Paul's Letter to the Ephesians is concerned first of all with “God's plan … to bring all creation together, everything in heaven and on earth, with Christ as head” (1.10). It is also an appeal to God's people to live out the meaning of this great plan for the unity of the whole human race through oneness with Jesus Christ.
In the first part of Ephesians the writer develops the theme of unity by speaking of the way in which God the Father has chosen his people, how they are forgiven and set free from their sins through Jesus Christ the Son, and how God's great promise is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit. In the second part he appeals to the readers to live in such a way that their oneness in Christ may become real in their life together.
Several figures of speech are used to show the oneness of God's people in union with Christ: the church is like a body, with Christ as the head; or like a building, with Christ as the cornerstone; or like a wife, with Christ as the husband. This letter rises to great heights of expression as the writer is moved by the thought of God's grace in Christ. Everything is seen in the light of Christ's love, sacrifice, forgiveness, grace, and purity.
Outline of Contents
Christ and the church (1.3—3.21)
The new life in Christ (4.1—6.20)
This short book summarizes many of the teachings found in the letters of Paul. A strong emphasis is placed on the unity that Christ's followers have because of the sacrifice Christ made for all and because of the new life God's Spirit gives them.