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Conclusion of the Epistle

Devotions

Ephesians was one of the first New Testament books to be recognized as Scripture by the early church fathers. In one of his writings, Polycarp (a.d. 69–155) quoted from Psalm 4:5 and Ephesians 4:26 in such a way as to clearly indicate that he regarded both as the inspired Word of God. As we conclude this month’s study of Ephesians, we must remember that it’s God’s Word to us today! The call to live worthy of the gospel, and our need to clearly understand God’s purposes and plan in salvation, are as relevant and urgent today as they were two thousand years ago.

Tychicus, one of Paul’s trusted ministry partners, delivered the letter and would have been able to authenticate it as from the Apostle (vv. 21–22). He also brought personal greetings and news of how Paul was doing under house arrest in Rome. He may have been based there for a time during Paul’s third missionary journey (see Acts 20:4) and would return at least once more in later years (see 2 Tim. 4:12). He also carried the epistle to the Colossians, in which Paul referred to him as a “dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord” (Col. 4:7).

In closing his letter, Paul wished the church at Ephesus peace, love with faith, and grace (vv. 23–24). While a standard sign-off, these also summarize the gospel. We have peace with God and unity with one another because of Christ’s reconciling work. We rest secure in God’s love in Christ, which is higher and wider and longer and deeper than we can ever fully understand. We’re saved by grace alone to the glory of God alone, and the best response is to “love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love” or “love incorruptible.”

Apply the Word

What lessons has God taught you through this month’s study? What truth have you seen in a new way? What attitude or action has the Holy Spirit convicted you to relinquish or adopt? Our prayer for you is that your “undying love” for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has been fanned into a flame that will encourage others and bring glory to God.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Brad Baurain has worked as a writer or editor for Today in the Word since 1993. Currently, he serves as associate professor and TESOL program head at Moody Bible Institute. Brad has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has also taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Brad and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Munster, Indiana.

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