Paul has one main desire in Ephesians—for you to know Jesus Christ and your position in Him. All of life, according to Paul, flows from this reality.
Ephesians is a tremendous book to study if you …
- desire to find a firm foundation in your spiritual life
- long for greater intimacy with Jesus
- seek to have greater unity with the Body of Christ (the Church)
- feel unworthy of the Gospel but want to experience its power in your daily living
- want to know your spiritual position as a believer
- want to understand what Christ did upon the Cross on your behalf
- desire to live the victorious and triumphant Christian life
- need to be equipped to fight the spiritual war we are all engaged in
The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series
Throughout the last several years, I’ve studied the book of Ephesians in-depth and my love for God’s Word and for Jesus has only increased because of it—as Jesus has used His Word to transform my life.
A lot of people have asked about my early studies in the book of Ephesians—and unfortunately, I don’t have too many of them recorded (and the ones I have from the beginning of my Ephesians studies, I’m too embarrassed to show. haha) … so I’m going back and walking through the book afresh.
I invite you to join me on this journey to discover God’s eternal purpose, His plan for your life, and learn how to practically live out an abundant and fruitful Christian life.
The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series on Ephesians is an in-depth verse-by-verse study of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. These studies will guide you through this life-changing book of the Bible and give you practical application to help you grow in your faith, gain greater intimacy with Jesus, experience the victorious Christian life, and help you build your life around Jesus Christ.
I encourage you to study the passage each week, which will make our study time together even richer in your life.
Even if you decide not to study the passage alongside me, I have found that listening to the exposition of God’s Word is incredibly enriching and edifying.
Either way, my desire for you is that you understand the rich depths of God’s Word and are transformed by the Spirit of God. This series isn’t meant to be solely an academic pursuit, rather, my aim is that we would know Jesus more, apply and obey the truth of His Word, and live the victorious life the Bible describes we can have.
Overview and Outline of Ephesians
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Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians
AUTHOR: Paul the Apostle
DATE • LOCATION: Paul wrote his “prison epistles” (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon) from Rome in approximately 60-62 A.D.
RECIPIENTS • AUDIENCE: scholars have long argued over the audience of Ephesians. Some believe that rather than writing to a specific church in Ephesus, Paul was either writing a general letter to the churches in Asia Minor (modern day Eastern Turkey) or this is the letter to Laodicea that Paul mentions writing in Colossians 4:16. However, this discounts the fact that Paul uses imagery and language which makes the most sense in the context of the city of Ephesus. As such, and because of Paul’s notation at the beginning of the book (1:1), I believe Ephesians is Paul’s letter to the Ephesus church, though may have also been intended to be a circuit letter to the other churches in Asia Minor (due to its lack of personal correspondence, like many of Paul’s other epistles—an oddity since he spent three years in Ephesus).
THEME • PURPOSE: Most Bible surveys and handbooks simplify the message of Ephesians as exhortations to the Body of Christ, the Church. While this is certainly a major theme in Paul’s book, it seems to ignore what I would argue is the major underlying purpose of Ephesians which is our position in Christ and the life that flows from it.
In the first three chapters of Ephesians, Paul uses the terms “In Christ,” “In Him,” and “In Whom” (all referring to Jesus) 30 times. This lays the basic foundation of the book that you are to know your position as a believer—I am “In Christ” (which Paul declares in Colossians 1:27 was a mystery and is our “hope of glory”). Paul over-emphasizes this position of being “In Christ” in the first half of the book, and then in chapters 4-6 explains what this position looks like lived out day-to-day.
OTHER MAJOR THEMES:
- God’s Eternal Purpose
- The Spiritual Realm, Spiritual Powers, and the Spiritual Battle
- The Blessings of God
- The Body of Christ (the Church)
- Our old life in Sin and our new Life in Christ
- How to properly live as a Christian
SIMPLE OUTLINE OF EPHESIANS:
Ephesians 1-3: Theological Section (Our position is “In Christ”)
Ephesians 4-6: Practical Section (How to live from your position)
- Our Calling: The Seated Position (1-3)
- Prologue [Greeting] (1:1-2)
- Position of Blessings (1:3-14)
- The Blessing’s Provision (1:3)
- The Blessings of the Father (1:4-6)
- The Blessings of the Son (1:7-12)
- The Blessings of the Spirit (1:13-14)
- Prayer for Enlightenment (1:15-19)
- Power of God & the Resulting Position (1:20-2:22)
- Of Christ (1:20-23)
- Of Individuals (2:1-10)
- Of the Church (2:11-22)
- Parenthetical Explanation of the Mystery (3:1-13)
- Prayer for Enablement (3:14-21)
- Our Conduct: The Walking Response (4-6)
- Walk Worthy of the Calling (4:1-3)
- Walk in Unity (4:4-16)
- Walk in Holiness (4:17-32)
- Walk in Love (5:1-7)
- Walk in Light (5:8-14)
- Walk in Wisdom (5:15-17)
- Walk in the Spirit (5:18-21)
- Walk in Relationship [Harmony/Submission] (5:22-6:9)
- Wives & Husbands (5:22-33)
- Children & Parents (6:1-4)
- Slaves & Masters (6:5-9)
- Walk in Victory (6:10-20)
- Schemes of the Enemy (The Reason for the Armor) (6:11-13)
- Stand Strong in the Armor (6:14-18)
- Supplication for Paul (6:19-20)
- Well Wishes [farewell] (6:21-24)
In Our Next Study Together …
In this first episode, we look at the book of Ephesians as a whole—the author, audience, purpose, and structure. We do a simple study of the city of Ephesus and set the stage for next week when we begin to dive into Paul’s introduction of the book (Ephesians 1:1-2).
If you want to join me in these weekly studies, here are two things you can do this week to prepare for next week’s lesson:
- Read the book of Ephesians (preferably every day)
- Examine the Prologue in Ephesians 1:1-2
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Want more content from NRJohnson and deeperChristian?
Each week, Nathan helps Christians build their lives around Jesus Christ through …
- articles on deeperChristian
- the Deeper Christian Podcast
- the Bible Study series in Ephesians
- Books (link coming soon)