envelop spinner search close plus arrow-right arrow-left facebook twitter

Ephesians 1:1-2:7 The Church

by fol CHURCH on October 11, 2018

Pivotal to understanding Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is the verse 1:10, “to bring all things in heaven and on the earth together under one head, even Christ.”  But this is for the future: …when the times will have reached their fulfilment… v.10.  For now, we who are IN Christ are to exist (to be) for the praise of his glory (v.12).

Paul mentions the word ‘church’ scantily in the letter, but this does not prevent the whole letter being about the Church.  Firstly, the letter is addressed to Ephesus, though deals with no specific problems, which suggests a much wider reach in his audience.  Paul sent this letter in the care of Onesimus, his assistant, who was on his way to deliver a peace-offering letter from Paul to Onesimus’ former slave-master, Philemon; along with a third letter:  Colossians.  Ephesians does touch on some problems of the times for many churches in the area, for instance how to reconcile groups in the church with different worldviews such as gentiles and Jews, which also suggests this was a letter intended for many churches, as this problem applied widely.

Secondly, some commentators have noticed that the first three chapters of Ephesians are structured in such a way as to mirror the pattern of a Christian worship service (to the praise of his glory).  3-14 representing praising; 15-17 praying; 1:19-3:13 preaching; 2:14-19 praying again; and lastly 3:20 praising.

Thirdly, although about the Church, Ephesians’ emphasis is different in chapters 1-3 than in chapters 4-6.  In the latter, the letter focuses on what we might call the horizontal nature of a Christians’ relationships, while 1-3 explores the foundation of those relationships.  This foundation includes all those IN Christ (v.1).  A sobering thought but this means that the strict application of this vertical relationship to God in the horizontal dimension (chapters 4-6) cannot be applied to non-Christians even if they attend church.  Going to church does not make you a Christian.  Believing in Jesus and being confirmed by the spirit: …you were marked with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit (v.13), are the few foundation blocks to join us to his spiritual body, few but indispensable.

In 1:15-end Paul draws a distinction between being 100% sealed by the Holy Spirit and the need to develop into maturity, being in that respect less than 100%: …the glorious Father give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you might know him better (v.17).  Paul implies that in matters of doctrine and faith we are all in a process of maturing and none will be made perfect until the redemption of those who are God’s possession (v.14).

 

 

***

 

 

 

Pray that God will help you as you mature in him.

return to Through The Bible