Introduction to the Book of Ephesians

Scripture Passage: 
Ephesians 1:1
  1. THE AUTHOR OF THE EPISTLE
    1. The Identity of the Author
      1. “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus” (Ephesians 1:1)
      2. “For this cause I Paul” (Ephesians 3:1)
    2. The Human Penman
      1. Why not Paul
        1. His infirmity of the flesh (Galatians 4:13)
          1. Could be connected to the “thorn in the flesh”
          2. I see two real possibilities those being the “Infirmities and persecution” and the “eye problems”
          3. What do we know about it
            1. It was attributed to Satan (2 Corinthians 12:7)
            2. God could have removed it (2 Corinthians 12:8)
            3. It was in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7)
            4. It brought weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)
            5. I lean toward the eye problem (Galatians 4:15)
            6. Note:  It could be that when God met the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus he left him with a reminder much like He did Jacob in Genesis 32:25, 31
          4. More importantly what is the purpose of the “thorn in the flesh”?
            1. For Paul it was “lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations”
            2. Paul had received many revelations from God
              1. On the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-6)
              2. In Jerusalem (Acts 22:17-21)
              3. At Troas (Acts 16:8-10)
              4. In Corinth (Acts 18:9-11)
              5. In Jerusalem  (Acts 23:11)
              6. On the way to Rome (Acts 27:22-25)
              7. The vision of Paradise (2 Corinthians 12:1-6)
            3. Paul could have very easily gloried in the revelations but rather he gloried in the infirmities (2 Corinthians 11:30, 2 Corinthians 12:5, 9)
        2. Paul’s typical approach (Romans 16:22)
          1. Paul speaks
          2. The penman writes
        3. Paul’s exception (Galatians 6:11)
      2. The identity of the penman
        1. Tychicus was going to Ephesus (Ephesians 6:21-22).
        2. Tychicus was responsible for filling in the Ephesians on the apostle Paul (Ephesians 6:22).
        3. The subscript of Ephesians states that the epistle was written by Tychicus.
    3. The Circumstances of the Author
      1. “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,” (Ephesians 3:1)
      2. “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,” (Ephesians 4:1)
      3. “For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Ephesians 6:20)
  2. THE RECIPIENTS OF THE EPISTLE
    1. Paul’s Ministry at Ephesus
      1. Second missionary journey
        1. Paul came to Ephesus but left Aquila and Priscilla at Syria (Acts 18:19)
        2. He entered into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews (Acts 18:19)
        3. When they desired him to stay longer, he could not because he said he needed to keep the feast in Jerusalem (Acts 18:20-21)
      2. Third missionary journey
        1. Paul found disciples who only knew of the After divers were hardened Paul departed the synagogue to dispute daily in the school of Tyrranus (Acts 19:9)baptism of John and he told them of the purpose of John’s baptism and baptized them in the name of Jesus (Acts 19:5)
        2. Paul laid hands on them and the Holy Ghost came upon them and they spake with tongues and prophesied (Acts 19:6)
        3. Paul went into the synagogue for about three months disputing and persuading the things concerning the Kingdom of God (Acts 19:8)
        4. All that dwelt in Asia heard the word (Acts 19:10)
        5. They took handkerchiefs or aprons from the body of Paul and healed the sick and the evil spirits went out of them (Acts 19:12)
        6. Certain vagabond Jews, exorcists, tried to cast out evil spirits, but the spirits knew them not and overtook them (Acts 19:13-16)
        7. Fear fell on all, and many believed.  Many also which used curious arts brought their books and burned them (Acts 19:17-19)
        8. Paul purposed in the spirit to go to Jerusalem (Acts 19:21)
        9. Paul sent Timotheus and Erastus to Macedonia but he stayed in Asia for a season (Acts 19:22)
        10. Then Demetrius stirred up the silversmith against Paul because people were turning from worshipping the work of their hands.  (Acts 19:23-26)
        11. The people gathered in the theatre and were confused shouting different things.  The people were silenced and the assembly dismissed.  (Acts19:29-41)
        12. Paul addressed the Ephesian elders (Acts 20:17-35)
        13. Paul said he had a fight on his hands in Ephesus (1 Corinthians 15:32)
    2. John’s Letter to Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7)
      1. I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience,
      2. And how thou canst not bear them which are evil:
      3. And thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
      4. And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
      5. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
      6. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent,
      7. And do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
      8. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
    3. Timothy’s Ministry in Ephesus
      1. Paul had Timothy stay at Ephesus and work while he went to Macedonia (1 Timothy 1:3)
      2. This was during the third missionary journey (Acts 19:1; Acts 20:1)
  3. THE BREAKDOWN OF THE EPISTLE
    1. Book Statistics
      1. Chapters - 6
      2. Verses – 155
      3. Words – 3039
    2. Book Structure
      1. Doctrinal (Ephesians 1-3)
        1. Chapter 1 – God’s Purpose in Christ
          1. From before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4)
          2. Ending with the world to come (Ephesians 1:21)
        2. Chapter 2 – God’s Purpose in Us in Time
          1. From those “who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1)
          2. To “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:22)
        3. Chapter 3 – God’s Purpose in Time
          1. Note the words connected to time
          2. Dispensation (Ephesians 3:2)
          3. Ages (Ephesians 3:5)
          4. Now (Ephesians 3:5)
          5. From the beginning (Ephesians 3:9)
          6. Now (Ephesians 3:10)
          7. Eternal (Ephesians 3:11)
          8. Ages (Ephesians 3:21)
      2. Practical (Ephesians 4-6)
        1. Chapter 4 – God’s Purpose in Us in the Church
          1. Six of the seven occurrences of the word walk come in chapters 4-6.
          2. The two occurrences of the word unity come in chapter 4.
        2. Chapters 5 & 6 – God’s Purpose in Us Concerning Others
          1. The world (Ephesians 5:3-17)
          2. The home (Ephesians 5:21-Ephesians 6:4)
          3. The workplace (Ephesians 6:5-9)
          4. The warfare (Ephesians 6:10-20)
      3. The Order of Doctrine then Practice
        1. Doctrine affects practice
        2. We are to take the doctrinal information and apply it to our personal lives.
        3. Simon Peter had the wrong practice because of his mixed up doctrine.
          1. Jesus said if His kingdom were of this world, His servants would fight (John 18:36)
          2. Peter rebuked the Lord concerning His crucifixion (Matthew 16:21-23)
          3. Peter was rebuked for cutting off Malchus’ ear (John 18:1-11)
        4. If we get the doctrinal lessons of the Bible correct, then we will have no problem with the practical lessons of the Bible
Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 5:16

Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.