Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Book of Unity - Ephesians - Comments by Dr. Jay Quine

The Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians

Written from Rome c. A.D. 60-62

While under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28), Paul writes a letter to the church in Ephesus to be circulated to the Christians living in Asia Minor, which extols the theological basis of God's plan to unite all believers in Christ (1--3), which serves as a basis for his exhortation to high ethical and practical living (4--6) in a hostile world to preserve unity in the Spi

Chapters 1--3 The Theological Basis for Unity

Paul describes the incredible blessings from God stemming from the elective grace of the Father (1:3-6), the sacrifice of the Son (1:7-12) and the seal of the Spirit (1:13-14) as a basis for unity of all believers. He demonstrates that the response to these irrevocable blessings is love for others, and wise living in increased knowledge and in united submission to the authority of Christ (1:15-23), acknowledging that God saves everyone the same way: as His gift (2:1-10). This has united all believers everywhere, even as diverse as Jew and Gentile (2:11-22). This unity into one body in Christ encourages Paul to pray for the expression of that unity in the church (3:1-21).

Chapters 4--6 The Timeless Application of Unity

Exhorting the believer to live in an honorable manner, Paul reminds them of the overall objective of unity of the Spirit (4:1-6). To assist them in developing and preserving this unity, Paul directs their attention to God's provision of spiritual gifts for spiritual growth (4:12-16). Given the many kinds of relationships between believers (husband and wife, parent and child, master and slave, etc.) Paul contrasts choices in living while exhorting the believer to imitate God in furtherance of his desire to promote unity (4:17--6:9). Knowing believers face spiritual warfare designed to disrupt unity, Paul reminds them to stand against the enemy by relying on the spiritual armament God has provided.

Quine's View of the Key Verse: Ephesians 4:2-3

"With all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."