Click here for study notes: Ephesians 1 1-2 Study Notes

Ephesians 1:1-2

  • The Book of Ephesians emphasizes the connection between sound doctrine (theology) and right practice (practical living) in the Christian life.
  • In Ephesians, Paul argues that theology is practical. In order to live out God’s will for us in our lives practically, we must first understand who we are in Christ doctrinally.

 

  1. The Background:
  • Text – 1:1-2
  • Explanation – The story starts in Acts 19. (1-10; 11-20; 21-27; 28-34; 35-41).
  • For two years, believers in Ephesus observed Paul’s daily reasoning about the kingdom of God and teaching the Scriptures. This ministry resulted in a gospel witness spreading throughout the Roman province of Asia.
  • It was an amazing reach, the Gospel went to those who practiced dark arts and who worshipped the false god Artemis in this great ancient city, where demonic influence was strong.

 

  • Illustration – but the result of this reach came from a church that was formed. Therefore, the letter to the Ephesians concerns the mystery of the church in the plan of God.
  • Paul calls believers to walk in love, holiness, and wisdom within their local church congregation and in the world. He reveals that this mystery concerns earthly, present matters, as well as matters in the invisible realm, both in the present world and in the world to come.

 

  • Application – Now Paul writes this letter to the Ephesians during his first imprisonment (Eph. 3:1; 4:1; 6:20). Five years after his final meeting with the elders of this church (Acts 20:17–35).
  • Please remember, Christianity is still in its infancy, being only a 30-year-old movement. You would think Paul would write a lot sooner, seeing that it was a young church. There would be a lot of immaturity, doubt and perhaps confusion. And so Paul writes to advance Christian insight and maturity.

 

  • Conclusion – He writes to address the issues they were having, and the letter came when it was needed the most. Because in this letter, Paul explains the theology of the inclusion of those formerly outside the covenant with Israel.
  • God had a covenant with the people of Israel, that they will be His people and He their God. But Paul teaches that God includes Gentiles too! This larger design is called the church. Bringing us to…

 

  1. The Purpose:
  • Text – 1:1-2
  • Explanation – Paul intended that all who long for Christ-like maturity would receive this writing. So we can call it a resource for the necessary discipline needed to develop into true children of God.
  • Studying Ephesians will help to strengthen and to establish the believer so he can fulfil the purpose and calling God has given. Therefore we can say the purpose of this epistle is to confirm and to equip a maturing church and believer.

 

  • Illustration – and in doing so, the letter presents three characteristics:
  • First, Ephesians is intercession.
  • More than any other New Testament epistle, it ‘has the character and form of prayer. Paul offers two intercessory prayers for the Ephesian believers: Ephesians 1:15-20 & 3:14-21
  • Paul’s prayers are insightful, filled with sound doctrine & petition on behalf of God’s people! His prayers teach us how we are to pray for one another.
  • It is not puny prayers with fancy language, but a grand, visionary, far reaching prayer for the church. These prayers are complex and glorious in their descriptive detail.

 

  • Application – Secondly, Ephesians is affirmation. It affirms doctrine, the truth about God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.
  • Ephesians makes itself welcome and is a charming document just because it dares to shine on God’s love and election, Christ’s death and resurrection, and the Spirit’s might and work among men.

 

  • Conclusion – Thirdly, Ephesians is evangelism. This letter asserts God’s saving purpose and action in chapters 1 and 2, and God’s ongoing work in his self-manifestation to and through the church in chapters 3 and 4.
  • But it is also about the bold and joyful ambassadorship of the Christians in the world in chapters 5 and 6. All this makes Ephesians significant for all and concerned about all with the evangelistic tasks of the church today.

 

  • Bridge – As you can see friends, we can learn so much about our walk with the Lord. As we consider this study, we can look forward to learning more about relationships, marriage, the church, and putting off sin!

 

Application:

  • Question 1:
  • Discuss the negative events that took place when Paul ministered in Ephesus.

 

  • Question 2:
  • Discuss the positive results in Ephesus due to Paul ministering there. Also discuss the danger of human interpretation when looking at these events.

 

  • Question 3:
  • Looking at Ephesians 1:15-20, how can we grow in our prayer life?

 

  • Question 4:
  • Looking at Ephesians 3:14-21, how can we grow in our prayer life?