The Epistle to the Ephesians, usually referred to as Ephesians is the tenth book of the New Testament in the Bible. It is an epistle or letter from Paul to Christians in the city of Ephesus, located on the Aegean coast of present-day Turkey near the city of Izmir (Smyrna). It covers many key aspects of the Christian faith, both in terms of beliefs and of holy living.
Twice in the epistle itself the author himself declares himself to be Paul, first in the greeting, and then in his defense of his ministry. In his relationship to believers, he is an apostle put in place by Jesus Christ. To the world, he is a prisoner in Rome on account of his testimony concerning Jesus. He was accompanied Tychicus, a friend and fellow minister, who he sent to the church at Ephesus with the letter.
Occasion and Date
Paul had first visited Ephesus with Aquila and Priscilla, teachers from Corinth. Having left them there, he had continued on to his home church at Antioch. Upon his return to the city, he had first taught in the synagogue for three months before withdrew from a hostile environment to teach gentiles about Jesus.
While there, Paul preached daily, and was used by God to affect great miracles among the people. As a result, many of the citizens came to believe in Jesus, which caused them to turn from their former beliefs in magic and sorcery. This led to the public burning of hundreds of valuable books. In the end, a riot among the cultic leaders and idol makers forced Paul out of town.
A few years later, Paul had been sent to Rome to appeal to Caesar concerning charges of heresy against the Jewish religion. Having been kept in a private home, in chains, for two years, he received and sent letters to churches he had visited. This letter may have been a circular one to Asia, much as his earlier later to the churches of Galatia. This house arrest was from AD 60 to 62, during the reign of Roman Emperor Nero.
I. Introduction 1:1--2
- A. Greeting 1:1--2
II. The blessings of the Gospel 1:3--2:10
- A. Blessings in Christ 1:3-14
- B. Paul's prayer 1:15-23
- C. The mystery of the Gospel revealed 2:1--2:10
III The status of the Gentiles 2:11--3:21
- A. Gentiles reconciled through Christ 2:1--22
- B. Paul's ministry 3:1-21
IV. The Christian Life 4:1--6:18
- A. Unity in Christ 4:1--16
- B. Way of life in Christ 4:17--5:21
- C. Sumbission to one another 5:22--6:9
- D. Spiritual warfare 6:10--18
V. Conclusion 6:19--24
- A. Personal details 6:19-22
- B. Benediction 6:23--24