Summary: Introduction to Ephesians
Read: Eph. 1:1-2
Introduction to the Church at Ephesus:
Jesus Vs Diana: Located at the western edge of Asia Minor, with easy access to Aegean Sea, It was at its height in the 1st and 2nd centuries, a rich heritage of wealth, philosophy and Roman law. Most attractive was temple of Diana, a goddess of fertility (Ac19:27) all worshipped. The Greeks exalted Artemis and the Romans the Diana.
Conflict is Jesus & Satan, Eternal & Temporal, Emotional & Spiritual, and Pleasure of life & Opposition to Salvation from Sin.
Paul at Corinth: Paul in his second missionary journey met Aquila and Priscilla at Corinth after the ministry at Corinth the three went to Ephesus and enjoyed the team ministry ( Ac 18:19). Good example of Team and Lay ministry. Apollo had a visit to Ephesus and expounded the Gospel. Paul made his second visit to Ephesus in his third Missionary Journey (Ac 19:1). He spent three long years and preached them with tears and told everything needed for them to grow in Christ. He preached for over two years. He did miracles (v.11). The name of the Lord was magnified (v.17), Books on Diana were destroyed (v.18-19), Word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed (v.20), Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed (v.27).
Paul had the high Spiritual Qualities: Transparency in Life (Ac 20:18), Ministered with heartfelt sincerity (v.19), Spoke the truth (v.20), had common message for all (v.21), Service preceded self (v.24-26), Declared the whole counsel of God (v.27), Delegated Responsibility (v.28-31), God is owner of the Church (v. 28) and believed in supporting himself (v. 33-35).
Leaders at Ephesus: Paul appointed second line leadershipTimothy as an Elder (I Tim 1:3,4). John the beloved disciple was present there for some time. The Church father Irenaeus was there (AD 130-200). The presence of the Elders was a source of great strength and joy to the Church.
V.1. Apostle: Paul refers himself as Apostle. He was sure of his special calling an apostle to the Gentiles because of His two visions (Ac 9:15, 22:17-21), he never doubted his calling as apostle.. Apostle means Ambassador, Envoy, and Messenger. The Gospel exclusively uses this word for twelve (Mt.10:2-4, Mk 3:14-19, Lk. 6:13-16.)
Saints: Paul uses this word frequently in his Epistles. NT has 61 times, Paul used 39 times and this has 5 times. The implications of the word Saints are: I Cor. 1:2: Calling to be saints, Eph. 4:12 Saints to be corrected, 5:3 Life qualities of Saints,Col. 1:27God reveals his will to saints, Rev. 14:12 guard your faith. Saint is the person through the light shines through speech, actions, attitudes and relationships.
v. 2. Grace: This word was normal Greek greetings meaning Wish of health and prosperity. Here God’s unmerited favour on the sinners turned saints( 2:8).
v. 2. Peace: The resurrection of Jesus brought new meaning to the peace between God and Human being and the human beings and the creations. Jn. 14:27, Rm. 5:1, Eph. 2:14-15, 6:15. The source of Grace and peace are Father and the Son.