Letter to the Ephesians

Ephesians is the great Pauline letter about the church. It deals, however, not so much with a congregation in the city of Ephesus in Asia Minor as with the worldwide church, the head of which is Christ (Eph 4:15), the purpose of which is to be the instrument for making God’s plan of salvation known throughout the universe (Eph 3:910). Yet this ecclesiology is anchored in God’s saving love, shown in Jesus Christ (Eph 2:410), and the whole of redemption is rooted in the plan and accomplishment of the triune God (Eph 1:314). The language is often that of doxology (Eph 1:314) and prayer (cf. Eph 1:1523; 3:1419), indeed of liturgy and hymns (Eph 3:2021; 5:14).

The majestic chapters of Ephesians emphasize the unity in the church of Christ that has come about for both Jews and Gentiles within God’s household (Eph 1:152:22, especially Eph 2:1122) and indeed the “seven unities” of church, Spirit, hope; one Lord, faith, and baptism; and the one God (Eph 4:46). Yet the concern is not with the church for its own sake but rather as the means for mission in the world (Eph 3:14:24). The gifts Christ gives its members are to lead to growth and renewal (Eph 4:724). Ethical admonition is not lacking either; all aspects of human life and relationships are illumined by the light of Christ (Eph 4:256:20).

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