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Ephesians – an Overview

September 10, 2007

The ONE ministry is going through the book of Ephesians, so last Saturday, I set aside time to read the whole thing.  Here are two of the observations I made about the book:

1.  The book has three clear thematic sections.  The first section, chapter 1, praises God for the benefits of the gospel.  Paul spends a lot of time here talking about the fruits of the gospel in the Ephesians’ lives, and praises God for what his work makes possible.  The second section (2-3:12 or 13) is Paul unpacking the gospel itself – how it works, and who it is for.  Paul makes a particular point of how the Gentiles now are able to participate in God’s work.  Finally, Paul goes to a practical application of the gospel – commands that we should live by.

2.  One of the things I saw is that Paul gives us a great way of thinking through life issues.  The first thing, the thing we should do before anything else is to focus on praising God for his goodness to us through the gospel.  We should always look at the blessings we have in Christ.  Then, as Paul does, we should look at the gospel itself, not looking for specifics to our situation yet, but simply meditating on what Christ has done for us.  Finally, we can then begin to ask how does the gospel apply to the situations we face.  Without mediation on the gospel, I think our perspective will be skewed toward more worldly thinking – if, however, we do reflect on the gospel often, we will be able, like Paul, to see what it means in everyday life – in obedience to authority, marriage, and other important areas of life.

In Ephesians, Paul shows us how to progress from gratefulness for the gospel’s blessings to meditation on the gospel itself to application of the gospel to our daily lives.  God is good to give us a letter like this, which moves from the highly theological to the practical in a very short span.

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