It has been hard to sit down and write my concluding thoughts on Ephesians. It is an adventure I have been pursuing for four years, and this marks the end of the journey.

I started with a belief that this short letter of Paul's was a key to the church moving forward in the power and grace of the Holy Spirit. That belief has been vindicated, even though I feel like my own study has barely scratched the surface.

Paul use the word mystery to describe God’s plan of salvation. A mystery is something that was previously hidden but has now been revealed. I feel that the book of Ephesians is itself a mystery which God is now unveiling.

Many of the struggles which christians face in daily life would disappear if we could only see the world, and our lives, from God’s perspective. Ephesians starts with an amazing statement: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places."

We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. That is an epic statement. It tells us the God has lavished his love on us and that he holds nothing back from us. It also tells us that the blessings are in the heavenly realm. We have to fix our attention on heaven and not on earth to receive the blessings that God has for us.

But the blessings are not for individuals alone. We are being built into a temple for God, a household of faith. All of the divisions and conflicts of human history are done away with when we recognise that we are all one in Christ.

When we really absorb this truth about who we are in Christ, it results in a new life. We are no longer locked into the ways of sin followed by those who do not know Christ. Growing in our understanding of Christ's forgiveness, we become imitators of God, living holy lives not sinful lives.

Marriages are transformed and family relationships renewed. Even the workplace is made new by the power of submitting ourselves to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Paul reminds us in the very last chapter that every battle is spiritual. We sometimes lose sight of this fact. We fight against people rather than the true enemies - the rulers, principalities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. God has given us weapons that will protect us in this battle. We have to take them up, praying in the Spirit at all times.

I have been surprised by the depth of understanding that the Holy Spirit has given me in this study of Ephesians. To see each verse of a dozen or so words speak to issues of faith and life has been a revelation in itself.

I hope that you, the reader of this book, are encouraged to go deeper into the Word of God. May God give you a deeper, fresh revelation of his grace to you and of your place in his eternal Kingdom. Amen