The Structure of the Epistle as a Whole

A  1:1,2. Epistolary. Salutation.
 B  1:3-3:19. Doctrinal. As to our standing.
  C  3:20,21. Doxology.
 B  4:1-6:20. Doctrinal. As to our state.
A  6:21-24. Epistolary. Benediction.

   1. EPHESIAN is the 2nd of the great text-books of doctrinal instruction for believers in this Dispensation. In Romans is set forth all the truth concerning the standing of the sinner in Christ, as having died and risen with Him. Now we are taken a further stage and taught that the sinner not only died and rose again in Christ, but that he is now in God's sight and purpose seated with Christ in the heavenlies. Romans ends with a reference to the revelation of the Mystery; Ephesians takes up that subject and unfolds it to us. The doctrinal past of Romans ends with the 8th chapter, a chapter on which is built the foundation of the Ephesians truth.

   2. The key-note is struck in the opening words, v.3, which prove that its sphere is heavenly. In it is revealed the "great secret" of this Dispensation of grace, viz. that individual sinners among Jews and Gentiles are being "called out" and formed into "the church which is His body", in which there is neither Jew nor Gentile. And that this church should be "to the praise of the glory of His grace" throughout eternity [2:7], and an object-lesson, so to speak, supramundane rulers and authorities in the heavenlies [3;10], of the glorious purpose [hitherto hidden in God] of Him in "heading up" in one all things in a Dispensation of fullness of times [1:10], having Christ Personal as its glorified Head, and Christ Mystical, the glorified members together with Him of His Body.

   This was the "secret" hid "from the ages and the generations' [as Gr. of Col. 1:26] which Paul was not permitted "to make known to the sons of men" [3:5] until the period of Israel's national probation was closed by the pronouncement of the decree in Acts 28:25-28. But that decree once declared, he is authorized to communicate by "prophetic writings" the secret which had been revealed to him by the Spirit. As truly said by Chyrsostom [died 407 A.D.]; - "these lofty thoughts and doctrines which...things which he scarcely anywhere else utters, he here expounds."

   3. The Structure of the Epistle as a whole shows that the greater part is occupied with this doctrine, - one-half as it concerns our standing, and the rest as it affects our state. Thus showing that sound doctrine is both the foundation and the source of right practices.

   4. DATE. The Epistle was written from prison in Rome, probably about the end of 62 A.D., and, according to Bishop Lightfoot, after the Epistle to Philippians.

   5. THE TITLE. To whom addressed? In some of the oldest MMS. the words "at Ephesus" are not found. And the writings of some of the early Christian apologists that these words were not in their copies. The explanation of the omission is probably that the Epistle was encyclical, and that the space now occupied in the other MMS. at Ephesus was originally blank, so that the names of the various churches to which it was sent could be filled in. From Col. 4;16 we learn that Paul wrote a letter to the Laodiceans. There can be little doubt that this is the one, as was believed by Marcion, an early Christian writer [but one much tinged by Gnosticism]. If Ephesians is not this letter, then an epistle has been lost, which is unthinkable. Colossians was apparently a similar letter to be sent round the other churches [Col. 4;16]. We conclude that [1] no epistle has been lost; [2] Ephesians was addressed not only to "saints at Ephesus", but to other churches also, and therefore is a very special manner to us; and that [3] it comes to us as the second great text-book of believers' doctrine in this Dispensation, and cannot be understood without our knowing the lessons taught by the Holy Spirit in Romans, For Ephesians is built on the foundation of the doctrinal portion of Romans, ending with the 8th chapter.

   6. The city of Ephesus was one of the great commercial centers of Asia Minor, and was situated on the river Cayster, at no great distance from its mouth. Ephesus was chiefly noted, however, for the magnificent temple of Artemis [Diana] , one of the wonders of the word [see Acts 19:27]. The site of the city is now covered with ruins, the only inhabited part being a small Turkish village.




(Ephesian = permitted.)

Ephesians 1)

1 Paul, an apostle (= a messenger, a sent one) of Christ (Gr. Christos = the Anointed One, i.e. the Messiah) Jesus (Gr. Iesous, Heb. Yahshua = Yahaveh's Savior) by the will of God (Gr. Theos, Heb. equivalent to Elohim), to the saints (see Acts 9:13. 1 Cor. 1:2) which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father (Gr. Pater, it denotes His relationship to His "beloved Son"), and from the Lord (Gr. Kurios, used of Yehovah) Christ Jesus.

B  A  C  1:3-14. The purpose of God in Himself concerning Christ personal.
       D  1:15-23. Prayer to God of our Lord Christ Jesus.
        B  2:1-22. Ourselves, the object of these purposes.
   A  C  3:1-13. The purpose of God concerning Christ mystical.
       D  3:14-21. Prayer to the Father of our Lord Christ Jesus.

C  a  3. All spiritual blessing.
    b  4. Measure.
   c  5-. Sonship.
    d  -5,6. Measure.
   e  7-. Redemption.
    f  -7. Measure.
   g  8,9-. Blessing.
    h  -9,10. Measure.
   i  11-. Inheritance.
    k  -11-14. Measure.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Christ Jesus (cp. 2 Cor. 1:3. 1 Pet. 1:3. Always applied to God.), Who having blessed us with every spiritual (see 1 Cp. 12:1) blessing (see Rom. 15;29) in the heavenlies(i.e. heavenly spheres) in Christ:

4 Even as He chose out us in Him before the foundation of the world (cp. 2 Tim. 1:9), that we should be holy and without blame in His sight (see 2 Cor. 2:17) in love: (The phrase "foundation of the world" in the Greek language is "katabole". "Katabole" means overthrow. Satan rebelled God in the first earth age, and he was overthrown. The chosen, God's election, stood with God. They weren't deceived then, and they won't be deceived in the future. They know that antichrist is Satan.)

5 Having foreordained (see Acts 4:28. Rom. 8:29) us to the adoption of children (see Rom. 8:15) by Christ Jesus to Himself, according to the good pleasure (see Rom. 10:1) of His will,

6 To the praise (see Ro. 2:29) of the glory of His grace, which He has made us accepted (= en-graced. Cp. Luke 1:28) in the Beloved. (Cp. Matt. 3:17; 17:5)

7 In Whom we have the redemption (see Rom. 3:24; 5:1) through His blood (the price of the redemption. Cp. Acts 20:28. 1 Cor. 6:20. 1 Pet. 1:18,19,&c.), the forgiveness of transgressions,

according to the riches of His grace;

8 Wherein He abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9 Having made known to us the mystery of His will,

according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself:
10 That in the dispensation (see 1 Cor. 9:17) of the fullness of times He might gather together (to sum up [lit. "head up"]. See Rom. 13:9) in one all things in Christ, which are in the heavens, and which are on earth; in Him:

11 In whom also we obtained an inheritance, having been foreordained

according to the purpose (See Rom. 8:28) of Him who works (see 1 Cor. 12:6) all things after the counsel of His own will: (The Elect are permitted some thing. Being sealed can come in many levels [3]. It is not some mark on you, it is in your mind. God's Word is powerful if you are sealed. Have you known since you were a child that there was more to God's Word than you were being taught?. See 4:29-32.)
12 To the end that we should be to the praise of His glory, who have before hoped in Christ. (The "we" being the saved members of the Pentecostal church closed by the judgment pronouncement of Acts 28:28,26)
13 In Whom you were made an inheritance also, having heard the word of the truth (the Word always the instrument of the new begetting. Cp. John 17:17. Jam. 1:18. 1 Pet. 1:23), the gospel of your salvation: in Whom you also in believing, you were sealed (cp. Matt. 27;66. John 3:33. 2 Cor. 1:22. Rev. 7:3,&c. A seal affixed implies possession, or security, as well as being a distinctive mark. If you have the Holy Spirit in you, you are sealed whether free-will or Elect) with the Holy Spirit of the promise, (See John 16:13, and cp. Acts 1:4, which latter refers to the beginning of the fulfillment of the promise in John 16:13.)
14 (Which is a pledge (See 2 Cor. 1:22. The gift of the new nature [spirit] is a pledge of God's future gifts in the same kind, thus differing from any ordinary pledge. Cp. 1 Pet. 1:4) of our inheritance (See Acts 20:32. Cp. our inheritance here, and His inheritance, v.18) to the redemption of the purchased possession (makes God's promises good, paid in full. See 1 Thess. 5:9. 2 Thess. 2:14. Heb. 10:39. 1 Pet. 2:9. Cp. Acts 20:28)), to the praise of His glory.

D  E1  15-17. The cause [their faith and love] and sum [the knowledge of Him] of the prayer.
   E2  18-23. The effect [their enlightenment] and the elements forming the sum of the prayer.

15 O account of this I also, having heard among you faith in the Lord Jesus (i.e. Jesus as Lord. See Rom. 10:9), and love to all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; (See Rom. 1:9. In a papyrus of 2nd century A.D. the mention of assurance of intercession for a sister in the same words is found in a letter from a soldier. The Seal of God is the Holy Spirit. When spurious messiah appears, there is one seal that keeps Satan away from you.)
17 In order that the God of our Lord Christ Jesus, the Father of glory (cp. 1 Cor. 2:8), may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him:

18 The eyes of your mind (cp. Matt. 22:37,&c.) having been enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, (I.e. to the sonship, vv.4,5; our acceptance as sons in the "Beloved" [Son]. Cp. Gal. 4:5-7)

and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, (Cp. 2:7. Tit. 2:14;&c. Israel will be God's inheritance ["peculiar treasure", Ex. 19:5] on earth. The church which is His body will be His inheritance in heaven.)

E2  L1  18-. Knowledge of the hope of His calling.
    L2  -18. Knowledge of the riches of His glory.
    L3  19-23. Knowledge of the greatness of His power.

19 And what is the surpassing greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, (according to the working of His mighty power (lit. the strength of His might),
20 Which He wrought in Christ, having raised Him from the dead, and sat Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above every principality, and power, and might (Gr. dunamis, from where our dynamite comes from), and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but the coming one also:
22 And put all things under His feet (cp. 1 Cor. 15:27), and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, (Here the "church" of the mystery)
23 Which is His body, the fullness (see v.10. His members "fill up" the body of Christ, and the body of Christ fills up and completes "the dispensation of the fullness of the times") of him that fills all in all). (He fills up all the members with all spiritual gifts and graces.)

Next page