Introduction - Before we start our study of today's passage, let's begin
with an introductory look at this letter to the Ephesians.
1. Where is Ephesus? (See the map in the back of your Bible)
Forty miles south of Smyrna, on the eastern side of the Aegean Sea.
Smyrna is the location of the suffering church mentioned in Revelation
2:8-11. This was a famous church in that Christ brought no word of
reproach against it. By 1980 the population had reached around two
hundred thousand and about one third were Christians. That city is
now called Izmir (Turkish) and those in it are still faithful!
2. What was special about Ephesus?
It was a harbor town and trade center in Asia Minor as well as the
location of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Temple
of Diana (Roman) or Artemis (Greek) made Ephesus an important hub
of that part of the world. The temple became very much like a modern
bank as many people stored their money in it for safe keeping. All
see - cf. Acts 19:23-28
3. Who wrote this epistle?
The apostle Paul - see Ephesians 1:1, 3:1 and 4:1
4. What is the historical setting of this epistle?
Paul wrote to the Ephesians during his first Roman imprisonment between
cf. Acts 27:1, 28:16 and 28:30
It was written during the same time period as Philemon and Colossians
and carried by Tychicus and Onesimus cf. Colossians 4:7-9, Philemon
1:10-12 and Ephesians 6:21-22
5. To whom is Paul writing?
This was a circular letter sent to the churches of Asia Minor, perhaps
the letter "that is coming from Laodicea" as mentioned in
Colossians 4:16, because Ephesus became the hub of influence in the
world for Christ (Acts 19 and 20:17-36).