—–THE ORIGINAL WWW !!! – The glorious book of Ephesians naturally divides into 3 basic sections which form the acronym WWW – Worship, Work, Warfare – see outline below to help you better understand the mind of Christ revealed in this treasured epistle which has blessed countless sojourning saints for 2 millenniums now.
Let us observe from an overview perspective, the doctrinal letter the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to pen to “the saints which are at Ephesus.” (1:1) In Ephesians, the integral involvement of all three divine Members of the Godhead are seen in creation (Eph. 3:9), the redemption of mankind (1:4, 7, 13), the maturing of the body of Christ (4:4-6), and eternal well-being of His elect (Eph. 1:3-6, 10; 2:6). God’s will for His people’s maturity is stated in 4:5: “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” One sure way to speak His truth in love is to devour the contents of this blessed letter, asking Him to make them an integral part of your life as He conforms you to His holy image. His new life in us should produce a transformation in the spirit of our minds, as we put on the “new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (4:23-24).
This book is a treasure chest of divine knowledge and essential jewels for Christian maturity for the church of Jesus Christ. Read it, study it, saturate and bathe your heart and mind in it, and pray it into your life. As you discover new platinum nuggets, record them on index cards to commit to memory. This will significantly benefit you personally and others as you share them.
As you go through this outline in your own Bible, feel free to reference, cross reference, and write notes in the margins. You are encouraged to use this outline as it best suits you for learning of the LORD and humbly, prayerfully instructing others.
Author: Paul, the servant and apostle of God (1:1)
Date written: 60-65 A.D.
Theme: Ephesians is the second of only two doctrinal letters in the NT cannon, the first being the book of Romans which perhaps Ephesians builds upon.
Ephesians pictures the believer as positionally “seated together in heavenly places in Christ” (2:6). The redeemed are blessed in that the Father made us, chose us, and found us, saving us through the blood of His only begotten Son (Eph. 1:3-4, 7). He has made us to be citizens in His family (Eph. 2:19; 3:15). The believer’s wealth and walk with Christ are expounded upon in the first 3 chapters while chapter 4 and 5 deal with his walk, and chapter 6 with kingdom warfare. As a doctrinal letter, the book of Ephesians contains the highest of truth for the Church. This is in contrast to other NT writings which deal with order and the practical implementation of local church functions to build up the saints and win the lost to Christ in light of His soon return.
KEY TERMS in Ephesians:
“In Christ” appears 12x
“In him” appears 2x
The fact that the terms “in Christ” and “in him” appear 14 times in this all-important letter to all the saints in this period of grace, reveals that God wants us to apprehend who He is and who we are in Him. This will require God’s grace working in you, personal study, prayer, and meditation. By His holy blood we are in Jesus Christ, “builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:22) The believer’s identification is to be Christ – above all else (1 Cor. 2:2, 6:19-20; Gal. 2:20, 6:14). The way a person sees/views himself (identification) determines how he will live this life. What possesses us propels us. Being “in Christ” means being brought ever more by Him into a deeper and more intimate intertwining and oneness (Jn. 17).
KEY WORDS in Ephesians:
Below, look up and read each of the key word and term verses below as you prayerfully follow the divine design of love, and grace for His Church, including the unity of each member of His body.
“Love” appears 14x
“Grace” appears 12x
“Church” appears 9x
“Unity” appears 2x
2 KEY VERSES of Ephesians:
Divine, Eternal Purpose Revealed:
“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” Ephesians 1:10
His Purpose/Goal for our Walk with Him:
“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” Ephesians 4:13
PAUL’S PRAYER FOR ALL SAINTS UNDER THE NEW COVENANT 1:18-19
God wants to open our spiritual senses to reveal:
- “the hope of his calling” v18
- “what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” v18
- “the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe” v19
OBJECTIVE/GOAL OF THE TRIUNE GOD WITH HIS ONE UNIVERSAL CHURCH AS EXPRESSED IN EPHESIANS:
– NOW: “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect (mature) man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” Ephesians 4:13
– IN ETERNITY: “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times (eternity to come) he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.” Ephesians 1:10
Record both of the above verses on index cards. Prayerfully read over them 5 times each before continuing.
“One body” (4:4) Especially chapter two speaks of the union of believing Jews and Gentiles in Christ’s one body. Jew/Gentile: No difference between Jews and Gentiles in Christ/salvation: Acts 10:45-48, 11:18, 13:46-48, 14:27, 15:3-23; 26:17-23, 28:28; Rom. 2:28-29; 3:9,29, 11:11-25, 15:9-18,27; 1 Cor. 10:32, 12:13, Gal. 3:28, Eph. 2:11, 3:6-8, Col. 1:27, 3:11
NATURAL DIVISIONS IN EPHESIANS:
- Ch’s 1-3 of the book of Ephesians deal with our Wealth in Christ
- Ch’s 4-5 of the book of Ephesians deal with our Walk with Christ
- Ch 6 of the book of Ephesians deals with our Warfare in Christ with the enemy
By design God sets forth His wealth to and justification of the believer first (Ch.’s 1-3). He then gives instruction on how to walk out that new life of worship He has freely given us (Ch.’s 4-6), including guarding it by vigilant prayer and warfare (Ch. 6).
God, by whom “we have obtained an inheritance” and according to “the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will … hath purposed in himself,” according to “the good pleasure of his will,” to adopt us as His “children by Jesus Christ to himself.” (Ephesians 1:5, 9, 11)
The Involvement/Work of Each Divine Member of the Godhead is Seen in:
1. Creation of “all things” 3:9
2. Redemption Ch. 1
– Chosen of the Father 1:4
– Redeemed by the Son 1:7
– “Sealed with that holy Spirit of promise“ 1:13
3. Sanctification of each individual redeemed saint and the corporate body of Christ in:
– “one Spirit“ 4:4
– “one Lord” 4:5
– “one God and Father of all” 4:6
All these things have the Father, Word, and Holy Ghost done to secure the heavenly family eternally in His everlasting kingdom, where His Christ will be exalted and His saints blessed beyond fathom (1 Cor. 2:9; Rev. 21). Watch for this love theme throughout this letter (Eph. 1:3-6, 10; 2:6).
Prayers in Ephesians
By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostle Paul pens two magnificent prayers effectual for all saints throughout the NT era. If we use these two monumental, Holy Spirit inspired prayers in Ephesians, our Father will change our lives. At this time, go read and simultaneously pray to your heavenly Father these prayers in Jesus’ name. Ephesians 1:15-23 and 3:14-21. Ask the LORD for these things to be manifested in your life and the life of His people, the world over.
Capturing a Few of the Treasures of Ephesians
Verses in Ephesians to write out on index cards with references and then read aloud five times each before proceeding:
- 3:16, 17, 20
- This part of 3:9 – “God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.”
- 4:3, 11-12
- 5:11, 21, 26-27
- 6:10, 17
The Book of Ephesians
Read through the book of Ephesians three times. For this exercise, read this book straight through without stopping to go deep in order to begin gaining a synthetic knowledge of the divine transmission, contents, and flow of this inspired doctrinal letter. Reading aloud will increase comprehension. Please present this in prayer before the LORD before beginning. As you read through this letter, be encouraged to capture verses on index cards that the Holy Spirit may magnify to you. Among other things, this lesson will accomplish two things:
1.) Help you become familiar with the book of Ephesians, and
2.) This valuable exercise will also begin to develop in you the desire and increased ability to master or thoroughly study a book of the Bible, learning the message as a whole, while gaining a synthetic knowledge of that writing. Using this you will also increase in your ability to dissect, break down, and rightly divide the divine truths contained therein as taken in context with the whole of Scripture. There will also be the increased capacity to teach through this Bible book as you continue to learn and mine golden nuggets from it yourself, sharing it with others as you break the bread of life together. This methodical or systematic approach of study, when applied to a book of the Scriptures, will promote a sound, fused, and unified understanding of the sacred contents of that divine message.
What Others have said of the book of Ephesians
“The crown of St. Paul’s writings.” J.A. Robinson
“Paul’s third heaven epistle.” A.T. Pierson
The Christians in Ephesus as Seen in the New Testament
Acts 18-20 record the beginnings of God’s work of salvation among the Ephesians. Then there is the book of Ephesians and then the address of Christ to them in Revelation 2:1-7.
Read Acts 18:18-20:38 to discover the origins of the local body of saints begun as Christ was preached in the city of Ephesus. In this passage that spans three chapters, there will be several topics of importance:
- Aquila and Priscilla
- The Baptism in the Holy Spirit
- Destruction of paraphernalia previously used for witchcraft
- Full-counsel of God’s Word
- The Word of God’s grace as our protection
Warning to Last Hour Believers (us)
Read Revelation 2:1-7 three times to see what the LORD Jesus had to say to the Ephesian believers years after their initial salvation. This applies directly to us today. As you read this, note how these believers knew how to discern “false apostles” and yet were being called to “repent” and return to their “first love” and “repent, and do the first works.” If they didn’t do such, Jesus laid out how they would reap with this threat: “or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Rev. 2:4-5)
Tying Things Together
In Acts 20 Paul addressed the Ephesian elders and instructed them prophetically and with tears that after his “departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” (Acts 20:29) Then in the verse following, he said:
30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
32And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. (Acts 20)
Today this truth cannot possibly be over emphasized. It is only by the LORD Himself and “the word of his grace” than any saved person can endure to the end, escaping sin, Satan, and the multitudes of beguilers and their false teachings.
Later in time (approximately 30 years later), we see Jesus commending (complimenting) this very same Ephesian assembly of saints for discerning deceivers and exposing and ousting them. Here it is in Revelation 2:2:
“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried (tested) them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.” Revelation 2:2
This is a key teaching in the Bible and should be learned by every believer. As a sampling, read and cross reference Ezekiel 44:23-24, Ephesians 5:11, and 1 John 4:1-6. See book titled Deceivers & False Prophets Among Us at SafeGuardYourSoul.com.
It is a shame that most people who claim to be saved have never once heard a biblical teaching on the important subject of discernment. This make those who lead them suspect.
Of great importance is Acts 20:20. May God bless us all to have a 20/20 vision – Acts 20:20. “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house.” (Acts 20:20) Every true under shepherd of the Great Shepherd of the sheep endeavors to learn and teach the full-counsel of God’s holy Word and he doesn’t wait till he is playing church in some so-called “church building.” No, his life with Christ has no geographical boundaries. He is “instant in season and out of season” as he conveys God’s whole truth everywhere he is “I … have taught you publicly, and from house to house.” (Acts 20:20; 2 Tim. 4:2) The authentic disciple holds back nothing of the divine substance of God’s Word in feeding the LORD’s children so that they can become completely wise, knowledgeable, mature, and spiritually healthy.
In your Bible, cross reference Acts 20:20 and 20:27.
Now, read Acts 20:20-32 three times prayerfully and intently.
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