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Eph Intro

NOTES ON ST PAUL'S EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS

NOTES ON ST PAUL'S EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS

EPHESUS was the chief city of that part of Asia, which was a Romanprovince. Here St. Paul preached for three years, Acts 20:31; and from hence the gospel was spread throughout the whole province, Acts 19:10. At his taking leave of the church there, he forewarnedthem both of great persecutions from without, and of divers heresies and schisms which would arise among themselves. And accordingly he writes this epistle, nearly resembling that to the Colossians, written about the same time, to establish them in the doctrine he had delivered, to arm them against false teachers, and to build them up in love and holiness, both of heart and conversation.

He begins this, as most of his epistles, with thanksgiving to God fortheir embracing and adhering to the gospel. He shows the inestimable blessings and advantages they received thereby, as far above all the Jewish privileges, as all the wisdom and philosophy of the heathens.He proves that our Lord is the Head of the whole church; of angels and spirits, the church triumphant, and of Jews and gentiles, now equally members of the church militant. In the three last chapters he exhorts them to various duties, civil and religious, personal and relative, suitable to their Christian character, privileges, assistances, and obligations.

In this epistle we may observe,

I. The inscription,........................................ C. i. 1, 2 II. The doctrine pathetically explained, which contains,  1. Praise to God for the whole gospel blessing,................. 3-14   With thanksgiving and prayer for the saints,......... 15-C. ii. 10  2. A more particular admonition concerning their    once miserable, but now happy, condition,................. 11-12   A prayer for their establishment,.................... C. iii. 1-19   A doxology,................................................ 20, 21III. The exhortation,  1. General: to walk worthy of their calling, agreeably to,  1.The unity of the Spirit, and the diversity of his gifts, C.iv.1-16  2.The difference between their former and their present    state,.................................................... 17-24  2. Particular   To avoid,   1. Lying,....................................................... 25   2. Anger,................................................... 26, 27   3. Theft,....................................................... 28   4. Corrupt communication,................................... 29, 30   5. Bitterness,.......................................... 31-C. v. 2   6. Uncleanness,............................................... 3-14   7. Drunkenness,.............................................. 15-21    With a commendation of the opposite virtues   To do their duty, as,   1. Wives and husbands,....................................... 22-33   2. Children and parents,................................ C. vi. 1-4   3. Servants and masters,....................................... 5-9  3. Final: to war the spiritual warfare,....................... 10-20IV. The conclusion,.............................................. 21-24