Epaphras, a leader in the Colossian church, visited Paul while a prisoner at Rome to seek his apostolic help in dealing with the Colossian heresy. In response, Paul wrote the Colossians in opposition to their doctrinal error. Part of the defense of his position pictured Christ as head of the universe and of the church. After completing Colossians, Paul, with this idea of Christ’s headship still fresh in mind, wrote Ephesians to spell out the logical outcome of this doctrine: if Christ is the church’s Head, then Christians are members of His body; that is, believers enjoy an intimate relationship with Him, and thus have a unique relation with one another. Paul seeks to present the church as members of Jesus’ body, possessing the closest possible relationship with Him and each other. Paul also stresses that both the Jewish and Gentile Christians share the same intimacy in God’s family, and stand before Him on the same common ground of grace. These two doctrines join to make the theme of Ephesians that Jewish and Gentile believers are “one new man”.

Ephesians 1

1:1-2 Greeting
1:3-14 Spiritual blessings in Christ
1:15-23 Prayer for knowledge and understanding

Ephesians 2

2:1-10 Grace and faith
2:11-22 The unity of all believers

Ephesians 3

3:1-13 Paul’s mission to the Gentiles
3:14-21 Prayer for inner growth

Ephesians 4

4:1-13 The unity of the Spirit
4:14-32 The new life in Christ

Ephesians 5

5:1-21 The ways of the believer
5:22-33 Marriage is symbolic of the church

Ephesians 6

6:1-9 Advice to children and servants
6:10-20 The whole armor of God
6:21-24 Final greetings