Author: Ephesians  1:1 identifies the author of the Book of Ephesians as the apostle  Paul.

Date of Writing: The Book of Ephesians was very  likely written between A.D. 60-63.

Purpose of Writing: Paul intended that all who long for Christ-like maturity would receive this  writing. Enclosed within the Book of Ephesians is the discipline needed to  develop into true children of God. Furthermore, a study in Ephesians will help  to fortify and to establish the believer so he can fulfill the purpose and  calling God has given. The aim of this epistle is to confirm and to equip a  maturing church. It presents a balanced view of the body of Christ and its  importance in God’s economy.

Key Verses: Ephesians 1:3: “Praise be  to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the  heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”

Ephesians 2:8-10: “For  it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves,  it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s  workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in  advance for us to do.”

Ephesians  4:4-6: “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope  when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of  all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Ephesians 5:21:  “Submit  to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Ephesians  6:10-11: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the  full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s  schemes.”

Brief Summary: Doctrine occupies the greatest  portion of the Book of Ephesians. Half of the teaching in this epistle relates  to our standing in Christ, and the remainder of it affects our condition. All  too often those who teach from this book bypass all the foundational instruction  and go directly to the closing chapter. It is this chapter that emphasizes the  warfare or the struggle of the saints. However, to benefit fully from the  contents of this epistle, one must begin at the beginning of Paul’s instruction  in this letter.

First, as followers of Christ, we must fully understand  who God declares us to be. We must also become grounded in the knowledge of  God’s accomplishment for all humanity. Next, our present existence and walk must  become exercised and strengthened. This must continue until we no longer totter  or stagger back and forth with every spirit of teaching and subtlety of  men.

Paul’s writing breaks down into three main segments. (1) Chapters  one through three introduce principles with respect to God’s accomplishment. (2)  Chapters four and five put forth principles regarding our present existence. (3)  Chapter six presents principles concerning our daily  struggle.

Connections: The primary link to the Old  Testament in Ephesians is in the startling (to the Jews) concept of the church  as the body of Christ (Ephesians  5:32). This amazing mystery (a truth not previously revealed) of the church,  is that “the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one  body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 3:6). This was a  mystery completely hidden from the Old Testament saints (Ephesians 3:5, 9). The Israelites who  were true followers of God always believed they alone were God’s chosen people  (Deuteronomy  7:6). Accepting Gentiles on an equal status in this new paradigm was  extremely difficult and caused many disputes among Jewish believers and Gentile  converts. Paul also speaks of the mystery of the church as the “bride of  Christ,” a previously unheard-of concept in the Old  Testament.

Practical Application: Perhaps more than any  other book of the Bible, the Book of Ephesians emphasizes the connection between  sound doctrine and right practice in the Christian life. Far too many people  ignore “theology” and instead want to only discuss things that are “practical.”  In Ephesians, Paul argues that theology is practical. In order to live out God’s  will for us in our lives practically, we must first understand who we are in  Christ doctrinally.

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