In 49 B.C., when the Roman Consul Lentulus recruited Roman citizens in Asia Minor for a military exercise over Pompey, the Jews of Ephesus, were Roman citizens but were exempted from military service because he respected their Jewish laws. This Jewish population in Ephesus did not wane through the years, by the time the Apostle Paul came in about 52 A.D., there was possibly no less than 1,000 Jews in Ephesus, as the historian Josephus uses the words “many hundreds” in reference to the region within that time frame for Ephesus. When Paul preached the gospel of Christ in the synagogue of Ephesus during his first visit to that city (Acts 18:19); Apollos, a learned Jew from Alexandria, assisted by Priscilla and Aquila, proclaimed it in the same place (18:24-26). Paul, on his second visit, again preached in the synagogue; but when some Jews rejected his teaching, he continued elsewhere with Tyrannus. So the letter we have today, must be read in the context of Jewish Christians growing to accept Greek & Egyptian Christians with very little or no understanding of their roots in this new Faith. The revelations Paul makes to us in this letter, would be almost shocking to the first readers. So Paul wrote this to help them both understand what God’s eternal purpose was in Jesus Christ. He identified the church as “in Christ”, using the phrase over 22 times in this short letter. Paul wrote this letter about 10-15 years after he first met them, while he was incarcerated in Rome, so it’s probably around 65 A.D. We know it was Paul who wrote it, because even an early critic (Marcion appx 145A.D.) of Jesus admitted that it was written by Paul. Which makes sense, when you consider it was Paul who spent at least 3 years preaching in Ephesus, Acts 20:31. Who knows them better, for God to instruct them on such vital life changing truths, that needs to be accepted? Here are 8 topics which give us the gist of the entire letter.
1. Heavenly Places, 1:3,20.
2. The Church, 1:1 – 5:29
3. The Walk, 2:2 & 5:2-15
4. Salvation, 2:5-8
5. The New Creation, 2:10-15
6. The Mystery Revealed, 3:3-9
7. Unity in Christ, 4:1-6
8. Spiritual Warfare, 6:10-19
The opening lines of Paul’s teaching entitle all Christians as…
Foreordained & Adopted Children v5
To Praise His Grace in the Beloved Christ, v6
Do we praise God for how good He is to us in Jesus Christ?