Summary of Ephesians

Summary of Ephesians

                Paul writes to the Ephesians, and encourages them to be followers of Jesus Christ and to serve and love on another in unity, while being persecuted for their beliefs.

In Chapters 1-3: Paul begins by explaining that everyone who has ever been born, who now lives or who will be born, has and will be chosen by God; “…he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world…” (Ephesians 1:4) We, being children of a loving Heavenly Father [God] have been “…predestinated… unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ…” (Ephesians 1:5)

In Chapters 4-5: Paul explains the Organization of the Church of Jesus Christ, explaining that there is only “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Ephesians 4:5) and that God “…gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists… For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry…” (Ephesians 4:11-12) He explains this to help us understand that there can only be one TRUE Church of Jesus Christ, and in order to be the ONE, it has to have an organization of Prophets, Apostles, Teachers… etc and have the Authority to act under His name. Paul goes on to explain that Husbands and Wives, although they have different responsibilities in this life, they must act as EQUAL Partners!

In Chapter 6: Paul urges children to obey their children and to honor them. He then instructs believers to prepare for a spiritual battle by putting “…on the full armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of evil.” (Ephesians 6:11) Paul urges the Saints to increase their faith through prayer and knowledge (scripture study) so that they can resist the evils.

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Ephesians 6

Ephesians 6: Children Love your Parents

                “CHILDREN, obey your parent in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother… that it might be well with thee, and thou mayest live long in the earth. And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:1-4) Paul urges all sons and daughter to obey their parents and follow their loving guidance. He promises that if these children follow their parents, they will live long on the earth. The Lord is pleased by this, and will treat these children with respect as well.

Paul goes on to explain how all the believers in Christ, but more specifically those missionaries that are called specifically for that purpose; “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the devil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet show with preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…” (Ephesians 6:11-18)

                Paul goes on to urge members and missionaries to open their mouth boldly to declare the mysteries of the Gospel of Jesus Christ;

                “…that I may open my mouth boldly, to make know the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Ephesians 6:19-20)

 

 

 

 

Ephesians 5

Ephesians 5: Husbands and Wives

                Paul tells the Ephesians that “…fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness [desiring possessions of others], let it not be once named among you… Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking… For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, no covetous man…. Hath any inheritance in the kingdom Christ and of God.” (Ephesians 5:3-5)

Paul goes on to explain that as followers of Christ and Saints of His church they should refrain from all evil things and instead of being drunk, they should be filled with the Spirit; “…be not drunk with wine… but be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18) Paul urges the members of Christ’s Church to have music in their heart always so that they will know the power of God and fear Him; “…making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” (Ephesians 5:19-20)

Paul explains a little about the roles of Husbands and Wives;

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” (Ephesians 5:22-25)

Are Wives subject to their Husbands?

If we only read that Wives must ‘submit themselves’ to their husbands, we might find the scriptures to be extremely sexist and controlling of women. However, we must read the entire chapter to understand what is meant when Paul said that wives must submit themselves to their husbands. Paul is saying that as Christ is the head of the church, so the husband is the head of the household. This is sacred calling and not a position of authority. Paul goes on to say; “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord  the church.” (Ephesians 5:28-29) If a man held his position of ‘head of household’ and use it as a position of authority he would not love his wife.

Modern day Apostles and Prophets have spoken about this in a Proclamation that they wrote to the World; The Proclamation to the World, which reads;

“HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations…. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

Husbands and Wives are to work TOGETHER as EQUAL PARTNERS to raise a family and take care of one another. Husbands are given the responsibility to care for their families, while Wives are to provide motherly nourishment of young minds. No one is above another… and both are equally responsible.

Ephesians 4

Ephesians 4: Organization of the Church of Jesus Christ

Paul opens this letter by explaining that there is “…one body, and one Spirit…” (Ephesians 4:4), which means that there is one purpose behind all of God’s works. Paul goes on to further exclaim that there is “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Ephesians 4:5)

                What is Paul saying here? He is saying that there is only one God, One Savior [Jesus Christ], and one baptism… which also means there can only be one Authority. Paul explains that there is “One God and Father of all… unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:6-7) So we learn that there can only be one Lord, one faith and one baptism… so the question arises; Why are there so many religions? Different Faiths? Different Baptisms?

Paul goes on to explain the organization of Christ’s Church: “…he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be not more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may group up into him all the things, which is the head, even Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11-15)

From these five verses we learn a lot about how Jesus Christ’s Church must be set up; it must have an organized body to administer His Church on the earth, including: Apostles, Prophets, Pastors and Teachers. Those who hold those positions are CALLED to them, and do not receive money for being in them. These people called to the work and given the authority from Jesus Christ himself can guide the church and receive revelation for the Saints [members] in the church, that they might edifying the body [the members] of Christ. The reason for God calling Prophets and Apostles is simple, so that we can be guided by men called of Christ and not just those men who ‘lie in wait to deceive’. This is the reason there are so many religions, churches and faiths… because it is profitable. Over thousands of years since the death of Jesus Christ there have been evil men who distort doctrines and confuse the masses. Because of this we have so many religions today… when in reality there can only be one.

Paul explains that one day, when everyone is united and everyone believes on Jesus Christ, that there will be no reason for this same organization because Christ will reign as King. Paul urges the Saints to “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth… let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you… by ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving… even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:29, 31-32)

Ephesians 3

Ephesians 3: The Love of Christ

                Paul opens his letter to the Ephesians by explaining that through Apostles and Prophets, God has “…made known unto me [Paul, an Apostle] the mystery… whereby when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ…” (Ephesians 3:3-4)

Paul explains this so that we can understand the importance of not only the prophets, but their teachings [the scriptures], so that we can understand and know the mysteries of Christ. Paul goes on to explain that in times before, those mysteries were “…not made know unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the spirit;” (Ephesians 3:5) This further helps us to understand the importance of prophets that we can continue to reveal more of those mysteries through modern day Apostles and Prophets.

Paul explains to the Saints [the members of the Church], that they can overcome their own personal tribulations in this life, through faith and love in Jesus Christ; “…faint not at my tribulations for you… That he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his spirit.” (Ephesians 3:13,16) 

Ephesians 2

Ephesians 2: Saved by Grace through Faith

                Paul explains that we are saved by grace that we might “…sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not yourselves: it is a gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 4:8-9)

                We are indeed saved by grace, through faith on the name of Jesus Christ and not from works. In order to understand the FREE gift of Grace, we must understand what it means to have Faith in Jesus Christ. Having Faith in Jesus Christ means that we accept Him in our hearts, which means that we accept all of His teachings! If we say we accept Jesus Christ and then ignore His commandments, we are not accepting his grace through our faith. Paul does say that grace is not achieved through works, and this is absolutely true… you cannot only do good works and never accept Jesus Christ. You have to do both, but like he said… to not do them unto boasting.

Jesus Christ Himself said; “Not every one that saith unto, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21) See what Paul is trying to say after we read what Jesus said in Matthew? Being saved is not just about a verbal; “I accept Jesus Christ” neither is it a “I do good works, so I should be given grace”… rather it is about having Faith in Jesus Christ and desiring to live like Him!

Jesus goes on to state; “Many will say to me in that day [the day of judgment]. Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have we cast out devils? And thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22-23) Jesus clearly tells us that if we don’t have true Faith in Him, it does not matter how many times we claim to be doing good in His name, nor does it matter how many times we say His name, or say that we accept Him. It is a combination of good works that are brought on by our faith in Him.

Paul explains that if we do what is right and follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, following the example He gave to us, we can be saved. He then tells the Saint in Ephesus that they “…are not more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone;” (Ephesians 2:19-20)

                As Saints [members of Christ’s church] are not strangers, but fellow citizens of His household, which is built on the foundation of Apostles and Prophets. This is the same organization that exists in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Ephesians 1

Ephesians 1: Saints Foreordained/Restoration of the Gospel

                Paul writes a letter to the Ephesians, he starts by explaining that he is an Apostle of the Lord and explains that we are all God’s children, for God “…hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, what we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ… In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins…” (Ephesians 1:4-5, 7) We learn from Paul that we are not only children of God, but that Jesus Christ will adopt us and through His atoning sacrifice in the Garden of Gethsemane and His Crucifixion, we can be forgiven of our sins.

Paul goes on to explain that God will make known “…the mystery of his will…” (Ephesians 1:7) Essentially Paul is telling us that ONE DAY we will have answers to the questions of our soul, like: Where did we come from? Why are we here and where are we going after death? Paul explains that in the ‘dispensation of the fulness of times’ we will come to this knowledge;

“…the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.” (Ephesians 1:10)

What is the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times?

                First, what is a ‘Dispensation’? Dispensations are periods of time in which the gospel of Jesus Christ is administered by Holy Prophets, who are ordained by God. Through these Prophets, God can speak to His children and administer the affairs of His kingdom on Earth. Dispensations begin with the calling of a prophet, by God. Dispensations end, when the people reject the prophets and kill them.

The Dispensation of the Fulness of Times began in 1820, when Joseph Smith had the First Vision. During this time God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ spoke to Joseph Smith and called him to be a prophet. Through Joseph Smith, the Church of Jesus Christ was restored back to the earth. In modern day scripture we read; “It is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time” (Doctrine and Covenants 128:18).

                So we learn that through Joseph Smith, the Father and the Son ushered in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, where all dispensations from Adam to Present are linked together to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Paul ends his letter to the Saints in Ephesus, and prays that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ given them the “…spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; The eyes of your understanding being  enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” (Ephesians 1:17-18) Paul was urging them to open their minds and hearts to being filled with knowledge and enlightenment over the doctrines of Jesus Christ. Today, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asks the same thing, for people to open their hearts and understand that the Church, Jesus Christ personally established when He was on the earth… is now Restored with modern day Prophets and Apostles.