Ephesians Background & Introduction

  1. Ephesians 
    1. 6 chapters, 155 verses, and 3,022 words (KJV).
    2. 1 of the 9 epistles written by Paul to seven various churches. This excludes the pastoral epistles. 
    3. These 9 letters can be divided as:
  • Salvation in Christ
    • Romans 
    • 1 & 2 Corinthians 
    • Galatians 
  • Body of Christ
    • Ephesians
    • Philippians 
    • Colossians
  • Coming of Christ
    • 1 & 2 Thessalonians 
  • Together, these epistles formulate the “form of sound words” (2 Timothy 1:13).

       2.    Structure

  1. Conceptual structure:
  • Ephesians 1-3
    • Wealth, standing, calling, blessings, and riches
  • Ephesians 4-6
    • Walk, state, conduct, behavior, and responsibilities 
  1. Epistle structure:
  • 1:1-2, Salutation 
  • 1:3-3:19, Doctrinal; as to our standing 
  • 3:20-21; Doxology
  • 4:1-6:20, Doctrinal; as to our state
  • 6:21-24, Benediction 

      3.     Notes regarding the nature of Ephesians

  1. “Ephesians is the second of the great textbooks of doctrinal instruction for believers in this Dispensation [“Age of Grace”] ~ E.W. Bullinger
  2. Bullinger describes Ephesians as behind Romans in this list. Roman establishes the standing of the sinner in Christ and the Gospel’s effect. The epistle of Ephesians furthers this truth. Ephesians teaches that sinner is now in God’s sight and purpose sent. 
  3. Romans ends in reference to the revelation of the mystery, while Ephesians unfolds it. 
  4. Explains Jews and Gentiles are called out to be the church and the Body of Christ (Key-note).
  5. Unveils the “mystery” and the “Dispensation of the fullness of times”
  • Glorifying Christ as the glorified head over the Body of Christ (Church).
  • This glorious purpose was hidden in God and now Christ lives in each and every believer with His purpose unveiled. 
  1. The greater part of the Ephesians focusses on doctrine
  • One half has to do with standing, the other discusses our state.

     4.      Date: A.D. 61-62, possibly the end of 62

  • According to Bishop Lightfoot, Ephesians was written as the epistle to the Philippians.

     5.      Title: To Ephesus

  1. Note* In some early manuscripts, “At Ephesus”, is not found. Some (not all) early Christian apologists do not mention Ephesus either (ex. Origen, Basil).
  • Various explanations state that some early manuscripts dismissed the location so that a particular church name could be written in. Regardless, it is obvious that this letter is written to a Gentile audience.
  • The letter is addressed to the saints at Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ. 

     6.       Ephesus background:

  • Great commercial center in Asia Minor (In now modern-day Turkey)
  • Situated on the Cayster River, which comes out on the Aegean Sea
  • Notable for the temple of Artemis (Diana), one of the wonders of the world (Acts 19:27)

     7.       Author: The Apostle Paul

  • Note* Liberal scholarship argues this

     8.       Written from: Possibly written from Rome

  • Letter is delivered by a man name Tychicus (Ephesians 6:21-22)    

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