Monday, April 21, 2008

What is the (thought) OUTLINE of Ephesians 4 (esp versese 1-16)?

What is the (thought) OUTLINE of Ephesians 4 (esp versese 1-16)?

It's amazing how poorly people outline - or how good they are at coming up with some sort of thematic outline - but one that does not let the text speak for itself. I'm sure I'm old and crazy and too narrow-minded - but... in a bit of searching online, I have found nothing close to an outline of Ephesians 4 that represents Paul's flow of thought.

I'm focusing on Eph 4:1-16. I can say that the main point is NOT UNITY. Unity takes up the most space, but it is not the main point (or if it is, it certainly is called something else first).

It seems that verse 3 is one of the subpoints of verse 1 (walk in a manner worthyof the calling you received). I realize few people take time to read my blog - and fewer still will have time to give me some good answers - but maybe someone will get where I'm going. Anyone? Anyone?

I suppose I could rant about "Thematic" expository preaching. So often the theme seems to take away from the text. I know - it's taught as the way to do it (and no - I haven't had a preaching class and I don't even know what it's really called). It frustrates me.

I guess I'm hoping someone out there will see Ephesians 4 as I do (which I hope is what Paul was aiming at in his writing).

I'm done ranting - for now. I'll try to post my outline soon.

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At 7:23 PM, Blogger B. Thomas said...

I agree, the theme of Eph. 4 is not unity. Doesn't verse 1 sum up most of the content of the chapter? We are to live according to the calling we have received. One intriguing observation is how many times the words "give" and "receive" are used in the passage. I get the idea that God's act of giving necessarily produces certain godly outcomes in our individual and church life (listed in this pssg. God's "gift" is not useless. God's giving is a functional giving intended to accomplish a purpose. Otherwise, why would a gift be given?
I don't see in this pssg. that Paul is appealing to the Ephesian's sense of obligation. That is, since they have been given these gifts, they are obligated to respond with obedience.
Rather, the power of his argument to get the Ephesians to behave properly is that 'God's gifts yield results'. To misbehave indicates that we are thus thwarting God's greater purposes.
Thanks for letting me muse over this passage, Tim!


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