Ephesians


Overview


I. Introduction

The letter to the Ephesians stood as a unique book in the New Testament canon. It stressed the unity of the Church in terms of the Risen Christ's omni-presence; the community of believers gathered to worship the Lord who "filled all things" (Eph 1:23, Eph 4:9). Its author saw his role as the minister who proclaimed a mystery hidden in the past, but now revealed to an immoral world. Its message challenged the faithful to a morality higher than that of general culture.

II. Dating: 70-100 CE

In many ways, the letter to the Ephesians summed up many Pauline themes and showed a clear dependence on Colassians. In terms of Christology, it announced the unity of all things in Christ (Eph 1:10, Col 1:15-20, Heb 2:5-8), proclaimed the exhalation of Christ to the right hand of the Father (Eph 1:20-23, 1 Cor 15:23-25) and anticipated the Second Coming (Eph 2:4-7, 1 Thes 4:13-18). In ecclesiastical, terms, the letter declared Christ as the head of the Church (Eph 1:22, Col 1:18) as in the cultural expectations of marriage (Eph 5:23, 1 Cor 11:3); it pointed to unity within the Body of Christ (Eph 4:1-6, Eph 4:15-16, 1 Cor 12:12-13) bound by a hierarchy of offices/charisms (Eph 4:11-13, 1 Cor 12:28); finally, it likened the Church to the Temple of God (Eph 2:21-22; 2 Cor 6:16; cf. 1 Cor 3:16-17). In doctrinal issues, it proclaimed salvation through grace realized in faith (Eph 2:8-9, Rom 3:23-25; Gal 2:15-16) and declared predestination for adoption (Eph 1:5-6, Eph 1:11, Rom 8:29-30) through forgiveness of sins (Eph 1:7, Col 1:13-14). In moral issues, it exhorted the faithful to a changed life (Eph 4:17-23, Eph 5:3-12, Col 3:5-17, Rom 13:13-14), handed out practical advice for clan living (Eph 5:22-6:9, Col 3:18-4:1) and urged all believers to put on the armor of God (Eph 6:10-18, Rom 13:12). Yet, Ephesians showed further development of thought in three areas: the self-description of Paul, unique growth of themes in Christology and a changing identity of the Church.

The author identified himself as Paul "in chains" (Eph 3:1, Eph 4:1, Eph 6:20) who proclaimed the Good News built upon "the apostles and the prophets" (Eph 2:20, 4:11). He defined himself as a minister to the mystery of Christ (Eph 3:1-5, Col 1:24-27, Rom 16:25-26, 2 Cor 2:7-8). Yet, he didn't identify himself as an apostle, instead treating the leadership from an implied distance, even in the past. He did not mention any struggle to assert authority as Paul did in Galatians, First and Second Corinthians and Romans. Indeed, he considered himself "the least of the saints" (Eph 3:8) not "least of the apostles" (1 Cor 15:7).

Paul did envision Christ as more than a mere man. He used "Lord" (a term used for YHWH exclusively in the Hebrew Scriptures) 51 times in his letters: 15 times for Old Testament quotes, 23 times either for God or Jesus, 13 times specifically for the Risen Christ. In 1 Cor 8:6, he stated, "...there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we live, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we live." Notice he saw creation as oriented towards God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, Christ shared in the divinity of the Father in terms instrumentality; the Risen Jesus was Lord because he was the conduit of divine will to the cosmos and the prayers of the faithful to the Father.

Paul saw an expansion of that thought in liturgical hymn of Phil 2:6-11. Christ "was in the form of God" and revealed that Lordship not in power but in his self-emptying, being born into the world ("in the form of a servant") and dying on the cross. Because of his actions, he was raised up by the Father to glory above anything else in the universe. He revealed his role as the conduit of divine will through his self-emptying.

Col 1:15-20 took this thought a step further. Christ was an active instrument in the act of creation. As the "firstborn of all creation," he created all things, spiritual and physical, and presently held everything together. Thus, he had the divine power because the "fullness of God was pleased to dwell in him." He fully revealed his instrumentality on the cross where he "reconciled all things."

Christ, the divine instrument of creation, emptied himself to become a human and obediently died on the cross to reconcile everything in the cosmos to God the Father. Because of that revelation, he ascended to glory in heaven. But, what did that "ascension" really mean? The author of Ephesians answered that question in terms of transcendence; Christ "fills all in all" (Eph 1:23) and "ascended...that he might fill all things" (Eph 4:9). In other words, Christ ascended from a human in a particular place and time to a reality that entailed every place and all time. He shared in the divine property of "omni-presence."

The author of Ephesians connected Christ's ascendant omni-presence with the notion of Church. He stated that, not only did the community of disciples reveal the ever present reality of the Risen Lord, it partook in that reality. Christ was the "head of the Church, which is his body, the fullness of of him who fills all in all" (Eph 1:22-23). As an extension of Christ, the Church revealed the divine will even to the spiritual powers (Eph 4:10) and would share in his glory at the Second Coming (Eph 1:14). Indeed, the author prayed the community experience the "fullness of God" in Christ (Eph 3:14-19); notice that fleeting moment of ecstasy lacked any of the charisms found in 1 Cor 12:8-10 or Rom 12:6-8. He clearly focused on omni-presence as the spiritual vision and goal of the community.

The author also implied a resolution to the controversial struggles between Jewish-Christian leaders and Gentile neophytes. Eph 2:11-22 presented former pagans who joined the community of believers, united in the Christ who reconciled Jew and Gentile. He treated the infighting between the camps like he did the apostleship of Paul in the that controversy, as something already resolved.

Ephesians encapsulated many Pauline themes and repeated a few exhortations from Colossians in greater detail. Yet, it showed a distance from the undisputed letters of Paul; it also revealed some unique thinking about the place of the Risen Christ in the cosmic order and the community's experience of the Lord Jesus. For those reasons, I hold Ephesians was written sometime after Colossians.

III. Structure

The overall structure is ABCCBA. Both central divisions are ABBA.

A. Step A1: Salutation (1:1-2)

B. Step B1: Divine initiative and resulting praise (1:3-14)

C. Step C1: Unity in the Church (1:15-3:21)

1. Chiasmus 1a: Divine initiative in the lives of the faithful (1:15-2:10)

2. Chiasmus 2a: Unity in the Church (2:11-22)

3. Chiasmus 2b: Paul's place in evangelization (3:1-13)

4. Chiasmus 1b: Prayer for ecstatic experience in the community (3:14-21)

D. Step C2: Living as Christians (4:1-6:9)

1. Chiasmus 1a: Church unity based upon the Transcendent Christ (4:1-16)

2. Chiasmus 2a: The new lifestyle of the Christian (4:17-32)

3. Chiasmus 2b: Living as "children of the light" (5:1-20)

4. Chiasmus 1b: Unity in the Christian clan (5:21-6:9)

E. Step B2: God's blessings as armor for the end time battle (6:10-20)

F. Step A2: Farewell (6:21-24)

IV. Synopsis and Commentary

A. Step A1: Salutation (1:1-2)

The author gave a short salutation to his audience. Most manuscripts listed the community at Ephesus as the recipients. However, Col 4:16 instructed the faithful to send its contents to the church Laodicea and the second century CE canon of Marcion listed a letter from Paul to the Laodiceans. Was Marcion's "letter to the Laodiceans and Ephesians the same epistle? In other words, did the author intend the letter to circulate among the churches in the region? That possibility is highly speculative, but this demonstrate that scholars through the history of the church have questioned Paul's authorship of Ephesians.

B. Step B1: Divine initiative and resulting praise (1:3-14)

The author began his doxology in typical Jewish fashion with a berakhah, a blessing God for his gifts. Notice he specifically identified God as the "Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" to highlight the object of Christian worship in liturgy; that divinity was the source of all "every spiritual blessing in heavenly places" (Eph 1:3).

What did those gifts include? In his plan for creation-salvation ("before the foundation of the world"), God chose a blame-free people ("holy and unblemished" like the sacrificial lambs at the Temple) due to his love for them (Eph 1:4). He freely predestined the community for adoption as sons (in the collective sense) through the salvific activity of his Son (Eph 1:5); believers centered their worship upon the Father's gift of Christ's death and resurrection ("to the praise of the glory of his grace" where the "grace" was the salvation event; Eph 1:6). As a result of Christ's death on the cross, Christians had "redemption through his blood" and the forgiveness of their sins, both of which believers found in overflowing and which could only be heaven sent (in the divine "wisdom and insight"; Eph 1:7-8).

Why did God give those gifts? The Father chose an innocent people and adopted them as his own sons, redeeming and forgiving them for one purpose, as a revelation pointing towards the last days. In Christ, he showed the Church "the secret of his will," that, "in the fullness of time," his Son would rule over all creation ("to head up all things...in heaven...and on earth"; Eph 1:9-10).

How should believers respond to these gifts? Here, the author summarized the gifts ("an inheritance" of adopted sons and "predestined" for eternal life; Eph 1:11) to emphasize the purpose of the early community ("first to hope in Christ") as a liturgical gathering (Eph 1:12). In fact, the journey of neophytes into the Church (hearing the "word of truth," responding in faith and being baptized or "sealed with the promise of the Spirit") was itself an act of worship ("to the praise of his glory"; Eph 1:13-14).

The passage above described divine initiative and the response of believers, both in the context of liturgy. God the Father sent his Son into the world to die and rise as a means of salvation; as a result, the Son empowered his followers to enter into the divine clan as adopted children. God gave gifts of grace, the faithful responded in praise, thus creating a dialogue of worship. Notice Ephesians emphasized liturgy, not evangelization, implying a shift from outreach to maintenance of the local community in the face of opposition.

C. Step C1: Unity in the Church (1:15-3:21)

1. Chiasmus 1a: Divine initiative in the lives of the faithful (1:15-2:10)

1:15-21 marked off a long sentence that described the author's prayer for the community. Based upon the believers' faith and hospitality (Eph 1:15), he gave thanks and prayed (Eph 1:16) for their spiritual growth ("wisdom and revelation"; Eph 1:17) in hope and the witness of power. First, God gave believers hope when he called them to faith (Eph 1:18). Second, God demonstrated divine power for the sake of believers (Eph 1:19) when he raised Christ from the death and exalted him in heaven over every spiritual being, both now and at the end of time (Eph 1:20-21). By raising Christ higher than anything else in creation ("put all things under his feet"; an allusion to Psalm 8:6), God also raised up the community of the Lord's disciples as a representative for all creation ("his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all"; Eph 1:22-23).

2:1-10 detailed a "before and after" view of the believers, emphasizing moral metanoia. The author described life before conversion as death "in sin" and an existence under demonic forces which caused one to act out in base ways ("in the cravings of the flesh"; Eph 2:1-3). The author then detailed life after joining the Church as a result of divine initiative, saving former sinners and graciously exalting them to the status of his Son, which would come to light in the final days (Eph 2:4-7). He reemphasized the divine initiative; salvation was a gift from God, not something people could accomplish by their own "works" (Eph 2:8-9). In fact, any good deeds Christians performed were part of the divine plan for salvation God prepared at the beginning of the world (Eph 2:10).

2. Chiasmus 2a: Unity in the Church (2:11-22)

2:11-22 presented a new "before and after" view of the believers, this time bridging the ethnic divide. The author described the alienation of Gentiles from Jews, the former he called the "uncircumcision" while the later he called the "circumcision performed in the flesh" (Eph 2:11). The physical mark created a spiritual and historical rift between the two; the Gentiles lacked the Messiah, fellowship with the Jews, the covenant of the Chosen People and, thus, any hope for a relationship with YHWH (Eph 2:12). But, Gentiles now shared divine intimacy ("brought close by the blood of Christ"; Eph 2:13) because Christ died, thus nullifying the precepts of the Law; as a result, he tore down hostility, made peace between the opposing camps and reconciled both to God (Eph 2:14-16). With the power of the Spirit, he proclaimed the Good News of God's peace to Gentiles ("those far off") and to the Chosen People ("those near"); to achieve that peace, he implicitly gave the Spirit to believers, whether non-Jew or Jew (Eph 2:17-18).

The author emphasized that peace with two metaphors. First, the Gentiles were now full members in God's clan, with full rights along with Jews. Second, as members of the Church, they were now part of the divine Temple. Its edifice was built upon "the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone" (Eph 2:20); those in Christ fit into a structure in which the Spirit dwelt (Eph 2:21-22; 2 Cor 6:16; cf. 1 Cor 3:16-17).

Note the phrase "foundation of the apostles and prophets" in 2:20 implied completed activity, thus hinting the age of evangelization had passed to a time of local community maintenance. Indeed, scholars have pointed to the lack of any tension in Ephesians that existed between Paul and other leaders in the Church of the 50's CE over the term "apostle," thus indicating an authorship after the death of the apostle.

3. Chiasmus 2b: Paul's place in evangelization (3:1-13)

In 3:1-13, the author addressed Paul's place in the transmission of the Good News. The apostle received a revelation both as the benefit of insight and as a responsibility to disseminate ("the stewardship of God's grace"; Eph 3:1-3). He passed along his gospel ("insight into the mystery of Christ"), insisting this was the same message revealed in later days to "the apostles and the prophets" (the phrase for leadership found in 2:20; Eph 2:4-5). Then he equated that mystery to his thesis that Gentiles had an identical standing to that of the Jew in the community; in other words, the Good News meant that Gentiles and Jews were equals (Eph 2:6).

The author described Paul's ministry as a "gift of God's grace" performed in God's power (Eph 3:7). While least among the saints (not the apostles, 1 Cor 15:7), Paul preached to the Gentiles the "unsearchable riches of Christ" and the divine plan "hidden for the ages" in God the creator (Eph 3:8-9), so that the "manifest wisdom of God" might be revealed to powers both earthly and heavenly through the activity of the believing community (Eph 3:10). Notice the author delineated the path of revelation: first through Christ, then through evangelists like Paul and the apostles, then through the faith life of the community and finally to the world. According to the author, God intended revelation to flow in this direction ("the eternal purpose"; Eph 3:11). So, the community, exalted in status, could pray in "boldness" and "confidence" (Eph 3:12). Hence, the community should not lose heart over Paul's imprisonment, since his condition was "for their glory" (Eph 3:13).

Note the self understanding of the community implicit in the passage. The Church moved from an evangelistic mode into a more isolated, triumphalistic one. It was less an assembly in the world, trying to change the world, than one which rose above the world, seeing itself closer to God. This move was another hint in the letter was written in the post-apostolic era when Christians faced cultural opposition and prejudice.

4. Chiasmus 1b: Prayer for ecstatic experience in the community (3:14-21)

As the author began this chiasmus with prayer in 1:15-21, he returned to petition in 3:14-21. He entreated the Father of all peoples (Eph 3:14-15) to strengthen them with the Spirit (Eph 3:16) so their faith understanding and mutual love could grow to see the "big picture" of God's vision. That expanding understand ("the breadth and length and height and depth") was actually rooted in an ineffable, intimate love Christ had for his disciples that filled them "with all the fullness of God" (Eph 3:17-19). In other words, the author prayed the community would experience ecstasy.

The author ended the prayer with his own insight into that ecstatic experience. He gave glory in the church and in Christ who formed the community to the God that outstripped any desire or petition of the faithful (Eph 3:20-21). Again, notice the liturgical bent of his petition ("in the church"; 3:21).

D. Step C2: Living as Christians (4:1-6:9)

1. Chiasmus 1a: Church unity based upon the Transcendent Christ (4:1-16)

For the second time (3:1, Eph 4:1), the author referred to Paul as a prisoner in an exhortation for unity. He urged peace through a moral lifestyle ("live in way worthy of your calling"; Eph 4:1) and patient humility ("bearing one another with love"; Eph 4:2), in other words, to live together as a Spirit-filled community (Eph 4:3).

The author presented unity as an ideal as a singularity, a concept that resonated in a neo-Platonic culture that viewed God as the "One." In Eph 4:4-6, he used the word "one" seven times, both emphasizing the divine source of Christian unity and the fullness of that unity (in Jewish numerology, the number seven represented completeness or totality). "...one body...one Spirit...one hope of (divine) calling...one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all..." Notice the author expressed not only the singularity of the monotheistic God he worshiped; he also stressed the "oneness" of the community, its doctrine and practices. Local churches might exist in different places, but they all shared in this unity. The author insisted the individual believer partook in the unity ("grace") based upon God's will ("according to the measure of the gift of Christ"; Eph 4:7).

The author rooted unity in transcendence. He quoted a variation on Psa 68:18 (not found neither in the Masoretic text nor in the Septuagint), where the ascendant (implicitly Christ) gave gifts to all, instead of receiving tribute from loyal subjects (as the original text stated; Eph 4:8). As an aside, he either implicitly argued for the Incarnation, where the "One" of heaven came down to live among earthlings, or he argued for a "descent into hell," the Christian belief that after the Crucifixion, Christ went to the realm of the dead ("Hades") to announce the Good News and save the righteous. In either case, the descent-ascent emphasized the transcendence of Christ who "filled all things" (Eph 4:8-10).

Just as Christ was one, the author insisted, all things associated with him shared in this unity. Those who ministered to the community took part in that singularity based upon their leadership role. Compare the hierarchy of ministries in Eph 4;11 which emphasized church office to that of 1 Cor 12:8-10 which stressed charisms. While both letters rooted diversity of service to the unity of source (transcendence of Christ in 4:1-10 vs. the Spirit in 1 Cor 12:4-11), Ephesians subtly shifted the emphasis away from the free-wheeling gatherings described in First Corinthians to a more orderly assembly of believers with a nascent power structure.

The author focused the work of ministry not upon evangelization, but upon the continual realization of the Christ's transcendence in the community. He described this ongoing faith growth in terms of maturity. Ministry "built up the body of Christ, until we all attain the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God...attaining the measure of Christ's full stature" (Eph 4:12-13), in other words, until believers could see Christ in all things. Those rooted in such a mature outlook would not fall prey to the latest theological whim or trick of the deceitful (Eph 4:14). Instead, they would grow closer to Christ and others in the community based upon mutual affection (Eph 4:15-16). Implicitly, the author argued that the faith life of the Church itself evangelized; proclaiming the Good News directly to the pagans became a secondary activity.

2. Chiasmus 2a: The new lifestyle of the Christian (4:17-32)

In 4:17-24, the author turned to the "outsider" and "insider" view of the Christian (which paralleled the "before" and "after" passages of 2:1-22). He described life as a journey ("to walk throughout life") and urged his audience not to follow the path of the "outsiders" (pagans in Eph 4:17) who lacked understanding due to a hardness of heart (Eph 4:18) and led to life of self-centered sensuality (Eph 4:19). Instead, he urged the "insiders" who learned about Christ (Eph 4:20-21) to reject the old ways ("the old self" in Eph 4:22) and adopt the higher morality of the community ("renew the spirit of your minds and put on the new self created after the likeness of God...", Eph 4:23-24).

In 4:25-32, the author turned to the practical matters of Christian ethics. He told believers to speak truth to their neighbor ("truth" either as being forthright or as the Good News) since they shared a relationship in the community (Eph 4:25). The faithful should temper their anger and not hold a grudge (Eph 4:26-27). They should correct the thief, encouraging him to support himself so he, too, could be charitable to the needy (Eph 4:28). They should control their tongues, not speaking "corrupting" words that led to bitterness, anger, wrath, infighting and slanderous talk (Eph 4:29-31); instead, they should forgive with compassion, in the same way God forgave them (Eph 4:32).

3. Chiasmus 2b: Living as "children of the light" (5:1-20)

The author encouraged his audience to "imitate" God as his children, making the journey of life as an act of worship, just like Christ's self offering on the cross (Eph 5:1-2). Notice the liturgical overtones of the sentiment.

In 5:3-5, the author created a small chiasmus. On the "A" step (Eph 5:3, Eph 5:5), he placed sexual immorality and greed, even equating the later as idolatry. (Note lust and greed arise out of uncontrolled desire; both turn one's attention from God so could be seen as "idolatry." The author could have implicitly connected both desires with temple prostitution which the pagans practiced at the temple of Aphrodite in Corinth.) On the "B" step (Eph 5:4), he mentioned off-color comments or jokes. Thus, he connected what some in the community tolerated (crude comments) with that which it would find unacceptable (sexual immorality and greed). In essence, the author made a "slippery slope" moral argument.

In 5:6-14, the author warned believers to remain faithful by comparing them to false teachers. He urged his audience to reject the deception of the "sons of disobedience" (Eph 5:6-7) and to journey in life as "children of the light" (Eph 5:8). (Notice the similarity of the phrases with those found in the "War Scroll" of the Dead Sea Scrolls; echoes of an apocalyptic battle between "sons of darkness" and "sons of light" will return in the preparation for spiritual battle, Eph 6:10-18). The author directed believers to walk towards the good ("all that is good and right and true"; Eph 5:9), discern the will of God (Eph 5:10) and correct the sinner (expose "the unfruitful works of darkness"; Eph 5:11), thus shaming him (the "light" metaphor of Eph 5:12-13). He ended the comparison with a hymn that possibly existed in the early Church: "Rise up, sleeper. Stand up from the dead and Christ will cast light on you" (Eph 5:14). Note the imperative to rise/stand meant both conversion and resurrection; in both cases, the faithful would bask in the visual glory of the Risen Christ when, according to Christian belief, evil would flee.

In 5:15-20, the author urged wisdom in an environment he considered evil (Eph 5:15-16). Instead of drinking to excess, he encouraged a lifestyle that centered on and imitated liturgy (quoting and singing psalms, thus living in an attitude of thankfulness; Eph 5:17-20). In other words, he expected what happened in the community gatherings to split out into the daily lives of individual Christians.

4. Chiasmus 1b: Unity in the Christian clan (5:21-6:9)

While Eph 5:21 was a participial phrase connected to 5:18-20, it marked a shift in subject from a liturgical lifestyle to the question of "submission" or, in other Pauline letters, the principle of deference. The author insisted community members show deference to each other. How did that principle play itself out in the daily lives of Christians?

The author addressed the basic unit of ancient society, the clan. He exhorted wives (representing the female members of the household) to submit to the authority of their husbands, casting such deference in theological terms ("...Christ is the head of the church..."; Eph 5:22-24). In a chiasmus, he exhorted husbands to love their spouses (step "A"; Eph 5:25, Eph 5:28) as a revelation of the community's belief ("Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her "), liturgical practice ("...cleansed her with a washing of water by the word.."; in other words, baptism) and apocalyptic expectation ("...he may present the Church to himself as glorious..."; altogether step "B" in Eph 5:25-27). The husband's love of spouse was akin to his love of self (Eph 5:28) and even that self-regard echoed the mystery of unity within the Body of Christ (even citing Gen 2:24; Eph 5:29-32). Eph 5:33 summed up the relationship between spouses.

Turning from marriage, the author focused upon the relationship between the patriarch and members of his household. Children of the clan leader should obey the patriarch (citing Exo 20:12 and Deu 5:16 from the Ten Commandments; Eph 6:1-3). Patriarchs should lead with proper Christian instruction and a firm hand but avoid anger (Eph 5:4). Servants should heed the patriarch with same sincere fervor they obey Christ, for their service could implicitly evangelize others in the house and their reward will be the same as the freed believer (Eph 6:5-8). Just as with rule over his own progeny, the patriarch must treat his servants with respect ("giving up the use of threats") for both master and servant serve "the same master in heaven, who has no favorites" (Eph 6:9)

E. Step B2: God's blessings as armor for the end time battle (6:10-20)

In 1:3-14, the author reminded his audience of the blessings God poured upon them in Christ. Now, he addressed the question their use. He saw blessings as spiritual armor that strengthened the believer for the final battle against evil forces. Notice the small chiasmus of the whole armor of God (step "A" in Eph 6:10 and Eph 6:12) that prepared the faithful for the end time struggle (step "B" in Eph 6:12). He continued to describe parts of that armor to help the believer stand firm: the belt of truth, the breast plate of right living, the leggings of peace to walk the journey of life, the shield of faith to deflect the "flaming arrows of the evil one," the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:14-17). He stated that constant prayer in the Spirit, especially for fellow Christians, and an alert attitude prepared one for that spiritual battle (Eph 6:18); he even asked for personal prayers related to his ministry "in chains." (Eph 6:19-20).

F. Step A2: Farewell (6:21-24)

In his farewell, the author sent Tychicus as his letter carrier and representative. He called the man "a beloved brother and faithful servant in the Lord" (like the two titles given to the man in Col 4:7; Eph 6:21). Tychicus would not only inform the faithful but give them moral support (Eph 6:22).

The author ended the letter with a wish for divine peace and love; he also wished grace upon those who loved the Lord (Eph 6:23-24).

V. Conclusion

Ephesians painted a breathe-taking vision of Christ and the role of the Church in the divine order. Because of that vision, it urged believers to act on a higher moral plane. Its author saw himself and all evangelists as those promoting that vision and its implications for the faithful.

Sources

Stergiou, Costas. TheWord.net. Computer software. Vers. 5.0. TheWord.net. 2015. 2015 <http://theword.net/>.

NET Bible. theWord.net module. The NET Bible. 2015 <https://netbible.com/>.

Novum Testamentum Graece. theWord.net module. Vers. NA27. <theWord.net>.