How to Study Ephesians (NASB)

General Instruction

    1. Read Ephesians and color every reference to the author in one color, every reference to the recipients in another.

    2. When you finish, read Acts 18:18-21 (Paul's first visit to Ephesus was on his second missionary journey). Then read Acts 19 for account of Paul's second visit in his third missionary journey. This passage will help you understand why the letter to the Ephesians deals with warfare and our position in Christ more extensively than any other epistle.

Chapter 1 -3

Read Ephesians 1 through 3 one chapter at a time, doing the following:

    1. Mark or note each reference to God. Then make a list of everything God does.

    2. Mark distinctively each reference to being in Christ and in Him. Then on the Observations chart, under the heading "Our Wealth and Position in Christ," list what believers have in Christ. Also, pay particular attention to the phrase in the heavenly places, which is key to warfare. Note the chapter and verse from which the information comes when you make your list.

    3. Mark each reference to the Holy Spirit. On the Observations chart, under the heading "Or Relationship with the Holy Spirit," list what is taught about the person and work of the Holy Spirit.

    4. Mark the other key words (with their synonyms and pronouns). Put these on an index card and use it as a bookmark.

    5. Mark distinctively each reference to riches (rich). Then list what you learn about these riches. Remember to ask the "5 W's and an H": Who is rich and in what? How are these riches described? What is done with the riches? And so on.

    6. Mark each use of formerly. Then on the Observations Chart under the heading "Our Former Lifestyle and Walk," list what Ephesians says about how believers lived before salvation.

Chapter 4 - 6

    1. Read Ephesians 4 through 6 by chapter, doing the following:

        1. Mark each occurrence of Walk. Then on the Observation Chart, under the heading "Our Walk in Christ," list what is taught about the lifestyle of a believer. Also go back to 2:2, 10 and mark and list what these verses teach about the believer's lifestyle. Then ask yourself: How am I to life? Why am I able to live this way?

        2. Mark the key words listed on your bookmark. Also, mark stand firm in chapter 6. Observe what you learn from the uses of former (ly) in this section of Ephesians. Note the contrast between our former lifestyle and or walk in Christ and record any new insights.

        3. As you mark Holy Spirit and in the Lord, think about what you learn and hoe you are to walk in Him. Record your insights.

    2. After you observe Ephesians 6:10-20, compare this with Ephesians 1:18-23. Note the references to powers and rulers ( and their synonyms). Note what this tells you about the importance of spiritual warfare in this epistle and how believers can stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

    3. On Ephesians Structure:

        1. Record the theme of the book and each chapter in the appropriate space.

        2. As you have seen, there is a change of emphasis between chapter 3 and 4. Under "Segment Divisions" write what best summarizes the content of chapters 1-3 and then chapters 4-6.

Key Words in the NIV and KJV

Key doctrines in Ephesians

  1. The mystery of the church, the body of Christ - all believers in Jesus Christ are equal before the Lord as His children and citizens of His eternal kingdom (1:22, 23; 3:6; 5:32; Col 1:24; Rev 21:9)

  2. The blessings of Jesus Christ - all believers receive the unsearchable riches in Christ through His grace and inheritance (1:2, 5-9; 2:7; 3:8, 16, 19; 4:13; 5:18; 6:10-13; Gen 24:31; 26:29; Ps 36:8; 63:5; 91:5-10; Is 12:2; 40:11; Matt 25:34; John 17:21; Eph 3:12; 2Pet 1:4; Rev 13:8)


Studies on Ephesians