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Ephesians

General

Broadly speaking, the letter to the Ephesians can be divided into two parts. Chapters 1-3 deal mainly with the position in Christ, while the second part (the last three chapters) deals more with practice. Above this second part you could write Peter's words: "...sanctify the Christ in your hearts as Lord..." (1 Pet. 3:15).

Writer, origin and destination

With the Ephesians letter we have a letter that belongs to the so-called late epistles of Paul. These belated letters were written after the statement in Acts 28:28. The letters to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon were written during the two years of Paul's captivity in Rome (see Acts 28:16 and 30). Of the seven late epistles, a total of three were written to churches, the remaining four to individuals (Philemon, Timothy, and Titus). These three congregational letters are each written to saints and believers "in Christ." Furthermore, important features of these letters are that they reveal the hidden plan of God with regard to the Church today, the body of Christ (see especially the letters to the Ephesians and the Colossians) and are based on that revelation (especially the Philippians letter). .

Since we have to place the origin of the letter to the Ephesians in the above two-year period, this means that this letter was written in the period 61-63 AD.

Structure

A. 1:1 and 2 Letter style.
a. 1:1 Paul's commission.
b. 1:2 Greetings - Grace and peace.
B. 1:3-2:7 c. 1:3-14 All spiritual blessings.
d. 1:15-19 Paul's Prayer.
e. 1:19-2:7 The working of His mighty power (1:19).
Heavenly places, position (1:20 and 2:6).
C. 2:1-10 The new creation; His walk.
D. 2:11-19 The new man (vs.15); Once estranged (2:12).
E. 2:19-22 The temple washes up, fitting tightly together (2:21).
Apostles, prophets; foundation (2:20).
F. 3:1-13 Prisoner of Christ Jesus (3:1);
3-fold unity (3:6).
G. 3:14-21 The central prayer centered on:
The love of Christ/The fullness of God.
F. 4:1-6 Prisoner of the Lord (4:1);
7fold unity (4:3-6).
E. 4:7-19 The body grows, tightly interlocking (4:16).
Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds
and teachers; equipment (4:11 and 12).
D. 4:20-32 The new man (4:24); Once estranged (4:18).
C. 5:1-6:9 The new creation; His walk.
B. 6:10-20 e. 6:10-13 Working out the strength of His might (6:10).
Heavenly places, stand (6:11 and 12).
c. 6:14-18 The whole armor.
d 6:19 and 20 Prayer for Paul.
A. 6:21-24 Letter style.
a. 6:21 and 22 Tychicus' command.
b. 6:23 and 24 Greetings - Peace and Mercy.

Purpose and content

Also for this somewhat more extensive structure of the letter to the Ephesians, what is written next to the corresponding letters (eg A and A; B and B, etc.) is actually related. It immediately becomes clear from this structure that everything revolves around Ephesians 3:14-21 (point G), where the love of Christ and the fullness of God are central. All this is expressed in a prayer (it is the middle of the three times that Paul talks about prayer in this letter). This midpoint includes the turning point from position to practice; it is, as it were, a mirror, in which the riches in Christ (chap. 1-3) are reflected in practice (chap. 4-6). If we have an eye for the whole connection that lies in such a letter, we immediately understand that we can only properly understand (the seven points of) the armor in Ephesians 6, when we read the (seven) blessings in Christ in chapter 1 made our own!

We wrote before that the letter contains the revelation of things that had not yet been revealed by the Lord until that moment. This is also reflected in the words and concepts used that further define the special position of the believer today. For example, Christ is described as the Head of the Church, His body, is it spoken about the new man, it is about reconciliation, we read that the believer is resurrected together with Christ and that the believers have a position in Christ in the heavenly places. All these things are 'unique' for example to the letter to the Ephesians and the other late epistles; you won't find them in the rest of God's Word! All this makes this letter a very important one for the believer today.

core text

"To me, by far the least of all saints, hath this grace fallen, to declare to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ" (ch. 3:8).