THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE
EPHESIANS
 
Chapter: 1 2 3 4 5 6

O  U  T  L  I  N  E
- God's Purpose for Christ and the Church Ephesians 1
     - Greeting Ephesians 1:1-2
     - Our Spiritual Blessings in Heavenly Places in Christ Ephesians 1:3-7
     - God's Purpose to Glorify Christ in the Millennium Ephesians 1:8-14
     - 1st Prayer: That We Would Know Our Portion and God's Power  Ephesians 1:15-23
- Christ's Work in Forming the Church Ephesians 2
     - God's Work in Us: Quickening and Creating us in Christ Ephesians 2:1-10
     - God's Work with Us: A Double Reconciliation of the Gentiles Ephesians 2:11-18
     - The Final Product: Three Concentric Circles of Blessing Ephesians 2:19-22
- Parenthesis: The Mystery - Jew and Gentile in One Body Ephesians 3
     - What is the Mystery? Ephesians 3:1-6
     - Paul's Responsibility to Make Known the Mystery Ephesians 3:7-9
     - The Present Purpose of the Mystery Ephesians 3:10-11
     - The Practical Effect of Enjoying the Truth of the Mystery Ephesians 3:12-13
     - 2nd Prayer: That We Would See the Love of Christ Under it All Ephesians 3:14-21
- 1st Sphere: Walking Worthy in the Assembly: Gifts & their Purposes Ephesians 4:1-16
     - The Need to Walk Worthy, and How to Do it Ephesians 4:1-3
     - The Unity Principle: Three Concentric Spheres Ephesians 4:4-6
     - An Ascended Christ is the Source of these Gifts Ephesians 4:7-10
     - The Gifts of Christ to the Church Ephesians 4:11
     - The Reasons for Giving the Gifts Ephesians 4:12-16
- 2nd Sphere: Walking Worthy as a Christian Testimony in the World Ephesians 4:17 - 5:21
     - How Not to walk: a Picture of the Unconverted Gentile World Ephesians 4:17-19
     - New Creation: The Great Inward Transformation Ephesians 4:20-24
     - The Resulting Outward Transformation of our Lifestyle Ephesians 4:25-32
     - Walking in Love: a Life of Sacrifice and Obedience Ephesians 5:1-7
     - Walking as Children of Light: Living up to what we are Ephesians 5:8-14
     - Walking in Wisdom: How to be Preserved in the Path Ephesians 5:15-21
- 3rd sphere: Walking Worthy in our Natural Relationships Ephesians 5:22 - 6:9
     - Wives and Husbands Ephesians 5:22-33
     - Children and Parents Ephesians 6:1-4
     - Servants and Masters Ephesians 6:5-9
- Conclusion Ephesians 6:10-24
     - The Conflict we will Face Ephesians 6:10-20
     - Closing Remarks Ephesians 6:21-24

The purpose of the book of Ephesians is to disclose the highest truth that God has in His heart. We can look at this truth under three headings:
  1. The highest Individual blessing which is the privilege of sonship
~~~~ the mystery of God’s will ~~~~~
  1. The greatest Divine secret which is God’s ultimate purpose to manifest the glory of Christ, to bring all things under the headship of Christ in a coming day, and…
  2. The highest collective blessing which is the fact that Christ will possess His inheritance through a special vessel; namely, the Church which is His Body and Bride.
At the same time, the book of Ephesians discloses the deepest truth, the love of God in Christ. In ch.3 we find that the motive for the great purpose of God is love. In this way we see in Ephesians the highest mountain peaks of blessing (ch.1-2), then brought to view the measureless depths of the love of Christ (ch.3).

Ephesus. In Acts 19, the Ephesian assembly began with twelve men, and the burning of occult books. A very small assembly, but they were still exhorted to practice the truth of the One Body! The question has often been raised as to whether the Ephesians received the highest truth because they were going on well.... Kelly says: "nowhere do we find an assembly more happy, flourishing, and blessed of God, than the Church in Ephesus." 

Ephesians compared to other epistles. You never get the truth of justification mentioned in Ephesians, because we are seen “in Christ”. It is justification that puts us “in Christ”… it is a foregone conclusion in this epistle. You never get the “ifs” and “whens” of condition in Ephesians. That is because this is not a wilderness epistle like Colossians, Philippians, and Hebrews. Everything we have is “in heavenly places”… typified by Canaan in Israel's wilderness journey. The Rapture is also not mentioned because the believers are already seen as seated in heavenly places. In the counsels of God, we are already in heaven!

Ephesians vs. Colossians. In Colossians we are incomplete without Christ (Col. 2:10), but in Ephesians Christ is incomplete without us (Eph. 1:23)! One is what Christ is to the Church, the other is what the Church is to Christ.

“In Christ” and “Christ in you”. Two expressions that are often confused:
  • In Christ” is our individual position before God.
  • Christ in you” is Christ seen in the saints collectively because of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
You get the “in Christ” side of the Mystery in Ephesians, and the “Christ in you” side in Colossians (Col. 1:28). You get both expressions in Romans; “in Christ” (Rom. 8:1) and “Christ in you” (Rom. 8:10). “Christ in your hearts” (Eph. 3:17) is an expression that refers to holding Christ in our affections.

Redemption has more to do with our condition than our standing. Redemption means to be "bought back and set free" from (1) sin, (2) the world, and (3) Satan for the purpose of doing the will of God in worship and in service. "Let My people go, that they may serve Me" (Ex. 8:1). There are four aspects of redemption given in scripture, three of which are found in Romans and Ephesians:
  1. The redemption of our souls (Eph. 1:7; Rom. 3:24)
  2. The redemption of our time (Eph. 5:15-16; Rom. 12:1)
  3. The redemption of our bodies (Eph. 4:30; Rom. 8:23)
but a 4th aspect of redemption is only found in Ephesians:
  1. The redemption of our inheritance. (Eph. 1:14)
Lines of truth in various epistles.
 -  -  - Seated
 -  - Raised Raised
 -  - Quickened Quickened
 - Buried Buried  -
Dead Dead Dead  -
Crucified Crucified  -  -
Galatians Romans Colossians Ephesians

In Romans you get “in Christ” (Rom. 8:1) but it is only in the negative sense – what the position saves you from. But in Ephesians it is the positive side (Eph. 1:3) – what the position brings us into. In Romans you get “dead” in the aspect of “dead to sin” or separated from sin as to be no longer affected by its action. But in Colossians it is "dead with Christ" in a personal way.

“The Mystery”We get the teaching of “the Mystery” in Ephesians and Colossians. Often we think of a “mystery” as something that is difficult to discover or decipher. Paul does not use the word in this way. Rather, it refers to a secret that was previously unknown, but now revealed and made plain. There are at least five different aspects of the mystery in Ephesians and Colossians; see encyclopedia entry for the Mystery.

References

  1. The Epistle to the Ephesians. (by Hamilton Smith)
  2. The Epistle to the Ephesians (by J. N. Darby)
  3. Ephesians (by F. B. Hole)
  4. The Epistle to the Ephesians (by W. Kelly)
  5. Synopsis of the Books of the Bible (by J. N. Darby)
  6. The Epistle to the Ephesians (by Bruce Anstey)