The Expectation and the Prize: Ephesians and Philippians Contrasted

The Expectation and the Prize: Ephesians and Philippians Contrasted (Supplement to “Life, Calling, and Prize” article.)

  1. Fullness vs. Emptiness

Ephesians: Emphasizes Christ’s Exaltation. The fullness of Him…He fills all…

Philippians: Emphasizes Christ’s Humility. He empties Himself…

  1. Boldness vs. Fear

Ephesians: We have boldness and confidence.

Philippians: We work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

  1. Expectation vs. Prize

Ephesians: The expectation His calling.

Philippians: The prize of the high calling.

  1. Grace vs. Race

Ephesians: We have a position among the most elevated by grace through the faith.

Philippians: We run a race to win a prize.


These differences should be enough to highlight and give us insight into the unique aspects of these two letters.

In Ephesians, we marvel at the greatness of Christ and our position in Him, and therefore God’s great riches, overwhelming grace, and great love, are dwelt upon.

In Philippians, we enter the sphere of service, of running a race, and therefore our disposition, our predominant bent, our willingness to sacrifice ourselves for others, are dwelt upon.

Grace (Ephesians) is the greatest motivation for Service (Philippians) the world has ever known. If grace doesn’t make us want to love Him more and serve Him better, nothing else will.

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