Bible Book Summary
by Jay Smith
The book of Ephesians is a Prison Epistle (letter written while in prison). Paul wrote it about 60-62 A.D. The key personalities of Ephesians are the Apostle Paul and Tychicus. It was written to encourage believers to walk as fruitful followers of Christ and to serve in unity and love in the midst of persecution.
• In chapters 1-3, Paul begins with the joyful truth that every believer has been chosen by God before the foundation of the world, "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will" (1:4-5). Paul then teaches about the unity of believers. These are the truths and blessings that all believers have in common. He wrote that all Christians are “adopted as sons through Jesus Christ” (1:5). All believers are, “redeemed through His blood” (1:7), and “sealed by the Holy Spirit” (1:13). Paul continues on to clear up one of the most misconceived and/or often ignored subjects even to this day, “Salvation by Grace”. He wrote that salvation is by the “Grace” of God and that it is through “Faith”, and that no one can contribute to salvation, in any way, even with good deeds: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast'' (2:8-9).
• In chapters 4-5, Paul encourages the believer to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling”. Every believer has a responsibility to live as servants of Jesus Christ. In these chapters, Paul teaches that it takes hard work to be in unity with others, and that we are to be “imitators of God” (5:1). He mentions imperative truths and advice for well functioning families, including husbands and wives who upon the oath of marriage become as “one flesh” (5:31). Paul explains the concept of a biblical marriage. Marriage is a picture of Christ and the church (body of believers) and the way that Jesus Christ loved the church is the way that the husband must love his treasured wife, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her" (5:25). Paul doesn’t end there, he goes on to reinforce that husbands are to love their wives, "as their own bodies" and also to love their wives, "even as himself (vss 28;33).
When a husband learns to love his wife in this way, his wife usually has no issues fulfilling her role and even enjoys it, "the wife must see to it that she respects her husband" (vs 33).
• In chapter 6, Paul instructs believers how to prepare for spiritual battle by dressing in the “full armor of God” (6:11). Prayer is the key weapon of the Christian soldier. He emphasizes his principle with the repeated statement “stand firm”.