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United to Christ, Walking in the Spirit: A Theology of Ephesians (Merkle)

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Paul wrote Ephesians as instruction and encouragement for the church in Ephesus, and it has continued to influence the church for centuries. This New Testament book specifically focuses on the believer’s union with Christ and our inability to stand before God without the work of Jesus Christ and the Spirit, both of which are still essential today. 

In this addition to the New Testament Theology series, scholar Benjamin Merkle offers an accessible summary of the theology of Ephesians that highlights God’s work in salvation and how Christians should respond. Each chapter focuses on a key theological theme—the plan of God, union with Christ, walking according to the Spirit, unity of the church, and spiritual warfare in the present age—and why it is relevant for the church today.


Benjamin L. Merkle (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the Dr. M. O. Owens Jr. Chair of New Testament Studies and professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a contributor to the ESV Expository Commentary.


United to Christ, Walking in the Spirit clearly and concisely presents the themes of Paul’s short but majestic letter to the Ephesians. The themes of individual union with Christ, the teaching about the church, and the call to walk well are all well handled. If you desire to understand the theme of this letter, this book is for you.”
Darrell L. Bock, Executive Director of Cultural Engagement, The Hendricks Center, Dallas Theological Seminary

“Few books of the Bible lay out the height, depth, and breadth of the gospel like Ephesians. Benjamin Merkle puts the riches of this beloved Pauline epistle on full display, offering fresh insights into God’s plan, union with Christ, life in the Spirit, the unity of the church, and spiritual warfare. Whether you are a pastor, teacher, small-group leader, or simply someone who wants to better understand Ephesians, this accessible book will deepen your love for Christ and show you how to live out the gospel more faithfully.”
Matthew S. Harmon, Professor of New Testament Studies, Grace College and Theological Seminary; author, Asking the Right Questions: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Applying the Bible

“With strong exegetical support of his biblical theology, and with equally strong biblical theology considerations guiding his exegetical analysis, United to Christ, Walking in the Spirit is a gift to the body of Christ. In this small volume, Benjamin Merkle gives a masterful reading of Ephesians’ argument and individual themes. He reads in concert with the best scholarship on Ephesians as he explains Paul’s understanding of the role of the church in the decree of God—in redemptive history—and the treasures of the individual elements that are part of the web of our salvation. Anyone wishing to enjoy the book of Ephesians with greater depth and joy should have this work close at hand.”
Eric C. Redmond, Professor of Bible, Moody Bible Institute

“The theology of Ephesians is rich, inspiring, and transformative. Benjamin Merkle has put together a concise and helpful summary of the key theological themes of Ephesians in this volume. His description is not only an enriching book to read but the perfect complement to a commentary in a course on Ephesians.”
Clinton E. Arnold, Research Professor of New Testament, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University