Ephesians

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Ephesians



Ephesians is to the epistles what John is to the Gospels: the most exalted and universal
of them all. Paul probably wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon from
prison in Rome around AD 60 or 62. Ephesians seems to be a letter for all the churches in
the region Asia Minor), for it mentions no specific controversies in any local church.
Instead, its topic is universal. Totally universal, in fact: We might call it Paul's
treatise on "the cosmic Christ." Ephesians, like life, is really only about one thing:
Christ. But we can distinguish at least 12 sub themes.


The Epistle to the Ephesians, along with those letters to the Philippians, the Colossians,
and Philemon, is a Christological Epistle. Careful examination unfolds the grandeur and
the glory of the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. While it is true that this book
of six chapters is a treatment of the design and destiny of the Church, we must be careful
to observe that the Church has her calling and consummation “in Christ.” All of her
blessings are in Him. All of the purposes of God toward the Church are related to the Lord
Jesus Christ, so that the Church, in its calling as an organism and in its conduct as an
organization, is seen from the Christocentric standpoint. The most significant phrase in
the epistle is made up of the two words, “in Christ.” If one is not “in Christ” he can
know nothing experientially of these “spiritual blessings.” The doctrinal teaching of
this epistle is very little more than a development of the single expression, ‘in Christ.’
Except a man is “in Christ,” he can claim none of the blessings of God as his redemption
rights. We cannot by-pass Jesus Christ to get to God.


The letter states that it is from Paul, writing from prison, however some commentators are
not convinced due to it's difference in style, different use of words (such as 'church'),
and theological differences from other Pauline letters. Due to these controversies, the
date of the authorship of this letter is not clear, although it was probably written
before 95 AD, perhaps as early as 62 AD. If it wasn't written by Paul himself, it was
certainly written by a Jewish Christian who was a devoted admirer of Paul.


The book does not have the form of a letter in the strict sense, since it does not address
any local issues or problems, or a particular groups of Christians. It may have been a
compilation of Pauline texts designed to introduce Pauline theology, and as such were
circulated to a number of churches for teaching.


Ephesians is almost definitely a later expansion of Colossians, since they are so similar
in structure and theology, but quite different from Paul's earlier letters; Ephesians was
probably written to serve as a "cover letter" for an early collection of Pauline letters.
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