Template:DOD protected/December 8
This includes the books of 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude
The Book of Ephesians is another of Paul's prison letters. In it he deals with the church collectively, as the body of Christ, the Bride. In his pastoral epistles, such as Timothy and Titus, he deals with the church as a local body, serving Christ. Both emphases are necessary for a balanced ministry. Certainly, in the mind of God, He sees the whole body with Christ as the Head; but as far as the work of the ministry is concerned, He works through the local assemblies in different places. It is the local church that receives the greater emphasis in the New Testament , but the ministry of the local church will be stronger if the members realize their position in the body of Christ.
The blessings of chapter 1 are numerous. In verses 3 and 4 God the Father has chosen us; in verse 5 He has accepted us. The blessings from God's Son, in verses 7-12, are as follows: He has redeemed us; He has forgiven us; He has revealed God's will to us; and He has made us an inheritance. Some of the blessings from the Holy Spirit are listed in verses 13 and 14: He has sealed us, and He has given us an earnest to our inheritance. "Earnest money" in business means money given as a down-payment for a purchased possession. Christ has purchased our future for us, but we have not yet entered into all the blessings. God has given us His Spirit as the down-payment, to assure us that we will experience that total redemption and receive God's promised blessings in glory.
Chapter 1 emphasizes our possessions in Christ; chapter 2 emphasizes our position in Christ. A man's position determines his possessions and power. Regardless of where the President of the United States may be physically, his position as the man who sits behind the desk in the White House gives him power and authority. So it is with the Christian. Regardless of where he might be physically (and Paul was in jail when he wrote this), we have power and authority in the spiritual realm because of our position in Christ.
Chapter 3 closes the first half of Ephesians, in which Paul has described our wealth in Christ. He is about to move into the practical section (our walk in Christ). But first he pauses to pray. He begins his prayer in verse 1, but does not continue it until verse 13. In verses 2-12 Paul is explaining his special ministry to the body of Christ; and in verses 13-21, his prayer is one of intercession for the saints at Ephesus.