Study Notes: Ephesians 3 – 6

Bible study

In Ephesians 3, Paul makes it clear that those who carry a mandate from God; those who facilitate change will be opposed and pay a price for truth.

He reveals that there are things that only the Holy Spirit can make known to us in our walk with Christ. We must therefore develop an openness of heart towards the Spirit. But when he reveals things to us, we will find corroborative evidence in scripture as there is no “orphan revelation”.

There are boundless dimensions to Christianity – boundless love, boundless grace, boundless wisdom etc. There are things about God that only we can teach the angels. We do ourselves a disservice as Christians if we don’t experience these dimensions of God in or lifetime. Paul tells us in verses 17-19 that the way to access these dimensions is through the working of the Holy Spirit and a life steeped in Love.

In Ephesians 4, Paul revisits the concept of independence vs. community that he began expounding on in Chapter 2. He emphasises humility, tolerance and unity within the community of believers yet distinguishes the distinct nature of individual callings, gifts and relationships with Jesus. He then goes further to tell us the purpose of spiritual gifts – to perfect, equip and train Christians so those Christians can ably do the work of recruiting others to Christ.

He ends by describing the traits of maturing and matured Christians – character, virtue (including humility), service and knowledge of sound doctrine.

Having laid these important foundations of humility, character and virtue, in Chapter 5, Paul begins to particularise. He spends the first half of the chapter itemising the virtues and behaviour every Christian should exemplify. He then calls on each member of the body of Christ to submit to one another (verse 21) before breaking down the requirements of submission for different groups – wives, husbands, children, parents, masters and servants. No one is exempt. He continues this exposition through to Chapter 6.

Finally, in chapter 6, he warns that unity is an imperative in spiritual warfare. The picture we get is drawn from the way the Roman army used to fight – as one impenetrable coordinated unit. Before, I used to assume this section on spiritual warfare was for individual Christians alone but in light of the theme of unity Paul has been emphasising throughout Ephesians, I now see this scripture alluding to corporate warfare – Paul highlights praying for one another and protecting one another.

PS: To learn about my God Walk and why I’m in love with the Bible, you should read this.