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

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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.

e.g.

• 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.

Question:

• 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

(a).

• 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.

Ill:

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).


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