Table of contents
Like a good detective, let's examine this book.
The city of Ephesus was one of the leading churches in the early church. Paul is writing to an amazing church that leads the way in the region. You can hear Paul talking about the need for unity, how leadership works, and living in spiritual freedom. The city is also a very spiritually aware city. It was the national center for the paganistic worship of the Greek goddess Artemis. Therefore, Paul spends the last section of this letter talking about how to walk in spiritual freedom and stand in the freedom Christ has already won.
🔍 Things to Notice
- The explanation of leadership in the church.
- The fight for unity.
- The armor of God.
🙏 Jesus in this Book
(Every book reveals the glory of God, revealed in Christ Jesus)
- The Unity of the Body comes through Christ
- People drift toward disunity. Strive for unity.
- The purpose of leadership in the church.
- Mutual submission in our homes.
- Spiritual victory
Who wrote it: The Apostle Paul
Martyred: Killed by Nero between 62 and 64 A.D. He beheaded. There were many more gruesome ways to die so this was considered a merciful death for a Roman citizen.
Who is the original audience: The church in Ephesus
Where are we: Prison epistle. Paul writes Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon at the same time. He's in a Roman prison waiting to stand before Nero. All three are sent back by Tychicus. Tychicus is likely the one who started the church in Colosse after receiving the Gospel while traveling to Ephesus.
When was it written: 61 AD
What is the big idea: Paul is writing to a church that is doing well. Now it is on to lasting faithfulness. They have become a church to pattern other churches after. However, this will not maintain itself. They are encouraged to continue to grow in the love and grace of the Lord. The letter finishes by making them aware they live in a spiritual world with a spiritual war all around them. Jesus has won the victory. Our job is to stand in the victory He has won for us.
Why is this book important: We do not drift toward unity. We drift toward disunity and division. Therefore, we must work daily to find order, peace, and joy in all things of life and godliness. We can also get a picture of the spiritual war all around us. It is important to realize we live in victory but we have an enemy who is fighting to move us off that victory every day. We take our stand daily against the darts of the enemy.
How can I apply it?: Can you imagine what it would be like for a soldier who woke up in the middle of a battlefield and just decided he wasn't going to fight that day? Would the war stop? Would the enemy pass him by? No. The war would continue and the soldier would likely be a casualty... an easy target. That is what it is like when a Christian decides not to pay attention to the spiritual war all around him. It doesn't stop anything. It just stops their ability to live in victory. The final chapter of Ephesians is a powerful window into the freedom we should walk in every day as members of the victorious body of Christ.
Quick Thoughts on Each Chapter
It was such a joy to walk through this book together as a church several months ago. The letter to the church in Ephesus is powerful for so many reasons. One of the greatest is Paul is writing to a church and telling them how to continue to grow in their faith. We can learn so much from this letter of hope.
Verse 4-10: It always important to celebrate salvation because it is a gift. No one is holy enough to deserve it. All we can do is receive it. Therefore, we celebrate our King Jesus who has set us free.
God’s Word teaches us that the more we realize the true grace of God, the more we will continue to walk in the adventure of discovering the love of God. It is too great to fully understand with one lifetime. However, it is a continue adventure that grows and grows.
People do not drift toward unity but disunity. Therefore, it is vital that we constantly work at it. Where do you need to dig out disunity in your life with your neighbor?
The Holy Spirit empowers us to walk in mutual submission to one another. Fruit is the byproduct of a healthy tree. The fruit of the Spirit is the byproduct of a healthy relationship with the Holy Spirit.
There is a spiritual world all around us. There is also a spiritual war. Because of the finished work of Jesus, Christians stand in victory He has won. Our job is to hold the line of victory.
Link: Insight for Living (The graphic above comes from here)
Link: Bible Hub
Link: Got Questions
Link: Life, Hope, And Truth
Link: Jesus in Every Book of the Bible
Link: The Bible Project (Quick videos about the Bible)