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Literature / Book of Ephesians

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The tenth book of the New Testament and the fifth of the Pauline epistles.

Structure of the book:

  • Greeting (Ephesians 1:1-2)
  • Spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3-14)
  • Thanksgiving and prayer (Ephesians 1:15-23)
  • By grace through faith (Ephesians 2:1-10)
  • Being one in Christ (Ephesians 2:11-22)
  • The mystery of the Gospel revealed (Ephesians 3:1-13)
  • Prayer for spiritual strength (Ephesians 3:14-21)
  • Unity in the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:1-16)
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  • The new life (Ephesians 4:17-32)
  • Walking in love (Ephesians 5:1-21)
  • Commands for wives and husbands (Ephesians 5:22-33)
  • Commands for children and parents (Ephesians 6:1-4)
  • Commands for bondservants and masters (Ephesians 6:5-9)
  • The whole "armor of God" (Ephesians 6:10-20)
  • Final greetings (Ephesians 6:22-24)


  • 24-Hour Armor: Believers are expected to be clad in the spiritual "armor of God" as mentioned in Ephesians 6:10-20 at all times to protect themselves from "the wiles of the devil". The armor is broken down into (1) the "belt of truth", (2) the "breastplate of righteousness", (3) the "shoes for the preparation of the gospel of peace", (4) the "shield of faith" to "quench all the fiery darts of the evil one", (5) the "helmet of salvation", and (6) the "sword of the Spirit", to "pray in the Spirit with all kinds of prayer and supplications."
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  • Claimed by the Supernatural: Paul the apostle says that God seals believers in Christ with the Holy Spirit, that, according to Calvinist theology, means that they forever belong to God and could never be lost. This seems to go hand in hand with what Jesus said in the gospel of John: "I give them eternal life. They shall never perish, nor shall anyone snatch them from My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them from My Father’s hand."
  • God Is Good: Ephesians 2:4-5 speaks about this.
    "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
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  • Good Parents: Ephesians 6:4 encourages parents to not provoke their children to wrath, but to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: In Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul tells us "By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one should boast."
  • Listing the Forms of Degenerates: Ephesians 5:3-5 instructs believers to avoid these sinful behaviors.
    "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."
  • Marriage to a God: Paul in his instructions to both wives and husbands says how the marriage between a husband and a wife is "a mystery" that speaks about how God wants to relate to His people, the church, that Jesus gave His life for the church and has her "wash[ed] in water by the Word" so that she can be presented to Him as a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle.
  • The Moral Alternative: Ephesians 5:18, which says "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit," is interpreted by certain Christians as a command to be "drunk in the Spirit" as opposed to being drunk on alcohol or any mood-altering substances. Although if properly understood in context with other Scriptures such as Peter's command to be "sober and vigilant" in his first epistle, it is actually a command to temperance instead of any alternate form of drunkenness.
  • No Woman's Land: Ephesians 5:22-33 is often quote mined as saying "Wives, submit to your husbands". People who quote that line tend to conveniently forget the part right after that where Paul says, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it."
  • Powers That Be: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers." - Ephesians 6:12.
  • Saintly Church: One of the major themes of the epistle is to keep the Christ's body (the Church) pure and holy.
    "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." - Ephesians 5:1-2
  • Satan: Referred to in this book as "the prince of the power of the air", Paul says that his spirit is at work in the "sons of disobedience."
  • Sympathetic Slave Owner: Ephesians 6:9:
    "And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him."
  • Tame His Anger: Ephesians 4:26-27 says, "Be angry, but do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger. Do not give place to the devil."
  • Vulgar Humor: Discouraged, as Paul says in Ephesians 5:4 that saints are not to speak filthiness, foolish talk, or coarse jesting, which is not proper behavior for saints. Also in Ephesians 4:29, he says to not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only that which is good for building up, that it may give grace to the hearers.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Ephesians 6:5-6 instructs slaves to obey their masters not with eyeservice or as manpleasers, but with a sincere heart as unto Christ.


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