10. Ephesians

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1. Doctrinal. 1:1-3:21.

A Salutation. 1:1,2.

B. Thanksgiving. 1:3-14.

C. Prayer for the Ephesiane. 1:15-2:10.

D. Unity. 2:11-22.

E. Mission and Message. 3:1-13.

F. Another Prayer. 3:14-19.

G. Doxology. 3:20,21.

2. Hortatory. 4:1-6:24.

A. Church Unity. 4:1-16.

B. Abandon Pagan Ways. 4:17-5:20.

C. Subordination. 5:21-6:9.

D. God's Armor. 6:10-18.

E. Appeal for Prayer. 6:19.20.

F. The Bearer. 6:21,22.

G. Benediction. 6:23,24.


1. Paul wrote Ephesians, The doctrinal half is Paul's theology; the philosophical half is Paul's teaching.

2. But the polished literary style throughout is not Paul's. After Paul wrote the epistle, some well qualified Christian editor rewrote the letter -making it one of the most polished pieces of literature to be found in either the Old or the New Testament.

3. The letter was not written just to the church at Ephesus. It was a general epistle addressed to all the churches. (The Revised Standard Version leaves off "Ephesus" in the introduction.)

4. There are 82 words in Ephesians not to be found in any of Paul's other letters.

5. The chief topics of this letter conform to Paul's teaching, but there are at least four secondary ideas that seem foreign to Paul's thinking.

A. Paul's mission. He did not claim to be the only missionary to the gentiles. There were earlier teachers-see Acts 11:20.


1. It cannot be denied that this book is strongly "tainted" with predestination.

2. The brotherhood concept gains its chief support from Ephesians.

3. Ephesians is up to date. Its battle cry-"Unite or perish."

4. The goal is unity-"in the fullness of time."

5. The theme-all creation moving toward ultimate unity in Christ.

6. All the time Ephesians preaches unity-"till we all come into the unity of the faith."

7. It presents a picture of a sort of "Christian imperialism," all mankind united in the service of Christ.

8. The Fatherhood of God is a chief thought. He is a universal Father-"one God and Father of all."

9. The "mystery of God" is openly revealed "in Christ."

10. In Ephesians the church has fully displaced the "kingdom."

11. The letter fully upholds all of Paul's preaching about "Christ and him crucified."

12. The Jewish Messiah is displaced by a transcendental and cosmic Messiah of infinite attributes.

13. The letter is true to Paul's doctrine of the atonement.

14. The theology of Ephesians is interspersed with prayers that border on grandeur and beauty.

Note: Predestination is the Christian analogue of the "chosen people" doctrine of the Jews.


1. Foreordination. "Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him." 1:4.

2. The eternal plan. "According to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth." 1:9,10.

3. The supremacy of Christ. "And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all." 1:22,23.

4. Free salvation. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God." 2:8.

5. Christ our peace. "For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility." 2:14.

6. Fellowship with the saints. "So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God." 2:19.

7. The eternal purpose. "This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord." 3:11.

8. Spiritual strength. "That according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man." 3:16.

9. The fullness of God. "And to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God." 3:19.

10. The divine omnipresence. "One God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all." 4:6.

11. The new nature. "And be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." 4:23,24.

12. Marriage relationships. "Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord." 5:21,22.

13. Marriage love. "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." 5:25.

14. Parental obedience. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." 6:1.

15. Subjection of slaves. "Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as to Christ," 6:5.

16. Spiritual strength. "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." 6:10,11.

17. Effective armor. "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." 6:17.

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