God’s Mercy for the Ephesian Church: A Look at Ephesians 2:1-7 INTRODUCTION The book of Ephesians is one of Paul’s many New Testament letters, or epistles, to the Christian church still in its infancy. At the time of its writing, Paul is in Rome, imprisoned for championing the purposes of Christ and growing the church. We see numerous occurrences where Paul, being a man of little concern for the status quo, is either imprisoned or fleeing capture by Jewish or Roman officials for usurping the latter (Acts 19: 23-41). The date of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is dated 60-61A.D., depending on differing research. While this is certainly one of his epistles known as the “prison letters”, Ephesians was penned prior to Paul’s first roman …show more content…
Despite increasing displeasure with Nero, that Roman wealth spread to the major cities of its empire including Ephesus. Therefore, Paul, employing the Lords wisdom, ensured the church to be viable and Godly in a city mentioned of similar importance as Rome, Corinth, Antioch, and Alexandria. In his ministry, Paul makes multiple journeys to Ephesus to ensure that the Word was growing in such a keystone city to much of eastern Asia. On his first missionary journey, he diverted to Macedonia at the Lord’s prompting, prohibiting him from travelling to the region. However, Paul leaves behind Aquilla and Pricilla (Acts 18:18-21), on his second journey, as more of an advance party to begin establishing the church. This was a necessary move, as a full effort by Paul to minister in Ephesus would have not gone successfully. The Ephesian economy aligned itself with pagan religion, as well as Judaism, and relied heavily upon trades, such as idol making, which related to the worship of pagan gods. For example, the temple of Artemis sustained an industry of silversmiths and idol makers. During Paul’s second third journey, due to his effective ministry in Ephesus, caused such a disruption in pagan commerce, merchants incited a mob to eliminate him from the city. The church remained despite his hasty departure. Paul centered his basis of ministry in this keystone city during his third missionary journey. As a result, this allowed him to
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Paul wrote letters meant to be shared with all new churches, but while Paul was writing the letter to the Church of Ephesus, Romans incarcerated him restricting him to a jail cell for the spreading the word of the Gospel.
We must understand Ephesus if we want to understand the Book of Ephesians. Ephesus was a large prosperous city in Asia Minor. One of the seven wonders of the world was in Ephesus. It was a large temple dedicated to a goddess named Diana (Artemis). The temple and streets were lined with immoral goddess prostitutes. It was a very wicked city and immorality flourished and flooded over into society and families. Paul was clever in using the concepts of holiness, service, and temple to reveal the power of the Gospel in how it creates a new people born of God dedicated to His holy purposes.
A literary analysis is the practice of looking closely at small parts to see how they affect the whole. Literary analysis focuses on how word techniques are used by the author to create meaning. One of the reasons that Paul penned his letters in Ephesians was to bolster areas that were weak in the church. In addition to that, Paul wanted to clarify central beliefs that may not have been well-defined. Probing Paul’s letter with such a supposition, reveals several frailties among the Ephesian that Paul needed to encourage and reinforce. One of these weaknesses are amalgamated with the word riches, which is present throughout the letter in Ephesians. In this portion of the essay I will break a portion of the text down into parts, in order to examine the different elements of this piece of literature, by analyzing a portion of the text.
As Paul arrived in Athens he experienced deep distressed when he saw that idols dominated the city. Because Paul had a Christian worldview, the presence of so many idols immediately disturbed him. Let’s back up.
Our source of knowledge of the apostolic work of Paul comes first from the Book of Acts. The epistles written by Paul serve to further our knowledge of his mission. These letters were written to churches that he had founded or churches that were known to him. Luke’s account of Paul introduces us to the basic facts about this important biblical figure. A more complete understanding of Paul’s journeys can be gleaned from his letters. These epistles were written almost at the time they occurred and they comprise some of the earliest works contained in the New Testament.
The Apostle John settled the first Christian community in Ephesus. Paul pastored everywhere including synagogues. It was ranking number three city of Christians after Jerusalem and Antioch. One of the possible reasons for Paul writing the letter is to let the Ephesians know how he was doing in jail. Large crowds were probably in over 20,000, the Temple of Artemis was home to many occult, magic, politics and pagan events. It has also been said about the book of Ephesians, the letter may have been circular and had a wider area than one audience. Paul moved around and had a following when he was not
Paul writes in Acts 22:6 that he experienced a vision, ‘I fell to the ground and heard a voice say, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me... I am Jesus of Nazareth.”’ Paul was blinded but continued on to Damascus where he became certain that his vision of Jesus symbolised his calling to spread the Gospel. When he arrived his sight was restored by a disciple named Ananias and Paul was baptised as he became a Christian, a follower of Jesus. This conversion to Christianity enabled Paul to believe that he had been given a mission to go preach the word of God. Paul embarked on journeys to towns where he would seek employment and gradually get to know people. Paul wanted to influence these people by speaking of his experiences he had with God and what they had taught him about Christianity and the teachings of Jesus. In these towns, Paul also established local churches and invited elders to run them whilst he was out of town spreading the word of God, ‘Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust’ (Acts 14:23).
Paul’s plan for evangelism led him to what was considered the “civilized world” of the Roman Empire, leaving to others the centers of Judaism – Palestine, Alexandria, and Babylon. Paul’s movement westward was from Antioch to Cilicia, Galatia and Pamphylia, Asia Minor, Macedonia and Greece, Italy, and Spain. Paul’s strategic plan was to stretch churches and the gospel from Antioch throughout the entire region. Paul’s strategy was to take his teachings to the metropolis areas instead of the smaller cities and towns. His thought was that his influence in these large areas would bring others that could carry on his teachings into these regions. As past history shows, Paul’s timeframe for teaching is limited due to being driven out of the cities by force before his work was completed. There were 2 cities where he was able to spend considerable time, Corinth and Ephesus. These cities were of utmost importance to him and were
The New Testament was a huge part of my life as a young man as I grew up in the church and my father was a deacon. I have always been drawn to helping others and protecting those who cannot protect themselves, which is why at a young age I joined the United States Marine Corps and served four years before joining the Memphis Police Department for the last twenty years. One passage that has always been a part of my life is from Ephesians 4: 22-28. Furthermore, the literary form used in the Book of Ephesians is the letters although, not directly from Paul they are from under his influence by the school of Pauline, which created the book and disseminated the structure of the church (Harris, 1995). I digress, the passage of Ephesians stated that
The apostle Paul foresaw at the end of his life a great tsunami of attacks coming against the church of God. He responded with three letters. We call them the Pastoral Epistles: 1, 2 Timothy and Titus. After Paul’s first imprisonment, he visited different places including the Island of Crete, an Island only 160 miles long south of Greece and Turkey in the Mediterranean Sea. He wrote this letter to Titus around 62 A.D. from somewhere in Macedonia. Paul’s main objective is to encourage Titus and give instructions about Godly living as a young pastor. The churches in the Island of Crete needed leadership, correction and order thus Paul could not be everywhere. Paul at some time had visited the island of Crete for he says in Titus 1:5 “I left you
The genre of Ephesians 2:1-10 is an Epistle. The Epistles were letters teaching specific churches or groups of people; often inspired by God. They are split into two categories: Pauline Epistles, written by Paul and traditionally Paul was the first word of the book in Greek, and General Epistles, often referred to as the Catholic epistles and were written to the universal Church. The Pauline Epistles consist of: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. The General Epistles consist of: Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2 and 3 John, and Jude. The interpretive principles of this genre are that it is meant to be read as a whole and in one sitting in order to get the main idea of the passage, one must view the paragraphs as the main unit of thought in the passage, one must know the structure to understand the letter, and one must do background reading to fully comprehend the main concept and the history and culture of the setting.
Paul visited Ephesus on his first missionary journey, on the way from Greece to Syria. After his third missionary journey, he stayed there and pastored the Ephesian church for 3 years (Easton, np). “Though Paul was not the first to bring Christianity to Ephesus, for Jews had long lived there, he was the first to make progress against the worship of Diana” (Orr, np). Because of his strong ties to the church, Paul cared deeply about the faith of the believers there (Macarthur, np).
There are three basic theories concerning where Paul was imprisoned at this time: Rome, Ephesus, or Caesarea. The traditional view regards Rome as the location from which Paul wrote to Philippi and this author believes the internal evidence is too strong to overturn this traditional understanding.
During the time the letter was written, most believe that Paul was in a prison in Rome. He wrote three letters at around the same time. One letter was to the Colossians; one letter was to Philemon, whose slave, Onesimus, had recently run away; the final letter was to the church that Paul had started in Ephesus. The messenger that carried the letters to the church of Colossae most likely passed through the sea port and great city at Ephesus. Working in Ephesus for at least two years, Paul expanded the reach of the Gospel to the entire