Today Paul tells the Ephesians that he is imprisoned on their behalf because his calling is to preach to the Gentiles. He says this was once a mystery but after his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, the mystery became known; that Jews and Gentiles are one in Christ. So Paul says, “Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.”
Paul prays that the Ephesians will “know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Then he reminds them of God’s greatness and power – “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.”
Paul encourages the Ephesians to be unified – “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” In addition, Paul says that each person is gifted by the Lord to be used for the work of the ministry – “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”
Paul urges the Christians to put off their old ways of walking in darkness like the people around them – “But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
Paul explains the importance of putting off the old ways of darkness so that we may be a light to others in the dark and without hope – “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’”
Tomorrow we conclude the letter to the Ephesians, and Paul begins a letter to the Colossians. Keep reading.