EPHESIANS ground ZERO for IDENTITY

To understand this amazing book, this letter… we need to understand WHY it was written and the context it was written in. Its so easy to think and fall into the trap that these early believers thought the same as we did, had the same issues, the same worldview and perspective and ultimately the same understanding about who Jesus was and still is!

So lets start – in Acts 19 + 20 to get some context for the letter and see some of what we know about this region and people group. – that is where we will start looking into the book of Ephesians today

Paul spent 3 years in Ephesus it was very effective. (Acts 20:31) He visited (sort of again Acts 20:17)

Years later when Being in prisoned by the romans he wrote to the followers of “The Way” he wrote this letter. Paul may have written it about the same time as Colossians, c. a.d. 60, while he was in prison at Rome (see 3:1;4:1; 6:20)

We know by Reading Acts 19 about Pauls connection to the church (known as The Way still at this point)

Ephesus was a major city in its day, (I would compare it to a current day NY City potentially) – it was an epicenter of worship. A cultural hub.

The city of Ephesus was a large commercial port city in Asia Minor (present day Turkey – west turkey… due east across the sea from Athens)

Ephesus was considered the “Gateway to Asia”. Additionally, the city of Ephesus was known as a center of pagan worship as the Temple of the Greek goddess Artemis *read Acts 19+20

…people from across the region traveled to Ephesus to visit the Temple and an industry of blacksmiths served them by creating trinkets and statues of the goddess. Additionally, Ephesus was home to a large community of Jews who had a synagogue in the city.

Fast forward a little… John (the disciple) had the visions and wrote (through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) between 81-96 AD when he was banished to the island of Patmos… after he was released from that island he spent his remaining years as a Bishop of Ephesus.

Unlike several of the other letters Paul wrote, Ephesians does not address any particular error or heresy. Paul wrote to expand the horizons of his readers, so that they might understand better the dimensions of God’s eternal purpose and grace and come to appreciate the high goals God has for the church.

The bible was not written to you, the Bible was written for you. This is a letter written from Paul to a community of believers that he knew.

This letter has in modern time and laugh been broken down into 6 chapters however the book clearly has two halves

Chapter 1-3:

1st half is the gospel – its the story of us… His creation and our multi-ethnic community of followers

THEREFORE Chapter 4-6: how this should be lived out

 

Outline of this LETTER

GREETINGS (1:1–2)

A BEAUTIFUL JEWISH STYLE POEM (1:3–14)
The Divine Purpose: The Glory and Headship of Christ – Praise God for what He has done IN CHRIST / See GENESIS 12:1-3 – When Paul writes about family this is what he means – blessed to be a blessing. + Acts 2

PRAYER (1:15–23)
That Christians May Realize God’s Purpose and PowerPauls Prayer

BEING ALIVE IN HIS PURPOSE (chs. 2–3)
Steps Toward the Fulfillment of God’s Purpose Salvation of Individuals by Grace (2:1–10)

Reconciliation of Jew and Gentile through the Cross. Its a NEW MULTI-CULTURAL FAMILY. Its a group project now (2:11–18)

Uniting of Jew and Gentile in One Household (2:19–22) Revelation of God’s Wisdom through the Church (3:1–13) Prayer for Deeper Experience of God’s Fullness (3:14–21)

THEREFORE (4:1)
PRACTICAL WAYS TO FULFILL GOD’S PURPOSE IN THE

CHURCH (4:1-5:20) Unity (4:1–6)

Maturity (4:7–16) + Gifts that Christ gave us Renewal of Personal Life (4:17—5:20)

A CHANGE OF PACE – RELATIONSHIPS WITH EACH OTHER

(5:21-6:9)
Principle (5:21)

Husbands and wives (5:22–33) Children and parents (6:1–4) Slaves and masters (6:5–9)

SPIRITUAL WARFARE AND PRAYER (6:10-21) Strength in the Spiritual Conflict (6:10–20)

CONCLUSION AND FINAL GREETINGS (6:21–24)

GREETINGS (1:1–2)

Outline of this LETTER

A BEAUTIFUL JEWISH STYLE POEM (1:3–14)
Praise God for what He has done IN CHRIST / See GENESIS 12:1-3 – When Paul writes about family this is what he means – blessed to be a blessing. + Acts 2

PRAYER (1:15–23)
That Christians May Realize God’s Purpose and PowerPauls Prayer

BEING ALIVE IN HIS PURPOSE (chs. 2–3)
Steps Toward the Fulfillment of God’s Purpose Salvation of Individuals by Grace (2:1–10)

Reconciliation of Jew and Gentile through the Cross. Its a NEW MULTI-CULTURAL FAMILY. Its a group project now (2:11–18)

Uniting of Jew and Gentile in One Household (2:19–22) Revelation of God’s Wisdom through the Church (3:1–13) Prayer for Deeper Experience of God’s Fullness (3:14–21)

THEREFORE (4:1)
PRACTICAL WAYS TO FULFILL GOD’S PURPOSE IN THE

CHURCH (4:1-5:20) Unity (4:1–6)

Maturity (4:7–16) + Gifts that Christ gave us Renewal of Personal Life (4:17—5:20)

A CHANGE OF PACE – RELATIONSHIPS WITH EACH OTHER

(5:21-6:9)

SPIRITUAL WARFARE AND PRAYER (6:10-21) Strength in the Spiritual Conflict (6:10–20)

CONCLUSION AND FINAL GREETINGS (6:21–24)