By Joseph Ametepe
Ephesians is the last of the six "E-Books of the Bible." Exodus, Ezra, Esther, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel, and Ephesians form the list of the "E-Books of the Bible." Ephesians was written by Paul during his first Roman imprisonment in A.D. 60-62. Talk about God bringing good out of evil, you have it in the writing of Ephesians. Although Paul was under house arrest awaiting the decision of Emperor Nero, God used his time of imprisonment to bless the church with four epistles, namely Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. These four are called the "Prison or Captivity Epistles." Dr. Arthur T. Pierson called Ephesians: "Paul's third-heaven epistle." J. Armitage Robinson referred to Ephesians as: "The crown of Saint Paul's writing." Bible Teacher Moorehead shares this brief and brilliant insight on Ephesians: "We pass into the stillness and hush of the sanctuary. Here prevails the atmosphere of repose, of meditation, and of worship and peace." The late pastor and preacher Dr. McGee vividly depicts Ephesians in these touching and tender words: "Many expositors consider this the highest peak of scriptural truth, the very apex of Bible revelation. That may well be true. Some have even suggested that Ephesians is so profound that none but the elect (in other words, the chosen few) can understand it...To be candid with you, I do not even pretend to probe or plump the depths of this epistle nor ascend its heights. This epistle is lofty and heady. It is difficult to breathe the rarefied air of this epistle." Also, author, pastor and Bible Teacher Chuck Swindoll shares: "Although brief, the letter to the Ephesians contains a wealth of profound information about the Lord and His Church. It is, in fact, foundational to the doctrine of the universal church, the body of Christ. It is in this letter that we learn about the spiritual gifts and their purpose in the Church, as well as receive instruction about the proper relationships among family members at home. No serious student of Scripture can afford to remain ignorant of this powerful letter. Its insights, principles and practical admonitions are essential ingredients in our growth toward maturity, as we serve the Lord together in the one body under the headship of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Read this letter carefully, for in it you will find unrestrained good news about the riches available to us in Christ." A Contributor to the Serendipity Bible shares eloquently and expressively of Ephesians in these words: "In this letter, Paul takes us to the mountaintops of Christian truth and invites us to look at the breathtaking view! When we do so, we see that it is Jesus Christ who dominates that view. We see Him breaking down the wall between God and humanity. We see Him subduing the hostile cosmic powers. We see Him creating the church, a new social order of love and unity that transcends the racial, ethnic, and social distinctions between people. In conveying this vision Paul reaches into eternity past and eternity future to demonstrate how God, out of His love and glory calls people to be reconciled to Himself and to one another through the cross of Christ. The cross provides forgiveness of sins, a new life and a new people."
So you can see from the above quaint sayings and quotations on Ephesians that we are in for a rich, revealing, relevant and rewarding study of Ephesians. Ephesians was written to exalt the breathtaking scope of God's strategy in Christ for the fullness of the times. It was also written to encourage genuine born again believers to live life in the fullness of Christ. As well, it was written to enlighten Christians and exhort them to a deeper appreciation of Christ. This is why no serious student of the Bible can afford to ignore this profound, powerful, and practical book. Its message is so relevant for our times.
The prominent doctrines taught or illustrated in Ephesians include: the person of God, the people of God, the peace of God, the predestination of God, the pardon of God, the purpose of God, the praise of God, the power of God, the promise of God, the pleasure of God, the preparation of God, prayer to God, the practice of God's truth, the perseverance of believers. Other major themes or teachings emphasized in Ephesians include: the glory of God, the grace of God, the gospel of God, the gifts of God, the great love of God, gratitude to God, good works, the fullness of God, the filling of the Holy Spirit, the redemption of Christ, the riches of Christ, the reconciliation of Christ, the mercy of God, the might of God, the word of God and the will of God.
God has faithfully preserved the message of Ephesians for believers today for the Holy Spirit to use its teachings and truths to shape us more into the blessed image of our blessed Lord and Savior Jesus and to fulfill His calling upon each of our lives. May you be richly blessed as watch or listen to the verse by verse exposition of this profound and powerful epistle!
Ephesians was written in Rome and sent to believers in Ephesus and the surrounding areas. The map below illustrates that.