Connect Blog - Ephesians
September 24, 2017
The Book of Ephesians was written by Paul during his Roman imprisonment around AD 62-64.
“Paul” – Previously Saul, a Pharisee, teacher and practitioner of the Mosiac Law and the religious tradition. Saul was commissioned by the religious authorities of Jerusalem to destroy the spread of Christianity. He by his own admission was responsible for the deaths and suffering of the believers. He was present and consenting to the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:54-8:3).
The usage of the name “Paul” was a testimony to what he was and who he had become in Jesus Christ.
See Paul’s conversion in Acts 9
“Apostle” means sent one … one who is sent to represent, an emissary authorized to speak on behalf of another. While we are not specifically “apostles” we have the same function: we represent Jesus Christ by our witness and by our words. Paul refers to the believers as “ambassadors” (2 Cor. 5:20).
“Jesus” comes from the Hebrew ‘Jehoshua’ which mean Jehovah saves. It speaks of the Lord’s purpose in coming, “And thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sin.”
“Christ” (christos) means anointed or chosen one which speak to His position.
Paul was not an apostle by personal choice, but “by the will of God.” Paul’s apostleship was a calling conveyed upon him by God.
“saints” comes from the Greek word, ‘hagios’ (holy) which means to separate for a specific task or purpose. The Ephesians would have understood the word as it related to the dedication of religious buildings for a religious not secular purpose. Relating to believers it means to be dedicated to the use of God’s purpose and praise. Christians are to holy, that is, set apart for to God, for God. The word may have been a reminder that the Christians in Ephesus had been separated from a life of sin to a life for the Lord.
“Ephesus” – It was one of the greatest, most populous, and wealthiest cities in the Romans province of Asia (modern day Turkey). It was the commercial, religious and civil capital of the region. In it was located one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, “the great temple of the Asian goddess, called by the Romans, Diana, and by the Greeks, Artemis. It was a breeding ground for the practice of magical arts, cults, and superstitions.
See Acts 19:13-20
Paul made three or four visits to Ephesus.
“faithful” (pistos) … not behavior, but belief. It means to adhere to a set of facts; the truths of Jesus Christ. Paul was acknowledging the saints commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ; the Son of God, the Savior of the world and the only way to salvation.
Grace and peace was a common greeting not unlike “hope you are well.” Spoken by Paul to believers the couplet takes on a greater meaning reminding believing of the God’s free gift of salvation and the results.
“Grace” (charis) means gift. When referring to salvation grace means God’s offer of redemption through Jesus Christ without cost to the recipient.
“peace” means to bind together that which was broken. Salvations restores the broken relationship that existed between God and man.
Grace and peace is from God through Jesus.