The Church Jesus Wants
Ephesians:The Ideal Church
Ephesian Fact Sheet:
Author: Written by Paul when 65 years old
Date: 61-62 AD
Occasion: Paul was imprisoned.
Where: Written from a Roman prison.
Background of the city:
The city of Ephesus was a center of commerce and pagan religion of it's time. It was renowned as a center of philosophy and religion. The Temple of Diana (Artemis) was famous throughout the world and drew pilgrims to the city.
The church at Ephesus may have had it's roots in the Jewish pilgrims present in Jerusalem when the church was baptized in the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:9) Later Paul along with Aquilla and Priscilla came to Ephesus. It was here that Apollo met Aquilla and Priscilla and "expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly." (Acts 18:24-26) Later Paul returned and began an extensive work throughout Ephesus resulting in the destruction of many pagan practices and in a riot by those opposed to him. (Acts 19) Later on his way to be arrested at Jerusalem, Paul stops long enough to preach to the elders of the church. (Acts 20:28) Timothy was also dispatched by Paul to help in Ephesus. (1Tim 1:3) Later after Paul's death it appears that Ephesus rose to a place of prominence in the Christian "way" and may have become the center of missions after Antioch. (Rev 1:11)
Purpose of the Epistle: To exhort the young church to strive for maturity in it's relationship with Jesus Christ.
Ephesians is one of the "prison epistles" written while Paul was in prison at Rome the first time. Other books included in this group are Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. The book of 1 Timothy and Titus were also written at this time but are grouped as "pastoral epistles" along with 2 Timothy.
Ephesians like most of Paul's letters is written in two major sections. The first section, chapters 1-3, is the doctrinal section followed by 4-6 the practical section. Paul establishes the foundation of our Christianity in the first section and then deals with the application of that truth in our life.
Outline of The Book
I Greetings 1:1-2
II We In Christ Ephesians 1:3 -3:21
A. All In Christ 1:3
B. Chosen In Christ 1:4-6
C. Purpose In Christ 1:7-12
D. Revelation In Christ 1:15-23
E, Salvation In Christ 2:1-22
F. Growing In Christ 3:1-21
II Christ In Us 4:1- 6:20
B. Christ In Our Walk 4:1-5:21
1. Walk In Unity & Diversity 4:1-16
2. Walk As New Men 4:17-24
3. Walk In Proper Relationships 4:25-32
4. Walk In Love 5:1-7
5. Walk In Light 5:8-14
6. Walk In Wisdom 5:15-21
C Christ In Our Home & Workplace 5:22-6:9
1 Wives 5:22-24 4 Fathers 6:4
2 Husbands 5:25-33 5 Slaves 6:5-8
3 Children 6:1-3 6 Masters 6:9
D Christ In Our Battles 6:10-20
1 The Spiritual Battle 6:10-12
2 The Armor 6:13-17
A. Belt Of Truth
B. Breastplate Of Righteousness
C. Shoes Of Gospel
D. Shield Of Faith
E. Helmet Of Salvation
F. Sword Of The Spirit
3 Prayer 6:18-20
Iv Conclusion 6:21-24
A Tychicus Sent Vs. 21-22
B Benediction Vs. 23-24
Ephesians 1:1-2 Greeting
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Who is writing the letter?
Paul of Damascus, originally Saul the persecutor of the church of Jesus Christ.
What is an apostle? Who made Paul an Apostle?
An apostle is one sent. Paul was made an apostle by Jesus on the Damascus road, when he was struck down by the light from heaven.
Who is Paul writing to?
The church at Ephesus
What is a saint?
The word means a sanctified one, a holy one, ie. a believer.
Would the letter be sent on to others?
Probably, since it was written “to the faithful.” And of course we are reading it now.
Ephesians 1:2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
What two things did Paul wish for the Ephesians in his greeting?
Grace and Peace.
Let’s break this down, what is grace?
The word comes from Greek; charis. It means grace, or that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness. Also good will, loving-kindness, favour.
What then is peace?
The Greek word is eirene from a primary verb eiro (to join); It has the idea of no longer being divided. It is translated peace 89 times, one 1, rest 1, quietness 1
Ephesians 1:3 Spiritual Blessings
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Paul gives a blessing, and a thanks for blessings from God in heavenly places through Jesus Christ. This is the all in all of spiritual blessings.
What are these spiritual blessings?
First we need to understand, that the spirit is the incorporeal part of man, that which is not physical. The soul and spirit are often used interchangeably in scripture. Gen 41:8, Ps 42:6, John 12:27, John 13:21, Matthew 20:28, Matthew 27:50. So then what are spiritual blessings? See 3 John 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
How can we be blessed in heavenly places when we are on earth?
Paul is reminding us that we are in Christ. We often say that Christ is in us but fail to realize the opposite is also true. We are in the heavenly places [in the heavenlies] in Christ. Later in the chapter, Eph. 1:20; 2:6, Paul repeats this truth.)
What is important about the tense of verse 3?
It is in the past tense, mean that these blessings are already ours now and forever. We are not waiting for them, they are already ours because we are already in Christ, already in the heavenlies with with.
In the book of Ephesians Paul gives to the church a way to be an ideal church. One that is exemplary in its maturity and devotion to serving the Lord.
He begins by reminding us of who he is and who we are. He is the one sent by Jesus Christ and we are those who have been blessed by and in Jesus Christ. Grace is ours, peace is ours and we have been blessed with all spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ.
In just 3 verses Paul has set our hearts on all that we have and begins to prepare us for all that we should know and then do in our service to the one who has done so much for us. May we set our eyes upon the prize of being not only the church Jesus built but also the church Jesus wants.