The Book of Ephesians is to strengthen believers by explaining the nature and purpose of the church, the body of Christ. It was written around A.D. 60 by Paul during his imprisonment in Rome. It was not written to confront any heresy or problem in the churches, but to encourage the churches in the Ephesus area.
In this letter, Paul explains the wonderful things that we have received through Christ and refers to the church as a body, a temple, a bride, and a soldier. These illuminate the unity of purpose and show how each individual member is a part that must work together with all the other parts. In our own life, we should work to eradicate all backbiting, gossip, criticism, jealousy, anger, and bitterness, because these are barriers to unity in the church.
He gives an in-depth teaching about how to nurture and maintain the unity of the church. He wanted to put this information in written form because he was under house arrest in Rome for preaching the Gospel, so could not visit the Church directly. Paul first visited Ephesus on his second missionary journey (see Acts 18:19-21), and his third, where he stayed there almost three years (Acts 19).
The key verses in this book are Ephesians 4:4-6:
(KJV) There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
(RV 1865) Hay un cuerpo, y un Espíritu; así como sois también llamados en una misma esperanza de vuestra vocación. Un Señor, una fe, un bautismo, Un Dios y Padre de todos, el cual es sobre todas las cosas, y por en medio de todas las cosas, y en todos vosotros.
Paul starts off with a wonderful greeting, then reiterates that believers are inundated with God’s kindness, chosen for greatness, marked with the Holy Spirit and filled with power. They are freed from the curse of sin and slavery, and brought nearer to God. Paul then explains the responsibilities of being in the body of Christ, requiring unity and commitment to Him and exercising His spiritual gifts to us while maintaining the highest moral standards and rejecting all pagan practices. For the family, this emphasises mutual submission and love.
Paul then continues by reminding us that the church is in a continual battle with the forces of darkness and must use every God-given spiritual weapon to fight (Ephesians 6:11-18):
(KJV) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
(RV1865) Vestíos de toda la armadura de Dios, para que podáis estar firmes contra las asechanzas del diablo. Porque no solamente tenemos lucha con sangre y carne; sino con principados, con potestades, con los gobernadores de las tinieblas de este siglo, con malicias espirituales en lugares altos. Por tanto tomád toda la armadura de Dios, para que podáis resistir en el día malo, y superado todo, estar en pie. Estád pues firmes, ceñidos los lomos de verdad; y vestidos de coraza de justicia; Y calzados los pies con la preparación del evangelio de paz: Sobre todo, tomando el escudo de la fe, con el cual podréis apagar todos los dardos encendidos del maligno. Y el yelmo de salud tomád, y la espada del Espíritu, que es la palabra de Dios: Orando en todo tiempo con toda oración y ruego en el Espíritu, y velando para ello con toda instancia y suplicación por todos los santos;
Remember, we are one family in Christ, so there should be no barriers, no divisions, no basis for discrimination. We all belong to Him, so we should live in harmony with one another. As Paul points out:
(KJV) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
(RV1865) En el cual tenemos redención por su sangre, remisión de pecados por las riquezas de su gracia,
Please read Ephesians during the week and attend church to hear Pastor Richard Plock’s sermons to examine the meat of the Word! Don’t settle for just milk!