EPHESIANS

The following comments are from Navigator's and Quiet Time Diary journals. One verse will be entered, then the comment, then the date.

1:1    Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:

    There is no doubt who was the author of this letter to the church in Ephesus.
    In Christian terminology, believers in Jesus are known as saints, as used here. This is different from the term used in the Roman Catholic church - and possibly others.
    Paul knew he was chosen "by the will of God" as he wasn't looking to meet God=Jesus on the Damascus road when he was converted.
    Like the people in Ephesus at the time, we are all to continue to be faithful so long as we live — (DRM 7/19/15)

1:2    Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    This is part of Paul's introduction/greeting to the church in Ephesus.
    We receive grace from the Lord God=Jesus when we become part of His family as a result of our trust and faith in what He did-died for us.  This grace produces peace-knowledge that we are truly part of His spiritual body and will be with Him forever in Heaven.
    Paul was not giving the grace or peace, but reminding us that these are gifts given by the Father and the Son. (DRM 2/4/15)

1:3    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,   

    God has blessed us. First, as believers, He has given us the inheritance of living with Him forever. He has also been concerned with our lives while on earth and, if we (I) listen, tries to direct our lives to serve Him here. (DRM 10/10/06)

1:4    . . .just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.

    God knows everything. He knew before I was born that I would put my complete trust in Him (God) and His Son (Jesus). That doesn't mean I don't have my own free will, just that He knew what my decision would be. (DRM 10/4/09)

1:5    He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 

    It's always amazing to me to think that God knew that I would be a Christian thousands of years ago. He knew (and knows) everything about me - and what I would be doing TODAY. God is love, God cares about me. God is awesome! (DRM 9/3/2000)

    This is another controversial verse to many. My attitude has been that God knows EVERYTHING including who will eventually be in Heaven with Him. While we have a free will, He already knows how we will react to different situations - and He knows us better that we do ourselves. (DRM 10/5/03)

    Predestination is difficult to comprehend. Only God knows who will follow Him. He chose some people and knew in advance who they would be. The question is how He decided these things - and why evangelism is necessary?
    We don't know who He chose - and everyone on earth needs to hear the Good News - and that's how they learn of His love for them.
    The task is still before us, to share His love in some way. If they don't respond, at least we can say we showed them the way. They make the decision. God already knows what that is. (DRM 12/9/15)

1:6    . . . to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

    This is the second half of a sentence with verse five.
    We have a lot to be thankful for once we are members of Jesus' family. In verse five we are told that God determined (predestined) us to be a part of His spiritual family. In this verse Paul is praising this fact - and we should do the same.
    In God's grace, He gave us something we didn't deserve. No matter how many times we think of this incredible gift, He always deserves more thanks - and it will last forever! (DRM 9/29/14)

1:7, 8a    In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8which He lavished on us.

    Trespasses are our sins against God and other people. When we (I) am aware of a sin (too often), I pray for forgiveness and try to correct my future way, so as not to do the same thing twice. God=Jesus redeems me (us) through the shed blood of Jesus - who died for all sins. This forgiveness by God is grace. (DRM 10/5/09)

1:8b, 9, 10    In all wisdom and insight 9He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him . . . 

    Knowing God's will for my/our individual life is difficult for me, but knowing God's will for the world is easy to understand from reading the Bible. Paul reminds us here that's God's will for the world has been made known to us, through the life of Jesus, His Son.
    In verse ten we can visualize God's future will for the world - and Jesus being the Ruler of the administration.
    Now, it would seem with this knowledge that God's will for each of us would be to fit into His plan for the future. But what will be our duty now and then? (DRM 11/1/14)

1:11    . . . also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

    "the counsel of His will" seems to be another way of saying, "listen to the Holy Spirit in you!" As I listen and do the instructions, I have the hope of an inheritance when I get home to heaven. Yes, that can be a motivator! (DRM 9/4/2000)

1:12    . . . to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

    Paul was writing to the church at Ephesus. In this verse I think his thoughts were to them specifically and not to us. That church was one of the "first to hope in Christ," so we aren't in that respect.
    Still, we can be among those who can and will praise His glory in this life and in the life to come.
    There is no limit to how much praise He deserves considering all that He has done for us. (DRM 1/5/14)

1:13, 14    In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation - having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise. 14Who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

    [Re: 1:13]    This is a review of my conversion. I heard the message, I believed what was said, and I repented of my sins to trust totally in Jesus as Lord. Then I was sealed in His love and filled with the Holy Spirit to direct my life. (DRM 10/6/03)

    The key part of these two verses was the sealing of the Holy Spirit at the time that I first believed or trusted in Christ alone as my Savior. We (I) received the Holy Spirit as a "deposit" to my account, or a pledge of my future inheritance of being with Jesus in Heaven forever. Certainly this deserves my praise to God for what He has done in the process! (DRM 10/11/06)

1:15, 16    For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;

    Paul had received word, either through a letter or mutual friend, that the Ephesian church was continuing in their faith in the Lord.
    When a person is a believer and meets another believer in Jesus there SHOULD be a mutual bond/love like family in the new relationship. Knowing this existed in the church, Paul was thankful, and praying for the continuation of faith and probably continued growth of the church.
    (Now I see that Paul detailed his prayer in verses 17-19) I didn't read ahead. . . (DRM 7/3/12)

1:17    . . . that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 

    This was the end of Paul's prayer for the Ephesians. It's also a prayer that I pray for myself. "that the Lord will give me wisdom and a revelation in the knowledge of Him and His Word." (DRM 9/5/2000)

    This refers to prayers that Paul prayed to God about other believers. Paul prayed that we would receive a spirit of wisdom - which we truly can receive from God -  and continuously grow in our knowledge of Him.
    With study and the Holy Spirit's help, I can continue to grow in understanding all of His plans for my life and the future in general. (DRM 10/11/06)

1:18    I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

    A customer came into Avis Cards in early 1997 and told me to check this verse. Maybe she knew that the Lord had other plans for me, and wanted me to be enlightened. At the time it didn't mean much. Now it means more - that He has a plan to use me more. (DRM 9/6/2000)

    Back in 1997, an Avis Cards customer seemed to indicate this verse [with others] was meant for me. While it seems general, I can finally see what He wants me to do. 
    God, teach me how to get all of YOUR desires done in my life. (DRM 10/7/03)

1:19    . . . and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might. . .

    Maybe we don't see this, but the evidence is clear - God is watching over us and leading us on a path that honors Him. We have to be alert to follow His direction and not our own.
    He has and can use His power to protect us as believers - if He so chooses.
    As we follow His lead, He will continue to show us the way. (DRM 2/2/13)

1:20    . . . which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

    This is part of another of Paul's long sentences that starts in verse 19.
    God has a plan for each one of us (v. 18), the hope of His calling, and He (God) tells us this through His Holy Spirit power, which He demonstrated by raising Jesus from the dead, then seated Him (Jesus) at His (God's) right hand in Heaven.
    How He did this is a mystery. How He works in our spirit is also a mystery, but I am willing and thankful to accept His great gift. PTL! (DRM 9/21/13)

1:21    . . . far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

    Who is Jesus? From v. 18 to v. 23 we are given some of the aspects of Jesus - and how He affects each of us.
    God gave Jesus the title of Absolute Ruler over earth. He is above all rulers that live in all the countries on earth. If rulers on earth don't obey Him, they will in the age to come. Why shouldn't they obey Him now?
    Jesus is in absolute control of all things.
    Jesus is God. (DRM 1/10/13)

1:22, 23    And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

    This answers the question, "Who is Jesus?" at least partially. God gave us His Son, Jesus, to be our spiritual leader today and physical ruler "tomorrow." The church represents the different aspects of Jesus by the use of the various gifts He gives to those who trust in Him. Jesus is our Leader, and no other intermediary. (DRM 10/6/09)

2:1 - 3   And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

    Before becoming Christians, we all were lost in sin, and never knew it. These verses describe what all non-believers are like before trusting Jesus to take away our sins.
    The prince of the power of the air (Satan) puts thoughts in our mind like "let's do/spend it now," and, before being Christians, we did; never thinking of any consequences.
    Later verses show us that, as Christians, we are alive to Christ and His leading now, (v. 5) all the result of His grace. How can we not thank Jesus for opening our eyes to the difference? (DRM 6/19/17)

    We owed a debt we could not pay, but Jesus paid the debt He did not owe. (from Our Daily Bread, 6/16/17)

    [Re: 2:1-2]    While I was not a born-again Christian, I didn't realize the state that I was in. I didn't know where I would go when I died and rarely cared. Thank you Lord, for opening my eyes! (DRM 9/7/2000)

    [Re: 2:1-2]    I never knew it! Before I became a born-again Christian, I did whatever I wanted and tried to make lots of money. I knew about Jesus from what I had learned in Sunday School - but I never knew Him in my heart. Until I became as a child again, and trusted in Jesus, I was "lost" and on a path to hell. Thank God, my eyes and heart were opened in 1986.

    [Re: 2:3]    A sinner is a sinner. Non-Christians were "dead in . . . trespasses and sins" (v. 1) and we too - as stated here.
    The difference is that we were made alive with Christ (v. 5), thus the old nature should have been transformed.
    While I (we) still sin, and aren't perfect, we have the Holy Spirit to tell us or convict us when we sin, and we (I) can go to the Lord to ask for forgiveness and start anew. (DRM 1/11/12)

2:4,5    But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), . . .

    I (we) was born a sinner. Until my spiritual eyes were opened, I was spiritually dead. At the time I was "born-again," He opened my eyes and forgave my sins. I did nothing to deserve His grace - but experienced His love. Whatever works I do now are in appreciation for all that He has done for me - and overwhelming desire for others to also know of His grace. (DRM 10/7/09)

    How did God do that? He knew in advance who would love Him and who wouldn't. He put the desire in our hearts to want to know Him more and more. We received His grace, something we didn't deserve.
    No one knows how He did that, how He made us alive to Christ, but we, as Christians, are thankful He did. By our eyes being opened, we put our faith in Him (Jesus) as our Savior and received the great gift of eternal life with Him.
    How can we ever thank Him enough for this incredible gift? (DRM 2/21/17)

2:5    even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).

    Even before becoming a Christian, Christ knew my heart. (He knows all because He created all.) He knew how long it would take me to really hear Him and still saved me. I'll always thank Him! (DRM 9/8/2000)

    There was NO WAY that I could save myself. Why should God say "Dennis is good," because, in comparison to Jesus, I am nothing. The only way I have any hope is through God's grace. I have to keep admitting how I am falling short, and hope He will lead me to a closer walk with Jesus. (DRM 10/8/03)

2:6, 7    . . . and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

    For Christians, the transaction has already occurred. We have given our lives to the Lord Jesus and agreed to follow His will.
    In these two verses it seems like we have already gone to Heaven - and that's probably because we are already part of His body.
    The second part (v. 7) tells us what He intends to do: show us His kindness for the faith that we had in Him while on earth. (DRM 6/11/12)

[re: 2:6]   

    God loves all of us, believers and unbelievers. He knows who will trust in His Son during their life on earth and who won't; but loves us all.
    To those who will love Him, the day of their salvation the transaction is completed. This verse seems to be past tense because believers are already guaranteed a place in Heaven. It's like we are already there in His mind. It's a done deal.
    I know this is exciting to me, and gives me more confidence that my eternal state will be with Jesus=God and not the other option - Hell. (DRM 1/15/16)

2:8, 9    For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - 9not by works, so that no one can boast.

    I have heard this verse many times over the past year, and am surprised that it's memorization is not required - yet. This verse is one of the bases of my conversion - that I was saved by God's grace and not by works alone. (DRM 1/21/87)

    When I was saved, it wasn't from anything that I did, it was only by accepting His gift that I didn't deserve. I didn't work for the gift and STILL don't do enough good works - but still feel the assurance of salvation through Jesus Christ and Him alone. (DRM 9/9/2000)

    I can and have given away over 100,000 bookmarks to churches and people, but my work won't get me into Heaven. The work that God gives me (not the other way around) is done in thankfulness for what He has already done in saving me. I must always listen to His still small voice and do as He directs me. (DRM 10/12/06)

    Which came first? When I/we decided to trust in Jesus, how was the process started? It wasn't because of something we did - as "good works" do not bring people to God or His approval. The very first step, as stated here, is FAITH.
    We need faith to believe (in our heart, not just our head) that Jesus really did die for MY sins. All the "good works" done for Jesus=God don't do any good until after we've put our trust in Him.
    After we have done this, the Holy Spirit will cause us to want to learn more and more about Jesus, our Savior. (DRM 6/29/16)

    The resurrection of Christ has brought our dead hearts to life. (from Our Daily Bread INSIGHTS DENNIS MOLES 6/29/16)

2:10    For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 

    This seems like a clear verse, but is more difficult for me. I feel that I know what works God has for me to do, but my ability to "get there" is very, very slow - which I think may close my opportunity to do His will. I don't see how I can do things alone. (DRM 10/9/03)

    It's hard to imagine how God would have the time, but He created each one of us differently. We are a result of His workmanship.
    He (God) knew in advance that we would come to trust in Jesus' death for our sins - then He would have good works in mind that we could do to tell others about His Kingdom.
    God had a plan, we were given a mission as believers in Christ. Each of us had a different task to do. A "hard" part is discovering what His will/plan is for us - then we will want to serve Him with thankfulness for what Jesus did. (DRM 9/2/16)

2:11    Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision" by the so-called "Circumcision" which is performed in the flesh by human hands —

    In Genesis 17:10 circumcision is required by God to separate the Jews from non-Jews. This was a physical act and had nothing to do with the heart's attitude. This was carried out as an act of obedience to God.
    Now, most men are circumcised soon after they are born; this is done before a faith can be expressed by the child, so, again, has nothing to do with salvation - we all still have to make our own decision (as led by the Holy Spirit) after the "age of accountability," which is generally after about age six or seven. (DRM 12/3/12)

2:12, 13    —remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

    This is a reminder that the Jews were/are God's chosen people. In Old Testament times the ones who had faith in God were the ones who had eternal life with Him. The only way that I (we) have access to God and also eternal life with Him is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It was a decision that God made ages ago; and is the source of most of my thankfulness. Without Jesus, my destiny would be eternal damnation. (DRM 10/8/09)

2:13    But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

    Before Jesus came, the Jews were the chosen people and all of the Old Testament was written for them. Jesus changed that and all non-Jews-who were formerly far off - are now part of the Body. Thank you Jesus for dying for not just the Jews, but for me too! (DRM 9/10/2000)

    In previous verses of this chapter, Paul reminds us that people who were not Jews (Gentiles, uncircumcision) were not part of "the covenants of promise, . . ." (v. 12).
    This verse shows how we became part of God's Kingdom - only by the blood (death) of Christ for our sins. If we don't accept Jesus' death for our sins, and confess our sins to Him, we will not be in His Kingdom.
    The door is open, the gift of Christ has been given. We who have received the gift have reason to be thankful and worshipping to Him who gave us this gift. (DRM 3/12/17)

2:14, 15a    For He Himself [Jesus] is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments. . .

    [re: 2:14]    We have always had two groups, the Jews and the Gentiles, the circumcised and the uncircumcised. But, with Christ, we have become one - He has unified us - so long as we are believers in Him. I feel the same way about the different denominations - which don't matter, but only the heart of each person. (DRM 10/10/03)

    I had to go back to v. 11 to see that the two groups were the uncircumcised and the circumcised, or the Jews and the Gentiles. A constant theme in the Bible is the desire to unify, rather then divide the church, or body of believers. My life should be of service to Christ, and the Law is secondary - as an outline of the things to strive for. (DRM 10/13/06)

2:16    . . . and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.

    Without a dictionary, I believe that enmity is the "differences" that here refer to Jews and Gentiles (v. 11-12).
    As Jesus died for our sins, He died for all people; Jews, Gentiles, Muslims and everyone else. All people who trust in Him for eternal life are part of His body - the universal church. There shouldn't be any reason for two members of the same body to have differences - as we should be all working for the same cause. (DRM 10/9/09)

2:17    AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR;

    This verse seems to be quoted mostly from Ephesians 2:13, just a few verses before this.
    We all have different interests and attitudes, including spiritual ones. Before we came to trust in Jesus some were leaning more toward "church" and some were rarely/never people who went to church. We were "near or far" from Jesus' teachings at the point of trusting Him with our soul.
    Jesus preached peace to all in His time - no matter what their tendencies were before meeting Him. After this encounter, it doesn't matter where we started from. (DRM 6/17/13)

2:18    . . . for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.

    This is a trinity verse where all three parts of the Godhead are mentioned.
    Through Jesus we both (Jews and Gentiles) (v. 11-12) have access to God through the work of the Holy Spirit. The way of salvation is not limited to only Jews - which was originally thought until soon after Jesus' resurrection.
    No matter who you are, or what your background was, no matter your skin color or previous faith, Jesus is willing to accept you into His Kingdom if you will just repent of your sins and follow only Him as Lord of your life. (DRM 8/13/12)

2:19    So then you are no longer strangers and aliens but you are fellow citizens with the saints, an are of God's household,

    This is the beginning of a four verse sentence. As believers, we are part of Jesus' spiritual body. The body consists of other believers from the past and present. Jesus is the cornerstone (v. 20) and each believer is like a brick that has a small part to make up the whole structure.
    Am I 'fitting in" or am I "bearing the weight" of those who need me? (DRM 10/10/09)

2:20    having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone,

    I believe that this is referring to the "church" of Christ. Yesterday we put the Jews that are believers with Christians - and today I think we put both groups of believers into one church, of which Jesus is the cornerstone. (DRM 9/11/2000)

    I'm thinking of Christianity as a large building. The foundation would be the Jewish Law and Old Testament. It's real important - and old. When we get to ground level, we see the cornerstone [Jesus] quite often with valuable contents! We are to build up from what is already given . . . (DRM 10/11/03)

    This verse is only ¼ of a long paragraph that reminds me how the building of the church occurs spiritually. Jesus Christ is our rock, the base, or cornerstone of my faith. The apostles and prophets represent the foundation, and we believers could be the walls and roof - making the church a complete structure. (DRM 10/13/06)

2:21, 22    . . . in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

    In the last 11 verses of this chapter the thought is that the new Christians are now accepted to God by the blood of Jesus (v. 13). These final two verses continue that thought with the illustration of the Cornerstone (Jesus) foundation (apostles and prophets, v. 20) and structure - as referred to here.
    We are all to be unified in our faith in Jesus, NOT divided - which seems to be the reality today. (DRM 9/29/11)

3:1, 2    For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles —2If indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you;

    These two verses seem to be contextual to me. Verse one refers back to the previous paragraph which refers to believers being a part of the spiritual temple of the Lord (2:21, 22) and Paul's call to explain these things to the believers in Ephesus - and ultimately us.
    Verse two seems to be the beginning of a new thought that gets specific in verse six. Paul knew he had received God's grace and wanted us to understand it and receive it also. (DRM 8/3/14)

3:3    . . . that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.

    This verse makes no sense out of context.
    God, through the Holy Spirit, had told Paul the answer to a mystery and he explains this later in verse six.
    Depending on our relationship with the Lord, He seems to explain more and more things to us through His Holy Spirit. The things He (Holy Spirit) has told me seem to be more personal that I have read in the Bible. If I told others these things they would think I was "crazy."
    God revealed a great mystery to Paul, and He still does these things today to ones who will listen. (DRM 6/9/14)

3:4    By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,

    This single verse makes no sense unless you read the whole sentence (vv. 4-7).
    Paul had received "the mystery of Christ" which was unknown before (v. 5) and is that "Gentiles are fellow heirs and . . . members of the body (v. 6). "
    This is exciting news! Gentiles (all non-Jews) would be allowed into Heaven if we trusted in Christ. I know this fact changed my life.
    Thank God that He told Paul and Paul wrote this down to share with all future readers of this letter. (DRM 4/18/14)

3:5    . . . which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;

    Remembering this was written in the first century, Paul or the other apostles had not had the Holy Spirit available to direct them until Pentecost. It was a new revelation to know that Gentiles were also to be a part of God's family.
    I praise God that He sent the Holy Spirit to help us as needed. I still wish I could hear His small voice more often. (DRM 10/11/09)

3:6    . . . to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, . . .

    This seems like a review of previous verses. God chose the Jews first. When they did not respond, then He opened the gospel to the Gentiles everywhere. Paul seems to be the first that became aware of this and wanted to be sure that we knew that it was not just the Jews. (DRM 9/12/2000)

    In Paul's time there were two types of people, Jews and non-Jews=Gentiles. To include the Gentiles in the body of Christ is to include everyone. I think the word "promise" indicates they are POTENTIAL members of Christ's body, which individuals are truly known by God. (DRM 10/14/06)

    Before Jesus' time it was thought that God's chosen people were only the Jews. Perhaps starting at the woman at the well (John 4:10, 11) and after the resurrection, it was realized that the Gentiles (non-Jews) were included in God's plan of salvation.
    God wants ALL people to have an opportunity to be with Him in Heaven, not just one group of people. Whoever puts their trust in Jesus and repents of their sins, no matter their background, will be allowed into God's Kingdom.
    Christianity is not restricted. All can join. I pray that whoever reads this will/has opened their hearts to Jesus. (DRM 2/28/17)

3:7    of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. 

    Paul is considered to be one of the greatest teachers of Christianity. He truly was a minister of the Lord! Where did he go to college? The answer is in this verse. He was given his gift through the Holy Spirit's teaching. I pray that I will also learn and teach with the help of the Holy Spirit. (DRM 10/12/03)

3:8,9    To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; . . .

    Before Paul's "discovery" of this mystery, God's chosen people were only the Jews. Paul found out {Peter found out at Acts 10:34, 35) that ALL people were eligible to be part of God's Kingdom, so long as they confessed their sins and put their full trust in Jesus.
    The "administration of the mystery" is really the sharing of the gospel, to tell others what Jesus did for them by dying on the cross.
    Thankfully, salvation is not limited to the Jews anymore. We, as Gentiles, can now join Jesus in Heaven when our life is "over" - which is really just a new beginning in a different location. (DRM 7/27/17)

    [Re: 3:8]    Paul was very modest, but he made a point here. He said that he was the "very least of all saints." Many other people (like me) would also feel the same — but he and we are ALL called to preach to the Gentiles and tell them of Christ. (DRM 9/13/2000)

    [Re: 3:8]    There is no doubt that Paul was chosen by the Lord, from his conversion to the end of his ministry. He clearly heard the call of the Lord, and didn't refuse to do what he was told, even if it caused him pain. While I still fear the pain, I want to do what the Lord Jesus leads me to do. (DRM 10/13/03)

    [Re: 3:9]    Paul was called by God to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles, which was a new revelation. God had just revealed that mystery to him.
    My job is related to his. No matter how it's done, the gospel must be proclaimed to the next generation. (DRM 10/14/06)

3:10    . . . so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

    The wisdom of God is generally given through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He tells us things that we wouldn't normally know through either direct communication (dreams, etc.) or helping us to interpret the Bible correctly. We then relate our thoughts and devotion to heaven by prayer. (DRM 10/12/09)

3:11, 12    This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He [God] carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.

    God has a plan. Nothing that He does or allows is out of His plan for the world situation or our individual lives. He is not surprised when something happens to us (e.g. health related or finance related).
    God's main spiritual plan was for Jesus to come to earth 2,000 years ago to die for our sins. We are to be (more) bold in sharing the Good News of Jesus to a dying (spiritually and physically) world. (DRM 9/20/12)

3:13    Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.

    Paul wanted to remind the church at Ephesus that he was working on their behalf (v. 8-10). In this work he was having difficulties/tribulations, but these would be for their glory.
    The final verses lead up to the love that Christ (v. 19) gives the church and the glory that will be theirs in the future (v. 21).  (DRM 10/4/13)

3:14, 15    For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,

    Paul is referring back to v. 8 where he is referring back to the time where God gave him the mission to be a minister of the gospel.
    Paul was thankful for knowing and doing what Jesus wanted him to do, thus bowing his knees, (v. 14) and acknowledging that God is in control of all things - including which "families" will follow Him and which won't. (DRM 5/10/13)

3:16    that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man:

    This is part of a prayer of Paul's to the Ephesians. Paul desires that the Ephesians would be stronger spiritually - probably so they could understand more and be more willing to share their faith with others - as I need to do. (DRM 10/14/03)

3:17    . . . so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

    It's harder to write about a verse that's part of a six verse sentence/paragraph!
    Paul was writing to the Ephesians that he prayed (v. 14) verses 16-21, thus this is part of his prayer for the Ephesian church.
    Paul wanted Christ (through the Holy Spirit) to dwell in their hearts (salvation) and for the church to be grounded in love.
    Like so much of the Bible, what Paul prayed for the Ephesian church then, should also be our prayer to the Lord that He would grant to our individual and universal Christian church today. (DRM 11/24/12)

3:18    . . . may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, . . .

    This is about the middle of a six verse sentence, where Paul wants to remind believers - saints - that God=Christ loves us and only wants the best for us. I often forget the "breadth, length, height and depth" of His love, and need to be reminded of it more often! (DRM 10/13/09)

3:19    . . . and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

    This is part of a prayer that Paul is writing to believers in all of the verses read today. [3:14-19] Paul only wanted the best for us, and it's something to strive for. Studying His Word daily helps! (DRM 9/14/2000)

3:20, 21    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

    I know I have heard this benediction many times at the end of church services, but never really reflected on the words that much.
    Jesus=God really can do more than we ask or think! Jesus loves me and wants the best for me. Like a parent who gives their child a gift, He can afford anything, and it can be a great and wonderful gift, if He chooses. (DRM 10/15/06)

[Re: 3:20, 21]    God is in control. Jesus deserves all the honor and glory. Together they can do anything we ask or think; and those things we can't even imagine yet.
    The power that works within us, as believers, is the Holy Spirit - the One that truly directs our lives in addition to the written words in the Bible - which we interpret only with His (Holy Spirit) help.
    It has now been about 2,000 years and many generations since this was written and God=Jesus still deserves all the glory for what He has done for us individually an in the Christian church universal. (DRM 8/3/16)

4:1    I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, . . . 

    It's easy to get diverted - that seems like the story of my life. But this verse "entreats" me to do what I have been called to do. If I know what I have to do - get on with it. Going to NYS work is a conflict. (DRM 9/15/2000)

    Paul is telling us to fulfill our ministry call, and to do it honorably. Now that I feel that I know what His call is, I am not fulfilling the obligation - in my opinion. The current conflict - which is always a problem - is money and how to pay my bills. I need to know how He will provide. (DRM 10/15/03)

4:2    . . . with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,

    This is another list of the attributes of what a Christian should show.
    We should be humble, gentle with others, patient with God's will and other people (believers and unbelievers), and showing tolerance (another aspect of patience) with other believers, showing the love of Jesus (which we have by the Holy Spirit that indwells us).
    These are just some of what the Lord expects of our new nature. While we still want to follow the Ten Commandments, the Holy Spirit also wants us to love one another and show that we are a part of His Christian body - the church universal. (DRM 9/14/12)

    When problems arise within the family of God, the Bible says we are to respond "with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love" (Eph. 4:2). This is the way to experience family togetherness with people who share the fundamentals of our faith. {Jennifer Benson Schuldt from Our Daily Bread, 9/14/12}

4:3    . . . being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

    Paul was instructing the Ephesian believers how to act towards others in their church.
    This verse is from a three verse sentence, so makes no sense out of context.
    We - like the Ephesians - are to preserve the unity of the Spirit by not arguing with others beliefs in the church - so long as the person had trusted in Jesus, we all have our various worship, etc. preferences and that has no relationship to salvation.
    Keep peace in the body of Christ. (DRM 8/7/14)

4:4    There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;

    The body of Christ is both a physical body for Jesus, and a spiritual body made up of individual believers. Each of us is a part of His spiritual body and we each have a different function.
    If we are all supposed to be working together, doing our own specific tasks, I don't see the reason for the disagreements that occur within the body of Christ. Why should a "hand" fight with a "foot"? Still it occurs and Jesus=God wants us to work together in unity, not be divided. (DRM 2/9/14)

4:5, 6    one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

    As Christians we worship one God. He has many names including "Lord."
    The Lord God has three aspects - they are called the trinity, often called the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit.
    The trinity seems to be explained in verse six. God is over all, Jesus is through all and the Holy Spirit is in all who trust in Him (God and Jesus). (DRM 4/14/12)

    [Re: 4:4-6]    When we get to Heaven or New Jerusalem we will all be part of one unified body of believers.
    Today it seems we are all divided - going to different types of churches and having different backgrounds. The one body referred to here refers to the former Jews and Gentiles that both have faith in Christ (Eph. 2:14-16).
    We won't have any more disagreements on how to worship the Lord or what He meant when He said (whatever). We will be able to ask Him!
    As believers, we have one Savior=Jesus. (DRM 12/9/16) 

    In his letter to the believers in Ephesus, the apostle Paul wanted to be sure they understood that peace with God could only be achieved through faith in Christ's death and resurrection. (from Our Daily Bread, INSIGHT DENNIS MOLES 12/7/16) 

4:7    But to each one of us grace is given according to the measure of Christ's gift.

    This seems to indicate that everyone on earth is given grace when they are born. Then the problem is what to do with it - to ignore it, or to accept the gift of Jesus when made aware of it. Only God knows which we will choose and when. (DRM 9/16/2000)

    The only Person who was born without sin is Jesus. No matter how much we try, no one eliminates all sin from their life.
    That's why we need God's grace and forgiveness. We don't deserve to be a part of His Kingdom, but He gives believers this gift out of His grace. It's amazing!
    As Christians, we have a lot to be thankful for, and this should be at the top of the list. We have an exciting eternity to look forward to.
    While we don't know who else will be going to Heaven, we should still be telling others of His love, so they will also experience His amazing grace. (DRM 6/18/17)

4:8    Therefore it says,
            "WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH,
             HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES,
             AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN."

    This is a challenging verse for me. I need a dictionary for definition of "captive."
    As Christians, we are on earth, but not a part of it. We are here against our spiritual will, as we'd rather be with Jesus in Heaven. We are held captive to the world right now.
    When Jesus died, then rose to Heaven, He took the other believers at the time to Heaven with Him. These Old Testament saints were captives of earth (like us) before they died, but are now in Heaven. I don't think of being in Heaven as being captive, but they can't come back to earth . . .
    He (Jesus) gave them gifts - crowns for the work they did on earth. (DRM 2/1/15)

4:9    (Now this expression, "He ascended." what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth?

    In the Apostle's Creed there is the controversial, "He descended into Hell" phrase that my mother refused to say. This verse seems to be the cause of the controversy. I don't think this should change my faith, as no matter where He went for 3 days, I know He is my Leader and is in Heaven now. (DRM 10/16/06)

    Think of what we call Heaven. We always refer to it as being "above." Jesus ascended to Heaven (Luke 24:51), when He left earth.
    From Heaven, earth would thus be considered lower than where it is. The term "lower parts of the earth" is in Isaiah 44:23 and that refers to earth, not anything lower.
    Jesus came from Heaven, lived on earth, then went back to Heaven when He ascended. When He returns, He will appear in the clouds and we will join Him in the air if we are living on earth at the time (Mark 13:26-27). I hope and pray this day will be very soon. (DRM 7/27/16)

4:10    He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.)

    Where is Heaven? Where is Hell? We (I) naturally think that Heaven is above  and Hell is below, but how can one place see the other? (Luke 16:23) Of course this verse refers to Jesus descending from Heaven to somewhere. I think this refers to earth, and His earthly ministry. Among other things , He was sent to fulfill prophecy. (DRM 10/14/09)

4:11    And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

    It seems to me from all of my study for many years (and the Holy Spirit's encouragement) that God wants me to be an evangelist. But there are other things on this list - did He mean something else? I don't think so! (DRM 9/17/2000)

4:12    for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

    This verse refers back to verse 11, "pastors and teachers," and tells us what we expect these servants of God to do.
    That doesn't mean that we who aren't pastors and teachers of the Bible are free to live in sin. Our job still has to be to read, study and meditate on the Bible's content - and to do as we are instructed. (DRM 9/6/11)

4:13    . . . until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 

    The Christian church of today is a church of division. People still disagree on the smallest details of the faith. This was not God's plan. He wants UNITY and for us to avoid the trivia. He wants a mature man that Christ [the Holy Spirit] can indwell. (DRM 10/16/03)

    I would call this a definition of sanctification in some respect. Jesus wanted all believers to be unified into one body - the church; no matter our differences in worship style, etc. The sanctification part seems to be how we should grow to maturity in the faith as time progresses. It's an unending goal. (DRM 10/16/06)

    When Paul wrote this, he was writing to a specific church in Ephesus. What he suggested in this verse is/was attainable in a single church if people work together to make it succeed.
    Today I thought not of a specific church, but the universal church. When we think of the whole Christian church, there are many divisions somewhat based on interpretation and worship preference. It seems that we could never have unity of faith because of these differences.
    When Jesus returns, He will unite the church again. He will answer the confusion and the ideals here can finally be achieved. (DRM 2/28/16)

4:14    As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; . . .

    As a result of what? The previous sentence (v.11-13) refers to the different "jobs" or positions that believers have and how they should be building up other believers.
    In a way this could be considered prophetic in that there was only one church of Christ then, but now there are so many denominations, views and independent churches, that it seems that everyone has a different insight to what the Bible says. Do not be deceived. I try to stick with the Source - King Jesus and His Word alone. (DRM 10/15/09)

    The best way to learn the Bible is by reading it. This may sound simple, but it's absolutely necessary.
    When we go to church or hear a person teaching/preaching about the Bible, they can be telling you things that aren't in the Book. If you've read the Bible and know the contents, you will know immediately when they say things that aren't accurate.
    Our spiritual growth comes from our study of His Word, the Bible. Teachers and preachers help us understand different applications, but that doesn't exempt us from reading the Bible ourselves. (DRM 10/4/17)

4:15    but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ,

    It's impossible to hide anything from God or Jesus. He knows everything. Lying to God or anyone on earth just gets a person into deeper lies eventually, so I tell God and others the truth as I know it or see it. (DRM 9/18/2000)

4:16    . . . from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

    Spiritual growth comes from God=Jesus through the working of the Holy Spirit within each believer.
    The whole body is the combination of all believers doing the parts (tasks, talents) that He gave us to do.
    In this verse I (we) are reminded that each individual part needs to be working properly. Not only are we to do our assigned task, but the best way we can - for the glory of Christ.
    With other believers, working together, the whole body of Christ will benefit, and our love for each other will increase. (DRM 3/15/14)

4:17    So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, . . . 

    As Christians, we are to be DIFFERENT. How would people distinguish us from the unsaved Gentiles if we appeared, talked and behaved the same? People must see more sharing and compassion in us. [me] (DRM 9/19/2000)

    When I became a Christian, I was separated from the world. My destiny changed. In the "old life" I was going in circles, but now I have direction. As time has progressed, He has lead me more and more to a specific task to do. I pray that I can do it, with God's help. (DRM 10/17/03)

4:18    . . . being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

    This is another part of a sentence.
    Here Paul is describing unbelievers - which he called Gentiles in v. 17. We are to be 'set apart' from unbelievers - and they can be from any background.
    Part of belief is being willing to listen to the Holy Spirit and doing as He directs. Lord, don't let me have a hard heart when it comes to hearing You through your Spirit. (DRM 10/16/09)

4:19    and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

    Paul said that believers shouldn't walk like the Gentiles also walk (v. 17). I think he is referring to the NON-BELIEVING Gentiles here.
    We all have an inborn sin nature. If we are not convicted for our sins, we would be like the people described in this verse. Someone or something is needed to open the eyes and hearts of unbelievers to trust in Jesus. (DRM 10/17/06)

4:20, 21    But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, . . .

    This is the beginning of a five verse sentence (vv. 20-24) that refers back to vv. 17-19.
    The Gentiles (v. 17) are non-believers that go their own way, darkened from understanding the Lord (v. 18).
    We are not to follow their ways, but are to serve the Lord with a 'renewed. . . spirit' (v. 23).
    These two verses are the transition between the thoughts of what non-Christians are like and what we are to be like - so as to show the world the difference that is within each of us. (DRM 2/11/15)

4:22    . . . that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, . . .

    When I/we became Christians, a change took over. Sometimes it's a process, sometimes it's instant. For me a lot of things were instant, like listening to Rock and Roll music stopped in one day and I immediately wanted to hear only Christian music of various types.
    This verse refers to the old life of deceit that was given up when a person became a Christian. I don't recall ever having that. . . the point is that a change occurs and we want to honor and serve Jesus in some way for what He did to save us from Hell.
    He deserves everything we can do for Him. (DRM 12/24/14)

4:23,24    and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind 24and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. 

    Transformation is one of my favorite words. God wants us to change our ways (transform) from the ways of the world (evil) to the spiritual ways of the Lord (good). We have to choose to do this and depend on His leading. (DRM 9/20/2000)

    Be transformed - is what comes to my mind here. A Christian can't be the same as a non-Christian. We MUST be different! We must be thankful for the gift of salvation and continue the life-learning experience of studying His Word. Change me, Lord! (DRM 9/29/2000)

4:25    Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.

    This refers back to v. 24, where we are reminded that we are to be disciples of Christ and "put on the new self" which includes telling the truth.
    In this verse truth is highlighted and falsehood is to be put aside.
    Generally "neighbors" includes all people we are in contact with, but this verse seems to refer only to other believers - "members of one another" - the body of Christ.
    Still, it's only logical to tell the truth at all times and to all people. (DRM 5/3/13)

    As Christians, we are all parts of one body, or a community of believers.
    In this verse a neighbor isn't just the person who lives in the next house or abode, but are other members in the Christian community.   
    We are to love our neighbors as ourself. If we have a disagreement, we should work it out or understand the other position. There should be no lying or falsehood between different parts/neighbors in the body of Christ.
    Sometimes it's not easy, but remember that, as Christians, we will have to live with each other for eternity, so lets get along with each other now. (DRM 11/23/16)

4:26, 27    BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and do not give the devil an opportunity.

    Yes, I do get angry with others, and I do try to control my emotions at those times. Sometimes I tell others of the problem and that seems to make the matter worse. We know by these verses that anger is bad and we should correct bad feelings before the sun goes down. (DRM 1/14/87)

    One of the more difficult times in my life was when a neighbor who meant so much to me, suddenly got mad and stopped talking. He said he wouldn't respond to phone calls and I kept quiet too long. I should have sent a letter and didn't for a year. (DRM 9/21/2000)

    Sometimes this verse is hard to obey. It is very convicting when I get upset with someone. While I don't know what caused the "incident," there must have been a reason, and God wanted me to learn something from it for my spiritual growth.
    Without forgiveness, a bitter, unforgiving spirit will enter (sin) and it could go downhill from there. I need to keep my "slate clean" every night. (DRM 10/17/06)

    Jesus was angry with the money changers at the temple (Matt. 21:12), but He did not sin. He stated what His Father's will was.
    From this verse, we can express our opinion and not sin. Being angry with someone still seems close to sin, so in many ways it's better to avoid confrontation. If it still happens, and the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin, go back to the person to apologize for any sinful statements. Without doing this, bitterness increases, giving "the devil an opportunity."
    It's not easy to be calm all the time in certain situations - but remember that, as a Christian, you are representing Christ. (DRM 9/19/17)

4:28    He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

    While I'm not aware that I have stolen anything from anyone, this verse sums up my current status at present. After four years without a "job" (Full-time), my money is nearly gone. I can't just sit and wait for responses to job applications, so the Lord opened doors so I could "do something" with my hands. Now I need to make enough to pay the rent, then share with others in need. God is the true Provider. (DRM 10/17/09)

4:29    Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear. 

    All of my words are NOT wholesome. While I don't swear, I DO criticize people who don't do things as I think they should. Lord, help me to be more like You in how I speak to and about others. (DRM 9/22/2000)

    When I was young, my mother never allowed my father or anyone else to say bad words. Then I heard them in school anyway. At least I understood most of what they meant, but never could say them.
    Now that I'm older, I realize that my mother was right. Like Paul wrote here, we are not to speak these words - what's the purpose? If we truly want to follow the Lord Jesus and share the love of Christ, using these words won't help.
    This makes me think of Psalm 19:14 which has the same thought. We have to think before we speak - it's hard! (DRM 2/11/16)

    Christians are to "put off falsehood and speak truthfully" (v. 25); stop using unwholesome, foul, or abusive language (v. 29); and get rid of bitter, angry, harsh, slanderous, and malicious words (v. 31). Instead we are to speak graciously, using words that edify, build up, encourage, and benefit those who listen (v. 29). (from Our Daily Bread, INSIGHT, 2/11/16)

4:30    And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 

    I could write something on nearly every verse in this section [4:25-32]! I have felt that I was grieving the Holy Spirit because He told me my calling - and I'm not doing it yet. Finally, about three days ago, a plan was made and written where I would be serving the Lord full-time. Now the grieving seems to have stopped - as the plan is committed to. (DRM 10/18/03)

4:31    Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

    When things don't go "my" way, all of the words above seem to be appropriate in today's world. I know of a recent time when I had bitterness and it took a while to let go.
    God understands our feelings, but directs us to love our enemies and remember that He is in control. Don't take these feelings out on others, but show them Jesus' love, and He will take care of the situation in His way. (DRM 1/14/12)

4:32    Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

    This could be a "stand-alone" verse. It really doesn't matter what the context is, because it's clear all by itself.
    Note this doesn't say to just forgive other believers, we don't have a double standard of what to say and how to treat believers and non-believers. All people are equal in God's eyes, thus should be in ours also. (DRM 1/23/13)

    I'm sure at some point you have disagreed with someone else. I have. This verse seems to be about when that happens - convicting me to follow Jesus' way and not my own.
    We need to be kind and agreeable to others. Negotiate our differences and see the good in others. When others offend us in some way we are to forgive them - remembering that Jesus died for our sins and has forgiven us when we asked Him to.
    The world today doesn't show these characteristics, but we are to be light and show them the way. (DRM 10/5/16)

5:1, 2    Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. 

    Jesus loved us (and still does) and died for our sins. This was pleasing to the Lord God.
    While we don't have to die for the sins of the world like Jesus did, we are to love others as He did.
    No one is perfect, without sin, but I think God wants us to try to do the best we can in that regard, and confess our faults (sins) to Him as they occur. (DRM 3/10/12)

    [re: 5:2]    There's a lot in this verse! Love and compassion seem to go together for me recently. Walking in love seems to me to be compassion for others. That's easy. The hard part is to let them know that you care about them - and their souls. (DRM 9/23/2000) 

5:1, 2    Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

    A have a plaque on my bedroom wall, "God is Love" and it's so true. He loves each and every person that He created. He loves us so much that He send His Son to die for our sins so we could live with Him forever. All we need to do is confess our faults/sins and love Him like He loves us.
    God=Jesus wants us to love others as much as He loves us. He wants us to use Jesus as the example and dwell on His love when speaking to others. Remember the phrase, "What would Jesus do?" (DRM 3/21/16)

5:3    But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;

    God wants us to be perfect. We are born sinners. How can we (I) achieve perfection? First we have to know the "rules" and try to abide by them. Next we have to admit we can't achieve perfection without His help. We make mistakes in various ways - and that is sin. When we sin, we (I) have to ask for forgiveness. To be perfect is a life-long process! (DRM 10/18/09)

5:4    and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 

    My first thought on this verse is: "do I do that?" and I think the answer is "no." Filthiness is probably swearing. I could be guilty of silly talk. Coarse jesting seems like dirty jokes - and I don't care for them. Finally, giving thanks is what I do many times a day. I pray that I am pleasing to God. (DRM 10/19/03)

5:5    For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God. 

    Sometimes I think that I would fail this "entrance test" for Heaven. As a perfectionist, I always have a "goal" to be better. I pray that the Lord will understand my feelings and refer to Psalm 139:23,24. (DRM 9/24/2000)

    I have been told that a person can't discern who will be entering the Kingdom of God - as only God knows that. . . I disagree a little, based on this verse and similar ones.
    If a person is immoral and/or does not state pure thoughts, most likely he/she is NOT a believer. We are to set Christlike examples in our lives. (DRM 10/18/06)

5:6, 7    Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7Therefore do not be partakers with them;

    There are many deceivers in the world today. I first thought of religious cults that sound good, but have changed the Gospel to fit their agenda rather than taking God's Word as it was originally written. Other deceivers could include false prophets who are proven wrong after their prophecies don't come true (e.g. date setters).
    Verse seven seems to go with verse six even though it's the beginning of another sentence. When we know that a person is a false prophet or part of a cult, just keep away from them. Stay true to the true Word of God - the original Bible. (DRM 10/18/11)

5:8    for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light. . . 

    How am I different than before January 1986? Has the light given to me from the Lord shone through my life? Do others know I'm a Christian by my actions? Am I telling people of the Truth? Lord, I need more work! (DRM 9/25/2000)

5:9    (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),

    Paul must have thought of this verse as an aside, but to me it is a reminder of His expectation of us. We Christians, as the fruit, must be good and righteous and tell the truth at all times. Am I good enough? Do people know I am a Christian by how I act? Do I tell ONLY the truth? 
    I will always need help - and need to improve! (DRM 10/20/03)

5:10    . . . trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

    This is the end of a four-verse sentence, and this sentence refers back to verse six where we are told not to listen and be deceived by speakers (pastors?) who speak empty words.
    God wants us to know and do His will. If we listen to speakers who give their stories and not His story, then we don't learn anything about Him, or learn how to follow Him better.
    One of the purposes of going to church is to learn more about our God and Savior. If this isn't occurring, then go to a church where the gospel is proclaimed. (DRM 6/2/14)

5:11, 12    And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.

    Television certainly isn't mentioned in the Bible, but think how this verse could relate to what is shown on TV today. Nothing is left to the imagination if you choose the "right" channel.
    As stated in this verse, we are directed to keep our lives pure and not polluted by these productions. I'm doing the best I can in this regard. (DRM 10/18/06)

5:13    But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.

    Many sins are done in the dark. I can think of activities that many people do for "entertainment" on weekend nights. They seem to know that they are sinning by hiding the fact. Someday, a light (Jesus) will point to them and show them as they were. Judgment will come. (DRM 9/26/2000) 

5:13, 14    But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14For this reason it says, "Awake sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you."

    Sin is often considered darkness. It seems that a lot or most sin actually occurs during the dark part of the day.
    When exposed to physical or spiritual light, the sins are known and the person is convicted for their wrongdoing.
    Verse 14 seems to be directed to the unbeliever or the person in Christ that has sinned against Him.
    I pray that I'm not committing unknown (to me) sins. (DRM 10/19/09)

5:15, 16    Be very careful, then how you live - not as unwise, but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

    I am living in a world where I know very few believers in my faith. I must set a good example to try to live as Jesus wants me to , and in that way show others how different I am. (DRM 2/19/87)

    Recently a friend suggested verse 16 as a verse to apply to my life. I get easily diverted away from my desire to serve the Lord and constantly need correction. Lord, let me memorize and APPLY verse 16! (DRM 9/27/2000)

    [re: 5:16]    I have this verse posted on the light near my bed, as a friend suggested it on 8/28/00. I think of it as "don't waste time, it's too precious!" I only have so many days on earth - and they should all be used for leading others to Christ. Is what I'm doing today leading towards that goal? Don't be diverted. Keep the goal ahead of me. (DRM 10/21/03)

    I feel that I've been walking with little direction for 1½ years now - since I moved to Chicago. Still, I've done some things and just waited on the Lord. I need direction and want to make the most of my time remaining on earth. (DRM 10/19/06)

5:17    So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

    This is a nice, clear, simple verse? "The will of the Lord" or God's will has always been a challenge for me because I want it to be specific to "my" situation. God's will is easily known in general terms - as it's all in the Bible. The Ten Commandments is a good start. Avoid sins, proclaim His name in some way. Love one another. (DRM 10/20/09)

5:18    And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,

    A person who is drunk has had too much wine or liquor, more than their fill.
    Jesus drank wine and that was not wrong. The sin - drunkenness - is drinking too much.
    This verse emphasizes that, instead of being filled with too much wine, we are to be filled with the Spirit, (not "spirits") which is achieved with studying the word of God - the Bible.
    Our desire should be to worship God=Jesus, not a bottle of liquor that we will regret the next day. (DRM 4/26/13)

5:19    . . . speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;

    Everything that I recall reading in the Bible agrees that the Lord Jesus = God likes music and people singing their praises to Him. I have found it easier to memorize Biblical thoughts and verses that are contained in music.
    I also noticed in this verse that the three forms of music mentioned seem to be in the order that Christian music has developed - from singing Psalms to the writing of hymns in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the spiritual songs that have been written since the mid twentieth century.
    The Lord enjoys our music - so long as the words bring praise to only Him. (DRM 9/26/12)

5:20    always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;

    Now here's a verse that I have no problem with! Every morning and evening I try to thank the Lord for my health and being able to do what I can for Him. May my thankfulness never end! (DRM 9/28/2000)

5:21    . . . and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

    Christians should get along with other Christians. As one family in Christ, the goal should be to advance His Kingdom.
    We each have different abilities, thus, like the body, we need to use our talents to advance Jesus' - and not our own agenda. As we work together, we are subject to each other and how the pieces fit together.
    The fear of Christ is not scary, but a desire to do only what He wants us to do, and to do it right - for His glory. (DRM 1/28/14)

5:22, 23    Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.

    At least in USA, this topic is a real problem for liberated, independent women, and I'm sure it is a cause they won't follow Jesus.
    "Being subject to" really isn't being told everything, but rather discussing and negotiating how to do things together; rather than going our own way independently.
    As a male, I ask Jesus=God often what to do next - and wait for answers. The same should apply for husbands and wives. We all need direction.
    For those who aren't married, they can do as I do - go to the Lord and ask Him for direction. So often going with no consultation leads to a dead end street. (DRM 10/7/14)

5:24    But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

    The USA is a freedom loving society. No one likes to be told what to do by anyone or any government agency. The women started to object to Biblical standards in the 1900's in voting and other aspects of life as the years progressed.
    There are certain things that I think God would agree that women have the rights to do. (e.g. voting), but in the marriage setting, God's desire is for the woman to follow the husband's lead rather than being the leader.
    Like any government, God has set up His Kingdom with levels of authority. We should follow His direction and not our own. (DRM 4/22/15)

5:25, 26    Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,

    Jesus gave His life for the sins of the world; past, present and future. He had to do this from His love for His creation. He wouldn't have done that without love.
    Here we are told that the same love Jesus had, the husbands should also have for their wives - and that involves the sacrifice of self, just as Jesus did, as an example. (DRM 10/21/09)

5:27    that He (God) might present to Himself (Jesus) the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.

    We are the church, the bride of Christ. This verse indicates that the church will be "in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle." The only way the church today can be like this is by the common faith of true believers of Christ. The factions of the physical church are NOT helping this. The church needs unification. (DRM 9/30/2000)

5:28, 29    So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 

    This gives me a better idea of Christ's love. I try very hard to keep my body healthy and want it to be strong. Maybe that's self-preservation? Still, I love the body God has given me. This verse(s) reminds me that I should love my wife in the same way - but also that Christ loves me like this. (DRM 10/22/03)

5:29,30    for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30because we are members of His body. 

    Here is a great association! I care a lot about my body and try constantly to keep it well and in "good shape." Christ cares even more for His body, the church, and each member of it (me), in the same way. (DRM 10/1/2000)

5:31, 32    FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

    This quote is from Genesis 2:24 where God had just made Eve from Adam's rib. In Genesis this was referring to the physical bodies and in this passage, Paul is referring to a spiritual union of souls.
    God loves His family as a Father loves his children (v. 29-30). He wants us to do the same in our relationships with others - especially our husband/wife. The goal is to love each other and TOGETHER love our Creator; God. He deserves all our worship for creating us and giving us eternal life. (DRM 7/9/15)

5:33    Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.

    This seems to be a summary verse for the passage (5:22-33). Men are to love their wives, as Christ also loved the church (v. 25), just as they love their own bodies (v. 28). Both partners must become one (v. 31), and follow Jesus Christ as Lord together.
    I still wonder if God will ever let all this happen to me someday. (DRM 10/19/06)

6:1    Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

    I read this in two ways. A person "in the Lord" could be a non-physical parent, like a Sunday School teacher or other Christian teacher.
    So this directive to children is saying to honor your parents and also Christian teachers - then is followed by v. 2-3, which seems to refer to the child's physical parents. (DRM 2/1/13)

6:2,3    HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.

    I try to do this as best as I can. Sometimes I lose patience, but father and I still "get along." Hopefully God will be pleased with (most) of my actions and will give me a long life to serve Him - unless the rapture comes first. (DRM 10/2/2000)

6:4    Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

    While my childhood was "restricted," neither of my parents provoked anger. We also were brought up to go to church every week and I was instructed about the contents of the Bible. In this way, I was brought up well. Still, I never knew Jesus as my personal Savior until much later. My "head knowledge" had to become "heart knowledge," and Bible teachers should emphasize that a personal commitment is necessary. (DRM 10/22/09)

6:5    Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;

    Most people think of slaves as black people who were owned by others before the US Civil War, but I can think of other types of slavery —Jesus' willingness to be a servant to others, and my working for my boss. The Lord wants us to do the best job possible - as if we are working for Him. (DRM 10/23/03)

    Some people would say that this section encourages slavery, but I don't think so. I think that Paul was just referring to slaves that were already in that position. Today I'd use a word like "employees" where "slaves" are written and it would make more sense.
    While slavery still exists, I'm glad that a large part of society has eliminated the practice. (DRM 10/20/06)

6:6    . . . not by way of eye service, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.

    This is a continuation of verse five, which is directed to slaves. While we don't have legal slaves in the USA today, it also applies to supervisor-employee relationships at work.
    As slave-employees, we are to be obedient to our employers (v. 5) as we would be to Jesus Christ. Our attitude matters and the service/work that we do is to be like working for the Lord Jesus - which it ultimately is. (DRM 9/3/12)

re: 6:5, 6  
    While not eliminated in the world, there are few "slaves" in our society today. . . but we have another form of slavery that most people call "work."
    On the whole, most people don't like their employment. It gets very repetitive to do the same thing day after day.
    God wants us to have a good attitude about our work. Instead of dreading our masters/supervisors and the work to do, the Lord wants us to think of it as service to Him. He provided the job that we do so we can buy food, clothing and shelter.
    It's the attitude that we need to improve as employees. (DRM 11/3/15)

6:7,8    With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.

    Do "good deeds" for others. God sees everything and knows everything. Good deeds will NOT bring salvation, but are acts of love to God and the one whom it is given to. May my good deeds increase, but make me humble Lord, NOT to look for glory - as it is all Yours. (DRM 10/3/2000)

6:9    And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

    Slaves (v. 5-8) are to obey their masters as to the Lord, as He is the One they are truly serving.
    In this verse, the directive is to the masters=supervisors and how they should treat their slaves=employees.
    Both the master and the slaves are truly under the authority of the Lord Jesus. If this is understood by everyone, the world would be a better place.
    We are all to serve our Master - the Lord - and that should show in whatever we say and do - wherever we are. (DRM 6/15/14)

    In today's society, the comments about masters and slaves (vv. 5-8) are more applicable to employers and employees. Today, when I read the word 'masters,' I thought of the well known politicians that TRY to rule the world. Many of these people do their jobs without consulting God - and the results are what we have.
    In the future, when Jesus rules, this verse will be the way it will be done. The mayor or ruler of your city will consult with Jesus before making decisions and all will know that Jesus' decisions will be the best for both the "mayor" and the citizens (Rev. 21:24). (DRM 6/23/16)

6:10    Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.

    This is a transfer of power. The Lord Jesus is the One with the might and power and we are His workers. To be strong in the Lord is to appropriate His power for our daily situations. An example would be for me to run my business on Christian principles; not like others in the worldly system. (DRM 10/23/09)

6:11    Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

    We live in a material world. It's hard to think of spiritual beings or warfare - as we generally can't "see" it. But I think we can "see" it - in the way some people act. Sometimes Satan puts road blocks in our way when we want to serve the Lord Jesus - as an example. The pieces of armor in this passage show me how to defend myself against Satan and his demons. (DRM 10/20/06)

6:12    For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

    The book "This Present Darkness" illustrates this verse very well. The unseen world of angels and demons is out there, but we don't see it. That's the enemy referred to here that I don't think about enough. (DRM 10/4/2000)

    The war rages! I don't think about it enough. It's the spiritual war that surrounds me! The little demons are quite determined to keep me from serving the living God. Barriers go up. I am diverted from the goal, but I know I must pursue His plan for my life - or I will never be fulfilled. (DRM 10/24/03)

    Non-Christians don't agree with us. That's obvious. But is this true? Let's try this again. Non-Christians don't agree with Jesus Christ and His Spirit within us. We act the way we do because of His direction. They wouldn't agree with this verse, but Satan's spirit indwells them and causes them to act the way they do.
    We are in a spiritual war between good and evil. As Christians, we are on the winning side. As soldiers of the cross, we are to show His love to ALL people, realizing the opposition is not from the other person, but the spirit that lives within them. (DRM 9/24/17)

6:13    Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand.

    I believe that the armor of God is the learning of His word. When the day of evil comes, or even evil people, we should be prepared to have the knowledge of God's word ready to speak and witness to His great power.  (DRM 3/7/87)

    When proclaiming the Gospel, there will be resistance and I will probably lose "friends." I will have to remember the real source of these problems and stand up for what is right. It won't be easy. (DRM 10/5/2000)

6:14    Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,

    This is part of a series of verses on the "Armor of God."
    Truth is the Word of God; our Bible. The Lord wants us to be devoted totally to Him and to learn more about Him through daily Bible reading/study.
    Righteousness is like Christian living. As a follower of Jesus, we are to do things that He would approve of. Righteousness is progressive and is a life journey. We (I) don't become righteous overnight. (DRM 1/18/12)

6:15    . . . and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE;

    To shod your feet is to cover them with socks or shoes or boots. This is done to protect you from cuts and bruises that you can get if walking barefoot.
    We (I) need to cover our soul with knowledge of the Gospel/Bible to avoid the cuts and bruises that Satan and his demons can give us if we are not prepared with the verses that hold up our faith.
    Expect to be attacked and be prepared. (DRM 9/4/12)

6:16    . . .  in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

    This is another part of "The Armor of God." The devil and his demons will attack any weak link they can find in us and our faith.
    As instructed here, we are being forewarned he will attack. We are to defend ourselves like using a shield with our faith in Jesus and God. The attacks WILL come, but we can stand up to them with faith that He is watching over us in every situation.
    Don't lose faith, don't doubt the Lord's abilities - He will bring you/me through the trials. (DRM 11/17/14)

6:17    And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

    This verse shows two more pieces of the "Armor of God."
    The helmet of salvation could protect us from those who want to change our mind to their religion or cult. When we know the truth there should be no desire to change or leave our devotion to the Lord Jesus.
    The sword is clearly defined here. We need to be able to defend our faith by knowing the context of the word of God=the Bible. Memorization of key verses is best - but I have difficulty memorizing, so keep reading the Bible over and over and become familiar with all the content from cover to cover. (DRM 6/3/15)

6:18    With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

    Some people may ask how to "pray at all times"? I think the answer is to have pure thoughts, like having concern for others in physical need. You can pray with your eyes open and doing routine things, but thinking a prayer. Since God=Jesus knows my every thought, if possible, it should be considered a prayer to Him. I try to do this a lot! (DRM 10/24/09)

6:19,20    and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. 

    Paul is asking for prayer for himself here. Remembering that it is the Holy Spirit that convicts people, we have to depend on the Lord for the results. I pray that I will have people praying for me when I try to become more bold to tell people of Christ. (DRM 10/6/2000)

    [re: 6:19]    Certainly I pray this prayer for myself, however, like Paul, I need others to pray "on my behalf." Very few know the desires of my heart. People seem too busy to think about others. [I'm guilty also] Hopefully I will have a circle of friends soon. (DRM 10/25/03)

    [re: 6:19]    Certainly I'm not Paul, but his prayer request here would be almost the same as the prayer request I would ask for others concerning me.
    I don't know why I'm fearful of verbally proclaiming the gospel - people can and have ignored me before. It could be the fear of Satan's attacks. Whatever the reason - I still need boldness! (DRM 10/21/06)

6:21    But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you.

    As should be expected, Paul had several friends in his ministry. Apparently he had several of them come to visit him while in prison; as referred to in other letters.
    In this verse, Paul mentions Tychicus who would give the church in Ephesus updates on Paul's condition, so he had to travel between the two locations.
    We all need friends. Some (most) are acquaintances that you see occasionally, but don't know everything about you. True friends are hard to find, as they spend time and really seem to care. Pray that God gives you these. (DRM 9/4/15)

6:22    And I have sent him (Tychicus) to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts. 

    What was Tychicus's job? To tell people about the existence of the Christians and to comfort people. Isn't that evangelism? I am convinced that the Lord wants everyone to be an evangelist, but few "go." (DRM 10/7/2000)

6:23, 24    Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.

    How can I add anything to the end of Paul's letter?
    Paul truly loved all followers of Jesus and this showed both his love and also that the Lord God wanted him to write the same from Him. Verse 23 reminds us that the words Paul wrote were God inspired and directed, and not just his own, which probably was the case for verse 24.
    Our love for Jesus must not fail. We want to end spiritually strong. There is no doubt that Jesus loves those who love Him. (DRM 9/5/15)