Overview: Ephesians


Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. The story of how Paul came to the city of Ephesus is really interesting. You can go read about it in Acts chapter 19. Ephesus was a huge city. It was the epicenter of worship for most of the Greek and Roman gods. For over two years, Paul had a really effective missionary presence there. Lots of people became followers of Jesus. Years later, after being imprisoned by the Romans, Paul wrote this letter. The movement of thought in the letter divides into two really clear halves. In the first half, Paul is exploring the story of the gospel, how all history came to its climax, and Jesus, and in his creation of this multi-ethnic community of his followers. The second half of the letter is linked to the first by the word “therefore”. Here Paul explores how the gospel story should affect how we live every part of our life story, personally, in our neighborhoods and communities and in our families. So let’s dive in and we can see how Paul develops all of this. Chapter 1 opens with a beautiful Jewish style poem where Paul praises God the Father for the amazing things that he has done in Christ Jesus. From eternity past, the father has purposed to choose and bless a covenant people. Think here the family of Abraham and Genesis chapter 12 verses 1-3. Through Jesus now, anyone can be adopted into that family. Jesus’s death covers our worst sins, our worse failures. In Jesus, we find God’s grace. In fact, Paul says that grace has opened up a whole new way for us to understand every part of our lives. He says, in chapter 1 verse 10, that God’s purpose was to unify all things in heaven and on earth under Christ which is a title that means Messiah. God’s plan was always to have a huge family of restored human beings who are unified in Jesus the Messiah. This divine purpose became clear, Paul says, when we were first made into that family. Here he is referring to ethnic Jews in the family of Abraham. But then Paul talks about how you, and here he means non-Jews, you all heard about Jesus and the salvation through him. and you were also brought into this family by the work of the Holy Spirit. Here he is referring to the events told in the stories of Acts about how God’s Spirit brought together Jew and non-Jew into one family in Jesus. It is just like God promised to Abraham long ago. Notice how in this poem Paul begins by talking about God the Father but then about Jesus the Son and then, here the end, about the Spirit. All three work together. As Paul tells the story of the gospel. It is really cool. After the poem, Paul responds with a prayer. He prays that these followers of Jesus would not just know about, but personally experience, the power of the gospel, that they would be energized by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and placed him as the exalted head of the whole world. In chapter 2, Paul goes back and elaborates on some key ideas from the poem in chapter one, especially God’s grace and this new multi-ethnic family of Jesus He begins by retelling the story of how these non-Jewish Christians came to know Jesus. Before hearing about Jesus they were physically alive but they were spiritually dead. They were trapped in a purposeless life of selfishness and sin. They were deceived by dark, spiritual forces of evil. But, amazingly, God in his great love and mercy, he saved them. He forgave all of their sins and he joined their lives to Jesus’ resurrection life. He brought them back to life, too. So now, having been created as new human beings through Jesus, they have the joy of discovering all of the new calling and purposes and tasks that God has set before them. Not only have they been shown God’s grace, they have also been invited into a new family. Before hearing about Jesus, these non-Jewish people were not just cut off from God, they were cut off from his covenant people, the family of Abraham, and for a really practical reason. The commands of the Sinai covenant formed like a boundary line around the family. They were like a barrier that kept most non-Jewish people away. But in Jesus, the laws of the Torah have been fulfilled and the barrier is removed. The two ethnic groups have become, as Paul puts it, “A new unified humanity that can live together in peace.” Paul goes on in chapter 3 to marvel at the unique role that he got to have in spreading this good news to non-Jewish people. Even though he is in prison, he is thanking God for the chance he has had to see this covenant family grow so huge. So Paul closes the first half of the letter with another prayer. This time he prays that Jesus’ followers would be strengthened by God’s Spirit to simply grasp and comprehend the love that Christ has for his people. The second half of the letter begins with Paul shifting gears. He starts challenging the reader to respond to the Gospel story by how they live their own life story. He starts in chapter 4 with just the everyday life of the church. The church is a big family with lots of different kinds of people. But he emphasizes that they are one. One is a key word in this chapter. They are one body that is unified by one Spirit. They have one Lord with one faith. They have one baptism. They believe in one God. It is a lot of unity. However, Paul says unity is not the same thing as uniformity. He goes on to explore how Jesus’ new family consists of lots of very different kinds of people but they are all empowered by the one Holy Spirit, each using their unique talents and passions to serve and to love each other, and to build up the church. Here he uses two really cool metaphors. One is building up the church as a new temple. The second is that they are all becoming a new humanity with Jesus as the head. This new humanity is a metaphor he is then going to run with for the next couple chapters. Paul challenges every Christian to take off their old humanity like a set of old clothes and to put on their new humanity in which the image of God is being restored. He then goes on into this long section where he compares this new and old humanity. Instead of lying, new humans speak truth. Instead of harboring, anger they peacefully resolve their conflicts. Instead of stealing, new humans are generous. Instead of gossiping, they encourage people with their words. Instead of getting revenge, new humans forgive. Instead of gratifying every sexual impulse new humans cultivate self control of their bodily desires. Instead of getting drunk, new humans come under the influence of God’s Spirit. He spells out what that influence looks like in four different ways. The first two have to do with singing. Singing together but also singing alone. This is really interesting that the first thing that Paul thinks of about how the Spirit works in the lives of Jesus’ people is singing and music. The third sign of the Spirit’s influence is being thankful for everything. And the fourth is that the Spirit will compel Jesus’ followers to put themselves underneath others and to elevate others as more important than themselves. Paul actually expands on this fourth point by showing how it works in Christian marriage. You have a wife who follows Jesus. She is called to respect and allow her husband to become responsible for her. The husband is called to love his wife and to use his responsibility to lay down his selfish agenda to prioritize his wife’s well-being above his own. Paul says it is this kind of marriage that is actually reenacting the gospel story. The husband’s actions mimic Jesus and his love and self-sacrifice. The wise actions mimic the church which allows Jesus to love her and to make her new. Paul then applies the same idea to children and parents as well as slaves and masters. Paul closes out the letter by reminding these Christians of the reality of spiritual evil. These are beings and forces that will try to undermine the unity of Jesus’ people and to compromise their new humanity. So Paul challenges them to stand firm and to put on this metaphorical set of body armor which he describes in detail. Paul has drawn all of these pieces of body armor from the book of Isaiah and how Isaiah depicted the messianic king. Now, as the Messiah’s followers, we need to make the Messiah’s attributes our own, since we make up Jesus’ body. Practically I think Paul means for Christians to begin to form habits, proactively using prayer, the Scriptures and our relationships with each other to help us grow and mature as followers of Jesus. That is the letter to the Ephesians Very powerful. It is where Paul summarizes the whole gospel story and how it should reshape every part of our life story.

100 Replies to “Overview: Ephesians

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  2. I loved the video but I was hoping that it would talk about the full armor of god in depth a little bit more. Or a lot more. Maybe I’m it’s own video?

  3. Love Love this! Amazing way to make the Bible easy to understand for just about any age! So proud of my fellow Multnomah Alum! 😊💕👍🏻🙏🏻

  4. I don't like the way you make those arms look in the beginning, I forget the same bible is the book that the white slave masters gave to black people

  5. This is AMAZING!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you and thanks to Randy Alcon at EPM ministries for sharing about your work!!

  6. Plus I'd enjoy hearing you guys do the Quran. And breaking down other religions of other cultures. Do it for us. Do it for your god so the Christians then know the bible is true. But still not be so closed minded to study and compare and contrast. Shit. Idk. You guys are good and smart. I asked a pastor had he ever read the Quran. He said "no". I said "don't talk to me about your Christ if you can't tell me why muslims are wrong"

  7. Ephesians 1 teaches limited atonement. Not universal salvation open to anyone, but "those He chose from the foundation of the world".

  8. I really liked that one, Thank you guys. I love the large overview's of the books. I do not get these over-arching concepts from my Bible studies. I generally dig into the details and completely miss out on the broader context. You are making a big difference in my walk and the way I share the Gospel with others.

  9. Pray for me, i struggle with trusting people I dont know who is in wolf in sheep clothing and who is really following Jesus.

  10. Thank you.. this video has helped me to understand the whole concept of ephesian . I also like the way of presenting visual story.

  11. I am non denominational, I believe that the body of Christ should be unified. I don’t believe that God cares if you’re Methodist, Baptist, or any other denomination, as long as the Gospel is taught and preached about correctly, I believe we should be unified.

  12. Fascinating, like everything I've seen by The Bible Project. Congratulations! But as a Spaniard there's something I don't understand. Why is the Spanish version one minute and a half longer than the English one? Is it because it is assumed that Spanish speakers are dumber than English speakers and therefore have to be spoken to more slowly?

  13. How fortunate I am, to have discovered this amazing channel! Helps a lot in understanding the real text when reading it!

  14. Bro I have a question! Why did john the last apostle praise the the Ephesians for not believing on a so called apostle but was not 1 of them. Who is that so called apostle? Pls reply asap. Its been bugging who this might a wolf in sheep's clothing.

  15. This was a good video and pointed out things I didn't notice the first time reading through. However, I wish you would have covered Ephesians 1:3-6 as well as the many other verses throughout the book that talk about God choosing and predestining us. I don't quite understand what's meant by that. Is it that God knows who will have salvation and who will not? Then why do we have free will? The only thing I can come up with is God loves us and wants us to come to him willfully. Thanks for the great video!

    edit: I guess I'm trying to approach the question from God's perspective, something that I don't have. But I'm still curious if you have any incite on what is meant by these verses (and many others in the book of Ephesians)?

  16. Great job..blessing for your ministry..only request to narrow a bit slowly..when I changed the playback speed a bit..it became very slow…but douable..
    Fast for my daughter..

  17. My brother referred to me as a "theology dealer" earlier, because I hook people up with the Bible Project, Dr. Michael Heiser, and Dan Mohler.

    Keep up the good work! I'm happy to be BP dealer. 😂

  18. Multi-ethnic is an inaccurate word. You should learn more about the New Covenant. Jew and non-Jew doesn't mean ethnicity.

  19. absolutely love this. i am still growing in my relationship with god and trying to get to know his word more. These videos help me a lot to get a better understanding of his word when i read it!! Thank you for these videos and thank you GOD for working through people to show us your amazing word! <3

  20. For a time I attended four different churches. In none of these was there any mention of what the grace of God actually is. It was portrayed as blanket forgiveness. I knew this was not the case and I left all four of these churches. I have experienced the grace of God. It is the removal of the desire to commit sin. The individual supplicant for salvation is set free from that inclination. This only occurs after true repentance where one says from their heart that they hate this behavior in themselves and desperately want to be free of it. Jesus came to save us from our sins and not to just cover them.

  21. Everyone that loves this are awesome! They do a Great job of explaining each Book! Reading the Bible after each Book is explained is intense! I Love it!!! Bible Project is filled with the Holy Spirit! 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽

  22. Love your videos, they are great. Can you make a video of Spiritual War (Efhesians 6,10)

  23. Love the Bible project! Quick question – The word of God is a SWORD, offensive weapon for children of God. Why was it depicted as a scroll in 8:57?

  24. I watch these videos every time i have to teach at my church. This is a major blessing in demystifying the bible. Thank you!!!

  25. Thank Jesus for these guys, I have a big presentation due tomorrow but now it’s no sweat

  26. I can't tell you how much of a blessing I find this to be!!!! Your videos are some of the best summaries that I've ever seen! Just awesome work. Praise God for this ministry and His goodness!

  27. AMEN!!! I’m crying! Thank you god 🙏🏽! I’m changing & getting closer to God! I promise something to God! YOU died for MY SINS!!! How dare I! Forgive me God! Thank you In Jesus Name Amen.

  28. In one of the videos I seen by this organization said at the end of the video it took 1300 people donating to God house for that that made this video possible and when I think of how easy I can just grab my phone and record me making a video I just see how how ridiculous is it all of these people donating money for 2 guys to get in front of my camera and talk about guard it seems to me that God a is not even possible without money that's pretty much what you say in if anything get on the f***** video with out any donations Here in the world we live in these 2 guys are saying Hey you need to give your money to the home as you need to give your money to the unfortunate because societee in the world has gotten so big that every not everyone can owner a house and a family and a job and everything else and so we are to consider that we're living better lives like the rich people in The Bible which Jesus said give all of your riches away and you have people giving money to this which is absolutely free I can put a video on YouTube for free but you know you have people also who believe they're given money to God's cause will bless them more confusion than contradiction than I have ever ever seen like right there in your face

  29. oh my God this is AMAZING! You guys are fantastic thank you so much this is such a great resource

  30. Thank you for clear accessible teaching. There is so much confusing and ill informed teaching on the pastoral epistles, especially on YouTube.

  31. Really good except Jesus didn't fulfill the laws of the Torah meaning it doesn't apply anymore- he expounded its meaning, he magnified the Torah. Otherwise he wouldn't have said he did not come to abolish the Torah in Matthew 5. He paid the penalty for violating the Torah for us all, that doesn't mean we stop obeying His Fathers commandments , God forbid!

  32. Awesome BUT pl slow down so we can digest info n for those whose first language isn't english..God bless yr ministry

  33. ♥️♥️♥️♥️💯💯💯💯💯‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️

  34. ISAIAH 49 – EPHESIANS
    “And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, and made Me a polished shaft; in His quiver He has hidden Me.” (Isaiah 49:2)

    WORDS BY: JESUS

    "Warfare is an aspect in your life which you cannot hide from because you are in a world that involves a battle between light and darkness. How you respond to the battle makes a difference. Being of a carless mind and not putting any thought of the activity happening in the spiritual realm will get you in deep trouble especially when the spiritual has a great impact on the natural. You must understand that many natural circumstances in life are a result of spiritual activity. Many remain blind to this and cast off things to be normal, when in fact they are far from normal. Just because your eyes do not see it does not mean you should remain indifferent. I want you to be alert and ready for warfare, always on guard of what is happening as any good soldier is. This is the fruit of an abider and the maturity I am seeking.

    The enemy will attack through many avenues but one of the strongest points he attacks is through your mind. The mind alone is one of the biggest battlefields because everything is filtered through your thoughts. A thought enters your mind, your heart interprets it and chooses if it agrees with it, and then your body acts out the choice of your heart’s agreement. The thought life can be the greatest snare to humanity which is why having a renewed mind is important. Simple acts such as denying, rebuking and confessing against corrupt thoughts go a long way in the spirit. By the word of your mouth much can be done. Now add the agreement of your heart with this and the miraculous can happen. I have made you like a polished shaft and your mouth like a sharp sword, so having done all to stand, stand!"

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