Ephesians tells us who we are in Christ, what we have because of who we are in Christ, and our privileges and opportunities because of who we are and what we have in Christ. Ephesians clearly states that the foundation for living the Christian way of life (CWL) is the believer’s unchangeable relationship with Christ, “in Christ,” called position in Christ or positional truth. Ephesians stresses that the means by which we are to live the Christian life is by becoming equipped, imitate God and live in God’s love, live filled with the Holy Spirit, and put on God’s armor.
Paul begins, in chapter 1, with the place of the church in God's eternal plan with God’s spiritual blessing in Christ. In chapter 2 he then moves to the members of the church and the lost condition in which they were born, then to their new position in Christ and how this new position came about—by grace through faith. At this point, chapter 3, Paul inserts his own relationship to the mystery, the church age. In chapter 4 He then moves to the day to day function of the church, called the worthy walk. To walk worthy believers must be equipped through gifted men and the church body working together. In chapter 5 Paul says to imitate God and walk in love, be filled with the Spirit, have biblical relationships. Chapter 6 continues relationships and concludes with instructions for success in the spiritual war. There are 41 imperatives found in 33 verses.
- Love 20x.
- In Christ 13x.
- In Him 8x.
- In Whom 3x.
- Grace 12x.
- Faith 10x.
- Holy Spirit 11x.
- Church 9x.
- Body 9x.
- Walk 8x.
- Flesh (ethical) 2x.
- Mystery 6x.
- Bless 3x.
- Believe 2x.
- Seal 2x.
- Grieve 1x.
Ephesians chapter titles and word usage
- Chapter 1, Blessings in Christ. Mystery. 1x. Grace 3x. In Christ 5x. Faith 2x. Believe 2x. Holy Spirit 1x. Church 1x. Body 1x. Love 2x. Sealed 1x. In Him 6x. Bless 3x. Flesh (ethical) 2x.
- Chapter 2, By grace through faith. Grace 3x. In Christ 4x. Faith 1x. Walk 2x. Holy Spirit 2x. Flesh 2x. Body 1x, Love 2x. In Whom 2x.
- Chapter 3, The mystery of Christ. Mystery 3x. Grace 3x. In Christ 3x. Faith 2x. Holy Spirit 2x. Church 3x. Body 1x. Love 2x. In Him 1x. In Whom 1x.
- Chapter 4, Equipping the saints. Grace 2x. In Christ 1x. Faith 2x. Holy Spirit 3x. Body 4x. Love 3x. Sealed 1x. Grieve 1x. In Him 1x.
- Chapter 5, Imitate God. Mystery 1xs. Walk 3x. Holy Spirit 1x. Walk 3x. Church 5x. Body 2x. Love 8x.
- Chapter 6, Spiritual warfare. Mystery 1x. Grace 1x. Faith 3x. Holy Spirit 2x. Love 3x.
Ephesians Christian Life Basics
- Ephesians clearly states that the foundation for living the Christian way of life is the believer’s unchangeable relationship with Christ, “in Christ,” called position in Christ or positional truth. Also see 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Romans 6.
- God has provided everything necessary with His “spiritual blessings” in Christ to successfully live the Christian life (Ephesians 1:3).
- Ephesians stresses that the means by which we are to live the Christian life is by becoming equipped through the ministry of gifted men. We are then to imitate God and live in God’s love, live filled with the Holy Spirit, and put on God’s armor. Note Ephesians 3:16-19; 4:1 and 11-16; 5:1-2 and 18; and 6:10-11.
- Note the importance of the terms in Christ, grace, faith, the Holy Spirit, the body of Christ and church, and how we walk (live) in Ephesians for spiritual success in the Christian way of life.
- Paul gives many commands and prohibitions that reflect the Christian life. There are 41 imperatives.
- Ephesians 2.1-10 gives us a context for the seven words as a framework for understanding and applying the Bible—God, man, sin, Christ, grace, faith, future.
Ephesians Christian Life Applications
- We need to learn who we are in Christ and what he has done for us. For example, what has God given me to glorify him and to live a stable and meaningful life?
- Furthermore, we should learn our responsibilities—the dos and don’ts and practice them. How is my attitude? Is my heart responsive or hard to God? Does the Holy Spirit control me? Does my speech show that I am a child of God? Do I understand and follow proper authority? Is God’s love evident in my life? Am I dressed for spiritual combat?
- We should live in a way that matches our relationship with God, and because we are God’s children we should imitate him. Do we imitate him? Do we live worthy of God? Is he pleased with our Christian walk?
- Because God has provided spiritually gifted people to equip or prepare us to serve him and the church, we ought to make this a priority in our lives. Therefore, participate in church. This is the primary place to learn to live the Christian life. Then as we become prepared we should take advantage of opportunities to serve.
- Paul stresses that we are in a spiritual war and we need to be ready and to serve.
Some Christian Life Doctrines in Ephesians
- In Christ-Positional truth
- Spiritual blessings
- Holy Spirit—sealing, indwelling, revelation, power, grieving, filling, word
- The mystery
- Oneness and unity in Christ
- Equipping of the saints
- Spiritual growth
- Christian service and good works
- Hardness of heart
- Do nots
- Imitate God
- Authority and relationships
- Spiritual warfare
- God’s Armor