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The Book of Ephesians

The Book of Ephesians

I.       Prologue:

The Book of Ephesians is one of the epistles that Paul wrote while in confinement.  Although Paul, a messenger in chains, was confined in the prison of Rome, he was neither saddened nor was he full of complaints; rather, he led many people to return to the Lord.  In this epistle, Paul was not weary nor disheartened, but was filled with peace and tranquility.  He had feelings of joy and infinite hope.

This book was written in the latter years of Paul’s life; thus, the holy works were complete, and so it contained words of rebuke or chastisement, but rather was filled with the revelation of the mystery of God.

This book is often referred to as the Book of Churches by the biblical scholars.  It contains many matters concerning the Church.  First, it speaks about the origin, status, and elegance of the Church.  Secondly, it talks about the conduct of a believer inside the Church.

This book completely explains the purpose of salvation: 1.  We were chosen before the creation of the world, we were saved by the salvation of Christ and received new life. 2. To tear down the wall between man and God.  To become one in Christ (regardless of status, race, gender, or color), to become a member of the House of God, to grow and unite in the Spirit, and to grow in Christ. The Church is the body of Christ, Jesus works in the world through the Church, He is the head of the Church and directs the activities of the Church.  The Church is the wife of Christ who is to be completely obedient to Him.

The first step of God’s salvation was to complete the hope of salvation through Christ, to complete unity and peace; through the Church He will build up the heavenly kingdom to give His people blessing, so that His people may have a new life, to live a new life.  The members of the Church are as the members of the body, there is no hierarchy, everyone is to do his best.

Located in Asia minor besides the AegianSea, it is on the border of Europe and Asia and is often crowded with the traffic of businessmen and merchants.  It has a heavy population comparable to that of Rome and the kingdom of Alexander.  The Temple of Diana is one of the seven wonders of the world, and was the biggest edifice of the time.  There was a plaza that could fit 24,000 people.  Paul once preached in this plaza and made a great impact on the people there, causing a great commotion (Acts 19:27), and was at last forced to leave.  Paul has also taught the words of the Bible in the School of Tyrannus (Acts 19:9-10).

II.    Chapter 1 

Spiritual Blessing in Heaven

A.     Greetings (1-3)

1.        Paul calls himself the apostle of Christ, who preaches the Gospel by the will of God

2.        Refers to the Ephesians as:

 a.      Saints

 b.      Those who are in Christ

 c.      Faithful

3.        Wishes grace and peace for the saints, both of which are from the Father

4.        Praise and glory be unto the Lord.  Man was created for the glory of God, Christians should further praise the name of the Lord

B.     The blessings the believers will receive (3-10)

1.        Source of blessing: From the Father who gives freely in Christ (Psalm 16:2; 34:10)

2.        Characteristics of blessings:

 a.      From Heaven (not from the temporary Earth)

 b.      Great variety (inexhaustible)

 c.      Spiritual (abundant and sure)

3.        Contents of blessing:

 a.      Chosen ones (4, Jn 15:16, I Cor 15:10)

(a)     Time: Before the creation, salvation was determined

(b)     Procedure: Through the death of Christ

(c)     Goal: To become the pure people of God

 b.      Receiving salvation (7, Acts 20:28, Rev 5:9-10).  Through the blood of the Son to wash away our sins

 c.      To become the sons of God (5, Gal 4:5-6, Rom 8:16). Receive sonship and to receive the heavenly inheritance

 d.      Understand the mystery (9)

(a)     Know the Ruler of the Universe

(b)     The procedure for salvation

(c)     Know the value of being alive.  The wisdom of God through the prophets and apostles; and especially through His beloved son, was manifested to man.  Now through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, we are able to know the wonderful will of God

C.     Inheritance in Heaven (11-14)

1.        Jesus, who gave us the inheritance in heaven, has accepted us as His children, and will give us glorious future and wonderful inheritance

2.        Being His children, we belong to Him and are under His care and protection

3.        He has given us the Holy Spirit as proof that we are His children and will enter the heavenly kingdom to receive His eternal inheritance

D.     Intercession of Paul (15-19)

1.        Attitude toward intercession:

 a.      Give thanks continually:

Thanksgiving is a special characteristic of Paul’s life of prayer.  Through deep experiences of God’s grace, he continually gave thanks out of his heart

 b.      Pray often:

Praying is not a formality but is the meaning of life, a very important part of our spiritual life

 c.      Pray for a specific person:

Paul believes that it is his duty to care for the believers and to pray for a specific person is an act of caring

2.        Contents of Intercession:

 a.      Pray for the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of wisdom and revelation), so that we may truly know him (Jn 6:66-69, Phil 3:8)

 b.      Pray for God to open our spiritual eyes so we may see the greatness of His calling and hope.  We are lowly and unworthy, but the Lord still chose us to give us fully the spiritual blessing of the HeavenlyKingdom

 c.      Pray to see the great power of God, so we may depend on him in all that we do.  We know that through His power, Christ was able to be resurrected.  This great power also works on us in forgiving our sins, saving our spiritual life.  To overcome death so that we may one day sit with Jesus in heaven, is the greatest power of all

E.     Status of the Church (20-23)

1.        God has given Christ the utmost status and power in heaven.  His power is beyond our imagination, all of the powers of the universe are under Him

2.        The Church is the body of Christ and is filled with the spirit of God (Col 2:9;I Tim 3:15-16).  The Church of God should have miracles and wonders and testimonies of the Holy Spirit to support the truth

3.        The True God utilizes the Church to manifest His power and glory.  Only when we become the light of the world can the name of God be glorified

III. Chapter 2 

New life in Christ

A.     The procedure to be blessed (1-10)

1.        Old condition of a sinner (1-3)

 a.      Died in sin (1):

Sin entered the world through Adam, man has no resistance against sin (jealousy, hatred, greed, pride, pretentiousness, etc.) (ref: Rom 7:15-21).  The consequences of sin is death, man was cursed ever since Adam sinned and was excluded from the life given by God. (Gen 1:17; 3:9-10; 24; Rom 5:12-14)

 b.      Walk in the way of the world (2):

The way of the world has strong control over man.  Man will easily follow the way of the world, walk in the path of sin and be submissive to the way of the world

 c.      Obedient to the evil spirits (2):

There are two factors involved as to why men sin.  One is the wicked way of the world, the other is the supernatural power of evil.  This power continually obstructs the plan of God.  He is the prince of the power of the air, the devil, Satan is their leader and works in the heart of men to make them sons of disobedience

 d.      Conduct themselves in the lust of the flesh (3):

Lust of the flesh is the source of sin. The lust of the flesh needs to be constrained, if we do what our flesh wills, Satan will work among us, causing us to sin. (Gal 5:19-21, Jam 1:14-15,21)

2.        The great mercy of the Lord. (4-7)

 a.      Great Love:

We were sons of disobedience and anger but God showed his mercy to us by completing the salvation.  This is from God, an unconditional love

 b.      Live with Christ::

We have already died in spirit, but through the belief in Christ, we do not face destruction; rather, we receive eternal life; through the baptism of renewal we receive new life and resurrect with Christ

 c.      To sit with God in heaven:

Those who are saved have their name recorded in the Book of Life.  Our lives have become one with God.  Though temporarily lodging in the world, we are the citizens of heaven and live with God eternally in heaven

 d.      Manifest to the future generations:

God will not only give the salvation of Christ to this generation but also to future generations.  God has shown His grace to us and will also show His grace to our descendants.  We must not forget to tell our future generations about the grace of God

3.        By grace through faith (8-10)

 a.      Grace of God:

Man is the creation of God.  The believers can be changed to become new persons, this is also the work of God.  Everything comes from the grace and work of God, man should not credit themselves with those works.  First, God gave Christ to the unworthy people of the world, so that men may be saved through the sacrifice of Christ.  This grace comes from the great love of God given to us through Christ.  The power of this grace can forgive our sin and rid us of our bad habits.  It manifests the complete power to men causing them to be complete and saved

 b.      Answer to our faith:

The process of salvation is completed through Christ, men receive it through faith.  Faith is a medium through which God’s grace come into our life.  Faith is the way man shows his dependence on God, we allow God’s commandment to work in us and are completely obedient to Him.  Grace and Faith are given by God (Acts 3:16).  We should use a heart of thanksgiving to receive the grace of God, and not be self-righteous

 c.      Do good diligently: 

Men receive blessings not through doing good but through doing the works of God through the new person created by Christ; however, from the time we believe in the Lord, we must start to do good diligently.  Do everything through love according to the commandments of God (I Cor. 15:14).  Learn to seek not only after our own self-interests but also to sacrifice our own interests for the benefit of others, and practice what the Lord requires us to do (Mic. 6:8).  Become a true Christian and live according to the way of Christ, to be worthy of the grace of God (Mat.  11:29; Phil 1:20-21; Eph 4:1)

B.     Blessings in Christ (11-22)

1.        Condition Before We Believe (11-13)

 a.      The uncircumcised (11): 

Circumcision is the covenant between God and the sons of Abraham.  Jewish boys must receive circumcision on the eighth day after their birth.  The Jews take pride in this and despise the uncircumcised gentiles who are not the chosen ones of God (Gen 17:12-14).  This segregation and disposition was abolished in Christ, because Jesus has already died for us on the cross. So whether we receive circumcision or not, it is of trivial importance; rather, we must return to Christ and live a new life (Gal 6:5)

 b.      Alien to Christ (12): 

Christ is the savior given to us by God and He came from Jewish descent.  The gentiles have no relation to the Jews in either kinship, religion, or culture.  Without the mercy of God, we can never receive salvation

 c.      Strangers (12): 

God made a covenant with the Israelites and blessed them.  For example, His covenant with Abraham (Gen 12:3; 15:17-21); covenant with David (II Sam 7; 23:5); and the new covenant recorded in Jeremiah 31:31-40.  Originally, gentiles had no knowledge of these covenants, they were as strangers.  Thanks God that this covenant was given to us through Christ and the blessings are even greater than that of the Jews

 d.      There is no hope without God (12): 

With God there are all things, without God, there is nothing.  A person who departs from God, lives from day to day and his life is a void and without hope.  But today, we have become a new person.  Through the salvation of Christ we became the chosen generation, a holy nation, and received royal priesthood.  We were not worthy before, but now we have became God’s children (I Pet 2:9)

2.        Blessings for Believing in the Lord (14-22)

 a.      Able to draw close to God (13): 

Those who have sinned were once far away from God, but through the sacrifice of Christ, who was given as a sacrifice of remission, we are justified to be close to God

 b.      Peace be among us (14-15): 

God chose the Jews that through them, He may train them in His ways so they may be exemplary to the gentiles who may then return unto God; but the Jews despised the gentiles causing disharmony among them (ref: Gen 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; Acts 3:26).  Christ has completed salvation and has taken down the wall between them and brought them peace.  He has abolished the laws of the commandments to make a new race (The church can be described as a new race), without regards to race, nationality, gender, or status, to be united in Christ, to become one body in Christ (Gal 3:28)

 c.      The messenger of peace (17):

Man must make peace with God and through the gospel peace man is able to seek peace with God. Furthermore, we can seek peace among ourselves, for it is the duty of a believer to preach the gospel

 d.      From strangers we have become the citizens of God’s nation (18-19): 

In our society, foreigners and visitors of a nation do not possess the citizenship of that country.  This also holds true in the nation of God.  In the past, the Jews were the chosen ones of God, they looked at others as foreigners.  After we believe in the Lord we become one body regardless of our status or nationality

 e.      Living Rock that built the church (20-22): 

The believers are like the spiritual rocks that are used to build the temple, and Jesus is the cornerstone (I Pet 2:5-7), the whole edifice depends on Him.  He allows the life of Christ to fill the temple and allows for continual growth.  The Apostles were the witnesses of God.  Hold-fast and spread the Truth; we must receive from God directly His revelations and spread His will.  We must build the temple of God in this manner so His Spirit may have a dwelling place, so His glory, love and power may fill the universe and especially the church

IV.  Chapter 3 

Mysteries of the Gospel

A.     The Position of the Gospel (1-3)

1.        Apostles of the Gentiles (2, Acts 9:15-16): 

He was the leader of the persecutor of Christians, but was chosen to spread the gospel to the gentiles.  He felt unworthy, because of this, he exerted all his energy and wealth to spread the love of Christ

2.        Minister of the Gospel (7-8): 

Meaning of the minister is “servant,” Paul wanted people to know that thought he was free, he was willing to be enslaved for the gospel to serve all.  His goal was to spread the immeasurable fullness of Christ to all people.  From this we can also see the greatness of the gospel.  It transformed someone who opposed Christ to someone who was willing to sacrifice his time, energy, freedom, and even his life for Christ

3.        Imprisoned for the gospel (1): 

Paul became imprisoned, a messenger in chains because he was hated by the Jews for preaching the salvation of the gentiles.  Although he was persecuted and imprisoned because of the gospel, he did not feel sorry for himself nor did he complain; rather, he was filled with joy and thanksgiving.  In prison he did not ask for the care of others; rather, he constantly cared for others, because he felt this was a responsibility given to him by God (2).  He encouraged all to be bold and fearless in the time of difficulties.  Suffering for the gospel is not a dishonor, but glorifies the church (12-13)

B.     Understand the Mysteries of the Gospel (4-12)

1.        It comes from the revelation of the Holy Spirit: 

The salvation of God is a great epic, it was prearranged by God long ago, but no one will know it before it is completed.  Only through the revelation of the Holy Spirit could Paul and the congregation understand the mystery of the gospel.  It also holds true today, because we cannot understand the prophesies unless the Holy Spirit opens our eyes

2.        Contents of the mystery: 

The salvation of Christ will not only be given to the Jews but also to the gentiles through the gospel.  The two shall unite to become one body under the promise of God.  Being a descendent of God, we have the right to inheritance.  One body means that the Jews and the gentiles are both members of the body, and are interrelated.  This way, the grace of God such as justification, remission of sins, having grace and peace in our lives, and receiving salvation, etc., can be upon the non-Jewish believers

3.        Manifested through the church (10): 

The church is the body of Christ, the ark in the last days.  God founded the SpiritualTrueChurch to become the organization of salvation, and through the church He shall manifest this glory and power, so that the governors in heaven can know the infinite wisdom of God and also let the rulers of the spiritual world understand the greatness of God and be willing to be submissive to Him

C.     The Prayer of Paul (13-21)

1.        Object of his prayer (14): 

The Heavenly Father is with the believers constantly.  He is not a God who only dwells in a high place.  When Paul was imprisoned, everyone left him, but God was with him, encouraging and comforting him (II Tim 4:16-17)

2.        Attitudes of prayer (14): 

He bowed down and worshipped with humility and sincerity (Phil 2:9-10).  May we all imitate the prayer of Paul and utilize our knees to serve God, spread the gospel, and edify the church

3.        Contents of Prayer

 a.      Strengthen the power that is with us (16): 

Strength from within literally means “inner man” and refers to our spirit.  A Christian should not only pray for his physical well-being or the success of his family/business, but more so for the revival of his soul (ref: III Jn 2).  The fortification of our spirituality depends on not only our own pursue and intercession, but more on His fullness and the assistance of the Holy Spirit

 b.      Build love with a strong foundation (17): 

The deeper the root of a plant, the bigger and stronger it grows; the better the foundation of an edifice, the stronger it will be (Mat 7:28).  A faith with a strong foundation will allow Christ to live in our heart through faith.  Utilizing the love of Christ as a foundation, may our love continue to expand

 c.      Understand the greatness of the love of Christ (18):

(a)     Long- From the beginning to eternity

(b)     Wide- Extends to all the world and all people

(c)     Height- From the high heavens He came down (Lk 1:78-79)

(d)     Deep-Lifted up from hell (Heb 2:9)

The love of Christ is immeasurable, the grace and peace is beyond our imagination.  The more experience a person has with the love of God, the more he will love God (Gal 2:20)

 d.      May all the glory and praise be unto the Lord (21): 

The purpose of our creation is to glorify the True God.  We must continue to use words and actions to praise His name

V.     Chapter 4 

Words Concerning the Unification of the Church

A.     The Unification of the Church (1-16)

1.        Foundation for Unification (1-3)

 a.      Manifest the Truth of life (Rom 12:1-2; Phil 2:15-16; Gal 5:13-16; 7:21). 

The grace the members receive, i.e., being chosen (1:4), receiving salvation (1:7), receiving new life to become the sons of God (1:5), receiving the inheritance in heaven which is sealed by the Holy Spirit (1:13-14).  Our deeds must agree with the grace which we have received.  The more one receives, the more is expected of him (Lk 12:48)

 b.      Deeds of humbleness (2): 

Be humble, meek and long-suffering in all thing.  This is an example of Christ and is also His virtue (Mat 11:29; Num 12:3).  To be humble is to not be proud and arrogant, but to see others’ good points and see others as better than yourself (Phil 2:5).  Meekness is manifested through gentleness in words and in action, and to avoid conflict (Col 4:6).  Long-suffering is to adjust to unfavorable conditions and unfair treatment from others (Ps 39:1; Gal 5:5)

 c.      Forebear one another with love (2): 

Accept others’ opinions with love and forebear others’ faults.  Do not treat each other with hate (ref: Mat 18:15-18; Prov 19:11). Everyone may commit wrongdoing, that is why we must forebear each other

 d.      Bond of peace (3): 

Forbearing others is a passive method; seeking after communicating with one another is the direct action of unity.  Communication and fellowship should be sought through peace

 e.      Protection of the Holy Spirit (3):

To achieve unity, we need not only the labor of men but also the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  We must pray so that the Holy Spirit may move in everyone of us giving us power

2.        Seven Criteria for Unity (4-6)

 a.      One body: 

The church is the body of Christ, the place where the Holy Spirit resides.  There is only one body, the church that belongs to God.  We must be united in the body (I Cor 1:13; 12:12-27; Jn 10:16; Eph 1:23)

 b.      One Spirit: 

The church is established by the Holy Spirit.  Without the Spirit of Christ, the church does not belong to Him.  If the church is guided by one Spirit, it will naturally unite (Rom 8:9; I Cor 12:4, 8-11)

 c.      One hope: 

The goal of the church should not be benefits from the world, but the eternal blessings in heaven.  Our hope is to pursue holiness so when the Lord comes again, we may be resurrected and transformed to enter the new heaven and the new earth, to enjoy everlasting happiness

 d.      One Lord: 

Jesus is the only Savior, without Him there is no salvation (Acts 4:12; I Cor 8:5-6)

 e.      One faith: 

The common faith must be according to the strict standard of the Bible.  Salvation can only be obtained through baptism, the Holy Spirit, observing the Sabbath, etc.  These are all provided by the Bible (Titus 1:4; Col 1:25; II Jn 2:9)

 f.       One baptism: 

Baptism is a crucial event for entering the Blessed Gate.  The Bible gives clear reference on the effects and procedures.  There is only one acceptable mode of baptism (Mk 16:16; Gal 3:27)

 g.      One God: 

There is only one True God, He is the Father of all people, He is beyond all of us but is also among us and in us (I Cor 8:4, 6; Acts 17:24-27)

3.        Unification and Growth (7-16)

 a.      Grace and unification: 

The church is one body.  The believers are different members of the body with different functions.  Christ gives different talents to everyone of us to arm us.  Everyone should utilize their talents through serving God in one accord, to stimulate the growth of the church, increase membership, and spiritual growth.  If everyone is working together in harmony and is responsible in their own respect, then the church would make big progress.  There are many different types of blessings such as being a disciple, a prophet, one who preaches the gospel, and pastors and teachers.  These blessings come from the Holy Spirit and is given to each of us according to our needs and our goals (I Cor 12: 8-11; 14:1, 12)

 b.      The growing church: 

We must pursue to grow to the full potential of Christ, filled with spiritual wisdom, virtue, and power.  We must progress fully in the Truth.  Respect the Lord as the King and not allow our flesh to take over us but to let the Holy Spirit fill us.  We must be completely obedient to the guidance of the Lord.  We should speak the Truth with love and be closely interwoven in our actions; helping each other to become a church complete in wisdom, virtue, and love

B.     The Renewal of Life (17-32): 

Take off the old self and put on a new self

Another criteria for the unification of the church is that every member of the body must become a new person.  The church is a spiritual organization, the Lord has changed us and gave us a new heart.  In the beginning when God created man, man had His image and likeness, but after man has sinned, they lose their royalty.  Because men are of the flesh, they are filled with all kinds of evil.  Now through the salvation of Christ, we regained the sonship and became a new person who has received new life (Gen 1:26-27; Eph 4:24; II Cor 5:17; Ezek 36:26; Gal 5:25)

1.        Renewal of the Mind (17-23)

 a.      Do not have a heart of futility: 

To be futile is to be atheist, self-centered, proud and arrogant, and pursuing after whatever one desires.  Such pursuit is vanity.  From now on we must become a new person, do everything accordingly and not be proud, nor pessimistic but be between the two

 b.      Do not do things in the dark: 

Darkness symbolizes sin.  Satan has covered men so that they cannot discern between right and wrong, and tempts them to indulge in the pleasures of the world, to forsake the blessings of God.  They do not know the path of salvation and peace.  Now that they are shone upon by the glorious light of God, their eyes are opened to discern between good and evil.  They are now armed with the spiritual eyesight and see through all of the vanities of the world and know that they will be in heaven with God.  This is the ultimate glory

 c.      Have clear conscience: 

Men were without conscience and allowed their desires to take control of them to sin and feel self-righteous.  Through the renewal of the Holy Spirit, men now have a clear conscience.  The Holy Spirit gave us a new heart, so that our conscience are even more sensitive to abhor evil, to dislike unrighteousness, and to love the truth

2.        Renewal of Our Action (25-32)

 a.      Forsake words of deceit, and speak the truth (25): 

God is true, deceit comes from the devil, not from the Truth.  A deceitful person cannot enter into the heavenly kingdom.  A believer should be sincere and depart from deceit, do not befriend a deceitful person (Jn 8:44; I Jn 2:21; Rev 22:15; 21:27, 8; 14:5; Job 31:5; Ps 26:4; Mat 5:37)

 b.      Do not sin when angry (26): 

It is easy to produce hate through anger; through hate, we may injure each other and cause unfavorable outcomes.  Man is not without weakness, he is fast to anger.  We must learn to control our emotions, even when we are driven to anger, we must find a way to rid ourselves of anger, so that we may not have to suffer the consequences of hate

 c.      Do not give the devil a foothold (27): 

It is easy to be aroused to anger (as in the example of Saul, I Sam 18:7-10), having doubts of the words of God (as in the example of Eve, Gen 3:1-6), being greedy (as in the example of Judah, Jn 12:5-6), and being lustful (as in the example of David and Bathsheba) all are the traps of the devil.  The devil is as a roaring lion seeking men to devour, we should keep up our guard so that we will not fall into the traps of Satan (6:13)

 d.      Do something useful with your hands (28): 

A Christian should be hard-working and not slothful.  Aside from ridding ourselves of bad habits, we must diligently do good to help others.  Do not seek wealth and benefit through illegal means such as stealing, dishonest business practices, and deceitfulness.  We must do all things according to the law and through the help of God, and we will receive abundance to help with the holy work and assist the needy

 e.      Speak words of edification (29): 

Words are the basic lesson a Christian must tame.  They can affect the unity and harmony within the church.  We must not speak any words of bad nature such as words of defiance, condemnation, and filthiness which are not the characteristics of a Christian.  We must constantly speak words of edification such as words of encouragement and comfort, which are words that can help others build up their faith and increase unity

 f.       Do not grieve the Holy Spirit (30-31): 

The Holy Spirit dwells in us to teach us and to help us, giving us power to overcome our flesh and to bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit.  If we resist the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and walk according to the flesh, the Holy Spirit will become grievous and depart.  Do not quench the movement of the Holy Spirit, but through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we may become complete and holy (Rom 7:24-8:1; I Thes 5:19; II Thes 2:13)

 g.      Be kind and compassionate toward each other (31-32): 

A Christian is sealed by the Holy Spirit, he should get rid of all evil such as bitterness—attitudes which cause others to be bitter; rage and anger— not letting go of one’s anger; brawling— constantly arguing; slander— defile others through words; malice—also known as causing harm to others through deceit.  Treat others with kindness, compassion, forgiveness.  Kindness is to treat each other with grace and love.  Having compassion is to have mercy toward others.  To forgive others is to forgive others from the bottom of your heart

VI.  Chapter 5 

Characteristics of a Christian

A.     Imitate Christ (1-21): 

The fullness of God is manifested through Christ, to imitate God is to imitate Christ (Mat 5:45; Rom 8:15; II Cor 4:4)

1.        Beloved Children of Christ (1-8)

 a.      Do everything with love: 

The works of a Christian cannot depend solely on relations with man, our conscience, or responsibility, but it must start from love.  God first loved us, He gave up Christ as a living sacrifice for us.  His love is without reason and is a love of complete sacrifice (I Cor 8:1; 16:14)

 b.      Holiness in deeds and speech: 

Do not commit adultery, things of filthiness, or greed.  Do not speak words of lust and vanity, for it is not in agreement with the character of God or with our status as a Christian.  Do not be rebellious or do deeds of evil, because rebellious or evil person shall receive the wrath of God and will have no part in the heavenly kingdom

2.        Be Children of Light (9-14)

 a.      Fruit of light: 

Living in the light is the most powerful testimony of a Christian.  Christians are the light of the world, we should depart from deeds of darkness and perform deeds of light.  Darkness represents evil but light represents righteousness.  Fruits of light includes mercy, righteousness, sincerity, etc. (Mat 5:14-16; Rom 13:12; II Cor 4:6; I Jn 1:5-7)

 b.      Find favor in the Lord: 

The deeds of a Christian should not depart from God to find favor in men, because the praises of man is not the most important, but rather, it is the consent of God.  We must carefully examine ourselves and be cautious to do things which are favorable to God

 c.      Light can expose all things: 

Where there is light, there will be no darkness.  All of the evil and darkness of man are exposed by the light of Christ.  Men believe they can do good but through the exposure to the light of Christ, men can see all of their filthiness.  Only through the exposure to the true light can darkness be driven away

 d.      Be alert, do not fall asleep: 

Those who are asleep do things in darkness, they should wake up and get rid of the deeds of darkness (Rom 13:11-13)

         C.     Imitate the Wise Man (15-20)

 a.      Be cautious: 

Do not do things blindly, think of the consequences.  If one thinks far ahead, sorrow shall not be near, that is why the wise man is seldom sorrowful

 b.      Utilize time wisely: 

There is a limit to the vitality of man and time; time cannot be turned back.  The wise man utilizes time wisely.  The evildoers today allow themselves to be overtaken by the leisure of the world, and allow time to pass by vainly.  A Christian should uphold the principles and not be affected by these people and utilize more time to do good, preach the gospel, do holy work, and save others

 c.      Know the will of God: 

The goal of our creation is to glorify the name of the Lord.  We should follow His will, ask Him to give us wisdom to ponder upon the true meaning of life, and not be foolish.  His will includes the epic of salvation, He wishes everyone would believe in Him to be saved, and also for everyone to pursue holiness and depart from filth

 d.      Fullness of the Holy Spirit: 

Being drunk represents the pleasures of the world, which cannot fill the heart of man.  A moment of pleasure shall pass away, then sorrow will be upon sorrow.  Only the joy of the Holy Spirit has true value.  The kingdom of God does not emphasize eating or drinking, but rather the joy within the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is the oil of joy, it covers our heart with the love of God.  We should allow the Holy Spirit to take over in our heart, to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, to bear beautiful testimonies (Rom 5:5; 14:17)

 e.      Praise God always: 

Living in the blessings of God we should praise him.  Through the singing of hymns we should voice our love from our heart.  Be thankful always and praise Him always

B.     Words Concerning Spouses (21-33)

1.        One body: 

The relation between spouses is not unequal but rather they must coexist and rely on each other.  To refer to the husband as the head is to describe his role to protect and overlook the body.  The body must then support the head, the stronger the body, the more comfortable the head is

2.        Relationship of love: 

The husband must love the wife, as he loves his own body.  He must maintain and care for her.  The wife must love the husband, giving him support and assistance; because the husband and wife are one body, they should love and care for each other, which in turn will benefit themselves

3.        Christ and the church: 

The relation between the husband and the wife is like the relationship between Christ and the church.  Christ is the head of the church, and the church is the body of Christ.  Christ so loves the church that He gave up His life for it.  The church should be obedient to Christ.  The husband so loves the wife that he can sacrifice anything, and the wife lives for the husband

VII.           Chapter 6       

The Life and Battle of a Christian

A.     Filial Life (1-9)

1.        The Children (1-3)

 a.      Be obedient to the parents: 

Being obedient to the parents is the basic role of the children.  One must obey his parent in the Lord, be obedient only to the extent of the word of the Lord.  If a believer’s unbelieving parents worship the idols, one should not blindly follow them.  Use wisdom and logic

 b.      Be filial to the parent: 

Being filial to parents is one of the ten commandments, it is the first commandment concerning the relationship among mankind, it is the commandment with a promise.  Being filial to one’s parents should be without cause, we should not think of it as a duty as a Christian.  Being filial includes honoring them and taking care of them.  Dishonoring the parents is dishonoring God (Ex 20:12; Duet 5:16; Mat 15:4-6; I Tim 5:4-8; Is 1:2; Lk 15:21)

2.        The Parents (4)

Educating the children is the responsibility of the parents.  The Jews see the father as the head of the family and he carries the responsibility of the religious life of the family.  The mother is an assistant to the father.  Parents should set an example for their children and fulfill the responsibility of educating the children

 a.      Do not anger the children- passive method: 

Do not utilize brute force to make the children obedient to you if you lack good example.  Do not show favoritism toward one child which may cause quarrels among the children.  Do not take out your frustration on the innocent children which causes disharmony in the family.  Do not allow unreasonable discipline to cause the children to lose faith

 b.      Discipline the children by the Lord—active method: 

Teach the children by the Lord, not by the authority of a parent nor trends and philosophy of the world (Prv 22:6; II Tim 3:16-17)

3.        The Servants (5-8)

During the time of Paul there was slavery; although this was not in accordance with the Bible, Paul did not actively urge the abolishment of this practice.  Instead, he emphasized liberation of the spirit and the important relationship between masters and servants, how they should treat each other with brotherly love (I Cor 7:20-24; I Pet 2:18; Phm 16; I Tim 6:2)

 a.      Be obedient with a honest heart: 

To be fearful of the master is an act of respect, one should be honest, to be trusted by the master

 b.      Be as the servant of Christ: 

Do not find favor in the master through superficial actions; rather, start from the heart.  Be willing to serve the master as you would serve the Lord.  Be a loyal servant and the blessing of the Lord will come upon you (ref: Dan 6:22)

4.        The Masters (9)

 a.      The master should treat the servants impartially: 

God does not show partiality to anyone, regardless of their status, God treats everyone equally; giving rewards and punishments to the deserving

 b.      Do not threaten the servants: 

Do not use your authority to take advantage of the servants.  Do not exploit their labor

 c.      There is a Lord in heaven: 

The masters on earth must remember that there is a Master in the heavens also.  The Lord will treat you as you treat your servants (Mat 7:12; Mk 4:24)

B.     The Spiritual Battle (10-19)

The believers are the spiritual army, the soldiers of Christ.  Christ is our commander and the cross is our banner.  Satan is our archenemy

1.        Opponent in Battle:  It is not the men of this world, but Satan

 a.      He is in control and oversees the world of darkness (12; Jn 14:30; I Jn 5:19)

 b.      He is the spiritual wickedness in the air (12)

 c.      He has many schemes as the fiery darts, which includes causing disharmony and temptations (11, 16)

 d.      He brings woes to man (13; Lk 13:11-16; Mat 14-15, 18; Job chap 1-2)

2.        Ways to Victory

 a.      Through the power of the Lord (10): 

Man are with flesh and cannot depend on themselves in this spiritual battle. He need the power of the Lord to become victorious.  The Lord will give us great powers to help us become victorious (Phil 4:13)

 b.      Put on the armor (11): 

Spiritual armory and weapons are important factors for battle

 c.      Resist with all your might (11):

 A Christian should not run away from the challenge of Satan nor should he compromise. We must face the challenge with the bravery of the Lord to resist him, and he shall be driven away (I Pete 5:9)

 d.      Stand firm by the Lord (14): 

Uphold the position of the faith.  Let your faith toward God be immovable.  Do not allow the environment change you.  Believe firmly in the words of God

 e.      Help each other through prayer (18-19): 

The spiritual battles depends on the power received from the Father.  Prayer is the source for power; therefore, we must intercede often to build up a strong wall so the enemy shall have no opportunity to invade.  Only when we are filled with the power received from the Spirit can we overcome the scheme of the devil

3.        Weapons for Battle

 a.      Belt of Truth (14): 

Only when the belt is secured can we have the power to fight the battle.  The Truth means a true object; indeed, the spiritual battle is fought with physical weapons, and with a truthful heart

 b.      Breastplate of righteousness (14): 

The breastplate protects the heart, which is the most important area of the body.  We should do everything according to the will of God, be impartial an just, showing no weakness for the enemy

 c.      The shoes of the gospel of peace (15): 

When a soldier is in battle he should not be affected by thorns or weeds, nor can rocks penetrate his feet because he wears shoes.  The sturdier the shoes the less he will be affected in battle.  A Christian should wear the shoes of the Lord so we may have His protection at all times.  Through us may the gospel be spread out to make peace everywhere

 d.      The shield of faith (16): 

The shield is used to resist the arrows.  The shield must be used to block the heavy artillery of the enemy.  The devil often uses various temptations to force men to deteriorate, or through pride which are all heavy artilleries of the devil.  We must resist through faith, believe in the protection of the Lord and rely on Him, believing He will save us

 e.      Helmet of salvation (17): 

The helmet is used to protect the head.  The head directs all of the activities of the body.  It the head is injured, the body may become numb; thus, the protection of the head is very important.  We should hold up the salvation of the Lord, center our thoughts around Him, and not conform to the ways of the world

 f.       Sword of the Holy Spirit (17): 

The sword is an offensive weapon, it is the deciding factor in battle.  The word of God is a double-edged sword, it can penetrate through any scheme of the devil.  The word of God is also life and spiritual, it can be used to overcome evil to obtain eternal life.  The Truth and the Spirit are one, known as the Holy Spirit of Truth, the word of God is the sword of the Holy Spirit (Heb 4:12; Rev 1:16)

C.     Conclusion (20-24)

1.        Messenger in chains: 

Paul was imprisoned for the gospel and was sent before Caesar; although he was in prison, he still thought about the gospel.  He believed that although men are bound, the word of God can never be bound; thus we must spread the gospel with all our effort

2.        Tychicus was the co-worker of Paul, Paul often asked him to carry messages to the believers to encourage them

3.        The blessing of love (1): 

Peace, love, faith be unto the brethren (2); love the Lord with sincerity and you will be blessed

VIII.        Supplement to the Book of Ephesians

A.     God in the book of Ephesians

1.        The father of all (1:2; 4:6)

 a.      Above all (4:6)

(a)     Power

(b)     Wisdom

(c)     Glory

 b.      Through all (4:6)

(a)     Abide with people

(b)     Living through us

 c.      Dwelling in all (4:6)

(a)     Dwelling in the church (2:22)

(b)     Dwelling in the heart of the believers (1:13)

 d.      Choosing us to be his sons (1:4-5)

(a)     Past - sons of disobedience (2:2-3)

(b)     Present - receive goodness (5:1,8-9)

2.        Source of blessings (1:3; 6:23)

 a.      All things come from him, therefore he is the head of all things (1:22)

(a)     God gave men dominion over all things (Gen 1:28)

(b)     Because men sinned, they lost this privilege (Gen 3:17-19)

(c)     God put all things under Christ’s feet (1:22), therefore through Christ the church may obtain all things (3:19)

 b.      Spiritual blessings from Heaven

(a)     Abundant grace (1:7)

(b)     Spirit of the truth (1:13-14)

(c)     Spiritual inheritance (1:11,14)

3.        Source of  wisdom (1:17)

 a.      Plan of salvation (1:4)

(a)     Before the creation (1:4)

(b)     Completed in Christ (1:5-7)

 b.      Give believers wisdom (1:8)

(a)     To understand the mystery of God’s plan (1:9,7; 3:9-11)

(b)     To understand the wisdom of God (1:17)

(i)       Does not depend on men’s intelligence

(ii)     By the spirit which gives wisdom and revelation

(c)     To understand the blessing of his calling (1:18-19)

4.        Rich in mercy (2:4)

 a.      Merciful toward sinners (2:1-3)

(a)     Sinners are dead in trespasses and sins (2:1)

(b)     Sinners are disobedient sons because of the work of the evil spirit (2:2-3)

(c)     He gives grace to those who believe in him (2:8)

(d)     He wants men to build a relationship with him (2:15-16)

 b.      Merciful toward believers

(a)     Forgive our transgressions (4:32)

(b)     We ought to imitate God and forgive others

B.     Christ in the book of Ephesians

1.        God’s beloved son (1:6)

 a.      He was with God before the creation (1:4)

 b.      His love is beyond measure (3:9)

 c.      Those who believe him will have adoption as sons by him (1:5)

2.        The Savior of the body (5:23)

 a.      He redeemed us with blood (1:7; 2:13)

 b.      Abolished enmity by his death (2:15-16)

 c.      He was raised from the dead (1:20)

 d.      He is seated in the heavenly places (1:20-21)

 e.      He gives hope to the believers (2:5-6)

3.        Head of the church (1:22)

 a.      The church is his body, he is the head of the body (1:23; 5:23)

 b.      We are the members of his body (4:15-16)

 c.      He is the corner stone of the temple (2:20)

 d.      He fills all in all (1:22-23)

C.     Holy Spirit in the book of Ephesians

1.        The promise of the Lord (1:13)

 a.      Descended on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4)

 b.      Dwells in the church (1:23; 2:22)

 c.      Fills the heart of the believers (5:18)

2.        The work of the Holy Spirit

 a.      In our faith

(a)     A seal for the believers (1:13)

(b)     The guarantee of our inheritance (1:14)

(c)     To bring people to the father (2:18)

 b.      In spiritual cultivation

(a)     To enable people to understand the mystery of the gospel (3:5-6; 1:17)

(b)     To strengthen people’s heart (3:16)

(c)     To give the believers a heart of unity (4:3-4)

(d)     To grieve for the believers (4:30)

(e)     The sword of the spiritual warfare (6:17)

(f)      The helper of our prayer (6:18)

D.     Church in the book of Ephesians

The book of Ephesians is a Pauline epistle to the saints in Ephesus.  Paul once pastored at Ephesus for over three years where he admonished them with unceasing tears.  He built a strong bond with them, and he eagerly hoped for the perfection of the church at Ephesus. 

The main theme of this book is the relationship between church and Christ:  the church is the body of Christ (1:23), the church is the house of God (2:11), the church is the temple of God (2:20-21), the church is the bride of Christ (5:22-33).  There is only one body of Christ, one house of God, one temple of God, and one bride for Christ, therefore there must only be one true church of salvation. The church is the Body of Christ, the House of God, the Temple of God, and the Bride of Christ:

1.        Chapter One: 

The Church is the Body of Christ

 a.      Prologue (1:23):

(a)     Christ is the head (5:23), believers are the members of the body (5:30; Rom 12:4-5)

 b.      There is only one body (4:4)

(a)     There is only one body of Christ (I Cor 10:17)

(b)     Though there are many members, there is only one body (I Cor 12:12-13)

(c)     Christ cannot be divided (I Cor 1:13)

 c.      The body of Christ is filled with the spirit of Christ (1:23)

(a)     A body without the spirit is dead (Jam 2:26)

(b)     Without the spirit of Christ, one does not belong to Christ (Rom 8:9)

 d.      How to build up the body of Christ (4:11-16)

(a)     Each member ought to carry out its function (4:11-12)

(b)     Each member has its distinct function (4:11; I Cor 12:8-12)

(c)     Each member must fulfill its duty with diligence (4:12; Mt 25:14-30)

 e.      All members are connected to the head - Christ (4:15)

(a)     Christ is the head of the church (5:23-24; 4:16)

(b)     We must magnify the Lord (Lk 2:46; Ps 16:8)

 f.       Every part does its share to achieve effective work (4:16)

(a)     According to each distinct function, help one another (I Cor 12:20)

(b)     To be united with love and to be established in love (4:15; Col 3:14)

 g.      Grow up to have the stature of a man (4:13-14)

(a)     To have the full measure of Christ (ref. Lk 2:40, 52)

(b)     To avoid the influence of heresies

 h.      Christ loves the church (5:29)

(a)     He protects the church

·         There is peace in Christ (Jn 16:33)

(b)     He cares for the church

·         The true peace that comes from the Lord (Jn 14:27)

2.        Chapter Two: 

The Church is the House of God

 a.      Prologue (2:19):

·         The Church is the house of God (I Tim 3:15).  We were apart from Christ because we were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of the promise (2:12)  Now what a blessing it is to be a member of the house of God.

 b.      How can one become a member of the house of God?

(a)     By the cleansing of the precious blood of Christ (2:13; Heb 10:19)

(b)     Have access by one Spirit to the Father (2:18)

 c.      The house of God is filled with the love of God (3:18-19)

(a)     The width and length and depth and height of the love of Christ (3:18)

(b)     Do all things out of love (5:2; 4:32)

 d.      How one should behave in the house of God

(a)     Do not be the guest, but rather fulfill the duty of a family member

·         Work diligently according to you gift (ref. 4:11-12)

(b)     Obey one another in the order of age

(i)       Wife must obey the husband (5:22)

(ii)     Children must obey the parents (6:1)

(iii)    Servants must obey the master (6:5)

(c)     Make this house prosperous and glorious

(i)       Put off the old man and put on the new man (4:20-24)

(ii)     Be imitators of God as dear children (5:1-2)

(iii)    Walk as children of light (5:8-12)

3.        Chapter Three: 

The Church is the Temple of God

 a.      Prologue (2:20-22):

·         The word “church” does not refer to the physical building/chapel, but it is a spiritual assembly of those people who have been redeemed by the precious blood of the Lord. (Acts 20:28).  The church is God’s temple (I Cor 6:19: 3:16), it is a spiritual temple.

 b.      God abides with his holy temple (2:22)

(a)     The glorious light of the Lord filled the temple in the olden time (II Chrn 7:1-2; Hag 2:20)

(b)     Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor 6:19)

(c)     The true church is the temple of God

 c.      The temple has been built on a solid foundation (2:20)

(a)     It is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets

(i)       The prophets prophesied about Christ, and the apostles also testified for Christ.  The church is founded on the Bible which God inspired the prophets and the apostles to record.  (II Tim 3:16-17; Rom 15:4)

(ii)     The apostles evangelized, and the prophets cultivated the believers by explaining the scriptures (I Cor 14:1).  These two works are the most fundamental work in the establishment of the church (4:11).

(b)     Christ Jesus is the chief cornerstone (2:20; Acts 4:11-12; I Cor 3:11)

(c)     The believers are like a living stone, being built as the spiritual palace (2:22; I Pet 2:5)

 d.      Every “room” works together through God (2:21)

(a)     Deeds - To keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace (4:2-3)

(b)     Holy work - Each member ought to help each other according to its function (4:16)

(i)       Jerusalem is built as a  city that is compact together” (Ps 122:3)

 e.      The function of the temple

(a)     The temple is the house of prayer for all nations (Is 56:7).  Since the church is the temple of God, it ought to be an assembly of prayer.  Paul often prayed and interceded for others (ref. 1:15-16; 3:1,12,14; 6:18-20)

(b)     The temple is glorious (3:21; 5:26-27).  The believers must have good conduct to glorify God (Mt 5:16; I Pet 2:12)

4.        The Church is the New Bride of Christ

 a.      Prologue (Eph 5:22-33):

(a)     In these verses, Paul utilized the relationship between Christ and the church to illustrate how the husband and wife should treat each other; and through the relationship between husband and wife, he described how close the relationship between Christ and the church is.  Christ is the husband, and the church is the wife

 b.      The Church Originates from Christ -The woman originates from man

(a)     We are his flesh and bone(30).  Eve was Adams flesh and bone (Gen 2:21-23)

(b)     The church was bought with the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28; I Pete 1:18-19)

 c.      Christ is the Head of the Church- As the husband is the head of the wife(23)

(a)     One body cannot have two heads, nor can one family have two heads (Col 1:18; ref: Mat 6:24)

(b)     Christ is the head of all people (I Cor 11:3)

**We should respect Christ as the greatest over us (Lk 1:52)

 d.      Christ Loves the Church- As the husband loves the wife (25-26)

(a)     Died for the church (ref: Eph 2:13-18)

(b)     He cleansed the church (I Cor 6:11; I Pete 3:21)

(c)     Protected and cared  (29; ref: Phil 4:6-7)

 e.      The Church Should be Obedient to Christ- As the wife is obedient to the husband (24)

(a)     Be obedient in all things (Jn 14:23-24; Ps 40:8).

(b)     Be respectful (33; ref: Phil 2:9-11)

 f.       Be a GloriousChurch to be Offered to Christ (26-27)

(a)     Have no staining diseases; be without bad deeds (ref: Eph 4:19,22)

(b)     Be holy and spotless- complete and without flaw (Heb 12:14; II Pete 3:14)

(c)     Put on the white linen and await the coming of the Lord (Rev 19:7-8)