This book is a user-friendly commentary on Paul’s profound letter to the Ephesians. It is divided into twelve sections, with each section having two parts. At the close of each sub-section there are relevant questions for reflection. The book is suitable for personal or group study. When used personally, depending on how often the book is studied, it can also function as a devotional. Unlike some other commentaries, it does not suffer from information overload or from consideration of topics that are of little relevance to most Christians. Enough details are provided to help understand each passage. The commentary is also suitable for pastors and preachers because it deals with ideas and themes that can be dealt with in pulpit ministry.
As an example of what the author says, here are his comments on raising children from Ephesians 6: It takes a church to raise children, so turn up; it takes the gospel to raise children, so speak up; it takes God to raise children, so pray up. In the church, they see role models in addition to their parents. Speaking about the gospel to children includes mentioning the kindness of God’s forgiving grace to them. Praying about raising children will be the biggest thing that parents can do for them. And the author makes this challenging statement: ‘Children united by the gospel under the rule of Christ are as much part of God’s plan to display his grace in the heavenly realms as anyone else in our church.’
The commentary is part of a series that includes authors such as Tim Keller and Tim Chester. Richard Coekin is senior pastor of a church in London and Director of the Co.Mission church network. He preached through Ephesians twice in the decade before publishing this volume, which should assure users of the commentary that he has noticed and explained the issues that they need to think about. Having used other books in this commentary series, I would encourage individuals, groups and preachers to use this very helpful volume.
This review appeared in the November 2015 issue of the Record of the Free Church of Scotland.