whytopray,and
whattoprayfor?Wasittoteachussomedoctrineinthecontentoftheprayer?Wasit
alloftheabove?Ourstudyshouldhaveasimilarpurposeandeffectitshouldhelpus
praywiththesamemotivationasPaul,encourageustopraythesamekindofthinghe
prays,andalsoteachussomething.
TheDetails
1516 For this reason looks back to verses 314. He prays for them because
theyvebeenincludedinGodsplan.HethanksGodfortheirverticalrelationship(faith
inChrist)andhorizontalones(loveforallthesaints),whichareevidencethattheytruly
have been included in the plan. They have faith in Christ the head and love for the
saintsbeingbroughttogetherunderhim.DowethankGodinourprayerswhenwesee
these things in others, or just take them for granted? Worth pausing just to check
everyone is clear that saints does not mean special dead Christians (St. Paul, St.
Anthony),butallChristians:weareallsaints(St.Lee,St.Kerryetc)!
17 ThisversetellsuswhatPaulisactuallyprayingfor:aspiritofwisdomandrevelation
or The Spirit of wisdom and revelation. That means either a spiritual disposition of
openness to what God has revealed, and insight into it or a specificworkof the Holy
Spiritgivingtheminsightandrevealingthingstothem.Eitherway,theendresultisthat
that they know God personally in increasing intimacy (see the parallel passage in
Colossians1:10andtheworkoftheSpiritin1Corinthians2:1016).Noteitisnotjustto
knowthingsaboutGod,buttoknowhim.Knowingthingsabouthimispartofthat,but
whatPaulisafterisrelationalnottheoreticalknowledgethekindofknowledgeweneed
toprayforGodshelptoacquire,notjustfactualBibleknowledgeanyonecanpickup.

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
18 Your heart has eyes!? Bizarre image We were enlightened when we became
Christians, and we continue to be enlightened as we grow in our knowledge of God.
Notethatitisaboutourhearts notouremotionsonly,butourwholebeing(heartis
theBiblewordforourintellectualandmoralcontrolcentrewhereasemotionsaremore
oftenfeltinthestomachtheyaregutfeelings).
1819 TherearethreethingswewillknowifweknowGodbetter.Itwillgiveushope
notwishfulthinking,butaconfidentexpectationbasedonthefactthatGodhascalledus
outtobepartofhisplan.Theinheritanceisnotours,butGodsinotherwordsweare
to understand how precious we are to God, since we are his inheritance (see v.14).
Finally, knowing God better means grasping how great his power is, and that it is
availabletousasbelieversinthegospel(andisatworkinus,see3:20).Inessenceit
isaprayerthattheblessingsof1:314wouldsinkinandmakeusmoreconfidentand
assuredasChristians,aswestandfirm.
2023 TheseversesexpandonGodspower,andillustratehowpowerfulheis.Butthey
are not just a random example they are very Ephesians because they reflect a
centralconcernoftheletter:thatChristisexaltedashead.Ifaskedtogiveanexample
ofGodspowerwemighthavementionedcreation,ormiraclesofhealing,orthecalming
ofthestormperhaps.ButPaulhasadifferentillustrationofGodspower,andtheresa
goodreasonwhy.AllthingsarebeingbroughttogetherunderChrist(1:10),sofirstwe
aretoldherethatheishigherthanallthings.TheexamplesofGodspowerusedhere
are:Christsresurrection,andhisbeingseatedwithGodintheheavenlyrealmsasthe
supremerulerovereverything.Andamazingly,itisthepowerwhichaccomplishedthat
exaltationwhichisatworkinus!Therearelotsofdetailswecouldgetlostinhere(how
is the church Christs body? howdoeshe fill all things? etc.). Try tostick to the main
point,thatverses2023giveusanillustrationofGodspoweratworkinandforus.
Looking back over the whole of chapter 1, it is very clear that Jesus Christ is a very
importantpersoninPaulsmind!Lookbackattheheight(Christisexaltedoverall)and
breadth(allthingsareencompassedinhisplan)andlength(Godsplanisfrometernity
pasttoeternityfuture).Pauliscertainlytryingtoraiseourspiritsbyraisingourthoughts
out of the mundane trivialities of this world. Has that emphasis in Ephesians so far
changed the way we think and act in our daily lives? Do we realise we are part of
somethingsobig?Andarewepraying,ashedoes,toknowandexperiencethesegreat
blessingsmoreandmore?
SuggestionsforLeading
Dontforgettopray together atthestartof thestudy (beforereading thepassage) that
you would understand what God is saying to us this week through his word. We are
dependentonhimtoteachus,soletsexpressthatinhumbleprayer.

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Ephesians2:110
IntroductoryComments
Remember:Pray,readEphesians,andthink.ItreallyisthekeytoagoodBiblestudy
betterthanreadingthesenotes!
MainPoint
When you were spiritually dead, God made you alive by grace alone, through faith
alone,forhisgloryalone.
ThePurpose
WhydidPaulwritethisbit?WhatdidhewanttheEphesianstofeelandthinkanddoas
aresultofhearingit?Makesureyouspendsometimethinkingaboutthistomakesure
your aim in studying this passage together is the same as Pauls aim in writing it.
Ponderingpurposeistheacmeofapplication,youmightsay
TheDetails
12 Verse1isthemainpointofverses13:youweredead.Verses23unpackwhatit
means to be one of the living dead. Although dead, we were still capable of walking
saysverse2.Inourwalkofshame(toborrowaphrasefromAnneRobinsonon The
Weakest Link) we followed the world, i.e.weremotivated entirely by worldly concerns
andlivedinaccordancewithworldlyvalues.Wealsofollowedthedevil,calledherethe
prince/rulerofthepoweroftheair(see2Cor4:4forpossiblyanotherroundaboutway
ofreferringtohim).Thatmeanswedidhisbiddingandfollowedhisagenda.Therestof
v.2probablymeansthathewasatworkinus:promptingus,usingus,mouldingus.Do
wereallybelievethisofourpreChristianselves?AndofournonChristianfriends?
3 And finally, tocomplete the trioofevil,wealso followed (or carriedoutthe desires
of)the flesh,oursinfulnaturewhichincludesoursinfulthoughts(andthemind)bent
onfindingwaystogratifyourselfindulgentdesires.Suchbehaviouralonewouldkindle
Gods anger, but we were in fact children of wrath by our very nature inherited from
AdamandEve,aswellasbeingquitewillingsonsofdisobedience(v.2).Wewhoare
nowsavedwerenodifferenttotherestofmankindtherewasnothingspecialabout
us to mark us out from the crowd. We tend not to think we were that bad before we
becameChristians,butPaulisveryclear.
4 This isthehinge onwhichthis passage turns. Despiteour desperatesituationand
rebellion (which endangered Gods plan to unite all things in Christ), God stepped in.
Fortworeasons:firstbecausehesrichinmercy.Secondbecausehelovedusgreatly.
NotethatitreliesonGodsteppingintodosomethingnotuscomingtooursensesor
decidingtochangeorresolvingtolivedifferently.Wecouldntspirituallydoanyofthose
thingsbecauseweweredead.Andthethingoneusuallynoticesaboutdeadpeopleis
that they cannot respond to anything or do anything. We didnt look like promising
candidates,butGodsavedusanyway.
56 TheseversestelluswhatGodhasdonetosaveus.Hedidntwaituntilwemade
thefirstmove,heactedevenwhenweweredead(seeRomans5:8whilewewerestill
sinners).Theremedyforspiritualdeathisthathemadeusalive.Healsoraisedus
andseateduswith Christin theheavenlyrealms in fact,whateverhe didfor Christ in
1:20,healsodidforusspiritually.SinceweareunitedwithChrist(thephraseinhimis
often repeated throughout the letter) our place in heaven is as secure as his. The
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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
emphasis is on usbeing made alive togetherwith Christ, raised up together with him,
andseatedtogetherwithhimintheheavenlyrealms.Italldependsonbeinginhim.So
no wonder Paul suddenly exclaims, By grace you have been saved! (v.5) while hes
tellingusallthis.Ithadtobebygrace,becausedeadpeoplecannotmakethemselves
alive,raisethemselvesup,orsitdown!
7 Thisverseisoften neglectedwhenstudying thispassage. Ittells us the purpose of
theprecedingverses(thatswhyitstartswithsothat)andtheultimatereason:God
savedussothathecouldforevershowoffhowgraciousandkindheis,eventosinners
likethosedescribedinverses13.Inotherwords,savingevenusmeanshecanboast
for all eternity about how merciful he is. As 1:6 put it, it was all for the praise of his
gloriousgrace.Godalonegetsthegloryforitall andthatsgreatforusbecausehe
wantstobeknownasaGodwhosavesevenhisenemies,whichiswhatwewere.This
isquiteachangeofperspectiveformanypeople!
89 Theseversesareawonderfulsummaryofthegospel,worthyofbeingmemorised
byourgroups(seebelow).Theyreiterateakeythemeofthepassagesofarthatour
salvation in Christ was all Gods doing. Note that faith is not a good work we do in
responsetoGodsgrace.Itisexplicitlyopposedtoworks.Rather,faithisthewaywe
receiveGodsgrace,theopenhandwhichreceivesthegiftifyoulike.Notethatverse
8bmeansthatallofv.8aisagiftofGod,notjustourfaith.[Althoughitistruetosaythat
ourfaithisgiventousbyGod:seee.g.1Peter1:1,Phil1:29,Acts14:27,Acts18:27.It
isalsoimpliedfromthefactthatbeforeGodmakesusalivewearespirituallydeadand
cannotrespondortakeanyspiritualactionthereforeweneedGodtogiveusfaith,to
giveus theability toopenour handsto receivehisgift]. If therewas any hintthatwe
contributed something to the process of our salvation (whether a good work, a good
background, or good potential) then when we get to heaven we can boast, Im here
because Ihad faith,or becauseIgavetocharityor becauseIwentto St. Helens.
NooneboastsinheavenexceptGod(seeverse7).
10 In1:4itwouldbe temptingtoconclude thatbeingchosenby Godmeans we dont
have to be holy hence Paul says we were chosen in order to be holy and blameless
beforeGod. Herein 2:110, thetemptationisto think thatifweresavedbygracenot
worksthendoinggoodworksisnotimportant.SoPaulmentionsgoodworkstoremind
uswemustwalkinthem(comingbacktothewalkingmetaphorforlivingasinverse2)
nowthatwearesaved.Infact,thatswhyweweresaved:Godhaspreparedinadvance
manygoodworksforustodoasChristians.Hethinksofeverything!Hewillelaborate
onwhattheseworksareinchapters46.
SuggestionsforLeading
Why not consider memorising Ephesians 2:89 together? Read it out loud together a
fewtimeswiththeBiblesopen,andthentrydoingitwiththeBiblesshut.Seeifpeople
can write it down without looking at the Bible. Test each other on Sunday and next
week.ItsagreatwaytomeditateonScripturebystoringupGodswordinourhearts
(Psalm119:11).

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Ephesians2:1122
MainPoint
Bythecross,ChristhasreconciledbothJewsandGentilestoGod,andtooneanother,
ashisunitedhousehold.
ThePurpose
The purpose of this passage is given tous inverse 11. Paul actually tells us directly
what he wants us to do with the information hes about to impart: he wants us to
remember it, i.e. not forget the change in our status as Gentiles. Therefore the
purposeof ourstudy is to ensure we know the truthbeing taught and do not forget it,
whichmeansappreciatingit,beinggratefulforit,andactivelyenjoyingandrevellinginit.
Practical/concreteapplicationsofthisdoctrinearegoingtobeexpoundedinchapters
46.Itcould also besaidthat if 2:110 is aboutusas individuals,2:1122 forcesus to
thinkintheplural,tothinkcorporatelyaboutahouseholdorastructure,or(youmight
say)achurch.
TheDetails
1112 As with 2:13,this section beginswith thebadnews, before abigbutin verse
13. The bad news of our estrangement from God is encapsulated in verse 11 with
referencetothebigsymbolofJewishness(formenatleast!):circumcision.WhenPaul
writes, circumcision,which ismade inthe flesh by hands heshintingat the factthat
the realdivision between people isspiritual notphysical (see Romans 2:2829 for that
samethoughtinamoredevelopedway).Verse12expandsthewaysinwhichGentiles
were uncircumcised spiritually in terms of their alienation, separation, and
hopelessness.ThusGentilesweredividedfromGodanddividedfromJews.Itiseasy
toforgetthatmostofusareGentiles,andthatweareonlyallowedintoGodsplannow
that Jesus hascome. Previously, things looked very bleak for us we mustnt forget
that!
13 Somuch forthebadnews Butnowthegoodnews! To benear toGod isan
Old Testament way of referring to a special relationship with God or being in his
presence(seeforinstanceExodus19:22Leviticus9:5Numbers16:10).Thatiswhat
we Gentiles now have because of the blood (the death) of Christ, an allusion to the
killing of animals and the use of their blood in the sacrificial system of the Old
Testament,which was necessary if the priests were to draw near to God (seeEzek.
44:15forthelink).
14PaulshiftsfromaddressingthealienationofGentilesfromGodtotheriftbetweenus
and theJews. Hedescribes thechange inour relationship as going from hostility to
peace.ThispeaceisanecessarypartoftheunitingofallthingsinChrist(1:10).On
thecrossChristbrokedownthebarriersbetweenbelievingJewsandbelievingGentiles.
The dividing wall of hostility is therefore most likely to be metaphorical, rather than a
literal wall in the physical temple in Jerusalem separating Jews and Gentiles (a wall
whichChristdidnotliterallydemolishinhisflesh).Thatphysicalwallwas,however,a
powerful symbol of this spiritual separation: Jews were separated from Gentiles, even
whilebothwereseparatedfromGod.NowinChristthewallbetweenJew&Gentileis
smashed.
15 The word translated abolishing doesnt mean that Christ has made the Old
Testament entirely useless for us, or that it should be torn out of our Bibles (see
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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Ephesians6:2forinstance!).TheparticularissueinviewisthewaytheOldTestament
LawcreatedthedivisionbetweenJewsandGentiles.Soinhisdeath,Christmakesitof
noeffect,henullifiesit,rendersitineffective,andtakesawayitsdivisivesting.Sonow,
rather than Jews and Gentiles being two different subsections of Gods people, Christ
makes us both one. So there are now three types of people: Jews, Gentiles, and
Christians. ChristianscouldbephysicallyGentilesinthefleshorphysicallyJewswith
aliteralcircumcision(v.1112).ButwearenowdistinctfromspiritualJews(thoseJews
who reject Jesus) and spiritual Gentiles (who also reject Jesus and live in an un
ChristianwayaccordingtoEphesians4:17).Forthisthreefolddivisionofhumanity,see
also1Corinthians10:32 (with Greeksmeaning Gentiles). Thepoint isthat in Christ,
sincethedivisivelawisnullified,believingJewsandbelievingGentilesareanewunited
entity,onenewmanratherthantwodifferentkindsofChristians.
1617Thisnewentity isreconciledto Godasanewentityanew,single,unitedone
body. Thereisthereforenohostility,division,orseparationbetweenJewsandGentiles
whoare Christians. All had the gospel of peace preached to them whether they were
neartoGodalready(Jews)orfaraway(Gentiles).
18 An amazingly Trinitarian verse (as is verse 22). Through Jesus Christ we both
(Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles) have access to God the Father in one Holy
Spirit. So nearness or access to God no longer depends on Jewishness (especially
symbolisedbycircumcision,v.11)butonbeingpartofthenewentityinChrist.Notethat
itwastheSpiritwhosealedusintoChristinthefirstplace(1:13).
1922 Returning to the idea of division which he brought up in verses 1112, Paul
summarises the changebrought aboutnowthat Jesus has come. Weare no longer
strangers and aliens (see verse 12 alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and
strangers to the covenants). Instead we are fellow citizens with the saints (indeed,
accordingto 1:1we areourselves nowsaints) andarepart ofthehousehold ofGod.
This might also be called the church (as in 1:22 or 3:10), but that word means a
gathering of people whereas sticking with the house/building metaphor, Paul can now
refertothefoundationandcornerstoneofthisnewtempleinwhichGodcanlive.The
people ofGod arebuiltonthe fundamentalsofGodsword,with Christhimself holding
ustogether.
SuggestionsforLeading
ItsimportantatthisstagethatwealsodontforgethowEphesiansasawholeispanning
out. The main thrust of the letter is encapsulated in 1:10 Gods plan is to unite all
things in Christ. This passage is intimately related to that plan: if all things are to be
united in him, Christ must somehow unite Jews and Gentiles to each other. But they
must also both be reconciled to God, which 2:1122 also talks about. Make sure you
dont lose the plot, the main storyline of the book by focusing only on the details.
Referencesbacktoearlier passageswillhelpprevent eachparagraphwestudyweek
byweekfrombecomingdisconnected,andgiveusasenseofadevelopingbigpicture.
DidyoumemoriseEphesians2:89asagrouplastweek?Ifso,testeachotherandsee
ifyoucanrememberitall!

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Ephesians3:113
MainPoint
Paul explains his part in Gods plan as apostle to the Gentiles and revealer of the
mysteryofGentileinclusion.
ThePurpose
Paulactually tells usthepurposeof thissection inverse13. He isaskingthemnotto
loseheartbecauseofhissufferingsontheirbehalf.Whyishesuffering?Becausehes
inprison(3:1and4:1).Whyisitforyou(verse13)and(onbehalfofyouGentiles)?
BecausehewaspersecutedbytheJews,explicitlyforhispreachingofagospelwhich
includedGentilesintheplanofGodonthesamebasisasJews.Thatwasthegloryof
2:1122. In Acts 9:1516 Paul is commissioned specifically as apostle to the Gentiles
and toldhewillsuffer because of it. In Acts 13:50, 14:2, 19,15:2, 17:5,13, 18:6, 12,
19:9, 21:2731, 23:12 etc.mention is made of theJews persecuting andtrying to kill
him.Acts23:2730makesitclearthatPaulendsupinprisonbecausetheunbelieving
Jews were after him. As Gentiles (primarily) Paul was therefore in prison because of
peopleliketheEphesians,sincehewaspreachingthattheycouldbeincludedinGods
planbybelievinginJesus,quiteapartfromcircumcision,Sabbathlaws,andfoodrituals.
But why would they be tempted to lose heart (verse 13)? Since their apostle was
mistreated and put in prison by the religious establishment, the Ephesians may have
worried thatperhapsPaulwas nottelling the truth abouttheir inclusion, orthathewas
notaccurateinhistheologicalunderstanding,whichwouldmeantheywerentpartofitat
allanddidntreallyhavesuchgloriousrichesorhope.SoPaulherein3:113explains
hispartinGodsplan,inordertoencouragethemthateventhoughhesinprison,that
shouldntbeacauseofdespairordoubtforthem.
TheDetails
13Paulseemstostartasentenceherewhichhedoesntfinishuntilafterverse13.He
isaprisonerbecauseofhispreachingtotheGentiles,henceonbehalfofyouGentiles.
Thestewardship giventoPaul is thegospel,whichwas revealed tohim by the Spirit
(byrevelationinverse3butbytheSpiritinverse5).
45 Reading Ephesians givesus insight into what was revealedto Paul. It iscalled a
mystery,butisactuallyanopensecretnow.Previouslyitwasnotknown(tothesons
ofmeninothergenerationsreferringtopeoplebeforeChrist)butnowitisrevealedby
the Spirit to the apostles and prophets. This group of people has been mentioned
beforein2:20andwillbereferredtoagainin4:11,alwaysinthisorder.ItmeansPaul,
theother apostles,anda groupof NewTestamentprophetstowhomthegospel has
been revealed in a foundational (cf. the foundation of the apostles and prophets in
2:20)way.TheycannotbeOldTestamentprophetsbecausetheywerecertainlymenof
othergenerationstowhomthemysterywasexplicitlynotrevealed,andalsobecause
in 4:11 it is clear that such people are a gift from the risen and ascended LordJesus
(andIneedhardlysaythattheresurrectionandascensiondidnothappenuntiltheNew
Testament!).
6 Themystery or open secret could be definedseveral ways, but Paulfocuses on the
aspect which has put him in jail: themystery is that Gentiles are fellowheirs of Gods
inheritance alongside Jews, fellowmembers of the same body with Jews, and fellow
partakers of the promise of God along with theJews. The prefix fellow added three
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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
timesintheversetomakethispointveryclear:throughthegospelGentilesarefellow
everythingwiththeJewspartofthesameplan.
79 Pauls place in salvation history is unique. God appointed him as special
ambassador to the Gentiles (if you like) and gave him the important role of making
Gods plan known to everyone (Gentiles and Jews). Not because he is so great
(thoughIamtheveryleastofallthesaints,seealso1Timothy1:15),butbecauseof
Godsgrace(asagift,verse7).
10Throughthechurch,thatisthroughtheUnitedChurchofJewsandGentileswhich
asbeendescribedin2:1122(especially2:2022)Godswisdomisdisplayed.Whatkind
ofwisdom?Thewordtranslatedmanifoldliterallymeansgreatlyvariedormanysided,
andthusemphasisesthediversityofGodswisdomandmakesusthinkofthediversity
ofhispeople:notjustJews,butGentilestoo,andmanydifferentkindsofGentilesithas
to be said as well! The church, being a diverse group of people, displays the many
sidedwisdomofGod,tothespiritualforcesintheheavenlyrealms.Whathappenshere
onearthhasanimpactthereintheheavenlies:ourunityinChristasachurchhereisa
testimonytotherulersandauthoritiesthere.
1112 This is all part of Gods eternal plan (note the eternal aspect being mentioned
againafter1:4),whichcentresonandwasachievedbyChrist.Itisinhimthatwehave
freedomandaccesstoGodandcanboldlyapproachGodasourFather.Albecauseof
our faith in Christ, the thing which marks out both Jews and Gentiles from this new
group:Christians.
13 SoPaulconcludesbyurgingthemnottobediscouragedbecausetheirapostleisin
prison. Thatdoesntmean theplan is a failure. Westill have access to God through
Christ.Godsplansarebiggerthanoneman,howeverimportant.Paulspurposewas
to preach to the Gentiles and reveal Gods plan. But Gods plan itselfwas realized in
ChristandstillstandswhateverhappenstoPaul.
SuggestionsforLeading
ItsimportanttorealizethatthissectionisaboutPaulandhisplaceintheplan,otherwise
itdoesntseemtoaddverymuchto2:1122.Soensurepeoplegraspthatassoonas
possible.Youmaybeginbysimplyfocusingonwhatthepointofthispassageis(i.e.by
pondering verse 13) and working your way from there through the details of the
passage,ratherthangoingfromverse1toverse2toverse3etc.Thingsmayclickinto
placemoreforpeoplethen(ortheymaynot!).
DidyoumemoriseEphesians2:89asagroupafewweeksago?Ifso,testeachother
andseeifyoucanrememberitall!

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Ephesians3:1421
MainPoint
HelenWillcoxsaysitis,PaulpraystheywouldbeempoweredbyGodtoknowhowbig
Christ'sloveis.Prettygood!
ThePurpose
WhydidPaulwritethisprayer?Toteachushowtopray,whytopray,andwhattopray
for?Toteachussomedoctrineinthecontentoftheprayer?Wasitalloftheabove?
Our study should have a similar purpose and effect it should help us pray with the
same motivation as Paul, encourage us to pray the same kind of thing he prays, and
alsoteachussomething.
TheDetails
14 Paulresumesthe thoughthebegan in3:1(inthatsense, allof 3:213should be in
brackets).Thereasonis2:1122,i.e.JewsandGentilesandunitedintoonenewentity
andreconciledtoGodbythecross,andbecauseofthis,Paulprays...Infact,hebows
thekneetoGod,showingrespectandsubmissionaswellastakingapostureofprayer.
TheprayerisaddressedtoGodtheFather,asis1:1523
15 This is a tricky verse. But the thrust is that God is sovereign over every family in
heaven andearth,over theheavenlyrealmsand over theearthlyone too. It is tothat
God Paul prays. Try not to get distracted by a long discussion of possible meanings
here!
16 This is the thing for which Paul asks the Father, the central petition of the prayer:
please give them inward strength. Unpacking the details, he isasking a wealthy God
(according to the riches of hisglory) and therefore more than able to answer such a
prayer in abundance. The strength is impartedby God the Father through his Spirit,
theonewhoisbuildingtheChurch(2:22),throughwhomwehaveaccesstotheFather
(2:18),andwhosealsusintoChristthusguaranteeingourinheritance(1:13).
17aThisistheresultofprayingverse16.BeingstrengthenedbyGodthroughtheSpirit
enablesChristtodwellinourhearts.Obviouslythisisnotliteralbutbyfaith.Notethat
in2:22itwasGod(theFather)whodwellsinus.HereitisChrist.(John14:23givesthe
sameperspectiveontheTrinitycoming tolivewithin believers.) It isthroughthe Spirit
and by faith that this happens. It is not a prayer for conversion but for controlling if
Christ is to dwell in orbe athome in our hearts, he will be the central figure around
whomallourthoughtsandmotivationsrevolve.
17b18 PaulfurtherdevelopswhatitwilllooklikefortheEphesianstobestrengthened
byGodandtohaveChristathomeintheirhearts.Theywillberootedandgroundedin
love, like God's love (2:4) in which we should also walk (5:2). The purpose of Christ
dwellingwithinusisthattheywillalsobeabletocomprehendandunderstandthelove
ofChrist,withallitsdimensionsofheightanddepthetc(seemanifoldwisdomofGod
in 3:10 which also reflects the new multifaceted and varied nature of God's people).
They will do this with all the saints, a phrase which goes back to 2:19 and 3:6 to
expressthecorporatetogethernessofthechurch.Ifthisprayerisanswered,thewhole
churchtogetherwillloveoneanotherwithaChristlikelove,alovewhichrecognisesno
distinction of Jew or Gentile. As one commentator puts it, Growth in the individual
believer cannot occur in isolation but must be accomplished in context with other
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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
believers. Furthermore, true growth cannot occur by association with only certain
believers,onespreferredbecausetheyareofthesamesocioeconomic,intellectual,or
professionalstatus(HaroldHoehner,page486).Greatapplication!
19ToknowtheloveofChristwhichisenormousinbreadthandlengthandheightand
depth,istoknowsomethingthatsurpassesknowledge.Nomatterhowmuchwethink
weknowaboutChristandhiswork,hisloveisactuallymuchbiggerandwiderthanour
knowledge. This is not to downplay knowledge (something he explicitly prays for in
verse 18 and emphasises elsewhere in Ephesians) but it is to recognise that Christ's
loveisoverwhelming,beyondourabilitytoboxandneatlypackageit.Tobefilledwith
allthefullnessofGodthiscouldbeconfusing. Itbasicallysummariseswhatitmeans
tocomprehendandknowChrist'slove.ItmeansPaulwantstheEphesiansthemselves
to be filledwiththe fullnessof everything Godwantsthemto be, inlove andunityand
maturity.Itisasimilarthoughttothatin4:13,butnotealsothatinonesensewealready
shareinthisfullnessin1:23.
2021 ThisisadoxologyascribingglorytoGod,asawayofpraisinghim.Itreminds
us that God is able to do even more than we ask him to because he is a supremely
powerful God. His power is particularly at work within us, that is, within us as
individualsandwithinusastheunitedchurchofJewsandGentiles.Itisgoodnotjustto
petition God but also to praise him, and give him glory for what he has done in the
church(i.e.savingspirituallydeadsinnersandunitingJewsandGentilesintoonebody)
andinChristJesus(whoseworkonthecrossiswhataccomplishedbothsalvationand
this unification). If hecan do that,then he truly can domore than anyone could ever
imagine compared to saving his enemies and uniting deadly foes into one church,
anythingelsewemightaskofGodwillbeeasyforhim.
SuggestionsforLeading
It is interesting to ponder the differences between this prayer and the one reported in
1:1523. The biggest difference is that Paul has just been talking about the union of
Jews andGentilesin God'snewentity, theChurch,sothereisan emphasishereon
the breadthof God'smercyand lovewhichwasn'tsoevidentbefore. It is important to
bring out this development. Note too the pattern of Ephesians 13 so far: teaching
followedbyprayer,thenteachingfollowedbyprayer.Anexcellentmodelforustofollow
inourgroups.Butmoreofthatnextweek...
DidyoumemoriseEphesians2:89asagroupafewweeksago?Ifso,testeachother
andseeifyoucanrememberitall!

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Ephesians13
IntroductoryComments
AtCentralFocuswewillreadoutthewholeof Ephesians 16togetheroutloud,aswe
did at thestartof term. Hopefully aswe doso it willsound morefamiliar to everyone,
andwewillrealisehowmuchwehavelearned.Itisagoodideatospendabitoftimeat
theendoftermjustgoingoverthefirstthreechaptersagain,toseewherewehavegot
to.Wewilldothisnotjustbysummarisingtheargumentordevelopmentoftheletter
sofar,butalsobylookingatmajorthemeswhichhavecometothesurface inallthree
chapters.
Incidentally,itisalwaysagoodideawhenpreparingtoleadaBiblestudytolookatthe
questionstoponderforthatstudy.Conscientiousgroupmembershavebeenfillingin
their answers each week and pondering the passage, and these questions which we
produce each week should provide some kind of way into the study. The questions
relatingtochapters13asawholearenodifferent...Ifyouhaven'tseenthem,dolook
themuponwww.centralfocus.org.uk!
SummaryoftheLettersofar...
1:12 Hello!
1:314 PraiseGodthathehasblesseduswitheverykindofspiritualblessinginChrist,
makinguspartofhiscosmic
strategythroughbelievingthegospel.
1:1523 Prayer that we would be enlightened to know better the powerful God who
raisedChrist.
2:110 When you were spiritually dead, God made you alive by grace alone, through
faithalone,forhisgloryalone.
2:1122 Bythecross,ChristhasreconciledbothJewsandGentilestoGod,andtoone
another,ashisunitedhousehold.
3:113 PaulhasaspecialplaceinGod'splan,asapostletotheGentilesandrevealerof
themysteryofGentileinclusion.
3:1421 PrayerthattheywouldbeempoweredbyGodtoknowhowbigChrist'sloveis.
Spendafewminutesoneachsectiontorecallthebasicthrustofwhatitisallabout,in
ordertodevelopanunderstandingofhowtheletterfitstogether.
MajorThemes
WhathasEphesianstaughtussofaraboutthesethemes?Wherearetheymentioned?
GodtheFatherisourFather(1:2)andtheGodandFatherofJesus(1:3),sourceofall
ourblessings,hehasaplanandthepowertofulfilit(1:314,esp.11).HeistheFather
ofglory(1:17)whoraisedChristfromthedeadandgreatlyexaltedhim(1:2022).Heis
richinmercyandgreatinlove(2:4)andsavesusbygrace(5,8).Wearereconciledto
him (2:16) bythecrossandsohaveaccesstohim(2:18, 3:12)whoalsodwellswithin
thechurch (2:22). Every family is namedfor/by him (3:14) andsowe pray totheone
whoisabletodomorethanweevenimagine(3:20).Howdowesummariseallofthis?
TheFatheristhegracioussourceofoursalvationaccesstohimisthepurposeofit.
GodtheSon/Christisour Lord/Master (1:2,3etc)andthecentreof God'splan (1:9
10, 3:11), the one to whom we are united and in whom we have every blessing (see
every reference to in him / in Christ). He is the one we hope in (1:12) and trust in
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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
(1:15),whowasraisedfromthedeadtobehighlyexaltedovereverything(1:2023).He
diedonthecrosstobringusneartoGod,toendthehostilitybetweenJewandGentile,
and to reconcile us to God (2:1122). He is the cornerstone of the church (2:20) and
dwells within our hearts by faith (3:17). His love surpasses knowledge (3:19).
Summary? ChrististhecentreofGod'splanandtheonewhomakesithappenthrough
hisdeath.Weareblessedbybeinginrelationshipwithhim(inhim).
GodtheSpiritsealsusinChristwhenwebelievethegospel(1:13)andguaranteesour
finalinheritance (1:14). In OneSpiritwehaveaccess totheFather(2:18)ashe, the
Spirit, builds us into a dwelling place for God (2:22). He revealed the mystery to the
apostlesandprophets(3:5)andstrengthensbelieversinwardly(3:16).Summary? The
Spirit puts the Father's plan into effect and continues Christ'swork, by building up the
church.
DoasimilarsurveyofthematerialinEphesians13withthefollowingthemes,andwrite
asummarysentence:
God'spower
Thegospel/mystery
Thefuture
Theheavenlyplaces
ThebiglessonofthefirstthreechaptersisthatGodhasaplantouniteeverything(even
Jews and Gentiles) in Christ, and we are made part of this by God's grace when we
believethegospel.
Theremaybeother(secondary)thingspeoplehavelearnedorbeenstruckbystudying
Ephesiansthisterm.Perhapsspendsometimesharingthose?Whateveryoudo,dont
forgettopray(Pauldoesnt)!

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Ephesians4:116
IntroductoryComments
AtCentralFocuswewillreadthewholeofEphesians16togetheroutloudagain,aswe
didatthestartandendoflastterm.Hopefullyaswedosoitwillsoundmorefamiliarto
everyone,andwewillrealisejusthowmuchwehavelearned.Itisagoodideatospend
atinybitoftimeatthebeginningofthestudyjustbrieflysummarisingchapters13.
Basically,whatwearelookingatinthesecondhalfofEphesiansistheapplicationofthe
doctrine taught in the first half. So we may need to keep looking back at what weve
learnedinordertoseehowthesenextpassagesrelatetothebigplanaswehaveseen
itdevelopinchapters13.
TheMainPoint
Live out your spiritual unity created by the gospel as, equipped by Christ with word
ministries,youbuildeachotherup.
PaulsPurpose
Paul wants us to recognise, rightly value, and use word ministries as divinely given
meansofgracewhichequipustobuildeachotherup.Ourstudiesshouldencourage
us to play our part in Gods plan for the church, whether as teachers or as equipped
saintsdoingtheregularworkofministry.
TheDetails
1ThisisthehingeonwhichEphesiansturns.Walkworthyofthecall,i.e.liveoutwhat
you are in Christ. The call is not our particular vocation (to be a doctor,accountant,
lawyer,teacheretc.)butthecalltobeaChristian(see1:18,4:4,andRomans8:30).
23Thisisthewaytowalk,butnoticethatthespecialfocusofthisdescriptionisonhow
wetreatotherswhoarealsocalled.Weareinthistogether,andthereforewetreateach
otheraspartofthesameteam,createdbytheSpirittobeaunitedteam,peacehaving
beenestablishedbetweenusbythecross(see2:1122forthethemeofpeaceandthe
workoftheSpiritinbuildingtheChurch).
46Thekeywordhereisone,andthekeythoughtisthatallChristianssharethesame
benefits and status together (a thought which encourages us to obey verses 13). In
verse 6, God is the Father of all Christians not all people indiscriminately this is
establishedfromponderingotherreferencestotheFather(1:3,1:17,2:18etc.)andfrom
theimmediatecontextwherenoneofthethingsheistalkingaboutapplytounbelievers
(e.g.faith,baptism).HencetheFatheristheFatherofusall(Christians),isoverusall,
throughusall,andinusall(seeJohn14:23),whichagainmotivatesustomaintainthe
unityoftheSpiritandliveinaccordancewiththegospel.
710 Christ gave gifts to each one of us when he ascended after his death and
resurrection.ThePsalm68quotepicksuptheascensionofChristmentionedbeforein
1:2023,thoughthelastclauseisslightlyalteredfromthePsalm,possiblybecausePaul
doesntintendthelastclausetobeadirectquotebutaleadintohismainpoint.Verses
910areanasidewhichshouldnotbeallowedtotakeuptoomuchtime.Referenceto
Christ descending is not to any supposed descent into hell after his crucifixion (which
peoplehavesometimesseenin1Peter3:1819)buttoChristsdescendingfromheaven
to earth (i.e. Christmas). The main thrust there is that the victorious ascended king
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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
dispensesgiftstohispeople.Dontgetlostintheextradetailswhichmayconfuseand
distract.
11 Paulsingles out 4 gifts forspecial mention because of their particular role. Please
refer to the discussion of apostles and prophets in the study notes for 3:45 for
argumentsinfavourofunderstandingbothgroupsasfoundationalNewTestamentgifts
of revelation. Evangelists could be simply people who are especially gifted at
evangelism in the local church, or a specialclass of people (like Apollos, or Barnabus
perhaps)whoassistedthe Apostles (seealso2Timothy4:5). Pastorsandteachers is
(see ESV footnote) probably one group who shepherd thechurch by teaching it. The
thing all four groups have in common is that they are word gifts, all associated with
Godsrevelation:theyareeitherspecialrevealers,giftedspreaders,orregularteachers
ofGodsword.
12Thepurposeofwordgiftsistoequipeverymemberofthechurch(whatevertheirgift
mightbe,othergiftsarementionedelsewhereintheNewTestament)todotheworkof
ministryandbuildeachotherup.Thechurchgrowsasinloveweallspeakthetruthof
the word (or word of truth 1:13) to one another and thereby build ourselves up as a
body. The ministry is not done solely by pastorteachers (as many church members
believe!)theirjobistoequipeveryonetobeministers(orservants)ofthechurch.
1316 Unity and maturity is the goal of Christs gifting thechurchwith wordministries.
Wordministriesequipussoweareabletogrowup,andresistthedestabilisingeffects
offalsedoctrine.OurgrowthintoChrist(orChristlikeness)isrelatedtothemaintheme
ofEphesians(backin1:10)tobringeverythingtogetherunderhim.Forittohappenwe
need each part of the body to work properly, and for that to happen it needs to be
properlyequipped.
The logic of the passage is straightforward, and leads to many possible applications
about thevalueweplaceon word ministries(likesermons,talks, Biblestudies, oneto
ones,quiettimes,etc)andthegoaltowhichtheyshouldbeorientated(theequippingof
all Christians to build up and love each other). The latter cannot happen without the
former. It is sometimes said doctrine divides love unites, but Paul says correct
teachingisessentialtolovingunity.Dowethinkmaturity,unity,andstabilitycancome
insomeotherway?OrdowetendtothinkofBiblestudyasthemereaccumulationof
knowledgewithoutpracticalpurpose,orofoursmallgroups as coursesweattendfor
personal enlightenment rather than units of support, encouragement, correction, and
spiritualgrowth?
SuggestionsforLeading
Youcould study verses 16 forwards and then look at thesecond half of the passage
backwards,asIdidinmytalkonthispassageattheLeadersWeekendinSeptember(
clickhereforatranscriptofthetalk,incaseyourmemoryisntallthatvivid).Thisisa
littleoutoftheordinaryandsokeepspeopleawake,andalsomakesthebigpointabout
wordministrybeingimportanttothematurityofacongregationstandout.

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Ephesians4:175:2
IntroductoryCommentsApplication
SincePaulsattentioninthesecondhalfofEphesianshasturnedtoapplyingthetruths
hetaughtusinchapters13,itisvitallyimportantthatwedonotturnourBiblestudies
intodoctrinalexpositions,butgiveplentyoftimetoapplication.Thisisnotalwayseasy,
because we must first grasp what Paul is saying before we think about applying it to
ourselves,butitiscrucialthatwedonotsqueezeapplicationintothelast5minutesof
our time together. As always, it requires disciplined and wellorganised leaders to
ensurethishappens,butyoucouldalwaystryafewtricksaswell!Forinstance,whynot
applyeachparagraphorsectionasyougo,soatleastbytheendofthestudyyouwill
have applied some of it even if you run out of time? Or work out what kinds of
applicationwillcomeoutnaturallyfromthepassageandstartthestudybytalkingabout
those issues, thus feeding the passage directly into the applicatory discussion?
Whatever way you do it, make sure you do not neglect to encourage each other to
actuallydotheword(seeJames1:2225).
TheMainPoint&Purpose
Themainpointis:Changeyourlifebyrenewingyourmindswiththegospelsoyoulive
like Jesus. Paul exhorts his readers tochange their lives, swapping Gentile waysfor
Christianways,motivatedbythegospel.Weoughtnottojustinformpeopleaboutthis
change of life and how it is accomplished, but encourage and exhort each other to
actuallydoit.
TheDetails
4:1719Howweusedtolive
17 This is a strong command, which Paul insists on with the authority of the Lord.
GentilesishereusedasasynonymfornonChristian,peoplewhoselivesarecontrasted
with the way of Jesus. The core problem is in their hardness of heart against God,
whichresultsinthemindorunderstandingbecomingdark,futile,andignorant.
19Thisheartandminddiseaseleadstoalifestylegivenovertosensualityandimpurity.
Obviouslyontheoutsideunbelieversarenotallwildlyimmoral,butPaulislookinginto
thenucleusoftheirspiritualconditionandexposingthedriftanddirectionoftheirlives.
4:2124Howwelearnedtobedifferent
2021ThebigdifferencebetweentheGentilewayoflifeandtheChristianwayoflifeis
learning Christ, hearing about him and being taught the truth (see 1:13, 4:15, 6:14).
Lifestyleisintimatelyconnectedtowhatwehavelearnedandhowwethink.
2224WhatwewerespecificallytaughtasChristianstodowastoputoffouroldselves,
our former wayof life,whichwascorrupt andfullnotjust ofbadactionsbutofdesires
whichareinthemselvesdeceitful.Weputofftheoldselfbyhavingourmindsrenewed
(thespiritofyourmindmeansthedispositionofyourmindortheattitudeofyourmind).
ItisthetruththatisinJesuswhichrenewsourminds,thegospelasPaulhasoutlinedit
in the rest of Ephesians. Havingput off one set of clothsweput on another anew
lifestyle which makes us like God because it is characterised by righteousness and
holiness,forwhichweweremade(see1:4,2:10and5:27).Notethepattern:putoffold
selfberenewedinmindputonnewself.

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
4:2532Examplesofgospelliving
25 Paul turns to apply the principle of put off be renewed put on in specific
circumstances. So, put off falsehood and put on instead truthfulness. Why? What
renews our minds? The gospel , which teaches us that we are members one of
another(see3:6).Thegospelprovidesthemotivationandrenewalofourmindswhich
leadstochangedactions.Changedminds=changedlives.
2628 The same pattern underlies these applications: put off sinful anger, put on an
attitudeofsortingoutdisputesquickly,becausethedevilwantstowreckournewfound
unity. Put off stealing, put on honest work instead, because we are meant to live for
othersandhelpthoseinneed.
2930 While many of us will not admit to stealing or lying or sinful anger, our sins of
speech are obvious to everyone. The principles are the same again here, but rather
than expounding the principles again, why not talk about howwecan help each other
talkbetter?ThepatternweveidentifiedhasntbeenastraitjacketforPaul,butverse
30lookslikethegospelreasonforverse29.Thisreflectstheteachingof1:1314that
allChristianshavebeensealedbytheSpirit,markedoutasGodsspecialpossession,
until the day of redemption comes. The Spirit,who isa person not a force and can
thereforebeupsetorgrieved,isnothappywithcorruptingtalkwhichdestroystheunity
heistryingtobuildamongstus(see2:22and4:3).
3132 Put off bitterness etc., put on kindness and forgiveness, because Christ has
forgivenyou.Easytounderstand,buthardertoaccomplishinpractice.Issomeone,or
hassomeone,struggledwiththisinyourgroup?
5:12Summary:livelikeJesus
12Thethereforetiesthisversetightlyto4:2532,andisasummaryofeverythingfrom
4:17onwards. ImitatingGodwas the idea in4:24,and is an OldTestamentideafrom
Leviticus11:44BeholyforIamholy(see1Peter1:16).ImitatingGodisalsotoimitate
Christ. This walkof imitation isalife of love, a centralvirtue already mentionedas
important for our life as a community of believers (1:15, 3:17, 4:2, 4:1516). The
greatestactandexampleoflovewasthecross.WeshouldloveasChristlovedus.
SuggestionsforLeading
You could bring in a jumper to illustrate the principle of taking off and putting on
thoughyourgroupmayunderstandthatwithoutavisualaid!Ifyougettime,itisworth
thinking about whether there areother ethical issues to which wecan apply the same
puttingoffputtingon,for gospel reasonsmethod.Thereareother issuesinourlives
on which the gospel can shed light, whether they are explicit in this text or not. The
gospelteachesusawayofthinking,notjustalistofcommands.Paulgetsspecificand
showsuswaysofapplyingthegospeltoparticularsins:isthereawayyoucanapplythe
gospeltospecificissuesinthewayyourelateasagroup,ortoparticularlifesituations
yourgroupisfacing?NoteasywithourEnglishreserveperhaps,butworthatry.

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Ephesians5:314
IntroductoryComments
Its important that we remember, when looking at Ephesians 46, that it is intimately
relatedtothethingswelearnedlasttermfromEphesians13.Thatmaysoundobvious,
but it is all too easy to detach the ethical teaching in these latter chapters from the
doctrine we were taught at the start of the letter. There are clear and essential
connectionsbetweenthetwohalvesofthisepistle,anditisimportantthatwespotthem
soweare teaching Ephesianethics inanEphesianwayandwithEphesianmotivation
(so tospeak). A good question, therefore, toask ofany text inchapters 46 is, what
doesthishavetodowiththeplan?Howisitrelatedto1:10,forinstance,or2:10or2:22
or3:6?
TheMainPoint&Purpose
The main point is, Because we are part of Gods plan, Paul exhorts us to live
distinctivelydifferentlives.Paulwantsustoseehowoutofplacecertainsinsarefor
thosewhoarepartofGodsholytemple,thechurch,andtomakeusrealisetheyleadto
a different end point without the hope of the gospel. These verses (and our studies)
shouldthereforemakeusseethedifferencesveryclearlyandourstudiesshouldleave
people in no doubt as to the seriousness of sin. In 4:2532, holiness was the key
thought,withrelationshipswithinthechurchasthefocus.Herethefocusismoreonour
distinctivenessvisvisoutsiders,harkingbackto4:17,Youmustnolongerwalkasthe
Gentilesdo
TheDetails
3 Certain sins are not proper topics for conversation amongst those who are part of
Gods plan, his saints (see 1:1, 18 2:19 3:18 4:12 6:18 for this as a name for
Christians).Notthattheyshouldliterallyneverbespokenabout,butthereshouldbea
reticencetoengageingossipaboutthem,andthereshouldcertainlybenotevenahint
(as the NIV puts it) of such sins amongst Gods people. The sins include sexual
immorality the word covers the whole range of extramarital sexual relations, from
bestialityandincesttohomosexualityandfornication(tousetheoldfashionedwordfor
sexoutsideofmarriage). Impuritycouldhavesexualconnotationstoo,butcanalsobe
widerthanthat,andthesamegoesforcovetousnesswhichcouldbegreedysexualself
gratification or just plain greed. Greed is idolatry because worshipping the true God
shouldmakeusmoreconcernedforothersthanforourowngain.
4Thesearesinsofspeechwhichareassociatedwiththesinsofactionintheprevious
verse,althoughfilthiness(orobscenity)couldbebothactionandspeech.Oursenseof
humouristobereformedbythegospelsothatitbuildsothersupcrudejokingisoutof
placeinacommunitywhichismeanttolove,buildup,andsupportoneanotherinevery
way(e.g.4:12,16).
5Thesesins,ifpersistedinasalifestylechoicedonotleadtothegloriousinheritance
God has prepared for us in his kingdom (see 1:14). They disqualify a person from
entering that kingdom in the future and from enjoying itsblessings and benefits in the
present. That is not to say God cannotsavesuch a person (by grace hesaved even
thosedescribedin2:13)butifapersonchoosestowalkinsuchwaysratherthaninthe
good works God prepared beforehand for us to do (2:10) then they will have no
inheritance(see1Cor6:911foraverysimilarpassage).Thisistalkingaboutpatternof
life(thedirectionwewalk)ratherthanoneoffsinsorlapses.
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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS

6 Thesesinsarenotjustimproperforthosewhoareputtingonthenewself(4:24)but
they are also destined for destruction. Sons of disobedience were mentioned in 2:2.
Peopledo notbelieveinsuch judgment,andwill seektopersuadeusthatitisamere
fairytale,orthatitisnotasseriousastheBiblesays.HencePaulwarnsus(because
thedangerisgreat)thatweshouldnotbethusdeceived.
7 Dont get involved with those who live in this way. See 1 Corinthians 5:910 for a
helpful corrective its not that we must avoid contact with nonChristians, but that we
mustavoidbeinginvolvedintheirwayoflife.Thewordassociatehereisthesameas
partakinginthepromisein3:6.Wehaveachoice:beinfellowshiporpartnershipwith
Christandapartofhisplan,orassociateswiththesonsofdisobediencewhoseendwill
befardifferent.Applicationcouldfocusonhoweasyitisforustogetcarriedawayinto
sinful actions, speech, or attitudes around friends who do not believe, and how this
passagehelpsusfightthattemptation.
810 Paul uses the contrast of light and dark to make the same point, about being
distinctivelydifferentfromunbelieversinthewaywelive.Thefruitofwalkinginthelight
isverydifferentfromthewayofdarkness(i.e.thesinsofverses34,orof2:13)whichis
unfruitful.Wearepartofadifferentplan,withadifferentlifestyle,andadifferentfuture
tolookforwardto.
1112Thiscouldbeconfusing.Howcanweexposetheworksofdarknessifwecannot
even speak of them? Certainly our conduct alone, if it is characterised by goodness,
righteousness, and truth (verse 9) will show up the works of darkness for what they
are.Ourgodlylifestylesaremeanttoexposethoseofourunbelievingfriends.Notthat
weshouldnotalsospeakoutagainstevil,butthemainpointhereisthatourdistinctive
lifestyleshoulddomuchofthework.Do ourlivesperformthisfunction,oristheretoo
much darkness in them? Paul says it isshameful even to mentionsecret or private
worksofdarkness,nevermindforustodothem.
1314 Paul now moves from the exposing effect of light to its transforming power: it
showsdarknesstobedark,butthenitalsomakesthingsinthedarkvisible.WhenIlook
outofthewindowofmywelllitstudyatnight,Icanseethatitisdefinitelydarkoutside,
and theresabigcontrastwith insidethe house.ButIcouldshineafloodlightinto the
garden and then I would bemaking it visible. That is the dual effectof light: it shows
darkness to be dark but can also transform it so it becomes visible. This is what
happenedtousinverse8,afterall weweredarknessbutnowwearelight.Indeed,
wearelitupbyChristhimself,whoshinesonusasverse14says.Whenhedoessoit
is also described as rising from the dead, a description of our salvation used also in
2:16.ThequoteisnotadirectquotefromanOldTestamenttext,thoughitsoundsvery
much likeIsaiah 60:12 (which hasother linkswiththecontext inEphesians. Seealso
Psalm 80:3, 7, 19). It is probably a chorus based on Isaiah which they sang at St.
Pauls,Ephesus...
SuggestionsforLeading
Royalty illustrationsmightworkquitewellwhenthinking aboutwhatis outofplaceor
improper,e.g.itwouldbeoutofplacefortheQueentoswearorburpinherChristmas
speech because of her position inthesame way it is out of place for us tobehave in
certainways,becauseofourpositionasGodsholypeople.

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Ephesians5:1533
IntroductoryComments
Partofthispassagefocusesonmarriage.Itisimportantforustounderstandthatitis
not just written for married people. For a start, it helps single people understand and
help their married brothers and sisters in Christ to be more godly. But it also says a
greatdealabouttherelationshipbetweenChristandthechurch,ofwhichmarriageisbut
anillustration.Sonooneshouldfeelleftoutofthisstudy,whatevertheirearthlymarital
status,forweareallpartofthebrideofChrist.
TheMainPoint&Purpose
ThemainpointisLivewisely,beingcontrolledbyGodinallyoudo,especiallyinyour
marriages.Paulspurposehereistocontinuetheapplicationofthedoctrineinchapters
13,andtobegintoshowthattheequalityandunitywehaveinChristdoesnotdoaway
withallsocialstructuressuchasmarriage,family,andwork,butinfacthelpustoreform
those institutions so they are more Christcentred. Our studies should help people to
grasptheconnectionbetweenthedoctrineandthewayweshouldliveinrelationshipto
oneanother,sothatourunityisfosteredthroughwise,orderedliving.
TheDetails
1517Weare exhorted towalk (see 4:1,175:2) wisely andtomakethemostof the
time we have for God, since there is so much evil around (see 6:12 this present
darkness) to distract us from our main priorities. Wisdom, as often in the Bible, is
contrastedwithfolly,soratherthanbefoolishwearetounderstandGodswill.Notethe
connectionagainbetweenunderstandingandliving.
18 When someone is drunk they lose control over their will (and other faculties). So
whilethisisastraightforwardprohibitionagainstdrunkennessforChristians,italsohelps
us understand what being filled with the Spirit means. Do not becontrolledby wine
and hence fall intodebauchery instead be controlled by God and what he wants (v17
thewilloftheLord),whichwillleadtoadifferentlifestyleresult(v1921).Thisfillingis
notreceivedonceandforalleitheratconversion(likethesealingbytheSpiritin1:13)or
asasecondblessingsometimelater.ItisacommandtobecontinuallyfilledbyGod.
It is probably best to understand this as being filled with Christ by the Spirit in
Ephesians,Christfillsall(1:23and4:10)andtheSpiritputsGodsplanintoeffect(2:22
3:5,16).So,withtheSpiritshouldbetranslatedby(asitisin3:5bytheSpirit,and
4:30,bywhomyouweresealed).
1921 There follow 4 further definitions of what it looks like to be filled with Christ /
controlledbytheSpirit.IfpeoplearefilledbytheSpirittheywillbesingingtoeachother
(horizontally), singing to theLord (vertically), giving thanks for everything (see 1:16
5:4),andsubmittingtooneanotheroutofreverencetoChrist,towhomweallultimately
submit(1:22).
This is not,however, mutual submission of every Christian to every other Christian. It
cannot mean that, for three reasons. First, the word itself, submit, implies an
asymmetrical(uneven)relationship,and itmeanstobeplacedorarrangedunderneath
someoneelseinalineofauthority(itisusedin1:22forinstance). Second,theteaching
on marriage, family, and work which follows (5:226:9) is one long application of what
Paulmeansbysubmit toone another.Thewordsubmit isnotactually inverse22

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
literallyitreadssubmittingtooneanotheroutofreverenceforChrist,wivestoyourown
husbands,astotheLord. Sov22showsuswhatv21means.Thereisalwaysanorder
to the relationships so that wives submit to husbands (not viceversa), children obey
theirparents(notviceversa),andslavesobeytheirmasters(notviceversa).Thatdoes
notmeantherearenoreciprocalobligations,i.e.thattheonewhoissubmittedtodoes
not have responsibilities and duties towards the one doing the submitting. As we will
see, Paul is quite clear about this. Third, and quite decisively, in 5:24 the church
submitstoChrist,butChristmostcertainlydoesnotsubmittothechurch!Ifv21means
thatwe allsubmittoevery other Christian,if itmeans mutualsubmission, thenChrist
must submit to us for Pauls logic to work. That doesnt seem right somehow! So
submittooneanotherisshorthandforsubmittothepeopleyouaremeanttosubmitto
(i.e.wivestohusbands)notsubmittoeveryotherChristian.Wemustindiscriminately
love every other Christian (and our enemies) but we dont indiscriminately submit to
everyone.
2224Wivesaretosubmitthemselves(itisavoluntaryact,notforceduponthembythe
husbands)totheirhusbands(not,note,toallmengenerally),andtheydosoastothe
Lord.See6:1wherechildrenaretoldtoobeytheirparentsintheLord.Thisimpliesa
limittothesubmissionwivescannotbeaskedtodosomethingcontrarytowhattheLord
Jesus would ask of them. Submission is not demeaning for women anymore than
submittingtoChristdemeanstheChurch.Thereisnostigmaorimpliedinequalityinthe
actofsubmitting:Christhimself(whoisGod!)submittedtohisparents(Luke2:51)and
to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:2728). Greek literature on marriage did not address
wives, because they were not really thought to be rational creatures worthy of such
instruction!
25 There arethree timesas manyversesdirected atthe husbandsin thispassageas
therearetothewives!PaulcommandshusbandstolovetheirwivesasChristlovedthe
churchaselfgiving,selfsacrificinglove,preparedtodiefortheother.
2627PaulcanthelpexpandingonhowamazingChristsloveis.Itwouldbeamistake
tofindaparalleltomarriageineverydetailhere.Mustahusbandwashhiswife?Ishe
responsibleforallherspotsandwrinkles?HowisheherSaviour?Itispossibletosay
fromtheseverses,however,thathusbandsshouldbeconcernedfortheirwifesholiness
andspiritualwelfare,justasChristlovedthechurch(notethepasttense,referringtothe
cross)andpurposefullycontinuestocareandprovideforhersoshemightbeholy.
2830Christsconsistentcareforthechurchisanexampletohusbandsofhowtheyare
to love their wivesselfsacrificially and purposefully. The unity ofhusband and wife is
assumedinv28,astheirownbodies.Theyareone,asChristandthechurchareone
(see1:10,andtherepeatedphraseinChrist).Ifhusbandsfailtoloveandcherishtheir
wivestheydamagethemselves,justasifChristdidnotcareforhischurchhewouldbe
neglectinghisownbody(see1:23and4:12forthechurchasChristsbody).
3132PaulquotesGenesis2:24toreinforcethepointthathusbandsandwivesareone
flesh.Heisnotjusttalkingaboutearthly,humanmarriage,butshowinghowthatisjust
a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church. It seems at first that the
ChristChurch relationship is an illustration of marriage but now we see that ultimately
marriageisjustapictureofthegreaterreality.

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
3233Paulrepeatsthemainpointinverse33inreverseorder,withrespect(translated
reverencein5:21)replacingsubmitintermsofthewifesresponsibility.Note,itsnot
justPaulwhosaysthesethings:1Peter3:17teachesthesamebasicdoctrine.
SuggestionsforLeading
ItisimportanttoprayforChristianmarriages,thattheywouldindeedbemodelledonthe
relationshipofChristandthechurch.Itisequallyimportantthatweprayforusalltobe
controlledbyGod,beingfilledwithChristbytheSpirit.Trytosticktothemainthrustof
thepassageandnotgetboggeddownindetailunlessitsreallynecessary

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Ephesians6:19
IntroductoryComments
A Bible study is not justan exercise in grasping the sentencestructure in atext. It is
important to understand what the words mean and how they fit together, what the
sentences mean and how they form paragraphs. But if we stop there, we have only
done a comprehension exercise rather than a Bible study. Bible study starts with
comprehensionandthenbuildsonthattoapplication.Itistooeasyforustostopshort
ofapplicationbecauseitisharderandmorepersonalthanmerelygraspingwhatthetext
saysordiscussingatheologicalnicety.YetGodgaveushiswordtotransformusbythe
renewing ofour minds(seeRomans12:2and Ephesians4:23). So it isessentialthat
we get to application and see how the text transformsourcurrent thoughts, practices,
habits,androutines.Thatisthebiggestchallengeinthispassage.
TheMainPoint
Paulcontinuesto expound what it meansto walk wisely and be filled by the Spirit,by
outlininghowChristianchildrenandslavesshouldsubmittotheirparentsandmasters,
andhowfathersandmastersshouldinturnbehavetowardschildrenandslaves,inthe
lightofGodsplan.
TheDetails
1Childrensubmit(see5:21)totheirparentsbyobeyingthem.TheydosointheLord,
i.e. in a way that is pleasing to the Lord Jesus who is their ultimate authority (see
Colossians3:20,whichispartofasimilarlistofhouseholddutiesandisparalleltothis
whole section of Ephesians). He then says this is right, to stress that it is fitting or
properforchildrentobehavethisway(see5:34forthesameideaofwhatisrightand
appropriate).
23 Paul quotes straight from the Old Testament Law (Deuteronomy 5:16 or Exodus
20:12)tobackupwhathehassaidtochildren.Healsoaddsthatthisisthefirstofthe
10Commandmentswithapromiseattachedtoit.Wearetounderstandbythisthatthe
promise still applies: that generally we will live a long happy life if such authority
structuresareproperlyobserved(thoughobviouslytherearealwaysexceptionstosuch
generalprinciples,in afallenworld!).Itisnotapromisetobespiritualisedawaysoit
refersjusttoaheavenlylife.Thewordforlonglifeisneverusedofeternallife(avery
commonphraseintheNewTestamentwhichPaulcouldhaveusedifhehadwantedto)
butjustmeansalongtime.Also,thelonglifeissaidexplicitlytobeinthelandoron
the earth (there is nodifference in the originalbetween theword land and the word
earth).Thisimpliesitisaboutthehereandnow,notsomefuturestate. Obedienceis
required of all children asthey are brought up (thecontext is obviously aboutchildren
stillbeingbroughtupandnotyetadults,seebringthemupinverse4)buthonouring
parents remains a duty for all Christians however old they are (see, for instance,
Matthew15:4,19:19).Discusshowtodothatasanadult.
4Followingthepatternestablishedwithwivesandhusbandsin5:2233,Paulnowturns
to address the stronger partner in the relationship (so to speak). But notably he
addressesonlyFathersratherthanbothparents,possiblybecausefathersneedmore
ofaremindertobeinvolvedinthespiritualtrainingandinstructionoftheirchildrenthan
mothers who (generally speaking throughout history) spend more time with their
children, but also because the father is meant to set the spiritual tone as head of the
household. They must not exasperate theirchildren or provokethem toanger, by, for
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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
instance, being impossible to please, or demeaning, nagging, or harsh. Instead, they
should bring them up to know and love the Lord and to live as his people, both by
modellingsuchalifestyleandteachingthedoctrinewhichleadstoit.Exploretheways
inwhichthefathersinyourgroupstrytodothis.
5 Paul turns to the slavemaster relationship which, despite obvious differences, most
closely resembles our modern employeeemployer/boss relationship. Remember, the
keyideaiswalkingwiselyandbeingcontrolledbyGodinallwedointhisrelationship
asinallotherswesubmittotheappropriateauthorityoutofreverenceforChrist(5:21).
Slaves are encouraged to continue serving their masters with sincerity, transparency,
integrity,andcheerfulnessastheywould(onehopes!)serveChrist,theirultimateLord.
Notethatin1Peter2:18slavesareexhortedtosubmittotheirmasterseveniftheyare
harsh and unjust. What does this attitude and behaviour look like in the modern
workplace?
8 Slavesaremotivatedtoworkhardinthiswaybythethoughtofafuturerewardfrom
theirheavenlyLordJesus(note,thewordLordisthesameintheoriginalastheword
foraslavesMaster).Atjudgmentday,Christians(whoobviouslyescapethewrathof
God by grace, 2:15) are nevertheless judged according to their works and rewarded
accordingly by God (see, for instance, 2 Cor 5:10). This, it must be remembered, is
entirelyinthecontextofthegraceofGodwhohimselfpreparesgoodworksinadvance
forustodo(2:10)andpowerfullyworksinustoenergiseusforthem(1:19,3:20).As
Augustine said, It is through his mercy that we perform the good deeds to which the
crownisawarded.Thismotivationisequallyapplicabletoslaveorfree.
9 Masters, do the same to them cant mean masters should obey their slaves, but
ratherthatinthesamewayslavesshouldobeybecausetheyareconsciousofGodand
hiseternalrewards,soalsoMastersshouldtreattheirslavesproperlyandrememberthe
future perspective of judgment day. On that day, they will be judged by their own
heavenly Master/Lord who is completely impartial and allknowing. What a motivation
foremployersandbosses!Doesitaffectthewayanybossesinourgroupsbehave?
SuggestionsforLeading
Rememberthatgettingtotheheartofthecommandshereandthereasonsforthemis
just the first step in a good Bible study. Make sure that once these main points are
sufficientlyclearyoustarttodiscusshowtheyimpactyoupersonallyasagroupinyour
differentcircumstances.Dontgetsidetrackedintolongdiscussionsabouttheuseofthe
law or the status of a first century slave at the expense of a transformative encounter
with Gods word for us today! Remember too thatsince parentchild relationships are
intensely emotional, it isimportant toavoidsoundingjudgementalabout other peoples
familiesandtheirpractices,evenwhilewedowanttoencourageeachothertocontinue
thinkinghardabout howto reformeveryareaofour lives bytheword of God. Pray to
handlethiscarefullyandsensitively,butwithclarityandboldness.

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Ephesians6:1024
IntroductoryComments
We can always learn something new from wellknown passages, especially if we re
examinethecontext.Thisfamouspassageonspiritualwarfare,isnodifferent.Having
studiedthewholebookofEphesiansuptothispoint,overtwotermsandingooddetail,
weshouldnowbeideallyplacedtograspthecontextofthisrousingtext,andseehowit
fitswellinto the flowof Ephesians. This in turn will help usto betterunderstandwhat
spiritualwarfareisreallyabout.
TheMainPointandPurpose
PaulurgestheEphesians,inviewofGodsplan,tostandfirminGodsstrengthasthey
struggleagainstthedevilsschemes.Clearly,thisisastirringfinalapplicationofallthat
hasbeensaidsofarintheletter.Itisimportanttograsp,however,whatkindofwarfare
is envisaged here. It is not marching across the land to claim the ground for Jesus
(there are no chariots or horses to ride on), but a defensive kind of struggle in which
thosewhoarealreadysafelyinthecitadel(inChrist)standfirmagainsttheonslaughts
oftheenemywhoseobjectiveistosowdoubt,division,anddespairamongstus.Soitis
notaboutridingoutlikeAlexandertheGreattoevangelisetheworldandconqueritfor
Christ, but more like defending Helms Deep against Sarumans hoardes, if such
cinematicallusionsmeananythingtoyou!Christhasalreadywonthevictoryforus,
andwehavebeenraisedtobewithhim.Allwemustdoisstandfirmthere.Itwouldbe
greatifourstudiescouldatleasttrytoemulatesomeofthepassionate,inspiringimpact
ofPaulsoriginal.
TheDetails
10 Thefinalbigapplication.With1:10and 4:1thisis a keyverse for grasping thebig
idea of Ephesians. God has a plan, so live in the light of it and stand firm against
opposition. We do this in Gods strength, a power weve heard about before in 1:19,
3:20etc.
1113ThearmourofGodcanmeanthearmourGodsupplies,orthearmourhehimself
wears(athoughtwhichisreminiscentofIsaiah59:15b17).Itspurposeistoenableus
to standagainst the enemy (notetherepetition ofstand andwithstand alltheway
uptoverse14).Whatschemesofthedevilmightweexpecthavingstudiedtherestof
thebook?DivisionwhereChristhasbroughtpeace(2:1122,4:2532)orconfusionand
instabilitywhereChristdesiresmaturity(4:14).Therealenemyisnototherpeoplebut
thespiritualforcesofevilatworktoderailGodsplaninthisway.Theonlywaytostand
isinGodswaywithhispower.Notethatwhereaspreviouslywehavebeenexhortedto
walk,nowweareencouragedtostand!
14 The armour is linked to the major themes of the book. Each part is connected to
Godsplansomehow.Thebeltoftruthsee1:13,4:15,4:21.Truthkeepsourtrousers
up without it we look silly and cant go out to face the world! The breastplate of
righteousnesssee4:24forrighteousnessasaqualityofGodwhichwealsopossessif
wearenewcreationsinhim.InEphesiansitisanethicalquality(linkedwithholiness
in4:24)ratherthanaforensic(legal)termmeaningjustified/acquitted(aselsewhere).
1516Readinesscomesfromthegospelofpeace.Thegospelwasmentionedin1:13,
3:67andwillcomeupagainin6:19.Itspeacefulnaturemustbeabackwardslookat
2:1122whereweretoldChristisourpeace,bringingpeace betweenusandGod,
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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
andalsobetweenJewsandGentiles.SoPaulurgesustobealwaysreadyasgospel
peacemakers in both those senses. Faith (orbelief) mentioned in 1:13,15, 192:8
3:12,174:5,13guardsusagainstdoubt,unitesustoChrist,andgivesusconfidence
inourwalkwithGod.Theseareallthingswhichthedevilwouldliketoassaultwithhis
flamingarrows.
17Salvationprotectsourheads,thegospelofoursalvationbygrace(1:13,2:5,8).The
swordgivenbytheSpirit isGodsword.Theword iskey in1:13andespecially4:11
where we noted that Christ gave teachers of the word to us to equip us for unity,
stability,andmaturity.Theswordistheonlyoffensiveweaponhere,butthewordused
for sword describes a daggerlike blade useful for close combat, rather than King
ArthursExcalibur.Itisusefulforfightingoffattackswhentheenemygetsclose.Jesus
used Gods word in this way (see Luke 4:113) and Paul has applied the word of the
gospeltodifferentareasofourlivesin4:2532forinstance.
18Weputonthearmourwhilstalsoprayingconstantlyforallourbrothersandsistersin
Christtostandfirminthebattleaswell.MentionofprayingintheSpiritgoesbackto
2:18whereweweretoldthatthroughChristwehaveaccesstotheFatherinoneSpirit.
WearealsobeingbuilttogetherasabodyofunitedbelieversbytheSpirit(2:22),sohe
is particularly keen to aid us in our prayers for one another. Looking at these other
references to the Spirit in Ephesians helps to show that prayer in the Spirit doesnt
meanaparticular typeof prayer (suchaspraying in tongues)buthas todomorewith
theintentionoftheprayer.
1920 Paul wants the Ephesians also to pray for him, for the right words to use in
proclaiming the gospel and for boldness in that task. Obviously we do not pray
specificallyforPaulnow(!)butthiswouldstillbeagreatprayerforallthoseinvolvedin
anykindofgospelproclamation:prayfortherightwordsandforboldness.Boldnessis
necessaryinthemidstofbattle,butnotalwayseasy.Itisalsoperfectlyfittingsincewe
have a great and glorious gospel to proclaim, the word of truth, the gospel of your
salvation(1:13).
2124 It would be unbalanced to spend too much time on this bit, but it is well worth
noticingthatPaulspurposeinsendingTychicuswiththe letter (to read it out perhaps,
and explainany difficultbitsto thelisteners!) wasto encouragetheEphesians hearts.
Encouragement is oneof thekeypurposes oftheletterasawhole(seealso3:13and
4:1wheretheoriginalforurgeisthesameasthewordforencourage).Hopefullyour
study of the letter over the last few weeks and months has had that effect on our
groups
SuggestionsforLeading
PuttingonthearmourofGodbasicallymeansknowingthegospel,livingthegospel,and
telling the gospel. That is how we stand firm in Jesus. Its simple, but it requires all
Godsstrengthand his mighty powerforusto doit. Thosearethe main pointsto get
across, ratherthanhavinganindepthstudyof theindividual pieces ofarmour. Soits
goodtofocusonthebigpoint,butitsalsogoodtoseehowitfitsinwiththerestofthe
letter and is not just a random exhortation tacked on at the end. Spend some time
looking at how Ephesians it all is. Perhaps you could even dress up in armour to
illustratethemainpointstoyourgroup?J

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
SummaryofEphesians16
At the start of tonights session, we will read through the whole 6 chapters together
again,outloud.Whilewedothat,pleaseencouragepeopletolistencarefullyandtosee
howmuch theyve learned,andwhatparticularly strikes them aswe read itagainafter
studyingitforsomanymonths.
Sincethelaststudy(onEphesians6:1024)wassomethingofasummaryofthewhole
letter anyway, for this last session on Ephesians, we are going to spend some time
praying in the letter. First see whether people have got a good grasp of the whole
thing, by discussing the question to ponder for this week, which is basically about
summarising thewhole epistle inone sentence You could suggest variousdifferent
ways of summarising Ephesians and discuss their relative merits, or just start with a
blankpieceofpaperandseewhatpeoplecomeupwith.Usefulquestionstoaskatthis
point, to elicit responses What are the main themes that should be included in a
summary?Whathasthethrustofthewholeletterbeen?Whatarethekeyverses?
Then, go round the groupand ask what particular thing hasstruckpeople or changed
themorexcitedthemorchallengedthemoverthelasttwotermsaswehavestudiedthis
book. This will also give something of a picture of how people have understood and
graspedEphesians.Itwouldbehelpfulifpeoplemadenotesofthesethingssothatyou
canpraythemintogetherattheend.
Afteryouvedonethis,haveanotherbrieflookattheprayersinEphesians.Thesearein
1:1523, 3:1421 and also in 6:1820. Read them together and then pray for a good
length of time about all weve learned these last two terms from Ephesians, including
prayers for each other as part of that or as a separate time afterwards depending on
yourgroup.
Theintentionof this evening is notto fillourheadswithmoreEphesiansbutto remind
ourselvesof howmuch Ephesians isalready inthere andthen toprayitin. We often
dontprayasmuchaswedliketoinourgroupsbecausetheressomuchtogetthrough
inthestudy.Sothisisthechancetoreversethat!

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Appendix1:PrepQuestionsforEphesiansStudies
Questionstoponder
Its a great idea toreadthrough the passageweregoing tobestudyingeachweek in
Central Focus. Why not print off the questions and have it around as you read
Ephesians,andtrytoanswerthequestions

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
GeneralQuestionsonEphesians
ReadallofEphesiansacoupleoftimes.
(Itsonlysixchapterssonocomplainingplease.WecouldbedoingJeremiah!)
1.Whatisthemainthrustoftheletterasawhole?

2.Whichbitsmakeyougo,Hmmmm?

3.Whichbitsmakeyougo,Whatonearthisthatabout?

4.Listsomeoftherecurringwords,phrases,orthemes.

Page36Of59

STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
QuestionsonEphesians1:110
1.MakealistofallthedifferentspiritualblessingsmentionedinEphesians1:110.

2.Makeanoteofanybitsyoudontreallyunderstand

3.WhydoyouthinkPaultalksaboutalltheseblessings?

4.Howdoestherestoftheletterlookbacktothebigpointin1:10?

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
QuestionsonEphesians1:1114
1.WhatisthelinkbetweenEphesians1:110andEphesians1:1114?

2.WhatthemesrunthroughallofEphesians1:114?

3.IsthereanythingthatcanstopGodfromfulfillinghisplanfortheworld?

4.HowdoessomeonebecomepartofGodsplan?

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
QuestionsonEphesians1:1523
1. What is the link between Ephesians 1:314 and Ephesians 1:1523? i.e. what
connectsthebitwevedonebeforetothisnewpassage?

2.WhatdoyounormallyprayforChristianpeopleyoudontknow?

3. What does Paul pray for the Ephesians? Break down what he says into different
prayerrequests

4. How does your answer in question 2 (above) compare to what Paul prays for in
Ephesians1:1523?AreyouprayingthesamesortsofthingsasPaul?

5.WhydoyouthinkPaultellsthemwhathesprayingforthem?i.e.whatsthepointof
reportingthecontentofhisquiettimes?

Page39Of59

STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
QuestionsonEphesians2:110
1. What is the link between Ephesians 1:1523 and Ephesians 2:110? i.e. what
connectsthebitwevedonebeforetothisnewpassage?Arethereanycommonwords
orthemesinbothpassages?

2.Howbadapersonwereyoubeforeyouwereconverted?Makealistofallthethings
2:13saysaboutanonChristian.Didyoueverthinkyouwereasbadas2:13says?

3.Its50%Godandthen50%me.Goddoeshisbitandthenwehavetodoours.Is
thatanaccuratepictureofsalvationaccordingtothispassage?Ifso,why?Ifnot,why
not?

4.Whatisverse7sayingaboutGodspurposeinsavingus?

5.Soarewenotmeanttodogoodworksthen,ifitsnotbyworkssothatnoonecan
boast(verse9)?

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
QuestionsonEphesians2:1122
1.WhatisthelinkbetweenEphesians2:110andEphesians2:1122?

2. How does Ephesians 2:1122 relate back to the theme sentence of the letter as a
whole(thatsEphesians1:10,incaseyouveforgotten)?Inotherwords,howdoes2:11
22fitintoGodsbigplan?

3.Howmanydifferentkindsofpeoplearethere,accordingtoEphesians2:1122,and
whoarethey?

4. What was the key event which brought Jews and Gentiles together into a new
humanity?

5.WhyisPaultellingusallthis?Inotherwords,whatdoeshewantustodo,think,or
feelasa resultof readingthispassage? (Doesheexplicitlytellusto do, think,or feel
something?)

Page41Of59

STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
QuestionsonEphesians3:113
1.WhatisthelinkbetweenEphesians2:1122andEphesians3:113?

2.WhyspecificallyisPaulsufferinginprison?

3.WhatisPaulsplaceinGodsplantouniteallthingsinChrist?Inotherwords,ishe
atallspecialandifso,how?

4.Whatisthepurposeofthechurch,accordingto3:10?Whatdoesthatactuallymean
inpractice?

5.Whatisthepurposeofthispassage?Thatis,whydoeshetellusallthis?(Doeshe
specificallytellushowweshouldrespondtowhathesays?)

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
QuestionsonEphesians3:1421
1. For this reason (verse 14). For what reason? In other words, to what is Paul
referringback?E.g.whatpromptshimtopray?

2.Whatisthesinglethinghepraysfor?(verse16).Whatdoesthatmean?

3.Ifyouhaveverse16,whatwillfollowfromthat(accordingtoverses1719)?

4. What isdifferent about thisprayer andtheone in1:1523? Whataccounts for this


differentemphasis?

5.Whatwordsorthemesin3:2021areechoesfromtherestofchapters13?

Page43Of59

STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
QuestionsonEphesians13asawhole
1.Whatisthebigideaofchapters13?

2.Howwouldyousummarisethecontentofeachparagraphofthesethreechapters?

3. Is there a pattern to Pauls writing? E.g. does he state his point, illustrate it, then
apply it, or does he give a main point followed by 5 subpoints, or is there a different
patterntothesechapters?

4. Whathave you learned bystudyingthesechaptersover thelastfewmonths? And


howhasitmadeadifferenceinyourlifeorthewayyourelatetoGod?

Page44Of59

STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
QuestionsonEphesians4:116
1. What is the key, repeated, word in 4:16? How is this related to the key verse of
Ephesiansasawhole(1:10)?

2.WhatdoesGodwantfortheChurchaccordingtothispassage(4:116)?

3. What does Jesus give the Church to ensure that Gods desires for the Church is
fulfilled?

4.HowdothesegiftsoperateatSt.Helens,anddoesitworktofulfilGodspurposesfor
us?

5.WhatmightstoptheChurchfromgrowingupproperly?

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
QuestionsonEphesians4:175:2
1. Whatisthestructureofthislongpassage?Inotherwords,howwouldyousplititup
intoitscomponentpartsofbitesizechunks(about310verses)?

2.WhatisthekeyproblemwiththeGentilewayoflife?

3.WhatisthekeydifferenceintheChristianlife?

4.Whatdoallthereasonsgivenforlivingdifferentlyinverses2532haveincommon?
Inotherwords,isthereacommonthemeorreasonforustolivedifferently?

5.Whatsthepointof5:12?

Page46Of59

STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
QuestionsonEphesians5:314
1.Thereareseveralreasonsfromthispassagewhyweshouldnotindulgeinthesins
mentioned in verses 34. What are they, and how are they related to the rest of
Ephesians?

2.Whyisgreedcalledidolatry?

3. How is this section different from 4:2532? In other words, why didnt Paul just
include sexual immorality, impurity, and greed when he addressed lying, anger, theft,
andbitternessintheprevioussection?Whatisdifferentaboutthefocusofthissection?

4.Howcanweexposetheunfruitfulworksofdarkness(verse11)ifwearenottoeven
mentionthem(verse12)?

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
QuestionsonEphesians5:1533
1.Verses1518containseveralcontrasts(notthis,butthat).Whatarethey?

2.Giventhatdrunkennessleadingtodebaucheryisitsopposite,whatdoesbeingfilled
withtheSpiritmean?

3. Verses 1921unpack verse18andgiveat least fourresultsofbeingfilledwith the


Spirit.Whatarethey?

4.Whyshouldwivessubmittotheirhusbands?

5.Whyshouldhusbandslovetheirwives?

6.Whatdoverses2233tellusaboutJesus?

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
QuestionsonEphesians6:19
1.ThisisstillpartoftheexplanationofwhatitwilllooklikeifwearefilledwiththeSpirit.
SowhatisthejobofaSpiritfilledchild,andaspiritfilledparent?
2.HowcanFathersobeyverse4?

Howcanmothershelpthem?

Howcanthosewithoutchildrenhelpthem?

Whatpartdoesthechurchplayinthat?

3.Ifwethinkofslaveryasthefirstcenturyequivalentofemployment,whatdoverses5
8tellusaboutourattitudetowork?

4.Whyshouldslavesworkhard(v8)?WhyshouldMastersbehaveproperlytowards
theirslaves?Whatdothesetwocommandshaveincommon?

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
QuestionsonEphesians6:1024
1. Is spiritual warfare about marching across the land to claim the ground for Jesus,
accordingtotheseverses?Ifnot,whatkindofbattleisit,andwhatisourobjective?

2.WritedownthedifferentpartofthearmourofGod.

3.Gothroughthelistaboveandnexttoeachpartofthearmourwritedownwherethe
wordshavebeenmentionedbeforeinEphesians(so,forbeltoftruthwritedownwhere
theword(orconcept)oftruthhascomeupbeforeetc.).

4.Whoarewetoprayfor,andwhatdoweprayforthem(v1820).

5.Whyshouldweprayforthoseparticularthings,inthelightofEphesiansasawhole?

6.Whatdoverses2124tellusaboutthepurposeofEphesians?

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
QuestionsonEphesians16asawhole
1.HowwouldyousummarisetheteachingofEphesiansasawholeintoonesentence.
Trytogetthemainemphasesoftheletterintoyoursentence,withoutmakingitaslong
asEphesians1:314!

2.WhatistheonemainthingthatstudyingEphesiansforthelasttwotermshastaught
you?

3.HowhasstudyingEphesianschangedyouinthelastfewmonths?

Page51Of59

STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Appendix2:OutlineandIntroductiontoEphesians
Good evening and welcome to our introductory evening. Its great to have both
homegroups and Central Focus together this evening. Before we start the evenings
festivitiesthough,letspray
PRAY
Tonight were going to do three things. First, were going to think for a few minutes
about what Central Focus and Homegroups are all about, then were going to think
particularly about Ephesians which were studying this year, and finally were going to
spendsometimeinourgroupsprayingforthecomingterm.So,whatsthepoint,whats
Ephesiansallabout,andprayer.
Firstthen,whatsthepointofCentralFocusandHomegroups?Iknowmanyofuswill
havebeendoingthisformanyyears,butitisgoodtoremindourselvesofwhatwereall
about,andwhywedowhatwedo.Inordertodothat,pleaseturnwithmetoEphesians
4.Letmereadverses116
Itherefore,aprisonerfortheLord,urgeyoutowalkinamannerworthyof
thecallingtowhichyouhavebeencalled,withallhumilityandgentleness,
withpatience,bearingwithoneanotherinlove,eagertomaintaintheunityof
the Spiritin the bondofpeace.There is onebody and one Spirit justas
youwerecalled totheone hopethhatbelongsto yourcallone Lord,one
faith,onebaptism,oneGodandFatherofall,whoisoverallandthroughall
andinall.
ButgracewasgiventoeachoneofusaccordingtothemeasureofChrist's
gift.Thereforeitsays,Whenheascendedonhighheledahostofcaptives,
andhegavegiftstomen.(Insaying,"Heascended,"whatdoesitmeanbut
that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who
descendedistheonewhoalsoascendedfarabovealltheheavens,thathe
mightfillallthings.)
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and
teachers,toequipthesaintsfortheworkofministry,forbuildingupthebody
ofChrist,until weall attain totheunity of thefaith andof the knowledgeof
the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the
fullnessofChrist,sothatwemaynolongerbechildren,tossedtoandfroby
thewavesandcarriedaboutby everywindof doctrine,byhumancunning,
bycraftinessindeceitfulschemes.Rather,speakingthetruthinlove,weare
togrowupineverywayintohimwhoisthehead,intoChrist,fromwhomthe
wholebody,joinedandheldtogetherbyeveryjointwithwhichitisequipped,
wheneach part isworking properly, makes thebody grow so that it builds
itselfupinlove.(EnglishStandardVersion)
Godwantsafirmbody
Letslookatthisbackwardsforachange,justtokeepyouallawake.Soletslookfirst
atverses1416,which tell usthat Godwantsafirmbody. Idont meanhewantsto

Page52Of59

STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
have strong shoulders, a stomach like asix pack, andbulging biceps (likeme). No, I
meanthathewantsusasaChurch,thebodyofChrist,tobefirm.
Goddoesntwantustobeunstable,unbalanced,andwobbly,blownbackandforthon
thewaves.Hewantsustobesteady,unwavering,secure,andsafeasChristians.Not
blown off course by what verse 14 calls the wind and waves of human cunning, by
craftinessindeceitfulschemes.
In other words, false teaching may come in to the church and rock the boat. God
doesntwantustobeunsteadyinthefaceoftheseinevitablewaves.Itisinescapable
there will be false teachers and false doctrines in the church of Jesus Christ. We
shouldntbesurprisedbythat.EvenatSt.Helenswearenotimmunefromthehuman
abilitytogetitwrongortotwistthetruth.ButGodwantsustobefirminthefaceofsuch
attacks.
Godwantsustobeunitedandmature
So God wants a firm body. Second, as we work our way backwards through this
passage,verse13usesthewordsunityandmature.Inotherwords,Godwantsusto
beunitedandmature. Godwantsustobeunitedandmature.So,hedoesntwant
us to be always disagreeing about things. He doesnt want us to be uncertain and
unclearandconfused.No,Godwantsustobeunitedinwhatwebelieve,soweallgrow
tobelikeJesus.
Maturitymeanshedoesntwantustobebabies.Ourson,Joshua,isatoddler.Heis
notmature.Heneedsustochangehisnappies.Heneedsustotellhimnottostickhis
fingers in the electrical sockets. He needs to be disciplined and told he cant throw
daddysbooksallaroundthehouse.Hecanthaveanadultconversationwithanyone,
andhedoesntknowwhatsbestforhim.GoddoesntwantusasChristianstobelike
that.Hewantsustohavemoreunderstandingofwhatisgoodforus,andwhatisnot.
Hedoesntwanttohavetodisciplineusallthetime,butforustobehavelikeadults:less
selfcentred,moregrownup.
Godwantsustobepreparedtoserve
So God wants a firm body, and he wants us to be united and mature. Continuing to
movebackwardsthroughthepassagethenVerse12tellsusthatGodwantsustobe
preparedtoserve. Godwantsustobepreparedtoserve.Verse12sayshewants
Godspeopletobeequippedfortheworkofministry,forbuildingupthebodyofChrist.
Whatdoesthatmean?Well,itmeanshewantsusalltobeministers,orservants.The
wordtheretranslatedministrycouldequallywellbetranslatedservice.SoGodwants
usalltobedoingministry,andservingoneanother. Thatmeansbuildingeachotherup
withthegospel,the good news. Thatmeansencouragingeachotherwiththewordof
God, correcting each other whenwe gowrong maybe, or comfortingeach other when
weneedit.Thatswhatverse15meantwhenitsaid,speakingthetruthinlove.
Godwants all Christians to be ministers, not just somespecial elitewhohavebeento
theologicalcollegeorwhoarepaidtodoit.AllChristiansareministers,weministerto
each other and serve each other. Noone is meant to just be a consumer in the
church. Weareallmeanttobe involvedsomehow,workingtogetherwith ourdifferent
giftsanddifferentabilities.

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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS
Itisoftensaidthatthelargerthechurch,themorepassengersitcarries.Thelargerthe
church, themore passengers itcarries. But noChristian ismeant to be a passenger.
NowIdontmeanthateveryoneshouldbeleadingaCentralFocusorHomegroup.That
needstobedoneofcourse,butitsnottheonlythingthatneedstobedone.No,there
areotherministriesinthechurchwhichweneedaswell.Weneedpeopletoserveand
minister in other public ways like helping with the coffee rota or the welcome team or
clearingawayservicesheetsonaSundaymorning.Thosethingsallneeddoing,andit
isvaluableservice.
Andthenthereisthekindofservicethatisnotsopublicgettingalongsidesomeonein
your group and helping them through a rough patch in their life being a friend to that
newcouplewhodontknowmanypeople,offeringhospitalitytonewcomers,prayingfor
eachotherinprivate,giving,writinglettersofencouragement,challengingpeople.
Allthesethings,andmanyotherministriesofserviceareneededwithinthebody.No
oneismeanttobejustaconsumer.Achurchisacongregation,notanaudience.We
arenotmeanttobepassivewhilesomeoneelseentertainsus.Iknowwecangetthat
impression because the chairs on Sunday are arranged in cinema style, all facing
forward.Butactuallywearemeanttobe,metaphorically,allfacingeachother.Weare
allmeanttogetinvolved,buildingupthebodyofChrist.Whoeverweare,thatisourjob.
That is the job of every member of Central Focus and homegroups. That way, we
dependnotonfulltimemembersofstaffbutoneachother,asweministertoourselves
asachurch.ServingourfellowChristiansisactuallygoodforus,becauseitbuildsup
anotherpartofthebodythatwereallmembersof.
SohowdoesthispassageinEphesians4worksofar?Lookingforwardsfromverse12,
weareequippedtoserveeachotherandbuildupthebody.Thathelpsustobeunited
and mature. And that, in turn, is what makes us a firm body not susceptible to the
wind and waves of trouble or of new teachings, but solid, unshakeable, and steady.
ThatswhatGodwantsus tobe likeasa group of Christians. But how does hemake
sure ithappens? How does God makesure that Christiansare prepared for works of
serviceandequippedforministeringtoeachother?
BibleteachersareGodsgift
Well,verses711tellus.ThoseversestellusthatBibleteachersareGodsgift. Bible
teachersareGodsgift. TherisenascendedJesusgavegiftstohischurch.Now,this
is nota listof spiritualgiftssuchas we might find in1 Corinthians or Romans. Here,
PaulonlymentionsthegiftswhichareneededtoachieveGodsultimatepurposethatis
inviewhere.Itonlymentionsthegiftswhichequipthesaintsforministrythegiftswhich
are given to ensure our unity in the faith the gifts which if properly used will stop us
beingvulnerableandatriskfromeverynewtrickofthedevil.
There they are in verse 11. It says, And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the
evangelists,thepastorsandteachers,toequipthesaintsfortheworkofministry.
Imnotgoingtospoilyourstudyofthis passageinafewmonthstimebygivingyouall
the details. But its clear from Ephesians that the apostles and prophets are the
foundational gifts, the ones uponwhich the church isbuilt. Wehave the words of the
apostles and prophets here in the Scriptures, which are simultaneously the words of
menandthewordofGod.
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STUDYNOTESONTHELETTERTOTHEEPHESIANS

Evangelists are those who take the word of God and proclaim it to others. Like the
personwhofirsttoldeachoneofusthegoodnews.AndfinallyPaulmentionspastors
andteachers,orasthefootnoteputsit,pastorteachersbecausePaulisreallythinking
ofonegroup:peoplewhopastororshepherdtheflock,thepeopleofGod,byteaching
theword.
Whatdoallthesegiftsinverse11haveincommon?Theyareallwordgifts.ItisGods
word which starts the whole process off. So God speaks, the apostles and prophets
preachandwriteGodsword,theevangelistsproclaimit,andthepastorsteachit.That
iswhatequipsusalltoserve.Bibleteachingunitesusandmakesusgrowinmaturity.
AnditenablesustobefirmandstableasChristiansandasaChurch.OrasIliketoput
it:
Themoreencouragementfromtheword
themorethatwewillwanttoserve
Itdoesntrhymeverywell,buthey,rhymingisnteverythingThemoreencouragement
wegetfromtheBible,themorewewillwanttoserveGodspeople.Butalso,themore
wewill be abletoserveaswell, because wewillunderstand howtospeak thetruth in
lovetooneanothersomuchbetter.
Now, theremay beveryfew fulltimepastorteachersherethisevening. But there are
manyministers.AndasourgroupsgetstuckintotheBiblemoreandmore,theideais
thatwewillstarttoministertooneanotherwithinthegroups.Not,didyounotice,that
thegroupleadersstarttodoalltheministeringandlookingafterpeople.No,thewhole
pointisthatweministertoandserveeachother.
ThegroupleadersjobistomakesurethattheBibleisrightlyhandled.Becausethen,
Godsvoiceisheard, andhe rulesoverus. Wedontwant our leadersto ruleoverus
andforittobetheirjobalonethisyeartoserveus.No,theideaisforthemtohelpusin
our groups tounderstandGodswordaswellaswecan,sothatGod rulesusthrough
hisword.Andthatinturnwillencourageeachandeveryoneofustoserveeachother.
Sothatsanoverviewofwhatwere all about asCentralFocusandHomegroups.We
areheretotuckintoGodsword,sothatwecanbeequippedtoserveoneanotherand
build up the body. That is Gods chosen method for constructing and maintaining his
church.SmallgroupsareabrilliantwayofachievingthatoverarchingpurposeofGod,
because inasmall groupwecan get to know each other more intimately andsohelp
eachotheroutbetter.Wecanprayforoneanother,andsupportoneanother.
Thatswhatitsallabout.Notjustanothercourseforustoattend,sowestickabitmore
religious information into our heads. No, this is more like acookery coursewhere we
learn in order to feed each other. Or a first aid course, where we learn in order to fix
eachother.Oranantenatalcourse,wherewelearninordertoprepareeachotherfor
an inevitable event one day in the future not giving birth of course, but we prepare
eachotherforthegloriousdaywhenJesuscomesagaintojudgethelivingandthedead
andtotakehispeopletobewithhimforever.
Sothatsabriefoverviewofwhatourgroupsareallabout.And,youmayhavenoticed,
itwasalsoafirstlookatEphesians,whichwewillbechewingonforthenextsixmonths.
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NowweregoingtolookabitmoreatEphesians,andtrytogetanoverviewofthewhole
letter.Butbeforewedothat,wereactuallygoingtoreadthewholeletterthroughright
now.
Ithinkthisisanimportantthingtodoforseveralreasons.First,Ephesianswaswritten
to be readout inonego. Itwasnot, likeotherlettersarenot,written tobe brokenup
intoverses andstudied only a few at atime.Thats agoodthingto do,obviously, but
Ephesianswasalsomeanttobeappreciatedasawhole.
Second,itisgoodforustolistentothewholeletterreadoutnow,becausethatsmuch
betterthanmeexplainingit.LetsreadGodswordandlethimteachusdirectlythrough
hisword,andthenIlladdmytuppenceworthtotryandexplainwhatweveread.Then
afterthat,wellprayinourgroups.
So, aswe listen,try to see ifyoucanwrite downany repeatedwordsorphrases,and
any recurring themes. See if you can spot any key verses as well, or discern the
structureoftheletter.Andifyouwant,makeanoteofanydifficultorinterestingverses
youthinkyouneedtoponderabitmore.So,letssitunderGodswordtogether
ReadEphesiansoutloud
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Wasntthatbrilliant?Togetafeelforthewholeletterinonego.ImaginetheEphesians
sittingtherelisteningtoTychicusreadingitouttothemforthefirsttime
WeareoneinChristnow
Sowhatsthebigpicture?Well,EphesianssaysweareoneinChristnow.Ithinkone
ofthekeyverseshastobechapter1verse10.GodsplanistouniteallthingsinChrist.
Thats a key verse which explains the rest of the first three chapters. God will bring
everythingintheuniversetogetherunderJesusChrist.Allthings,whethertheunseen
powersandauthoritiesintheheavenlyrealms,orthethingsonearththatwecansee
differentnations,differentpeople.
God wants to bring them together, to unite them, whereas previously they have been
separated and at war, with God and with one another. And he wants to bring them
togetherunderChrist,sothateverykneewillbow,andeverytongueconfessthatJesus
Christis Lord nooneelse.Thats thebigpictureofwhatsgoingon intheuniverse.
AnditsthebigpictureofwhatsgoingoninEphesiansaswell.Becauseafterwehear
aboutthisplan,whichwillbecompletedinthefullnessoftime,wealsohearthatithas
beguntobeachieved.WeareoneinChristnow.
For astart,Christ hasbeenraisedandexalted tobetheheadovereverything. Thats
stage1ofGodsplan,inchapter1verse20,Godhasshownhisgreatstrengththathe
workedinChristwhenheraisedhimfromthedeadandseatedhimathisrighthandin
the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and
aboveeverynamethatisnamed,notonlyinthisagebutalsointheonetocome.

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StagetwoiswheneverythingisbroughttogetherunderChristashead.First,eachone
of us individually is brought from spiritual death to spiritual life. We are then brought
togetherorunitedwithoneanotherunderChrist,apictureofwhichistheunionofJews
andGentilesintotheoneplanofGod.Lookatchapter2verse14,Christhimselfisour
peace,whohasmadeusbothoneandhasbrokendowninhisfleshthedividingwallof
hostility.
Soweareunitedasonechurch,underChrist.Thatiswhatweareinrealitythatisour
calling. We werent always one in Christ something has happened to change our
situation. Christhasbroken down thedividing wallbetweenus,and hehasdealtwith
thesinthatseparatedusfromGodandmadeusobjectsofhiswrath.Oras5:8says,
atonetimeyouweredarkness,butnowyouarelightintheLord.
BeoneinChristnow
SoafterexpoundingGods plan andtelling uswe are onein Christnow,Paulturns to
directapplicationinchapter4.Lookat4:1,whichisthepivotorhingeonwhichtheletter
turns, I therefore, aprisoner for the Lord, urgeyou towalk in a mannerworthyof the
calling to which you have been called. In other words, it is Gods plan that we are
unitedunderChrist.Therefore,liveinawaythatshowsyouarepartofthatplan.Or,
youmightsay, beoneinChristnow.YouareoneinChristnow,sobeoneinChrist
now!
Sothentheresthe firsthalfof chapter 4 whichweve looked atalready. That tellsus
thatweareunitedthroughthegiftofGodswordasitworkswithinthecongregationof
Gods people. Then we hear about the kind of lifestyle a person who is united under
Christwill live inchapters 4, 5, and 6. Basically Paul urges us to liveout the gospel.
Knowing the good news of what God has planned for theuniverseshouldchange our
lives. In the light of Gods plan, we should start to live like Jesus. Paul applies the
gospeltoourrelationships:ourmarriagesinchapter5,andourhomelivesandourwork
atthebeginningofchapter6.
Whichbringsus tothesummary applicationof the letterin 6:10. Since most ofGods
plantouniteallthingsinChristhasalreadybeenachieved,allwemustdoisstandfirm
untiltheend.DidyouseethatemphasisinthelastbitaboutthearmourofGod?
Finally,bestrongintheLordsays6:10.Then6:11,PutonthewholearmourofGodthat
youmaybeabletostandagainsttheschemesofthedevil.Ontoverse13,takeupthe
whole armour of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having
doneeverything,tostand.Verse14,Standfirmthen
SospiritualwarfareisnotaboutmarchingacrossthelandtoclaimthegroundforChrist
andinvadetheplaceswhereheisnotking.No,heiskingovereverythingalready,and
allweneedtodoiskeepstandinguntilthefullnessoftimearrivesandGoddealsonce
andforall with the opposition. But nobody said thatwould be easy. Paul says there
thatweneedallofGodsstrengthjusttokeepstanding.
Sothatshowtheletterunfolds.Godsplanin1:10isopenedupforusinchapters13.
Thenchapter46showushowtoliveinthelightofGodsplan,andurgeustostandfirm
untiltheendpointarrivesandthenewworldbegins.

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PaulsPurpose
WhydidPaulwritethisletter?PaulspurposeinwritingEphesiansistoencouragehis
readerstostandfirminthefaceofsufferingandinthispresentdarknessashecallsit
in chapter6 verse12. Hehimself isin prison accordingto3:1and4:1 but hesays in
3:13thathedoesntwantthemtoloseheartbecauseofthateither.
He encourages them by enlightening them about the gospel. He lets us in on the
secretofthegospel,orasheputsitin3:4,Whenyoureadthis,youcanperceivemy
insight into themystery ofChrist. Thatmystery isthegospel, the goodnewsofwhat
Godhas done,is doing,andwill do intheworld throughJesusChrist. Understanding
thiswillhelpthempersevere.
ButPauldoesntjustencouragethembyenlighteningthem.Healsoencouragesthem
byexhortingthem.HewantsthemtoliveinthelightofGodsbigplan,toliveeachday
asifwhathesaysistrue.Toignorethedevilsworldviewwhichispushedonthemfrom
every angle and which would cause them to give up following Christ. So he exhorts
themandurgesthem,pressesthemtokeepgoing,insiststhattheyturnawayfromsin
andpushesthemtowardsJesus.
SobywritingEphesians,Paulisencouragingthembyenlighteningthemandexhorting
them.Orifyoulikehewantsthemtobesteadfastbecausetheyknowthebigpicture
inthemidstofthebattle.
TowhomisEphesianswritten?
And this is not just for the Christians in Ephesus. Several very reliable and important
early manuscripts do not contain those little words in 1:1, in Ephesus. Most
manuscripts do though, its just that the ones that dont are usually very reliable. One
guyintheearlychurchcalledthisthelettertotheLaodiceans.
Ithinkthebestexplanation ofallthisis thatEphesiansisactuallyacircular. Its like a
tract,senttoEphesusasthechiefcityandchurchoftheprovinceofAsiaMinor(thats
Turkey), and then circulated to all the other churches round and about, like Laodicea,
andColosse.ColossiansisverysimilartoEphesians,andlooksasifitmayhavebeen
written atabout the sametime. Andat theendof ColossiansPaultells themtoswap
letterswiththeLaodiceans,soweknowthiskindofpassingaroundoflettersdidgoon.
Butwhateverthesituationin the firstcentury,whether thisreally isto Ephesusorto
LaodiceaortoeveryoneinAsiaMinoritisalsoforus.Becauseitisalltooeasyfor
usto bediscouraged anddepressedas Christians.We losesight ofGodsbigpicture
and we focus instead on the mundane trivialities of this world, where things are hard
sometimesandbeingaChristianisnoteasy.
SoweneedEphesianstoliftoureyestoheavenwhereGodissovereign,theGodwho
isabletoworkoutallthingsinconformitywithhisplan.EphesiansshowsusthatGod
hasaplantouniteallthingsinChrist,thingsinheavenandthingsonearth.
Whatwedohere,onearth,aspartofGodschurchisacrucialpartofthatplan.What
wedoherereverberatesintheheavenlyrealms.As3:10putsit,throughthechurchthe
manifold wisdom of God is made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly
places.Ephesiansremindsusthatwhatwedomatters,andallweneedtodoisstand

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firm.Lotsofthingswilltrytoknockusoffbalanceandtakeoureyesoffthegoal,butwe
mustpresson.
Wehaveagreatfutureaheadofus.WeareoneinChristnow,sobeoneinChristnow,
lookingforwardtothedaywhenwewilltrulybeone,inChristandwithChristforever.
ObviouslytheresmuchmorewecouldsayaboutEphesians,butIdontwanttospoilour
funaswestudythismagnificentlettertogetheroverthenext6months

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