Study Guide

Ephesians and Colossians Summary

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Ephesians and Colossians Summary

The Epistle to the Ephesians

Here we have yet another letter from the Apostle Paul. You may remember him from such New Testament letters as Romans and 1 Corinthians. This time, Paul's writing to the church in Ephesus and, boy, does he have a lot to say.

Here's his message:

God is great. He gave the world Jesus and then he handpicked Christians to be his chosen people. Sure, it was sad when Jesus died on that cross, but some good stuff did come out of it. Because Jesus sacrificed himself, God is willing to wipe the slate clean and start over with humanity.

Plus, God has opened his doors to new members in his post-Jesus phase. Before, God only had a special relationship with the Jewish people. Now he's cool with anyone who wants to become a follower of Jesus. That means that Gentiles who dig Jesus are entitled to the same love and doting attention God has been lavishing on his people since he created this place we call Earth.

Wondering why Paul's writing all this stuff down in a letter? Well, besides the fact that he just loves writing letters, he's also in prison. Yup. He's doing time for Jesus. But he didn't want the folks in Ephesus to miss out on all his good advice. Advice like…

  • Love each other, Ephesians. That's a biggie. 
  • Wives should respect their husbands. 
  • Kids should listen to their parents. 
  • And slaves should most definitely obey their masters.

Hey, some of Paul's advice is better than others.

Remember, it's hard out there for a Christian. Paul suggests that the Ephesians put on the armor of faith to guard themselves from the naysayers out there. Sadly, this armor won't help much when these naysayers start throwing rocks. But at least it's something.

And that's all from Paul. Thank you, Ephesus! You've been a great audience!

The Epistle to the Colossians

This letter is a bit of a recap from what Paul wrote to the folks in Ephesus. Either Paul drafted both these letters at the same time or something really fishy is going on here.

Anyway, Paul wants the folks in Colossae to know that Jesus is the bomb. He's been around since the beginning of time and his mere existence is the glue that holds all of Creation together. Impressive. His death also saved the entire world. Seriously, when was the last time you did that?

Paul might still be in prison (no time off for good behavior), but he's still got some wisdom to dole out. The Colossians need to watch out for false teachers who are looking to lead them astray. They don't have to worry about all those pesky Jewish laws from the first five books of the Bible. (There's 613 of them, so that's a load off.) And wives, kids, and slaves? Keep on obeying.

Paul is nothing if not consistent.

See you when he sees you, Colossae! Paul out.

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