NEW TESTAMENT SURVEY

Compiled by: Gary W. Summers


   

EPHESIANS

OUTLINE
1. The Benefits and Blessings of Being Part of the Church Over Which Christ is Head, Planned from All Eternity (1-3) 2. The demand for and Means of Achieving Unity (4:1-16) 3. The Call to Purity of Life and the Shunning of Evil (4:17-5:21) 4. Family and Vocational Responsibilities (5:22-6:9) 5. Preparing for Battle (6:10-20) 6. Conclusion (6:21-24)
BACKGROUND
Ephesus figures as prominently in the New Testament as any other locale, with the exception of Jerusalem, which is remarkable since it is first mentioned in Acts 18:19. After Paul had remained in Corinth 11/2 years during part of his second missionary journey, he went to Ephesus where he found 12 disciples who had been baptized with John's baptism (presumably by Apollos) (see Acts 18:18-19:7). Paul remained there three years, and the gospel was heard by all who dwelt in Asia (Acts 19:10). Many think that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians from Ephesus. His work was so effective that books of magical arts valued at 50,000 pieces of silver were burned (Acts 19:19) and Demetrius led a public protest against Paul due to the diminished sales of their idolatrous shrines (Acts 19:23-41). Paul's farewell speech to the Ephesian elders is one of the most crucial in the entire New Testament, in that the nature of preaching is precisely defined (as well as the descriptions and functions of elders (Acts 20:17-38). The Ephesian letter is consistently ranked as one of the most spiritually sublime in all the New Testament. But that lofty letter is not the last communication to these brethren. The instructions concerning the church (qualifications for elders, the role of women in the church, support for widows) written to Timothy was first applied in Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3). Timothy may have still been there when Paul wrote his final letter (2 Timothy). Ephesus is the first of the seven cities addressed in the book of Revelation. Finally, it is thought that John returned to live the last two years of his life there after his exile to the isle of Patmos had ended.
VERSES TO MEMORIZE
1:3 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." 1:22-23 "And He has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." 2:8-10 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us." 4:4-6 "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were 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." 4:16 "From whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love." 4:26-27 "Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath nor give place to the devil." 4:29 "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." 4:32 "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you." 5:8 "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light." 6:10 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." 6:12 "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
KEY PASSAGES
1:1-23 God's purpose for Christ, redemption, and the church were planned from the foundation of the world. 2:11-18 The Jews and Gentiles have been united into one body, which Paul calls the mystery explained (3:1-7); Christ has made peace between Jew and Gentile by breaking down the middle wall of partition between them. 3:4 "...when you read, you may understand my knowledge..." 4:1-6 Christians are to endeavor "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." 4:11-16 Functions in the church and the purpose for them. 5:11 "...have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness..." 5:15-16 "...walk circumspectly...redeeming the time..." 5:19 Purposes for singing (keep this verse linked with Colossians 3:16). 5:22-33 The husband-wife relationship (also Christ and His church). 6:1-4 The parent-child relationship. 6:5-9 The servant-Master relationship. 6:10-20 The Christian armor.

*Send comments or questions concerning this survey to Gary Summers.

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