Read for This Week’s Study: Eph. 1:3-14; Gal. 4:7; Eph. 2:11-22; 4:1-6, 11; Matt. 20:25-28; Eph. 5:15-6:9.
Memory Text: “Having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth-in Him” (Ephesians 1:9, 10, NKJV).
Ephesus was a major center of commerce and influence in Asia Minor. The church there, in Ephesus, was made up of Jews, Gentiles, and people in all social walks of life. Such a diverse membership might have been as prone to conflicts as the world in which they lived; that is, if it weren’t for Christ and the unity they had in Him as members of the body of Christ. Thus, Paul’s concern for unity among Christ’s followers is the central theme of his Epistle to the Ephesians.
Paul’s concept of unity has two dimensions: unity in the church, where Jews and Gentiles are brought together in one body-Christ; and unity in the universe, in which all things in heaven and earth find their ultimate oneness in Christ.
The source of this unity is Christ. Paul’s expression “in Christ” or “with Christ” is used numerous times in this epistle in order to show what God has accomplished for us and for the universe through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God’s ultimate purpose in the plan of salvation is to reunify all things through Christ. This unity will be made fully manifest only at the end of the age.