What is so unique about the message contained in the letter to the Ephesians?
Some people may not recognize unique features of the book of Ephesians because it is one of four prison epistles. Scholars believe that Ephesians and Colossians were written at the same time because they have similar themes and language.
But there are unique features to the book of Ephesians. It opens with a beautiful image full of the benefits of our salvation (Ephesians 1:3-14). It’s rich with salvation words like adoption, redemption, forgiveness, inheritance, and sealed, to name a few.
Ephesians 2:11-22 talks about Christ as our peace unlike any other writing of Paul. He introduces images like the dividing wall of hostility the Jerusalem temple, Christ uniting two people in his body sacrificed on the cross to bring peace, fellow citizenship for Jews and Gentiles, and being part of the building of the holy house of God.
Ephesians 3 talks about the mystery of the gospel brought to the Gentiles. Although there have been hints of it throughout Israel’s history, especially from the prophetic books, it would surprise many Jews, even those in Paul’s day, that God was opening the door for the Gentiles to be part of the people of God.
Ephesians 4:11 introduces the leadership gifts of the Holy Spirit, not put together in one place anywhere else in the New Testament. And then it describes the goal of the church to become mature in the faith and in unity.
Ephesians 5:14 introduces what may be one of the ancient Christian hymns that we don’t have anywhere else. And finally, Ephesians 6:10-20 completes the book with the armor of God and spiritual warfare, also unique to the book of Ephesians.
Although it was one of the prison epistles and written at the same time of Colossians, sharing several companion passages with that book, Ephesians presents plenty of unique material from the apostle. Like all of the books of the Bible, it contributes a wide variety of unique and special features to the faith.