Summary: An Overview of Ephesians. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Reading: Chapter 1 verse 1-3.

• In many ways the Apostle Paul was a spiritual warrior,

• If you glance at his New Testament letters,

• One of the conclusions you naturally come to;

• Is that he spent most of his time fighting one thing or another,

• Exposing heresies,

• Challenging the enemies of the faith,

• Expelling ignorance,

• And shaking Christians from apathy and laziness.


• For example, in his Corinthian letters,

• He confronted quarrels that were tearing apart the church.

• In Galatians, he battled legalists,

• Who were trying to imprison the believers with rules & regulations.

• In 2 Thessalonians he also fought confusion and fear,

• In 1 and 2 timothy - lack of confidence,

• In Colossians it was false doctrine.

• It seems as though Paul was always battling something.


• What would the apostle have written if he hadn’t had any heresies to correct,

• Any fights to referee,

• Or any false teachers to expose?

The answer is Ephesians.

In this letter:

• Paul exchanged his sword for a paintbrush.

• He stepped out of his military combat gear, and away from conflicts,

• To paint a magnificent portrait of Christ and His people.

(A). Background of the letter:

(1). The City


• Ephesus was one the great cities of Asia Minor:

• Whenever you come across the word Asia in the New Testament,

• It is not referring to the continent but to this region, which is also called Asia Minor.

• Today it is modern day Turkey.

(b). Ephesus was a Roman capital,

• It was a sea port,

• A wealthy commercial center that experienced world trade.

(c). Ephesus was renowned for its paganism:

• The temple of the Greek goddess Artemis stood as its crown jewel.

• In Roman mythology, Artemis was known as Diana.


The temple was one of the seven wonders of the world.

• It was 420 feet square.

• One of its features was its pillars, it contained one hundred and twenty-seven pillars,

• Every one of them the gift of a king.

• All were made of marble, and some were studded with jewels and overlaid with gold.

• This temple cast a long shadow over the city:

• And was a key focal point, that highly infuenced the people.

• And worship of this goddess was jealously guarded,

• As Paul found out the hard way in Acts chapter 19 verse 23).

(b). The Church

(a). Paul’s fist contact with Ephesus:

• Was around A.D. 52.when on his second missionary journey

• He made a brief visit to a Jewish synagogue (Acts chapter 18 verse 19),

(b). Then a few years later on his third missionary journey:

• He returned to Ephesus and found a group of Christians,

• Probably members of the Church founded by Priscilla and Aquila (Acts chapters 18-19)

• Paul baptized the converts and then spent three years,

• Teaching the people of that area (Acts chapter 19),

(c). The correspondence (Letter).


• Shortly after Paul left Ephesus and returned to Jerusalem, he was arrested,

• And to cut a long story short he was sent to Rome:

• Imprisoned in Rome, Paul wrote this letter,

• He was under house arrest, and refers to this in chapter 3 verse 1, chapter 4 verse 1.

• While a prisoner in his own house, Paul was free to receive visitors,

• And it was at this time that he wrote Ephesians.

• The letter was carried, and probably hand delivered to the Church,

• By Tychicus (chapter 6 verse 21)

(b). Some commentators think this was a general letter, a “cyclical” letter:

• That was passed from Church to Church.

• Others believe it was written primarily to the Ephesian Church.

The Structure of the Letter

(1). Purpose - Paul had two main purposes in writing:

(1st). Chapters 1-3: Paul wants the Ephesians to know their resources in Christ.


A Red Indian (Native American) walked into his bank,

• Looked the bank manager in the eye and said:

• “Sheep ill, grass gone, waterhole dry”.

• Without speaking the manger of the bank took him into the back room,

• The room where the safety deposit boxes are kept.

• He opened a box belonging to the Indian;

• It was full of golden nuggets that he had panned in the river.

• Once again he looked the bank manager in the eye and said:

• “Sheep good, grass green, plenty of water”.

• Now his circumstances had not changed,

• But he realized that he had more than enough resources to cope.

That is exactly what Paul is trying to tell these Ephesian Christians:

• The times you live in might be hard and dangerous,

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