Series on Ephesians

This is a series of 150 expository sermons on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians preached in the evening approximately from 2007-2011. If I were to publish these sermons in book form, they would consist of 5 volumes of 500 pages each. For a brief summary of the structure, contents, and theology of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians you can refer to my 2 Bible study lectures on the book.

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is a short but magisterial treatise on the fullness of the glory of Christ that magnifies the sovereignty of God in salvation the spiritual blessings that believers have in Christ, in their union and communion with Him by the Holy Spirit, and the implications this has for the Christian life and our several duties and relations. So the book has a lot to say about the Lordship of Christ and the importance of imitating Him in the Christian life, in marriage and family, and in our work and callings in the world. It is a brilliant and magnificent letter.
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is the first of Paul’s prison epistles written while he was in Rome under house arrest, along with Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon the smallest of the Pastoral Epistles. They are all prison epistles written at the same time. Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians are moreover Paul’s Christological letters, in that they all emphasize as their main theme the glory and sufficiency of Christ. Ephesians focuses on the fullness of the glory of Christ. Philippians is on the humiliation and exaltation of Christ. Colossians is on the Headship and all-sufficiency of Christ.
So Ephesians is a wonderful book of 6 chapters that is a summary of Paul’s theology and an explanation of Christian doctrine. It can be carefully read in just 10-15 minutes. And because Colossians is a sister letter, written with a similar style, structure and purpose they ought to be read and studied together for the greatest spiritual profit.
There are two parts to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, two halves: One is on Theology (Eph.1-3) and the other is on Practice (Eph.4-6). In Ch.1-3 we have Paul’s declaration of the fullness of the glory of Christ and His sovereignty over the church. And then in Ch.4-6 we have Paul’s description of the glory and sovereignty of Christ working in the church and the Christian life. In Ch.1-3 Paul describes a believer’s position in Christ. And in Ch.4-6 he describes a believer’s practice in Christ. The first half of the letter is profoundly doctrinal as well as inspirational in its description of Christian truth and the sovereignty of God in salvation. And the second half Ch.4-6 is equally profound and inspirational in its exhortation on the Christian life and its instruction for believers walk in conformity to Christ. For this reason there is a profound symmetry to the letter. The heart and center as well as the hinge of the letter, is the benediction of Eph.3:20-21.
The book is rich in spiritual truth, powerful in argumentation, profound in theological depth, instructive in practical devotion, and encouraging in every way that is foundational to the Christian life. It shows us the glory of Christ, God’s sovereign plan of redemption, the fullness of God’s grace in Christ, the nature of regeneration and conversion in Christ, the mystery of the Gospel, the importance of the NT church, the life of faith and obedience in Christ, in personal devotion, in the family, in our several callings, as well as the Christian’s warfare in this present evil world.
Now, it is for this reason that Ephesians has been one of the most treasured books in the Bible, and one of the most often studied, preached through, and commented upon by pastors and Biblical scholars throughout church history. It is a defense of the doctrines of grace and in many ways a handbook on Biblical reformation. In fact it carries on from Romans and Galatians and goes into greater detail and clarity about God’s saving purposes, the glory of Christ, and the nature of the Christian life. And it carries on from 1-2 Corinthians with added clarity the importance of the church and the ministry for the Christian life and for building a godly Christian family. Ephesians is a short letter, but it is full of sound Biblical doctrine and solid teaching on the every aspect of the Christian life.
Nearly every one of the early church fathers, the Reformers, the Puritans, and sound Evangelical and Reformed leaders of the modern era have written about Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, and also praised it for its teaching.
*Athanasius spoke of it as the most brilliant and eloquent of all of Paul’s letters.
*John Chrysostom called it the crown of Paul’s writing and the glory of the NT Scriptures.
*John Calvin always spoke of Ephesians as his favorite letter and the clearest testimony of the sovereignty of God and the glory of Christ in all of Scripture.
*Jerome Zanchius said, “We have here an epitome of the whole of Christian doctrine, and of almost all the chief heads of divinity. In the first part of Ch.1-3 Paul describes the glorious truths of the Gospel, the plan of God in salvation, and the fullness of the glory of Christ. In the second part, Ch.4-6 Paul describes the several duties of the Christian life as it relates to the church, the family, and our relations with others and the world. In this Ephesians is full and comprehensive in scope and purpose.”
*Charles Hodge the great theologian said, “In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians we are given a most brilliant summary and compendium of divine truth and the path to spiritual blessing in Christ.”
It should be no surprise than that Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is for many reasons very relevant today for the church and the Christian life. A brief reading of the letter immediately proves this; and also shows that this is a short treatise on the sovereignty of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ over all things. The letter is entirely God-centered.
*Matthew Henry said, “God has exalted His Son over all things, and now He is to be exalted as Lord in all things.” That is in many ways a summary of the letter.
This of course is a powerful remedy to the man-centered forms of false religion and modern philosophies that are widespread today; as well as the many evils in the church as a result of all the deviant forms of Christianity and the compromises that are made today in Evangelical and Reformed churches.
You see, Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is entirely God-centered. It directs our our thoughts, our convictions, our aspirations, our hopes, our faith, and our lives entirely upon God and the fullness of His grace revealed in Jesus Christ. We cannot read it and study it without being inspired in faith, emboldened to worship, and challenged to live for the glory of God.
Ephesians teaches us to look in faith to the fullness of the glory of Jesus Christ, to acknowledge His Lordship over all things, to trust and depend upon the sovereignty of God, to enjoy God’s saving love for us in Christ, the beauty of His saving purposes, and the spiritual blessings that we have in Him; and so to live for His glory in conformity to Christ and His word.
Ephesians shows us the way of salvation is by grace through faith in Christ, and that the true grounds of peace and reconciliation with God and in relationships are through the cross. Here in Ephesians Paul shows us that the church consists of Jews and Gentiles in one body, the middle wall of partition being torn down. Ephesians shows us the glory of the NT church and the ministry of the Gospel. It teaches us how to live by faith in Christ, to grow in love, in truth, in holiness, to walk in the light of God’s truth. It teaches us to reform our families and relationships under the direction of Christ’s Lordship and sovereignty over the church. And it gives us encouragement and inspiration by opening up the Christian’s warfare and the armor of God that we are to take up and use for the fight and victory of faith.
  1. The Fullness of the Glory of Christ, A Theological Introduction to Ephesians NEW SERIES
  2. The Mystery of Christ in Ephesus, An Historical Introduction to Ephesians
  3. The Word of God’s Blessing: a Pastoral Introduction to Ephesians, Eph.1:1
  4. The Saints and Faithful Brethren in Christ, Eph.1:1
  5. Grace and Peace and Every Spiritual Blessing, Eph.1:2
  6. Praising God for Every Spiritual Blessing, Eph.1:3 NEW SERIES
  7. Chosen by God: The Biblical Doctrine of Election, Eph.1:4
  8. Predestined to Adoption: The Blessing of Sonship, Eph.1:5-6
  9. Accepted in the Beloved, Eph.1:6
  10. Redemption in Christ, Eph.1:7
  11. Abounding in Grace, Eph.1:7-8
  12. Singing Praises to the Glory of God, Eph.1:7-12
  13. Knowing the Mystery of God’s Will, Eph.1:9
  14. The Restoration of All Things in Christ, Eph.1:10
  15. Our Eternal Inheritance in Christ, Eph.1:11-12
  16. Sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise, Eph.1:13
  17. The Holy Spirit: The Earnest and Pledge of Our Inheritance, Eph.1:14
  18. Praying for Spiritual Knowledge and a Vision of Christ’s Glory, Intro to Eph.1:15-23 NEW SERIES
  19. Praying for the Saints, Eph.1:15-16
  20. A Sanctified Knowledge of God, Eph.1:17-18
  21. Growing in Spiritual Confidence, Eph.1:19-20
  22. Christ’s Exaltation and Glory, Eph.1:20-21
  23. Christ’s Lordship and Sovereignty, Eph.1:22-23
  24. The Claims of Christ’s Lordship, A Summary of Eph.1:15-23
  25. Saved by Grace, An Introduction to Eph.2:1-10 NEW SERIES
  26. The Depravity of Man in Sin, Eph.2:1-3
  27. Sinners in Bondage and Unable to Save Themselves, Eph.2:1-3
  28. Life without God: The Miserable Estate of Sinners apart from Christ, Eph.2:1-3
  29. The Glory of God’s Saving Grace, Eph.2:4-7
  30. Regeneration in Christ, Eph.2:5-6
  31. Saved by Grace through Faith, Eph.2:8-9
  32. God’s Workmanship, Eph.2:10
  33. Walking in the Spirit, Eph.2:10
  34. Reconciliation in Christ, Introduction to Eph.2:11-22 NEW SERIES  
  35. Gentiles Once without Christ, Eph.2:11-12
  36. Brought Near to God, Eph.2:13
  37. Christ Our Peace, Eph.2:14-15
  38. Reconciled to God by the Cross of Christ, Eph.2:16-18
  39. The Blessings of being Reconciled to God in Christ, Eph.2:19-20
  40. The Building of God’s Temple, Eph.2:19-20
  41. The Church that Christ Builds, Eph.2:19-22
  42. The Mystery of Christ and the Ministry of the Gospel, Introduction to Eph.3:1-13 NEW SERIES
  43. Suffering as a Prisoner of Christ, Eph.3:1
  44. The Value of Suffering in Service to Christ, Eph.3:1-2
  45. The Stewardship of the Gospel, Eph.3:1-2
  46. The Knowledge of the Mystery of Christ, Eph.3:3-6
  47. A True and Faithful Ministry, Eph.3:6-8
  48. The Glory of Preaching Christ, Eph.3:8-9
  49. The Grand Design of Preaching Christ, Eph.3:10-11
  50. The Blessings of Hearing Christ’s Word, Eph.3:12-13
  51. The Greatness of Christ’s Love and the Ministry of Prayer, Introduction to Eph.3:14-21 NEW SERIES
  52. Addressing God the Father in Prayer, Eph.3:14-15
  53. The Petitions of Devout Prayer – Part 1, Eph.3:16-19
  54. The Petitions of Devout Prayer – Part 2, Eph.3:16-19
  55. Glorifying God in Your Prayers, Eph.3:20-21
  56. Walking Worthy of Christ, Introduction to Eph.4-6
  57. The Unity of the Body of Christ, Introduction to Eph.4:1-16 NEW SERIES
  58. A Life of Christian Love and Humility, Eph.4:1-3
  59. The Unity of God and the Unity of the Church, Eph.4:4-6
  60. Spiritual Gifts and the Unity of the Church, Eph.4:7-8
  61. Christ’s Sovereign Glory and the Church’s Spiritual Unity, Eph.4:9-10
  62. The Gifts of the Ministry, Eph.4:11-12
  63. The Three-Fold Work and Ministry of the Gospel, Eph.4:11-14
  64. The Goal of the Ministry and the Perfection of Christ, Eph.4:13-14
  65. The Growth of the Body of Christ in Love, Eph.4:15-16
  66. The Spiritual Anatomy of a Mature and Healthy Church, Summary of Eph.4:1-16
  67. The Limits to Christian Unity, Concluding Observations on Eph.4:1-16
  68. The Sanctified Life, Introduction to Eph.4:17-32 NEW SERIES
  69. The Anatomy of Sin and the Peril of a Perverted Life, Eph.4:17-19
  70. Sanctification in Christ, Eph.4:20-21
  71. Spiritual Renewal in Christ, Eph.4:22-24
  72. Speaking Truth with Your Neighbor, Eph.4:25
  73. Controlling Your Anger for Christ, Eph.4:26-27
  74. A Life of Godly Stewardship, Eph.4:28
  75. Learning to Speak for Edification, Eph.4:29
  76. Grieve Not the Holy Spirit of God, Eph.4:30
  77. A Life of Christian Grace, Eph.4:31-32*
  78. Be Imitators of God, Eph.5:1-2, Intro to Eph.5:1-21 NEW SERIES
  79. Christ’s Sacrificial Love, Eph.5:1-2
  80. Walking in Christian Love, Eph.5:2-4
  81. The Wrath of God upon Sinners, Eph.5:5-7
  82. Walking as Children of Light, Eph.5:8-10
  83. Exposing the Works of Darkness, Eph.5:11-14
  84. Christ Calling Sinners to Light, Eph.5:14
  85. Walking in Wisdom, Eph.5:15-17
  86. Do Not Be Drunk with Wine, Eph.5:18
  87. Be Filled with the Holy Spirit, Eph.5:19-21
  88. The Spirit of Grace, Eph.5:19
  89. Singing Praise to the Lord, Eph.5:19
  90. Giving Thanks to God, Eph.5:20
  91. A Life of Godly Submission, Eph.5:21
  92. The Distinguishing Marks of True Revival, Eph.5:18-21
  93. The Hindrances to True Spiritual Revival, Eph.5:18-21
  94. Biblical Principles for Family Reformation, Introduction to Eph.5:22-6:4 NEW SERIES
  95. The Principles of a Godly Christian Marriage, Eph.5:22-33
  96. The Duty of a Godly Wife: Reverent Submission, Eph.5:21-24
  97. A Godly Wife’s Ministry to Her Husband, Eph.5:21-24
  98. The Duty of a Godly Husband: Sacrificial Love, Eph.5:25-33
  99. Christ the Model of True Sacrificial Love, Eph.5:25
  100. A Glorious Church and Bride, Eph.5:26-27
  101. A Wife Prepared for Glory, Eph.5:28-29
  102. So Husbands Ought to Love their Wives, Eph.5:28-32
  103. The Marriage Covenant Sanctified, Eph.5:33
  104. The Blessing of Covenant Children, Eph.6:1-4
  105. The Obedience of Covenant Children, Eph.6:1-4
  106. Children are to Love and Obey the Lord, Eph.6:1-4
  107. Christ’s Favor to Little Children, Eph.6:1-4
  108. Christ’s Favor a Token for Godly Parents, Eph.6:1-4
  109. The Duty of Parents in Raising their Children for the Lord, Eph.6:4
  110. The Basics of Biblical Parenting, Eph.6:4
  111. Bring Up Your Children in the Knowledge of the Lord, Eph.6:4
  112. Bring Up Your Children in the Virtues and Graces of the Lord, Eph.6:4
  113. Catechize Your Children in the Lord, Eph.6:4
  114. Raising Godly Youth, Eph.6:4
  115. A Christian Father’s Ministry to His Children, Eph.6:4
  116. A Christian Mother’s Ministry to Her Children, Eph.6:4
  117. Sanctified Siblings: Brothers and Sisters in the Christian Family, Eph.6:4
  118. The Role of Godly Grandparents, Psalm 92
  119. Family Life in the Christian Home, Eph.6:1-4
  120. Family Love in the Christian Home, Eph.6:1-4
  121. Family Worship in the Christian Home, Eph.6:1-4
  122. Family Friends and the Christian Home, Eph.6:1-4
  123. The Marks of a Godly Servant, Eph.6:5-8 NEW SERIES
  124. Serving Christ in Your Work and Labor, Eph.6:5
  125. The Reason and Reward of Our Labor, Eph.6:5-8
  126. The Godly Master’s Rule, Eph.6:9
  127. The Gospel and the Issue of Slavery, Eph.6:4-9
  128. The Saint’s Spiritual Warfare: Hallmarks of the Christian Life, An Introduction to Eph.6:10-20 NEW SERIES
  129. The Christian’s Warfare, Introduction to Eph.6:10-20
  130. The Call to Spiritual Battle, Eph.6:10-11
  131. Courage for the Combat, Eph.6:10-12
  132. The Devil is Your Enemy, Eph.6:11-12
  133. Christ’s Power and Victory over the Devil, Eph.6:10-13
  134. Stand Firm against the Wiles of the Devil, Eph.6:10-13
  135. The Devi;s Attack upon the Word of God, Eph.6:10-13
  136. Resisting the Devil’s Temptations, Eph.6:10-13
  137. Perils in the Christian Warfare, Eph.6:10-13
  138. The Christian’s Armor: An Introduction, Eph.6:14-17
  139. Put on the Belt of Truth, Eph.6:14
  140. Put on the Breastplate of Righteousness, Eph.6:14
  141. Put on the Boots of the Gospel of Peace, Eph.6:15
  142. Take Up the Shield of Faith, Eph.6:16
  143. Take the Helmet of Salvation, Eph.6:17
  144. Take the Sword of the Spirit, Eph.6:17
  145. The Word of God in the Christian Warfare, Eph.6:17
  146. Prayer and the Christian Warfare, Eph.6:18-19
  147. Reasons for Constant Prayer, Eph.6:18-19
  148. A Plea to Pray for Pastors, Eph.6:19-20
  149. The Marks of a Faithful Minister, Eph.6:21-22
  150. A Prayer of Blessing for the Saints, Eph.6:23-24
  151. Knowing Christ: The Way to Every Spiritual Blessing, Eph.6:23-24