One of the central themes of Ephesians 5:3-14 is the metaphor of “light”. Paul uses this concept to help us understand how putting on the “new self” is a process of exposing the darkness in our hearts and in our actions to the light of Christ and his finished work on the cross.
He taught and preached out of love — Matthew 9:36, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
The Hebrew word “offering” (qorbān) primarily used in Leviticus and Numbers is best translated as “a thing brought near.” Sacrifices are thus concerned with the issue of how one can live in nearness to God.
Love, especially love for one’s enemy, becomes the norm to distinguish virtue from vice, especially as that love is seen in “life in Christ” and its social implications.
Walter Liefeld’s structure for the “radical moral change” in Ephesians…
God can bring about spiritual maturity, and hence unity, through the spiritual leadership he gives to the church.
If we don’t love each other well, we will never love the world well and witness to Jesus well.
To know the love of Christ is to know Christ himself, in ever widening experience, and to have His outgoing and self-denying love reproduced in oneself.
The mystery is revealed in a unique way now: the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members with Israel in the promise in Christ.
Important metaphors about the inclusion of the Gentiles…
Verses 1-3 — Your previous state
Verses 4-10 — Your new state because of what God has done (“But God…” in verse 4)
“For this reason” is a continuation of Paul’s thoughts, that he wants to bless them and pray for them.
The Holy Spirit is involved in two ways to make that possession — both God’s and ours — secure…
Reflections on the 5th article of the EFCA Statement of Faith…
Jesus is God’s chosen one par excellence, so it is by union with him, according to the divine purpose realized in time, that others are chosen.
It is likely that Paul wrote this letter to the church in Ephesus and asked Tychicus to deliver it to the various house churches in the immediate region as a circular letter.