Introduction to the Book of Ephesians

by Jeff Dominguez

Key Passage:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…”

– Ephesians 1:3

Welcome to our Bible study of Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians!!

In this session, we will study the background and overview of this letter.

As stated in our introduction to the Prison Epistles, Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the four letters that he wrote during his first imprisonment in Rome (we can read the story in Acts 28).

But before this, Paul came across Ephesus during his 3rd missionary journey (we can read the story in Acts 19). During his stay, Paul’s ministry in Ephesus was mixed with triumphs and challenges. But what matters most is that they were able to share the gospel and many people were converted to Christianity (Acts 19:5-6; 17-18; 26).

Here’s a summary of the background details regarding this letter:

SO WHAT IS THIS LETTER ABOUT?

The Main Theme of the Book of Ephesians is EXALTATION IN CHRIST. In simpler terms, it is about how blessed we are in Christ (hence the key verse, Ephesians 1:3). But maybe you’re asking, how come?

Well, the reason why Paul wrote this letter with this theme was to address a problem that he heard about the Ephesians. And according to studies, the Ephesians didn’t know who they are in Christ and how blessed they are in Christ. As a result, they weren’t living the full potential of their life in Christ. And that is a big problem.

This is why the Book of Ephesians is all about the answer to these two questions:

By learning who we are in Christ and how blessed we are in Christ, it will lead to a life in Christ that is lived to its fullest potential. Paul doesn’t want the Ephesians to waste their Christian life by living like beggars. He wanted them to live as what they truly are: as children of the most high God and as His faithful servants.

This is also the reason why this letter also has a noticeable arrangement. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians has 6 chapters and the first three chapters contain heavy doctrinal teachings (orthodoxy) while the last three chapters contain teachings about application (orthopraxy).

Aside from the main theme, the Book of Ephesians, along with Colossians, is dubbed as the “Theology of the Church.” The reason for this is that in answering the question, “who are we in Christ?” Paul described our identity in Christ not just individually, but also collectively. And according to Paul, all believers form the body of Christ which is known as the church (or the Universal Church). So in Ephesians, Paul discussed the church, while in Colossians, he discussed the Head of the church, which is Christ.

So as you can see, we have an exciting journey ahead! Surely, we will learn a lot from this book. It’s our joy to study this book along with you and hopefully, like we always do, you will also be blessed and grow more in Christlikeness.

See you and God Bless!! 🙂

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