Summary: Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is really a letter of encouragement written to remind believers of their immeasurable blessings in Jesus Christ, and not only to be thankful for these blessings but to live in a manner worthy of them.
Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus known as Ephesians was written while he was imprisoned in Rome approximately 30 years after Jesus Christ walked this earth. It is known as one of Paul’s prison epistles, along with Philippians, Colossians and Philemon. Ephesus was a very wealthy city located on the east side of the Aegean Sea. It was perhaps best known for its magnificent Temple of Diana, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Diana was the goddess of the hunt, and Paul almost lost his life when he was preaching in the theatre of Ephesus, against idol worship. And just outside the walls, the local silversmiths made a healthy living by selling silver idols of the goddess Diana. Diana worship is mentioned in the 19th chapter of Acts. In Princess Diana’s eulogy, her brother drew a correlation to his sister and the goddess Diana of the hunt. He said that his sister Diana was the most hunted woman in the modern age. Ephesus was also an important political, educational and commercial center. Paul pastored the church in Ephesus for about three years and after him, Timothy. The church later became plagued with fables and false teachers - teachings such as the forbidding of marriage and abstaining from certain foods. Paul’s letter is really a letter of encouragement written to remind believers of their immeasurable blessings in Jesus Christ, and not only to be thankful for these blessings but to live in a manner worthy of them. Despite Paul’s words, self satisfaction and complacency set in and the church soon forgot what was most important. Thirty years after Paul’s letter, Christ gave the Apostle John a letter for this church indicating its people had left their first love behind, their love for Jesus Christ for Him (Revelation 2:1-7)
Ephesians chapter 1, verses 3-14:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to son ship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of His glory.