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Eph, overview

Author: Paul

Time: AD 61

Summary: The letter is divided into two sections. The first outlines the spiritual riches in Christ and our part in God's eternal purpose; in the second section, Paul discusses practical ways in which we can fulfill God's purpose. The intent was to illustrate the abundance of spiritual riches that Christ himself received or would receive -- grace, glory, mercy, immortality -- and to foster the incentive to walk as Christ himself did. By doing so, believers would learn to walk worthy of their calling. It is thought that this letter was a circular letter, intended for other churches in addition to the one in Ephesus.

Key verse: "God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace" (Eph 2:6,7).

Outline

1.
Greetings: Eph 1:1–2



2.
Spiritual blessings in Christ: Eph 1:3–23

a)
The divine purpose: Eph 1:3–14

b)
Prayer that Christians may realize God's purpose: Eph 1:15–23



3.
Steps toward the fulfillment of God's purpose: Eph 2–3

a)
Salvation of individuals by grace: Eph 2:1–10

b)
Reconciliation of Jew and Gentile through Christ: Eph 2:11–22

c)
Revelation of God's wisdom through the church: Eph 3:1–13

d)
Prayer for deeper experience of God's fullness: Eph 3:14–21



4.
Practical ways to fulfil God's purpose: Eph 4:1 – 6:20

a)
Unity and maturity: Eph 4:1–16

b)
Renewal of personal life: Eph 4:17–5:20

c)
Consideration in personal relationships: Eph 5:21 – 6:9

d)
Strength in spiritual conflict: Eph 6:10–20



5.
Conclusion and final greetings: Eph 6:21–24

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