Where the world comes to study the Bible

An Argument Of The Book Of Ephesians

Related Media

Message Statement:

In View Of The Spiritual Blessings With Which God Has Enriched Believers, And The Deliverance Which He Has Provided For Individuals And The Gentiles From Their Godless Position To One Of Unity With Him And One Another, Paul Exhorts The Ephesians To Maintain Their Unified Position By Loving One Another, And By Resisting Demonic Attacks In Accordance With God’s Provisions For Them

I. Prologue--Greeting: Paul authoritatively opens his letter as an apostle of Jesus Christ to the believing Ephesians with a prayer that they may receive grace and peace from God the Father and Jesus Christ 1:1-2

A. The Writer: Paul introduces himself with authority as an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God 1:1a

B. The Readers: Paul is writing to the holy ones1 who live in Ephesus2 and who are faithful in their relationship with Christ Jesus 1:1b

C. The Salutation: Paul prays that the Ephesians may receive grace and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ 1:2

II. Doctrine--God’s Loving Call of the Church: Because God has enriched believers with spiritual blessings and delivered individuals and the Gentiles from their godless position, Paul prays that the Ephesians might increase in their awareness of God’s love for them and thus demonstrate it to one another unto the glory of God 1:3--3:21

A. Praise for God’s Planned Spiritual Blessings:3 God should be praised because He has enriched believers with spiritual blessings needed for spiritual life through the election of the Father, the provision of Christ, and the sealing of the Holy Spirit 1:3-14

1. The Provision of Spiritual Blessings: God the Father is to be blessed (enriched)4 because He has enriched (in eternity past) believers with spiritual blessings (which are in the heavenly realms) needed for their spiritual life by virtue of their relationship with Christ 1:3

2. The Basis of Spiritual Blessings: Believers should praise the Trinity because their spiritual blessings are due to the Fathers election of them, the Sons provisions for them, and the Spirits sealing of them 1:4-14

a. The Selection of the Father: Believers should praise God the Father because their spiritual blessing began through His selection of them into His family so that they might be holy in love 1:4-6

1) Believers have been spiritually blessed because the Father began it by electing them in order that they might be holy and blameless before Him 1:4

a) Believers are spiritually blessed because God the Father chose5 them before the foundation of the world 1:4a

b) The purpose of the Father’s election is so that believers might be holy and blameless before Him in love6 1:4b

2) Believers are spiritually blessed because God the Father elected them by delighting to predestine them through Jesus Christ into His family through adoption 1:5

a) Believers are spiritually blessed because God the Father elected them by predestining7 them through Jesus Christ to become part of His family through adoption 1:5a

b) God’s predestination of believers was in accordance with the kind intention of His will8 1:5b

3) God the Father spiritually blessed believers in the Son whom He loves so that they would praise Him for it 1:6

b. The Provisions of the Son: The Father’s plan is made effective through Christ who has set believers free from their sin and has revealed His will that all things will be headed up in Him in the future kingdom, including a heritage for Jewish believers who were the first to trust in Him 1:7-12

1) Redemption, Forgiveness, Revelation: Jesus has brought about redemption through his death and the forgiveness of sins for believers through his grace with a view to the consummation of all things in Him 1:7-10

a) Redemption: In relationship with Jesus Christ believers have redemption (deliverance from slavery to sin) through Christ’s death (blood) 1:7

b) Forgiveness: Believers have the forgiveness of sins according to the wealth of God’s grace 1:7c

c) Revelation of God’s Mystery: God’s grace is lavished upon believers in order to enable them to understand His previously veiled will through objective (wisdom) and subjective (insight) understanding about how all things will be consummated (in the kingdom) under Christ’s rule through his redemption 1:8-10

2) Jewish Heritage: Jewish believers have an inheritance as those who have been predestined, resulting in praise to how great Christ is 1:11-12

a) Inheritance: Jewish believers9 have also obtained an inheritance through God’s sovereign purpose 1:11

b) Praise to God: The goal of God’s will toward Jewish believers is that they, who first believed in Jesus, would bring praise to God’s greatness (glory)10 1:12

c. The Seal of the Holy Spirit: The Father’s plan is made effective through the Holy Spirit who has sealed Gentile believers and all believers in the sphere of Christ guaranteeing their future inheritance when they are delivered from the presence of sin 1:13-14

1) Preparation: Gentile believers11 listened to the Gospel which brought about their salvation 1:13a

2) Effect: When the Gentiles believed they were also sealed12 in Christ with13 the promised Holy Spirit14 who is a down payment15 guaranteeing all believers’ inheritance when God ultimately delivers them as his possession from the presence of sin 1:13b-14a

3) Goal: All of man’s redemption is to bring praise to God’s glory 1:14b

B. Paul’s First Prayer--for Wisdom and Revelation:16 Because the Ephesians have all spiritual blessings (1:3-14) and have a good relationship with God and Man, Paul continually thanks God for them and prays that they might have a personal knowledge of Him through the enlightenment of their hearts so that they might know of the certainty of His work in them 1:15-23

1. Occasion--Commendation: Because God has spiritually blessed the Ephesians, and they have a good relationship with God and men, Paul continually gives thanks for them as he makes requests for them in his prayers to God 1:15-16

a. From God: Paul prays for the Ephesians because of the spiritual blessings17 which they have received 1:15a

b. From Man: Paul prays for the Ephesians because he has heard of their good relationship with God (faith-vertical) and men (love-horizontal) 1:15a

c. Paul continually gives thanks for the Ephesians as he makes requests for them in his prayers 1:16

2. Request: Paul prays that God would give the Ephesians a personal knowledge of Him through an enlightened heart so that they might know of the certainty of His work in them 1:17-23

a. Supplication--Personal Knowledge of God: Paul prays that the Father, to whom all glory belongs, would give the Ephesians a spirit (disposition/attitude)18 of wisdom19 and revelation20 so that they may have an intimate knowledge21 of God’s character and will through an enlightened heart 1:17-18a

b. The Reason for the Supplication: The reasons that Paul prays that the Ephesians might have a personal knowledge of God are that they might (1) have a certainty of their victory through God’s past calling, (2) know that they are God’s future inheritance, and (3) be aware of God’s present power towards them for the spiritual life 1:18b-23

1) Past Calling: The reason Paul prays that the Ephesians might have a personal knowledge of God is because he wants them to have a certainty of their victory (hope)22 through God’s past calling of them 1:18b

2) Future Inheritance: The reason Paul prays that the Ephesians might have a personal knowledge of God is because they will become Gods inheritance at the resurrection according to the riches of His grace 1:18c

3) Present Power: The reason Paul prays that the Ephesians might have a personal knowledge of God is because of His great power toward them which was seen in his exaltation of Jesus who “heads” the body--the Church 1:19-23

a) Statement: Paul desires for the Ephesians to have a personal knowledge of God because His great power23 (for spiritual life) toward all believers 1:19a

b) Past/Future: God’s great power is in accordance with (manifested by) the power by which he exalted Jesus 1:19b-22a

(1) God's power raised Jesus from the dead 1:19b-20a

(2) God's power seated the risen Jesus at his right hand over all powers24 both present and yet to come 1:20b-21

(3) God's power put all things in subjection to Jesus and made Him head over all of creation25 1:22a

c) Present: God in his power gave the exalted Jesus to the Church as its director (head) to fill it with blessing 1:22b-23

C. A New Position Examined: Christ’s death has resolved the positional needs of individuals as well as Gentiles, as a whole, by graciously saving individuals and by uniting the disparate groups of Jews and Gentiles into one people among whom God dwells in accordance with His eternal mystery 2:1--3:13

1. New Position Individually:26 Even though believers in their sin were separated from God and deserving of His wrath, God acted out of his rich grace to make them alive by saving them, raising them to new life, and positionally placing them with Him over all angelic realms in the heavenlies through Jesus 2:1-10

a. The Old Condition--Dead to God: Paul affirms that all people (Jews and Gentiles) were in a hopeless position in that they were separated from God because of their involvement in sins 2:1-3

1) Believers were separated from God (dead) in their repetitious involvement in sin (trespasses and sins) 2:1-2

a) General Statement: Believers were separated from God as they were in their sins 2:1

b) Specific Examples: Believers were separated from God because they walked in the way of the rebellious world, because they followed the direction of Satan and because they had the spirit of present rebellious unbelievers 2:2

(1) Believers were separated from God because they formerly walked in the path of this rebellious world27 2:2a

(2) Believers were separated from God because they formerly walked according to Satan's designs (the prince of the power of the air)28 2:2b

(3) Believers were separated from God because they formerly had the spirit of rebellion present in unbelievers 2:2c

2) Paul reminds his Gentile readers that the Jews (“all of us”) were by nature related to God’s wrath more than to God because they joined in with the cravings of the sinful nature like the rest of mankind (the Gentiles) 2:3

b. The New Position: Alive to God: Even though believers were separated from God, He acted out of His rich grace to make them alive by saving them, raising them to new life, and positionally placing them with Him over all angelic realms in the heavenlies through Jesus 2:4-10

1) God Made Them Alive: Even through believers were separated from God in their sins, God acted through His rich mercy and out of His great love to make believers alive as he did with Christ by graciously saving them 2:4-5

a) God made believers alive (into relationship with Him) as he raised Christ from the dead 2:4a,5b

b) God made believers alive with Christ through His rich mercy, because of his great love, even though they were separated from Him in their sins 2:4b-5a

c) God saved believers by grace 2:5c

2) God Raised Them: Even though believers were separated from God, He raised them up into a new position of power and life as He did Christ29 2:6a

3) God Seated Them: Even through believers were separated from God, He seated us with Him through our relationship with Christ in the heavenlies in order to demonstrate in the ages to come His rich grace toward men 2:6b-10

a) Seated: God (positionally/spiritually) seated believers with Him in their relationship with Christ in the heavenlies30 2:6b

b) Purpose: God will seat believers with Him in the heavenlies in order to demonstrate for ages to come His rich grace in saving them through Jesus 2:7

c) Rich Grace Explained: God’s rich grace is seen through the salvation of men in that the basis of salvation is grace, the means of salvation is faith, the source of salvation is God’s gift, the result of salvation is that no one may boast, and the design of salvation is that believers walk in good works prepared by God 2:8-10

(1) The basis of salvation is grace and its means was through faith 2:8a

(2) The salvation which believers have received by grace through faith31 has its source as a gift of God and not from their own good works 2:8b-9a

(3) The result of God's gift is that no one may boast over their salvation 2:9b

(4) The reason salvation is not of men is because it is God's workmanship in Christ Jesus resulting in good works which God has prepared for believers to walk in 2:10

2. New Position Corporately: Although Gentiles were not part of God’s people they have been united with the Jews and with God through the peacemaking death of Christ and are thus like a temple where God dwells 2:11-22

a. Statement of Union: Although Gentiles were not part of God’s people and in a desperate position, now they have been united with the Jews and with God through the death of Jesus 2:11-13

1) Past Disunion: Before their conversions Gentiles, due to their physical differences, were not considered to be part of God’s people and were thus in a desperate situation without meaning, hope, purpose or direction in life 2:11-12

a) Before their conversions Gentiles were not considered to be part of God’s people (called uncircumcised) by the Jews (the “Circumcision”) due to their physical differences 2:11

b) Before their conversion Gentiles were separated from Christ (the national hope of Messiah), estranged to the theocratic state of Israel, foreigners to the covenants of promise (for a future hope)32, not having hope and without God 2:12

2) Present Union: But now (as opposed to before conversion) Gentiles, who were once far away from God and the Jews, have been brought near to God and the Jew in a relationship with Christ (“in Christ”) through the sacrificial death (blood) of Christ 2:13

b. Explanation of the Union: Both Jews and Gentiles have been brought into peace with one another and with God through the death of Jesus 2:14-18

1) Assertion of Peace: Through Jesus death He become the believers’ peace with one another (Jews and Gentiles) and with God by satisfying the demands of the Law 2:14-16

a) Statement: Jesus is the believers’ peace between Jews and Gentiles 2:14a

b) Explanation: Jesus is the believers’ peace in that He broke down the dividing wall (spiritual enmity) between Jews and Gentiles through His death by making the Law inoperative in order to reconcile men to one another, and to God 2:14b-16

(1) Statement: Jesus broke down the dividing wall33 between Jews and Gentiles 2:14b

(2) The Means: Jesus brought this spiritual enmity to an end through His death34 whereby He made the Law of commandments and regulations inoperative35 2:15a

(3) Purpose I--Toward One Another: Jesus ended the hostility between Jews and Gentiles in order to make one new man out of the two, and thus, peace 2:15b

(4) Purpose II--Toward God: Jesus ended the hostility between people and God through killing it on the cross in order to reconcile the two groups to Himself in one body 2:16

2) Announcement of Peace: In accordance with the OT Jesus preached peace (by the Holy Spirit through His messengers) to Gentiles and Jews proclaiming that they have access to the Father through the Holy Spirit because of Christ’s death 2:17-18

a) Citing Isaiah 57:19 Paul affirms that Jesus was not only the believers’ peace, but He also preached peace (through the Spirit at Pentecost)36 to the Gentiles (who were far away) and to the Jews (who were near) 2:17

b) Believers have access to the Father through the Holy Spirit because of Christ’s death on the cross (“through Him”) 2:18

c. Consequence of the Union: The union brought about by Christ has incorporated believing Gentiles into the redeemed of all ages whereby they are like a temple that is structured on the apostles and prophets with Christ as cornerstone, and indwelt by God through the agency of the Holy Spirit 2:19-20

1) The Fact--A New Relationship: Gentiles are no longer strangers and aliens, but are fellow citizens with the (Jewish) saints, and are part of God’s household37 2:19

2) The Cause--A New Establishment: Through the image of a building Paul affirms that the new relationship of Gentile believers as “fellow citizens” is structured upon the NT apostles and prophets with Christ being the corner stone, and is thus indwelt by God through the agency of the Holy Spirit 2:20-22

a) Foundation: Through the image of a building Paul affirms that the new relationship of Gentile believers as “fellow citizens” is built upon the foundation of the (NT) apostles and prophets38 with Christ as the corner stone39 of the building 2:20

b) Formation: Through the image of a building Paul affirms that the new relationship of Gentile believers as “fellow citizens” is skillfully formed (or joined together) in their relationship with Christ into a living organism that is a holy temple40 2:21

c) Function: The goal of this building project is that the Church might become by the Spirit the dwelling place of God41 2:22

3. Parenthetical Expansion of the Mystery: As Paul begins to pray, he emphasizes his ministry to the Gentiles as a mystery made known to him in order that he should disseminate the rich grace of God to Gentiles so that angels might understand the wisdom of God as He united Jews and Gentiles into one body through Christ; therefore, the Ephesians should not be discouraged because of Paul’s sufferings 3:1-13

a. The Introduction: In view of the new relationship of Gentiles and Jews (“for this reason”)42 Paul as a prisoner (in Rome)43 of Christ Jesus because of his ministry to the Gentiles44 [prays]45 3:1

b. The Mystery: Something unknown before (a mystery) was made known to Paul, and other NT apostles and prophets, through a revelation by the Holy Spirit, namely, the equality of Jews and Gentiles through the Gospel 3:2-6

1) The Stewardship of God’s Grace46: Paul was given a stewardship47 of God’s grace to dispense to the Gentiles48 3:2

2) The Revelation of the Mystery: As Paul mentioned earlier in the letter, which would aid the Ephesians in understanding, a mystery was made known to him through revelation which had not been known until the Holy Spirit revealed to NT apostles and prophets 3:3-5

a) As Paul had written before in the letter (1:9), a mystery49 was made known to him through revelation 3:3

b) By reading what Paul had already written, the Ephesians would be able to understand his insight into the mystery of Christ 3:4

c) The mystery in Christ was not known in previous generations50, but was now revealed by the Spirit to NT apostles and prophets51 3:5

3) The Constitution of the Mystery: They mystery consists of the equality of Jews and Gentiles through the gospel (e.g., Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, fellow partakers of the promise in Christ)52 3:6

c. The Ministry:53 Paul was graciously made to be a minister of the good news of the God’s grace to the Gentiles so that angelic beings might understand the variegated wisdom of God of uniting Jews and Gentiles into one body 3:7-12

1) The Placement into the Ministry: In a spirit of deep humility Paul affirms that in accordance with God’s grace he was made a minister of the good news of the mystery 3:7-8a

2) The Performance of the Ministry: Paul was to proclaim to the Gentiles the riches (grace and mercy) of Christ, and to make plain the dispensing of this mystery which God always had as a part of His eternal plans 3:8:b-9

3) The Purpose of the Ministry: Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles was in order that angelic beings might understand, through the church, God’s variegated wisdom of uniting Jews and Gentiles into one body 3:10-12

a) The purpose of Paul’s ministry was so that the variety of God’s wisdom54 might now be made known through the church to angelic beings (rulers and authorities in the heavenlies)55 3:10

b) The knowledge to the angelic beings was in accordance with the eternal design of God which was realized in Christ Jesus through whom believers in faith have confident access to the Father 3:11-12

d. The Injunction: In view of the ministry which God has given to Paul through the mystery, he asks the Ephesians not to become discouraged because of his sufferings because they are for the glory (gain) of the Ephesians (Gentiles)56 3:13

D. Paul’s Second Prayer--for Strengthened Love: In view of God’s unifying work among Jews and Gentiles Paul prays to the Father that Christ might be the center of the Ephesians lives so that they might understand God’s love for them and be strengthened in their love for one another to the glory of God 3:14-21

1. The Approach to Prayer: Paul bows in prayer before The Father from whom every family exists with a father57 in view of the unified relationship He has brought between Jews and Gentiles 3:14-15

2. The Appeal in Prayer: Paul prays that Christ might be the center of their lives so that they might know the immense love of Christ for them and experientially realize the fullness of God in Christ (thus loving one another just as God has loved them) 3:16-19

a. Petition Stated--To Be Strengthened Within: Paul prays that the Ephesians might be strengthened with power through the Spirit in their innermost beings so that Christ may be at home (dwell) in their whole personalities (heart) through faith58 3:16-17a

b. Purpose Stated--To Comprehend Christ’s Love and to Realize God’s Fullness in Christ: Paul prays that the Ephesians, and all of the saints, might have Christ as the center of their lives so that they might know the immense love of Christ for them and experientially realize the fullness of God in Christ (thus loving one another just as God has loved them) 3:17b-19

1) Paul prays that the Ephesians and all saints, might have Christ as the center of their lives (being rooted and established in God’s love), so that they might know the immense love of Christ 3:17b-19a

2) Paul prays that the Ephesians might have Christ as the center of their lives so that they might experientially realize the fullness of God in Christ (and thus love one another) 3:19b

3. The Ascription of Praise: In view of God’s work of uniting Jews and Gentiles Paul praises God by proclaiming His greatness to do more than anyone could ask or think through His power within believers to be manifested in the church (where the union occurred) and in Christ Jesus (Who made the union possible) 3:20-21

III. Duty--The Preserving Conduct of the Church in Unity:59 Paul exhorts the Ephesians to maintain the unity which God has loving provided for the church by walking in ways of God’s provision for unity, holiness, love, light, and wisdom with one another, and by standing against the spiritual attacks from Satan in the certainty of God’s provision for them 4:1--6:20

A. Walking in Unity: Paul, as a prisoner of the Lord, exhorts believers to promote unity which the Triune God has brought about in the church, and affirms that God has made a provision for the preservation of unity through gifted people which Christ has given to the church in order to bring about their growth into a unified, mature Christ-likeness 4:1-16

1. The Basis of Unity: Paul, as a prisoner of the Lord, exhorts believers to live their lives in balance with their calling by loving one another so as to promote the unity which the Triune God has brought about in the church 4:1-6

a. Exhortation to Unity: Paul, as a prisoner of the Lord, exhorts the Ephesians to live their lives in balance with their calling by expressing attitudes and actions of love which promote unity 4:1-3

1) Paul, as a prisoner of the Lord, exhorts the Ephesians to walk (or live their lives)60 in a way which is worthy of (or in balance with) their calling61 4:1

2) Paul exhorts the Ephesians to live their lives toward one another in attitudes and actions of love which promote unity: 4:2-3

a) Paul exhorts believers to have an attitude of complete humility62 4:2a

b) Paul exhorts believers to have an attitude of gentleness63 4:2b

c) Paul exhorts believers to have an attitude of patience64 4:2c

d) Paul exhorts the believers to showing forbearance to one another in love 4:2d

e) Paul exhorts the believers to make every effort to preserve the unity65 brought about by the Holy Spirit in the bond of peace 4:3

b. Elements of Unity: Paul lists seven elements of unity centered on the three Persons of the Trinity66 as the basis for the spirit of unity which he is exhorting them to preserve 4:4-6

1) The Holy Spirit has brought about unity in the church by forming one body, indwelling the universal church, and being the hope of future redemption 4:4

a) The Holy Spirit has formed one body (the universal church) 4:4a

b) The Holy Spirit is the One Spirit Who indwells the church67 4:4b

c) The Holy Spirit is the one who confirms the hope regarding the future for all believers68 4:4c

2) The Son has brought about unity in the church by being lord (or head) of the church, the object of faith for all believers, and the One in whom all believers are identified 4:5

a) Christ is the believer’s only Lord as the head of the church69 4:5a

b) Christ is the object of faith for all believers70 4:5b

c) Christ is the one in Whom all believers are identified with in baptism71 4:5c

3) The Father has brought about unity in the church by being the Father of all, the sovereign over all, living through all, and dwelling in all believers 4:6

a) God the Father is the Father of all who believe72 4:6a

b) God the Father is “over” all believers as their Sovereign 4:6b

c) God the Father lives “through” all who believe 4:6c

d) God the Father dwells “in” all who believe 4:6d

2. The Preservation of Unity: As the divine Victor, Christ gives gifted people to the church in order to bring about its growth into unified, mature Christ-likeness 4:7-16

a. The Distribution of the Gifts: As the divine Victor giving gifts to the people, Christ was victorious through His death and ascended to heaven where He gives people with spiritual ability to the church 4:7-11

1) Just as the OT describes God as the one who is a Victor and gives gifts to men, so is it that Christ gives each believer enablement according to the measure He gifts them 4:7-8

a) Each believer is given enablement (grace) according to the measure of the spiritual ability (gift) which Christ gives 4:7

b) The OT confirms God’s giving gifts when it says in Psalm 68 that in the victory He led a host captive and gave gifts to men73 4:8

2) Parenthetically Paul applies Psalm 68 to Jesus in that He was victorious through death74 and then ascended to heaven that he might bestow gifts75 as King 4:9-10

3) The gifts which Jesus gave where some believers are apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastor-teachers 4:11

b. The Intention of the Gifts: Gifted people are given to the church in order to bring about its growth into mature, unified Christ-likeness 4:12-16

1) To Equip for Serving the Body: The design of the gifted people given to the church is to equip the saints for the work of service which is building up (or edifying) the body of Christ 4:12

2) To Minister toward Unity: Gifted people are to minister until all of the church reaches unity in faith and knowledge of the Son of God, spiritual maturity, and a likeness to Jesus Christ in His fullness 4:13

3) To Bring about Maturity: The result of the ministry of gifted people is to be a movement in the body from being immature children who are easily swayed by false teachers toward maturity in Christ who has designed the body to be able to grow in love76 4:14-16

B. Walking in Holiness: Paul warns believers against living as they formerly walked with aimless, godless thinking leading to hardened hearts and works of sensuality, but to live as those who are enlightened concerning their new selves in Christ, and thus to show love for one another in conflict 4:17-32

1. Warning Against Former Walk: Paul exhorts believers not to walk in the way which they used to walk when they did not know God in aimless thinking because of hard hearts leading to works of sensuality out of their own greed 4:17-19

a. Thinking: Paul exhorts believers not to walk as those who do not know God (the Gentiles of whom they were once a part), namely, with aimless thinking, darkened understanding (of God) being alienated from the life which comes from God because of their ignorance of God due to the hardness of their heart 4:17-18

b. Practice: Paul exhorts believers not to walk like those who do not know God who, because of their lack of sensitivity toward God, abandon themselves to sensuality77 in order to greedily practice every kind of uncleanliness 4:19

2. Exhortation to Present Walk: Paul urges believers who have been enlightened to think appropriately about themselves by identifying with their new selves in Christ, and thus to act in accordance with their new position by showing love for one another in conflict as God has loved them by forgiving them through Christ 4:20-32

a. Thinking (Old Selves): Paul urges believers who have been enlightened and instructed to think appropriately about themselves by putting off their old selves and, through the renewing of their minds, putting on their new self which is designed to be like God 4:20-24

1) Not in Darkness: In contrast with the darkened thinking of those who do not know God (δὲ), Paul affirms that believers did not learn Christ in an unenlightened manner 4:20

2) Have Been Taught: Believers have heard78 of Christ and been taught in the sphere of Christ in accordance with the truth which He is 4:21

3) Put On New Self: Paul exhorts believers in accordance with what they have been taught to put off the old self, which is corrupted by deceptive lies, to be renewed in their minds, and to put on the new self which is created to be like God 3:22-24

a) The content of what believers have been taught is that they are to lay aside79 their old self/man (concerning former manner of life) which is corrupted by deceitful80 desires 4:22

b) The content of what believers have been taught is that they are to be renewed in the spirit of their mind 4:23

c) The content of what believers have been taught is that they are to put on their new self which is created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness 4:24

b. Practice: Paul exhorts believers in conflict to act in accordance with their new selves by speaking the truth to one another, keeping short accounts with their anger, working so that they may give to the needy, speaking words of edification, and forgiving one another as God has forgiven them through Christ 4:25-32

1) Speak Truth: Believers are not to speak falsely to one another, but are to speak truthfully to one another because they are all intimately connected to one another as one body 4:25

a) Negative Command: Believers are to lay aside all false speech 4:25a

b) Positive Command: Believers are each to speak the truth with one another (his neighbor) 4:25b

c) Reason for the Positive Command: The reason believers are not to speak falsely, but are to speak the truth with one another is because they are intimately related to one another as part of one body81 4:25c

2) Short Accounts in Anger: Believers are not to sin in their anger, but to keep short accounts so that the devil might not gain an opportunity to work in their lives 4:26-27

a) Negative Command: Paul exhorts believers to not sin in their anger 4:26a

b) Positive Command: Paul exhorts believers to keep short accounts over their anger 4:26b

c) Reason for the Positive Command: The reason Paul exhorts believers not to sin in their anger and to keep short accounts is because otherwise they will give the devil an opportunity to work in their lives 4:27

3) Share: Believers are not to be those who steal, but are to work at upright jobs so that they may share their possessions with those who are needy 4:28

a) Negative Command: Believers who are stealing are to no longer steal 4:28a

b) Positive Command: Believers who have been stealing are to go to work at a good job 4:28b

c) Reason for the Positive Command: The reason believers are not to steal, but are to go to work at an upright job is so that they may have things to share with those who are in need (give to the needy) 4:28c

4) Edify: Believers are not to speak destructively to one another, but are to build one another up through their speech in order to give grace to one another 4:29

a) Negative Command: Believers are not to speak unwholesome82 words 4:29a

b) Positive Command: Believers are only to speak words which will build up a person in view of the present need 4:29b

c) Reason for the Positive Command: The reason believers are not to speak destructive words, but edifying words is because the good words give grace to those whom they are speaking with 4:29c

5) Forgiving: Believers are not to grieve the Holy Spirit through abusive treatment of one another, but are to be loving toward one another just as God was so towards them in Christ Jesus 4:30-32

a) Negative Command: Believers are not to grieve83 the Holy Spirit who has sealed them for their coming redemption84 with unloving acts toward one another (bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, malice) 4:30-31

b) Positive Command: Believers are to be kind to one another, tender-hearted, and forgiving of one another 4:32a

c) Reason for the Positive Command: The reason believers are not to grieve the Holy Spirit through unforgiving behavior toward one another, but are to forgive one another because God in Christ has forgiven them 4:32b

C. Walking in Love: Paul exhorts believers, as loved children of God, to imitate Him by walking in a self-sacrificing love for one another after Christ’s pleasing example, and warns them to abstain from evil because it will affect their inheritance in the kingdom of God 5:1-6

1. The Positive--Love Others: Paul exhorts believers as children whom God loves to imitate God by living a life of self-sacrificing love for one another after the pleasing example of Christ 5:1-2

a. Exhortation: In view of God’s forgiveness of believers (ªyñ) Paul exhorts them as children whom He loves to be imitators of God by walking85 in love 5:1-2a

b. Example: The example of love which Paul desires for believers to imitate is Christ’s self-sacrifice which was for the sake of believers86 and which was pleasing to God 5:2b

2. The Negative--Abstain from Evil: Paul warns believers to abstain from evil vices of conduct and speech because it will affect their inheritance in the kingdom of God 5:3-6

a. Vices of Conduct: Paul urges believers to so separate themselves from immorality (πορνεία), uncleanliness (ἀκαθαρσία), or greed (πλεονεξία) that these deeds would not even be named among them as is fitting of holy people (saints) 5:3

b. Vices of Speech: Paul urges believers to not engage in speech which is empty and destructive, but to express thanksgiving 5:4

1) Negative: Paul urges believers not to engage in speech which is abusive,87 silly,88 or coarse jesting89 because these are not fitting of believers 5:4a

2) Positive: Believers are to be those who express thanksgiving (εὐχαριστία) 5:4b

c. Reason for Warning: Paul sternly warns believers to abstain from evil because it will affect their inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God who always deals with such sin (as with his wrath on unbelievers) 5:5-6

1) The reason Paul warns the Ephesians to abstain from evil is because those who do such things (immorality, uncleanliness, or coveting which is idolatry90) do not have an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God91 5:5

2) Paul warns believers to not be deceived that this warning is only empty words since God’s wrath is upon unbelievers (sons of disobedience) for doing such sinful things 5:6

D. Walking in Light: In view of God’s wrath upon rebellious unbelievers Paul urges believers to walk in their position of spiritual light as children of light who expose the works of darkness as shameful and bring about repentance in those who do evil so that they too will walk in the light of Christ 5:7-14

1. Not Becoming Involved with Evildoers: In view of God’s wrath upon unbelievers Paul urges believers not to be partakers with them in evil, but, as those who have moved from the realm of spiritual darkness to light, to walk as children of light (expressing goodness, righteousness and truth) as they learn what is pleasing to the Lord 5:7-10

a. Negative Exhortation: In view of God’s wrath upon unbelievers (ου῏ν), Paul urges believers not to be partakers with them in their evil 5:7

b. Positive Exhortation: The reason Paul urges believers not to be partakers with rebellious unbelievers is because they have moved from the realm of spiritual darkness to light, and should thus now walk (περιπατεῖτε) as children of light 5:8

c. Explanation of Light: The reason Paul urges believers to walk as children of light is because the fruit (or outworking of “light”) is all goodness, righteousness and truth (the character of God) as one learns what is pleasing to the Lord 5:9-10

2. Not Becoming Involved with Evildoers’ Works: Paul exhorts believers not to join in with the unbeneficial works of darkness, but to expose them as shameful (as children of light) because this may lead to repentance 5:11-13

a. Negative Exhortation: Believers are not to join in with (συγκοινωνεῖτε) the unfruitful (unbeneficial) works of spiritual darkness 5:11a

b. Positive Exhortation: Rather than becoming involved in the works of darkness, believers (as children of light) are to expose them92 5:11b

c. Reason: The reason believers are not to become involved in the works of darkness is because they are too shameful to even talk about (let alone do) 5:12

d. Explanation: Paul explains that he exhorts believers (as children of light) to expose the works of darkness because light shows the true character of works leading to repentance (everything that becomes visible is light)93 5:13

3. Conclusion--Enlightenment of Christ: Paul concludes94 that those walking in darkness are to awaken, rise from their spiritual death, and be pleasing to Christ as He gives direction (“Christ will shine on you”) 5:14

E. Walking in Wisdom: In view of the need for believers, who are in spiritual darkness, to awaken Paul urges believers to walk wisely by being enabled by the Holy Spirit so that there will be harmony with one another and God in their relationships with one another as husbands & wives, parents & children, and slaves & masters 5:15--6:9

1. Admonition: In view of the need for believers in spiritual darkness to awaken Paul urges believers to walk wisely by being enabled by the Holy Spirit so that there will be harmony with one another and God, and submission to one another in the fear of Christ 5:15-21

a. Proper Action--Walk Wisely: In view of the need for believers in spiritual darkness to awaken Paul urges believers to walk (περιπατεῖτε) carefully, not as unwise people, but as wise people95 who make the most of their time because many are walking in sin (“the days are evil”) 5:15-16

b. Proper State--Become Wise: Paul urges believers not to be foolish in their walk, but to walk in the enabling power of the Spirit so that there will be harmony with one another and God, and submission to one another in the fear of Christ 5:17-21

1) General Statement: Believers are not to be foolish (in their walk), but are to understand (comprehend) what the will of the Lord is 5:17

2) Specific Example: Paul demonstrates his exhortation against foolishness and to understanding by urging believers to stop losing self-control through getting drunk, but to gain self-control through the enabling of the Holy Spirit which results in harmony with one another and God, and submission to one another in the fear of Christ 5:18-21

a) Specific Exhortation to Spirit Filling: Paul urges believers to stop loosing self-control through getting drunk, but to gain self-control through the enabling of the Holy Spirit96 5:18

b) Results of Spirit Filling: The results of being filled with the Spirit are that there will be harmony with one another, with God and submission to one another in the fear of the Lord 5:19-21

(1) Being filled with the Spirit will result in harmony with one another through spiritual singing (psalms, hymns and spiritual songs) rather than bar-room singing 5:19a

(2) Being filled with the Spirit will result in harmony with God as one sings with one's heart and gives thanks for all things in the name of Christ to the Father 5:19b-20

(3) Being filled with the Spirit will result in being subject to one another in the fear of Christ97 5:21

2. Application:98 Paul applies the wisdom of being filled by the Holy Spirit to the functional relationships of believers in the family (wives & husbands; parents & children) and the workplace (servants and masters) exhorting the first of each group to submit/obey as a service unto the Lord, and the second of each group to lovingly care for the other 5:22--6:9

a. Wives and Husbands: Paul exhorts wives to submit to their own husbands as their authority in their service to the Lord, and for husbands to sacrificially love their wives as an extension of themselves just as Christ has loved the church for her good 5:22-33

1) Exhortation to Wives: Wives [are to submit]99 to their own husbands as her service rendered to the Lord100 5:22

2) Reason for Exhortation: The reason that wives are to submit themselves to their husbands is because the husband is the leading authority [head] of his wife just as Christ, who saved the church, is the leading authority of the church 5:23-24

a) Reason Stated: The reason wives are to submit themselves to their husbands is because the husband is the head101 of his wife 5:23a

b) Analogy Provided: The husband is the head of his wife just as Christ is the head of the church (His bride) which He saved102 5:23b

c) Reason Restated: Just as the church is subject to Christ, so are wives to be subject to their husbands 5:24

3) Exhortation to Husbands: Paul commands husbands to sacrificially love their wives as extensions of themselves just as Christ sacrificially loved the church as an extension of Himself for her good 5:25-32

a) Exhortation Stated: Paul commands Husbands to sacrificially love their wives just as Christ loved the church by giving His life for her 5:25

b) Purposes of Christ’s Sacrificial Love: Christ gave Himself for the church in order to make her holy, and to present her to Himself in her glory as holy and blameless 5:26-27

(1) Christ sacrificially gave himself for the church in order that he might make her holy (ἀγιάσῃ) through the [spiritual] washing of [rebirth (Titus 3:5)], with the preached word (ῥήματι)103 5:26

(2) Christ sacrificially gave himself for the church in order that he might present the church in radiant splendor as holy and blameless 5:27

c) Analogy Applied: Just as Christ loved the church as an extension of Himself for her good, so should husbands love their wives as an extension of themselves for their good 5:28-32

(1) Direct Application: Husbands are to love their wives as an extension of their own bodies just as Christ loved the church as an extension of his body 5:28-30

(2) Proof From Scripture: Paul affirms the union of a husband and wife into one body through the affirmation in Genesis 2:24 where the two become one flesh 5:33

(3) Analogy with Christ: Paul affirms that the uniting of believers into the body of Christ is a great mystery 5:32

4) Exhortation Restated: Husband are to love their wives as Christ themselves, and wives are to respect (φοβῆται) their husbands 5:33

b. Children and Parents: Paul exhorts children to obey their parents in their service to the Lord, and for fathers to stop provoking their children to anger, and to lovingly bring them up in the way of the Lord 6:1-4

1) Exhortation Children: Children are exhorted to obey104 their parents in their service to the Lord because it is the proper course to follow 6:1

2) Substantiation to Children: Paul then substantiates the “rightness” of obedience to parents through the citation of the fifth commandment105, (“Honor your father and mother”) which is of primary importance because it holds the promise of a long and prosperous life106 6:2-3

3) Exhortation to Fathers: Paul exhorts fathers (as the head of the home) to stop provoking their children to anger, but to lovingly bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord 6:4

a) Paul exhorts fathers107 to stop provoking their children to anger (προργγίζετε)108 6:4a

b) Fathers are to lovingly bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord 6:4b

c. Slaves and Masters: Paul exhorts servants to obey their earthly masters with a good attitude as though serving the Lord Who will reward them, and masters to also please the Lord by the way they treat their servants warning them that they should not threaten them since the Master of all (Jesus) will judge them 6:5-9

1) Exhortation to Slaves:109 Paul exhorts slaves to obey (ὑπακούτε) their earthly masters with an attitude of respect, fear, sincerity of heart, and as service to Christ with goodwill knowing that they will be rewarded by the Lord 6:5-8

2) Exhortation to Masters: Paul exhorts masters to also please the Lord by the way that they treat their servants (“in the same way”), and warns them to cease their threatenings since the Master of all of them (Christ) is in heaven and will not show partiality toward those of earthly rank (cf. 6:8) 6:9

F. Standing in Warfare:110 Paul urges believers in spiritual warfare to be strong in the enabling strength of the Lord so that they may stand against the enemy by having prepared themselves with the trusting awareness of their position before God, and by grasping the truth of their future salvation and using the offensive weapon of God’s word against the enemy as they intensively pray for one another in the Spirit, and pray for Paul’s defense of the gospel in Rome 6:10-20

1. Putting on the Armor: Paul urges believers to be strong in the enabling strength of the Lord by dressing themselves with the full armor of God in order that they may be able to stand in resistance against their true enemy, the devil who schemes against them 6:10-13

a. What to Do--Be Strong in the Lord: Paul concludes this unit of exhortation by exhorting believers to be strong in the enabling strength of the Lord and in the might of His strength (cf. 1:19) 6:10

b. How to Do It--Put on God’s Armor: Paul urges believers to dress themselves111 with the full armor112 of God 6:11a

c. Why to Do It--To Stand Against the Devil’s Strategy: Paul urges believers to put on the armor of God in order that they may be able to stand in resistance against their true enemy, the devil who schemes against them 6:11b-13

1) Purpose Stated: One should put on the armor of God in order to stand113 before114 the schemes (or planned out actions)115 of the devil116 1:11b

2) Reason Stated: The reason that one should put on the armor against the devil is because believers do not wrestle against men (flesh and blood), but against demons (rulers, powers, world forces of this darkness, spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places)117

3) Summary: In view of the above Paul concludes (διὰ τοῦτο) that one is to take118 up the armor of God in order that one may be able to resist119 in the evil day and thus, be able to stand against him 6:13

2. Standing with the Armor: Paul urges believers in spiritual warfare to stand firm in the battle by having prepared themselves with a trusting awareness of their position before God 6:14-16

a. The Mandate--Stand: In view of the battle which rages Paul urges believers to stand fast 6:14a

b. The Method--to Arm120: A believer is to stand firm in spiritual warfare by having prepared himself with the a trusting awareness of his position before God with respect to the truth about the certainty of his righteousness and his peace with God 6:14-16

1) A believer is to stand firm in spiritual warfare by having prepared himself to enter the battle121 with the truth 6:14a

2) A believer is to stand firm in spiritual warfare by having prepared himself against exposure in the battle with the certainty of his righteousness122 6:14b

3) A believer is to stand firm in spiritual warfare by having prepared himself to step into the battle by knowing that he has peace with God 6:15

4) A believer is to stand firm in spiritual warfare in all of his positional truth above by believing what God has said (above) so that he will be able to extinguish the attacks of the evil one 6:16

3. Receiving the Final Pieces of Armor: Paul exhorts believers in spiritual warfare to grasp the truth of their future salvation and to use the offensive weapon of God’s word against the enemy as they intensively pray for one another in the Spirit, and pray for Paul’s defense of the gospel in Rome 6:17-20

a. The Mandate--Grasp:123 Paul exhorts believers in spiritual warfare to grasp the truth of their future salvation and to use the offensive weapon of God’s word against the enemy 6:17

1) Paul exhorts believers in spiritual warfare to grasp the truth of their future salvation from evil124 6:17a

2) Paul exhorts believers in spiritual warfare to grasp the offensive weapon given by the Spirit--God’s spoken word (ῤῆμα) as a sword against the enemy125 6:17b

b. Method--Prayer: Paul urges believers in spiritual warfare to grasp their weapons with intensive prayer in the Spirit with a persevering alertness for all of the saints and for Paul as he defends the mystery of the gospel in Rome 6:18-20

IV. Conclusion: After informing the Ephesians that he has sent Tychicus in order to update them on his circumstances in Rome and to encourage their hearts, Paul prays that they may experience God’s peace, may faithfully maintain God’s peace with love for one another, and may graciously not be corrupted in their love for the Lord Jesus Christ 6:21--24

A. Information: Paul informs the Ephesians that he has sent Tychicus in order to bring them up-to-date about Paul’s circumstances in Rome, and to encourage their hearts in the matter 6:21-22

1. Paul informs the Ephesians that Tychicus, who is a loved brother and a faithful servant in the Lord, will make Paul’s circumstances in Rome known to them 6:21

2. Paul has sent Tychicus in order that the Ephesians may know about how the team is doing, and to encourage their hearts about the affair 6:22

B. Salutation: Paul prays that the Ephesians may experience peace and love with faith126 from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ 6:23

C. Benediction: Paul prays that God’s grace would keep all from corruption in their love for their Lord Jesus Christ 6:24


1 Those set apart for God’s use (τοῖς ἁγίοις ).

2 The textual difficulties with ἐν ᾿Εφέσῳ are discussed in the introduction to the book under “destination.” It is probably original, but may have only been one of several churches who received this letter. As the strategic city in Asia Minor, it was ascribed to her.

3 In the Greek text 1:3-14 is one sentence.

4 The word in Greek is Εὐλογητὸς meaning “to speak well of”. The sense is to enrich God’s character through good words or testimony.

5 This is election (ἐλέζατο) or God’s sovereign work of picking some to believe. This is effecatious.

6 “In love” could go with holy and blameless or with the next verse. See Abbott for the other view (Ephesians, p. 8).

7 The term προορίσας means to be marked out beforehand. The emphasis is upon the “what” rather than the “who” in that “what we were marked out beforehand for” was to be adopted sons. This was the manner in which our election was accomplished; it occurred before we were chosen.

8 God delighted to impart His spiritual benefits to His children.

9 The “we” is probably not the anonymous “we/us”, but refers to Jewish believers because (1) of the word “also” in verse 11, and (2) verse 13 changes to “you also” referring to Gentiles.

10 This is a refrain used after each person of the Trinity (cf. 1:6:14).

11 This is explain the “you also” in contrast with verse 11.

12 The term is onomonopoetic (ἐσφραγίσθητε).

13 Christ is the sphere of the sealing, and the Holy Spirit is the instrument of the seal.

14 See Luke 24:49; John 14:16; 15:26; 16:13; Acts 1:5.

15 The term is ἀρραβὼν (cf. 2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5).

16 Verse 15-23 are one sentence in Greek as are verses 3-14.

17 They include all that was mentioned in 1:3-14, namely, election, predestination, adoption, grace, redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, understanding, knowledge of the mystery of His will, the sealing of the Holy Spirit, and inheritance.

18 While this “spirit” is probably a reference to an attitude or disposition, such an attitude only comes from the Holy Spirit (cf. Isa. 11:2).

19 Here wisdom is insight into the true nature of things (1:8; 3:10)

20 Revelation is the unveiling of God Himself in this context. For a discussion of illumination today see Clark Pinnock, “The Role of the Spirit in Interpretation” JETS, 36/4 (1993): 492-93. See also 1 John 2:20-27.

21 The term is intensive--ἐπιγνώσει.

22 See Romans 8:23-24; Ephesians 4:4; Colossians 1:5; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Peter 3:15.

23 Paul piles up words in order to emphasize God’s great power: “power” (δυνάμεως), “energy” (ἐνεργειαν), and “might of his strength” (κράτους τῆς ἰσχύος αὐτοῦ).

24 These descriptions “rule, authority, power, dominion” most probably refer to orders of angelic beings (cf. Rom. 8:38; Eph. 3:10; 6:12; Col. 1:6; 1 Pet. 3:22).

25 Whereas Adam lost his headship over Creation when he sinned, Christ was made Head over all creation (cf. Eph. 1:10), and this will be fully realized in the future (Ps. 8:6; 1 Cor. 15:27; Heb. 2:6-8).

26 In this unit, the “plan” which was talked about in chapter one is demonstrated in terms of its execution with respect to believers in their need--sinners.

27 This world (κοσμος) is the satanically organized system that finds life outside of God’s design (John 15:18,23).

28 See 1 John 5:19; 2 Cor. 4:4.

29 See also Romans 6; Col. 3:1-2.

30 While this does affirm a heavenly citizenship (cf. Col. 3:1-2), it also becomes the reason believers have spiritual authority over the demonic realms (cf. 1:20-21).

31 The word “that” (τοῦτο) has been understood to refer back to “grace” and “faith” but these are not the best choices since the pronoun is neuter and both of those terms are feminine. Rather, it should be understood to refer back to the preceding phrase (cf. Eph. 1:15; 3:1) which would be the concept of “salvation by grace through faith”.

32 The Abrahamic (Gen. 12:1-3; 15:18-21; 17:1-8), Davidic (2 Sam. 7:16; Ps. 89:1-4), and New (Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 36:24-30) covenants.

33 This is probably not a reference to the wall in the temple which separated Gentiles from the Jews since the temple was still standing. It is also not a reference to the curtain which separated the holy place from the holy of holies since that was a curtain.

It seems that the “wall” which divided was the Law whose prescriptions alienated Jews from Gentiles who did not follow them (cf. Mark 7; Acts 10).

34 Christ’s death satisfied the Laws demands upon men.

35 Because of Christ’s satisfaction of the Law’s demands, it no longer is binding upon men in terms of its requirement of death for disobedience (Rom. 7:4-6).

36 The views are (1) by the Apostles, (2) by Christ on earth, and (3) by Christ through the Spirit at Pentecost. See W. Hall Harris III, “The Ascent and Descent of Christ in Ephesians 4:9-10” 151 (April-June 1994): 213.

37 This does not mean that the church is Israel. Rather, Gentile believers are a part of God’s new “body”, new “man”. Believing Gentiles are incorporated with God’s people from Adam on, but they have not become Israel.

38 The prophets are not OT prophets, but are NT prophets (cf. 3:5; 4:11).

39 The corner stone was the stone by which all other stones in the building were aligned. As part of the foundation, the apostles and prophets were aligned to Christ.

40 The term that is used is ñÿª* emphasizing the inner sanctuary (e.g., the dwelling place of God where they Holy of Holies exists) rather than the entire temple area (ἱερον).

41 This is not an emphasis upon the Holy Spirit’s dwelling within individual believers (cf. Jn. 14:17; Rom. 5:5; 8:9, 11; 1 Cor. 2:12; 6:19; Gal. 3:2; 4:6; 1 Jn. 3:24; 4:13), but upon the Holy Spirit’s dwelling within the corporate church (cf. 1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Cor. 6:16).

42 This looks back to 2:11-22. There may also be a broader reference to the grace of God to the Gentiles in the first part of the letter.

43 See 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:8; Philemon 1,9.

44 The Jews opposed Paul because of his ministry to the Gentiles and the threat which they perceived upon Judaism (cf. Acts 21--28).

45 Paul’s thoughts break off in the middle of this sentence in order to discuss the mystery. He will pick this up again in verse 14, “for this reason, I bow my knees before the Father.”

46 This begins a long sentence which runs through verse 13. It begins with a condition (“if indeed”) and arrives at its conclusion in verse 13 (διὸ).

47 The term is τὴν οἰκονομίαν emphasizing a trust to be dispensed (cf. 1 Cor. 9:7).

48 Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles (Gal. 2:7; Eph. 3:8).

49 A mystery is something previously unknown. The mystery is not defined until verse six, namely, the inclusion of Gentiles as fellow heirs with the Jews. It is not the existence of the church so much as the nature of the church (e.g., equality of Jews and Gentiles).

50 Paul is not arguing that the mystery was only partially revealed in the OT, but that it was not revealed at all in the OT (cf. Col. 1:26; Eph. 3:5). Its foundation is with the NT prophets and apostles, not the OT. See Hoehner, “Ephesians” in BKC for a further discussion (p. 629).

51 This verse affirms that the revelation was not only given to Paul, but was given to the Apostles and prophets, and Paul was one to disseminate it (cf. Acts 11:17).

52 The mystery was not that Gentiles would be saved since the OT spoke of that, but that believing Jews and Gentiles would be joined together.

53 Since Paul has just described the mystery, he now discusses his dispensing of this mystery to the Gentiles.

54 The new relationship between believing Jews and Gentiles in one body.

55 These are good and evil angels (cf. 6:12).

56 Even though Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles brought upon him the attacks of the Jews, this ministry brought many Gentiles into the church, and this was their glory.

57 Paul is not affirming that God is the Father of all, but that He is the Prototype of all fatherhood.

58 Paul is praying that Christ might become the dominating factor in their attitudes and conduct.

59 Paul is now going to provide some practical application of the doctrine which he has just unfolded. Since in love God has brought about a unity of man and God, and Jews and Gentiles, Paul now shows the Ephesians how to walk in the unity of God’s provision

The key term which marks the unfolding of each section is “to walk” (περιπατέω, cf. 4:1,17; 5:2,8,15). The NIV translates this as “live.”

60 The term is περιπατέω.

61 In view of 1--3 a believer’s calling is not only his personal salvation, but is union in one body. Therefore, he is responsible for his personal life and his relationship to other believers in the church. This becomes Paul’s emphasis in the next two verses!

62 The terms (πάσης ταπεινοφροσύνης) describe the opposite of pride.

63 The term (πραῦτητος) is the opposite of self-assertion, rudeness, and harshness. It is having one’s strength under control.

64 The term (μακροθυμίας) describing an enduring self-restraint which does not hastily retaliate wrong.

65 Believers are not to make the unity, but to keep it or guard what God has made (2:15-16).

66 Paul begins with the Spirit because he has just been speaking of Him in 4:3.

67 See 2:22.

68 See 1:13-14.

69 See 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18.

70 See Colossians 2:7.

71 In view of the emphasis on the trinity in this unit, it is unlikely that Spirit baptism is the emphasis here. Baptism has as its central idea “identification” (1 Cor. 10:2). Either Paul has in view the positional identification which occurred when one believed in Jesus (Rom. 6:1-11; Gal. 3:27), or the outward sign of that positional identification through water baptism.

72 See John 1:12; Galatians 3:26.

73 Many tie this OT allusion to Psalm 68:18, but there are several differences between the two verses. In Psalm 68:18 it is men who are giving gifts to God, whereas in Ephesians 4:8 it is God who is giving gifts to men.

Hoehner may well be correct in identifying this OT allusion to all of Psalm 68 rather than to the one verse in particular. The Psalm is one of God as Victor. He does lead enemies captive (68:18), but he also gives gifts to men (68:35). See also Hall W. Harris III, “The Ascent and Descent of Christ in Ephesians 4:9-10” Bibliotheca Sacra 151 (April-June 1994): 208-212 where he ties Paul’s use of Psalm 68:18 to the Targum and Moses.

74 The phrase “into the lower parts of the earth” could be a reference to “the parts lower than the earth” (comparative genitive), “the lower parts, namely the earth” (genitive of apposition) or “the lower parts which belong to the earth” (genitive of possession) emphasizing Christ’s death and His burial in the grave. This seems to be a choice because in His death Christ had victory and would give those who would be gifts to the church (Hoehner, “Ephesians”, BKC, p. 634).

Nevertheless, the order may be that affirmed by Harris: (1) ascension and (2) descent through the Spirit to give gifts (Hall W. Harris III, “The Ascent and Descent of Christ in Ephesians 4:9-10” Bibliotheca Sacra 151 [April-June 1994]: 298-214).

75 These gifts are not emphasized as being to believers as in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12, but are more “gifted believers” which are given to the church. See what follows.

76 Christ is not only the goal of growth (v. 14), but He is the source of growth (16).

77 This is a life without concern for personal standards or social sanctions--licentiousness (ἀσελγείᾳ; Mk. 7:22; Rom. 13:13; 2 Cor. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; 1 Pet. 4:3; 2 Pet. 2:2,7,18; Jude 4).

78 The Greek construction is a first class condition which assumes the condition to be true. Paul is not doubting that the Ephesians have heard, but is expecting them to answer affirmatively to his question, and then apply the implications to their lives.

79 Like with clothing (put off).

This and the next two infinitives are probably exhortations which they have been taught (contra Hoehner, “Ephesians,” BKC, pp. 636-637; Abbot, Ephesians, p. 136).

It is possible to use the infinitive in an imperatival sense (cf. Rom. 12:1; Phil. 3:16), and the “you” (ὐμᾶς) could be emphatic (Foulkes, pp. 129-132; Wood, p. 62-63; Kent, 79-81).

Whereas Colossians 3:9-10 describes believers as having already “put off” the old man and “put on” the new man in terms of their position (cf. Romans 6:4,6), here Paul emphasizes the necessity of considering these positional statements to be true as the content which the Ephesians have been taught (cf. Rom. 6:11-13; Col. 3:5). See Homer Kent, Jr. “Ephesians: the Glory of the Church, EBC, p. 80; Darrell L. Bock, “‘The New Man’ as Community in Colossians and Ephesians,” in Integrity of Heart, Skillfulness of Hands: Biblical and Leadership Studies in Honor of Donald K. Campbell, edited by Charles H. Dyer and Roy B. Zuck, 161-63.

80 They are deceitful because they fail to provide the life that they promise.

81 See 4:4,16.

82 The term is σπαρὸς meaning “rotten.”

83 The term λυπεῖτε has the sense of irritating, offending, insulting, or making sorrowful. In the context it seems that the Holy Spirit is not only grieved by our own sinning, but especially by our sinning with our tongue against the body (e.g., other believers as in 4:29, 31-32).

There are several theological reason for this understanding: (1) He is holy, therefore He is always grieved by unholiness, (2) He is the One who brings about the unity of the body (cf. 4:4), therefore, any disunity in the body grieves Him, and (3) He is the Spirit of Truth through whom God has spoken, thus He is grieved by any misuse of speech.

84 This is the time when a believer will receive his new body (1:14; Phil. 3:20).

85 Again the term is περιπατεῖτε as in 4:1,17. God’s children are to walk (live) in unity, holiness, and love.

The conjunction “and” (καὶ) is explanatory and should be translated as “that is”.

86 See 1 John 3:16.

87 The term αἰσχρότης describes that which is filthy, obscene, shameful.

88 The term μορολογία describes “stupid words” literally.

89 The term for coarse jesting, εὐτραπελία, describes vulgar, frivolous wit. All of these terms are descriptive of empty, but hurtful, uses of speech at the expense of others.

90 The reason that one who covets is called an idolater is because when one desires what one does not have, one is desirous of placing one’s self in the place of God who has designed one’s life (cf. Col. 3:5).

91 There are two disparate ways of understanding Paul’s reasoning here:

(1) In this vice-list Paul is affirming that anyone who acts in a characteristic manor with such sin is truly not a believer and will thus not go to live with (inherit) the Lord in the kingdom. (Stott pp. 197-198; Foulkes, p. 144-145; Hoehner goes to 1 Cor. 6:9-11 to define “inheritance” since there such ones who do not have it have not been “washed, sanctified, and justified.” But does that mean that no believers struggle and do these sins? The whole tone of the warning is that they do do these things. The point is not that they can not do these things but that it does not make sense in view of their new position).

Problems with this view are: The audience is described as (1) “beloved children” in 5:1, (2) those whom Christ loved and gave Himself up for as an offering and sacrifice to God which was pleasing to Him [5:2], (3) these warnings are given to “saints” (5:3-4), (4) inheritance is not necessarily a descriptive of “salvation,” (5) there is a distinction between the believers who are addressed this warning and the “sons of disobedience” whom we are warned to not be partakers with (6-7)

(2) This is a warning that believers who enter into sinfulness will lose reward (an inheritance) at the judgment seat of Christ (5).

Support: (1) All of the above; (2) οὺκ ε῎χει κληρονομίαν describes that which is only available to children and which a child could lose (Luke 20:14 “this is the heir: let us kill him, then the inheritance will be ours”; Luke 12:13 “tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me; Heb. 11:8 the land was to be received by Abraham for an inheritance (cf. Heb. 9:15); It may seem to have the goodness of heaven in view (1 Pet. 1:4; Eph. 1:14); Gal. 3:18 describes the inheritance of a promise [Abrahamic] by Jesus the seed of Abraham. Likewise, inheritance is likened to a reward for a believer for faithful work in Col. 3:24 “do your work hardily as for the Lord ... knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance” where as “he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality). See Luke 19:11-27.

“Sons of disobedience” seems to be describing unbelievers and perhaps even those who know better but choose in a high handed way to continue in disobedience (Eph. 2:2; 5:6)

92 Hoehner argues that these may well be referring to deeds of darkness which are done by believers rather than by unbelievers since only God can expose and convict unbelievers (1 Cor. 5:12-15); see “Ephesians” in BKC, P. 639.

93 Homer Kent writes, “Certainly Paul does not mean that shameful deeds will be made respectable. Nor does changing the sense of “Light” into the general sense of disclosure provide any aid, because the statement would be redundant.... It is best to understand that when Paul speaks of evil deed being reproved by the light, he means not merely that such are revealed in their wickedness but that the light also serves to correct the problem. In this context (5:8) it has already been mentioned that the readers had experienced this very thing. They had once been darkness, but had been made light by application of the gospel of Christ to them. Thus in Paul’s mind is the subjective response to the reproof of sin from God’s Word” (Ephesians, EBC, P. 93). See John 3:20-21; 1 John 1:5-7.

94 This may be an allusion to several OT passages (Isa. 26:19; 51:17; 52:1; 60:1), or perhaps a quotation from a early Christian hymn.

95 The terms are contrasting: α῎σοφοι ἀλλ᾿ ὡς σοφοί. The sense is to be skillful with their living so as to please the Lord.

96 There are two views which explain the filling of the Spirit: (1) It is yielding to the Lord so that one is under the Spirit’s control, and (2) it is a yielding to the Lord through prayer (or asking for His help) so that one is enabled (filled) to be in self-control for the sake of obedience (rather than out of control leading to disobedience)

This writer holds to the second for the following reasons: (1) ἀσωτία (or dissipation) describes lacking self-restraint (1:Pet. 4:4, “And in all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same ‘dissipation’ (or lack of restraint cf. v. 3), and they malign you”, (2) πληροῦσθε is not always spatial. It can describe “meeting a lack” or “completing” (Phil. 4:19, “And my god shall supply all your needs ...”). Therefore to be filled by the Spirit is not being under the control of two different entities but being under the influence of two different entities: one leading to a lack of self-control, and one leading to self-control.

Supporting passages are: Gal. 5:17 “so that you may not do the things that you please”; Acts 4:31 “when they had prayed, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with Boldness (cf. 4:13; 29).

When one is enabled by the Spirit one does not allow anything in one’s life to be contrary to the Scripture (cf. the effects of having “the word of Christ dwell richly in believers” in Colossians 3:16).

97 The fear of Christ is an expression of wisdom as in Proverbs 1:7.

The submission to one another does not overrule economies of relationship. Kent appropriately writes, “This submission in verse 21 must not be explained as being in contradiction to the passage which follows. When Paul says that Christians should submit to one another, he does not mean, for example, that husbands and wives are to submit to each other, for that would render verse 22 meaningless and destroy the very pattern of authority which he is about to teach. Rather, he is exhorting against a spirit of self-exaltation by anyone in the church.

98 Having described the harmony which comes through believers wisely being filled by the Holy Spirit (5:18-21), Paul now specifically applies this to relationships. These relationships are beyond the gathered church to those realms in life where believers live daily: marriages, families, the work place. Paul specifically emphasizes the place of submission (ὑποτασσόμενοι, 5:21) in these relationships.

In each of the three relationships which follow the subordinate one is exhorted first. Then the second partner is exhorted to show care and concern for the first partner.

99 The verb for submit is not in the Greek. It is borrowed from the verse before (Αἱ γυναῖκες τοῖς ιδίους ἀνδράσιν).

100 As Abbot writes, “‘as’ not meaning in the same manner as, but expressing the view that they are to take of their submission” (Ephesians, p. 165; cf. 6:6-7; Col. 3:8).

101 Paul uses this same term in 1 Corinthians 11:3. These are later developed to be due to the order of creation in Genesis 2 (cf. 1 Cor. 11:8-9). Adam was created first as the vice-regent of God in the garden and was to protect Eve from the rebellion of evil.

102 As Kent writes, “It may be that Paul has added this assertion to indicate one great respect in which Christ is not analogous to husbands. However, it is possible that he may be drawing at least a slight comparison. Just as Christ is the Saviour of His church, so the husband is to be the protector and physical preserver of his wife. Headship and authority carry responsibility with them. Recognition of this on the part of wives makes compliance more palatable” (Ephesians, p. 100; see also Hoehner, “Ephesians” in BKC, p. 640).

103 See John 15:3.

104 The term that is used here is not “to submit” (ὑποτασσω), but “to obey” (ὑπακούω) meaning “to listen to” or “to hearken to”.

105 See Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16.

106 This promise does not guarantee that obedient children will not ever be struck by tragedy. The wisdom of the promise is that a child who disciplines himself to obey his parents will usually prosper and prolong his life.

107 Hoehner notes that “Fathers are addressed because they represent the governmental head of the family on whom rests the responsibility of child discipline” (“Galatians” BKC, p. 642).

108 See Romans 10:19; Colossians 3:21.

109 Paul does not seem to overthrow slavery, but emphasizes that one should live righteously in whatever circumstances one may be (cf. 1 Cor. 7:17-24). This is another case where ontological equality before God (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11) does not overrule functional differences. See John Stott, Gods New Society, 250-52; Clark H. Pinnock, “The Role of the Spirit in Interpretation,” JETS 36/4 (1993): 495-96; Everett Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity (second edition, Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993), 56-59.

110 Paul has thus far introduced each section in the second half of this book with the phrase, “therefore...walk” (ου῏νπεριπατεῖτε) as he exhorts believers to live their lives on the basis of God’s provisions for them (Ephesians 1--3). Now he concludes this section (τοῦ λοιποῦ; “finally”, or “the rest”) by addressing the external fight which also threatens their unity--the devil. Here they are not to “walk” but to “stand” in battle against demonic attacks (cf. James 4:7).

111 The term is ἐνδύσασθε as in 4:24 with the imagery of putting on clothes. It is in the middle voice emphasizing that one is to do this himself.

112 The term is πανοπλίαν describing the full armor of a heavily-armed soldier.

113 The term which is used is not an offensive one so much as a defensive one. Believers are to hold to the unity which Christ has given to the body by standing (στῆναι) against the demonic attacks. This is a combat which the rulers in the gates of hell will not prevail against (Matt. 16:18). Jesus has already defeated Satan at the cross. Now we are to hold the ground against this continually rebellious foe.

114 Although this term is often translated as “against” the sense is to stand before (πρὸς).

115 The term is μεθοδείας from which we acquire our term “methods”. The devil has a strategy which is planned out against believers.

116 The term is διαβόλος; he is the one who lies and tempts through lies (cf. John 13:2). Therefore, the armor when developed below will relate to knowing what is true. All of the protection surrounds truth which the enemy will attack.

117 There are hints of demonism in Paul’s ministry among the Ephesians in the book of Acts (Acts 19:13-19). It is no wonder that he fully address the realm of spiritual warfare.

It is also significant that the struggles which the Ephesians face are described as not being sourced in what they might naturally considered them to be (other people), but in the demonic realm.

Paul has already described the exalted place of Jesus over these demonic realms (Eph. 1:21-23) as well as the exalted place which believers share with Jesus over these demons (Eph. 2:4-6).

118 A term used to describe the taking up of weapons (ἀναλάβετε).

119 See James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9. This term for resist describes standing against someone (ἀντιστῆνναι) and is used by Paul to describe his face-to-face resistance of Peter’s inappropriate actions in Galatians 2:11 (κατά πρόσωπον αὐτῷ ἀντέστην).

120 The present imperative “to stand” is followed by four participles which give the means of standing. The first three are aorist participles which describe action before the imperative (e.g., “having”), and the last participle is present describing action which is simultaneous with the imperative.

The first three participles describe the correct thinking which a believer must have concerning his position with God before entering into combat with the enemy who lies. Then when one thinks correctly about who he is in Christ he can act in faith.

121 The image of “girding one’s loins” is descriptive of what one would do before he entered into combat; he would tuck his long robe into his belt so that he would not trip over his clothes.

122 This same imagery is used in 1 Thessalonians 5:8 but with the sense of “faith and love.” Therefore, the righteousness which is being described may describe that which came from a believer’s initial faith. This is justification through which believers experience God’s love.

123 The outline is divided at this point because another imperative is used at this point, δέξασθε, “to take hold of” “to grasp”.

124 This helmet which surrounds the head (thinking) of the believer is called the “hope of salvation” in 1 Thessalonians 5:8-10 and describes the certain, ultimate deliverance from evil which awaits believers. God is not going to leave us for dead!!!

125 See Matthew 4:1-11.

126 These two words sum up the message of Ephesians--God has provided believers peace with Him and one another, and they are to maintain that peace through loving exercised with faith in what God has and will yet do.

Related Topics: Introductions, Arguments, Outlines