This superb series of teachings originally preached at Westminster Chapel by Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones is a treasure for all who have gradually obtained the hardbacks. Now this extraordinary offer makes the set available in paperback. Don’t miss the opportunity to have your own set of this truly remarkable series.
Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians has always been a particular favourite of mine with its very strong church emphasis. As John Stott says, ‘Nobody can emerge from a careful reading of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians with a privatised gospel. For Ephesians is the gospel of the church.’
I would say that John Stott’s work on Ephesians in the Bible Speaks Today series is the high spot of the whole BST series. His wise pastoral insights yet scholarly approach make this such a helpful volume and one that I would heartily recommend to someone seeking insight into this great Epistle. As he says, ‘It is through the old creation (the universe) that God reveals His glory to humans; it is through the new creation (the church) that He reveals his wisdom to angels.’
His insights into the individual’s experience are not lacking. As he argues, ‘Because you did throw off your former self once and for all, you must now throw off all conduct which belonged to your old life. Your new behaviour must be completely consistent with the kind of person you have become.’
If you want to advance further in your studies I could certainly recommend Andrew Lincoln’s commentary in the series. Disappointed that Lincoln argues that Paul did not write the Epistle, I am nevertheless grateful to Peter Lewis for encouraging me to read a commentary which (to quote D A Carson) ‘on most pages is superb, both at the level of dealing faithfully with the text and at the level of theological reflection. Lincoln’s grasp of the eschatology of the Epistle is profound.’ I personally greatly enjoyed working my way through it and find that I have underlinings on virtually every page.
Most recently, I am just finishing Peter O’Brien’s excellent commentary in the Pillar series. He is clearly an outstanding commentator, proving to be extraordinarily thorough and insightful, and firmly establishing Pauline authorship.
If you have time, however, (and it will be time very well spent!) you would also want to read Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ series of sermons on Ephesians, in the Banner of Truth series on this great Epistle, which Samuel Taylor Coleridge called ‘the divinest composition of man’, and F F Bruce regarded ‘as the quintessence of Paulinism’.
Sadly, I disagree with all of their treatments on the identity and work of an apostle. But there again you can’t have everything!