Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: Ephesian 1:3.
This book of Ephesians focuses on the Christian’s warfare like no other book. During Paul’s time these are the historical facts about the city:
- It was the fourth largest city in the Roman Empire.
- Home of the temple goddess Artemis a fertility god.
- Pilgrims came from all over the Mediterranean world to worship there.
- Ephesus was the center of trade, it was wealthy.
- Another source of wealth was making and selling silver shrines of the goddess Diana.
- The temple treasury served as a bank, loaning massive sums of money even to kings.
- Prostitutes sold their bodies openly because of this fertility goddess.
- Ephesus had the third largest library in its day and the Holy Scroll was only found in the Synagogue.
- Ephesus was a principle port on the west coast of Asia Minor.
- Paul visited in AD 55 he ministered there for two years.
- While imprisoned in Rome Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesians.
- Ephesians reveals the mystery of the church as no other epistle. Gods’ secret intention is revealed in three parts.
Firstly, to form a body to express Christ’s fullness on earth Ch 1:15-23.
Secondly, to do this by uniting the church into one body, both Jew and Gentile among whom God himself dwells Ch 2:11-3:7.
Thirdly, to equip, empower, and mature His people to the end that they may extend Christ victory over evil Ch 3:10-20; 6:12-20
What was the religious environment like? Man, has a habit of making gods out of almost anything. Now moving into Ch 2, I would like to ask this question, who were we?
1) We were dead
2) We walked according to the prince of the power of the air (a global title).
3) Disobedient and sinful.
What did God do?
1) God loved us.
2) He made us to sit together with Christ
3) He saved us by His grace, we are His created workmanship.
As a result of us being saved what else did He Do?
1) By the Blood of Jesus, we have been brought near. We now have hope.
2) We have been made to sit with Him in heavenly places.
3) We now have peace with God; the middle wall of separation is no longer there. The law of commandments and the veil; God made them one through Christ.
4) We have been made citizens of heaven.
5) Foundations of the Apostles and prophets – they were the church builders, Jesus being the foundation stone. We are beneficiaries of that.
God made us one in Christ. I love my Father for bringing us out and giving us a place in His kingdom.
Stay tuned for the next lesson.
Elder Carolyn Prescod