Read 349.) Ephesians, chapters 1 thru 6. Written the same time as Colossians, they contain parallels. Ephesians also speaks much of Christ, and of a theme especially close to Paul’s heart; love and unity within the church! Think thru Ephesians with 3 time periods in mind; before conversion, at conversion, and after conversion, as well as the means of conversion. Or, we could call them, before, then, and after, or now! He opens with now, and speaks of all that we have in Jesus Christ. We are blessed with every blessing, chosen to be holy, adopted as children, redeemed and forgiven, all thru His Blood, 1:3-7! This all happened when we believed the Gospel, 1:13. Now, we live lives characterized by faith and love, 1:15, and we are to mature more and more in these, 1:16-19a; and all because God raised Christ from the dead and exalted Him, 1:19b-23!
Chapter 2 goes on. Before, we were sinners separated from God and following Satan, 2:1-3. But, then, we were converted, because of God’s great love, mercy, grace and kindness, 2:4-7, when we believed upon Jesus Christ, 2:8. No works were involved, 2:9. They follow, after conversion, 2:10. Before, we were far away, 2:11+12, but, now, we are near thru Christ’s Blood and the Cross, 2:13+16! Now, there’s this glorious privilege; access to God, 2:18. Now, we are children of God and part of His Church in which He dwells, 2:19-22!
As in Colossians, Paul uses ‘mystery’ here 5 times. The first was in 1:9, but 4 more times in 3:1-11. The mystery is all about how Gentiles and Jews are united and made one in the Church by the Gospel, and results, as 2:18 related, in this incredible access to God with freedom and confidence, like Hebrews 4:16 says! Paul then prays for their advancement in the faith, particularly love, 3:14-21. In chapters 4+5, Paul further instructs about how that now we are converted, we are to be humble, gentle, patient, loving, united and one, 4:1-6. He goes to gifts and offices to build and unify, 4:7-13, so as not to be confused babies, 4:14-16. Paul then goes to our new life of putting off the old, renewing our minds, and putting on the new after the likeness of Christ, 4:17-32. The things put off relate a number of The 10 Commandments, and are to be replaced with things born of truth and love, 5:1+2. Those unconverted and unchanged will not go to heaven, 5:5+6. Chapter 4, and verse 30, along with 1:13+14, match II Cor.1:21+22 and 5:5, as well as Romans 8:28-39, to thoroughly assure us of the security of our salvation. God has guaranteed it! He uses darkness and light to describe our change, and how, by means of Holy Spirit fullness, 5:18, like Col.3:16, we express our new life of love in our 6 primary relationships, 5:19-6:9. Paul closes with our defensive armor, that we may stand. By means of our only 2 offensive weapons being the Word and prayer; we are victorious, conquering Christians, 6:10-20! It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell