Authorship and Audience

Paul (see 1:1) wrote this book possibly to the Church in Ephesus (see 1:1 and one of the notes below that deals with the intended audience of this book). Regardless of the exact, geographic location of the audience, it is clear that Paul was writing to Gentiles. Numerous times, mostly in the first three chapters, Paul differentiates between the Jews and his audience (see 1:12-13, 2:11, 2:13, 2:19, 3:1).

Date and Context

This letter, known as a prison epistle, was likely written while by Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome between 60 and 62 AD.


  • The Church One of the primary themes in this book is the Church. This first half of the book covers its formation, both from the perspective of God's eternal, global plan in chapter one and God's personal salvation of individuals in chapter two, its purpose, and its composition. The second half of the book addresses the implications of being part of the Church. In other words, how those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ must live now that they are part of the Church. This is a powerful letter both theologically and pragmatically.


0. Greeting [1:1-2]

I. God's Plan for Believers and the Church [1:3 - 3:21]

A. God's Loving Work on Behalf of Mankind [1:3-23]

B. God's Loving Work on Behalf of Individuals [2]

  1. God's Work in the Life of an Individual Believer [2:1-10]

  2. God's Work in Uniting All Believers into the Church [2:11-22]

C. Paul's Revelatory Ministry to the Gentiles [3:1-19]

D. Doxology [3:20-21]

II. Walking in a Manner Worthy of God's Plans [4 - 6:20]

A. Walking in Both Unity and Uniqueness within the Church [4:1-16]

B. Walking Differently than the Gentiles [4:17 - 5:21]

  1. Have a Renewed Mind [4:17-24]

  2. Implications of a Renewed Mind [4:25 - 5:2]

  3. Walk in Light [5:3-14]

  4. Walk in God's Will [5:15-21]

C. Implications of God's Plans and Our New Lives on Every Aspect of Life [5:22 - 6:9]

  1. Implications of Marriage [5:22-33]

  2. Implications for Children [6:1-3]

  3. Implications for Fathers [6:4]

  4. Implications for Slaves [6:5-8]

  5. Implications for Masters [6:9]

D. Final Encouragement [6:10-20]

  1. Put on the Armor of God [6:10-17]

  2. Pray! [6:18-20]

III. Conclusion [6:21-24]

A. Personal Note [6:20-22]

B. Benediction [6:23-24]


  • Some early manuscripts of Ephesians do not include the word "Ephesus" in 1:1 which leads some scholars to say that this letter may have been an 'encyclical' (a work meant to be circulated and passed around from church to church).

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