Intro to Ephesians
Ephesus had been a great Greek city going back as far as 1000 BC. It’s on the western coast of modern day Turkey. Under Rome, it was the capital of its province and a very magnificent city. Had a theatre that seated 30,000.
Paul first came to Ephesus in Acts 18:19. He experienced especially fruitful ministry here, along with excessive opposition. He leaves Ephesus to go to Jerusalem, where he is arrested and eventually taken to Rome. It is from Rome, where he would eventually be executed, that Paul probably wrote this letter to encourage the saints that he left behind.
When Paul first came to Ephesus, he preached to the Jews in the synagogue. But only a few of them received his teaching. So he withdrew and preached to the Gentiles in a place called the school of Tyrannus (19:9).
This letter is from Paul, who has been called to be an apostle, by the will of God.
Paul is an Apostle of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name Joshua, or literally “salvation.”
Christ is the title that Jesus was given. The Hebrew word for Christ is “Messiah,” Christ is the title that Jesus was given. The Hebrew word for Christ is “Messiah,” meaning someone who has been anointed with oil to set them aside for a particular office. This was done for Kings (1 Sam. 16:13); Priests (Ex. 28:41; 29:7, 21, 29; 30:22-33); and Prophets (1 King 19:16).
This anointing with oil usually corresponded to an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, gifting someone in a way that related to the office that they were to fulfill.
All of these Old Testament offices, however, were pointing forward to one man, who would perfectly embody them all – namely, Jesus Christ, Jesus the Messiah, Jesus the Anointed One. This is why, when Jesus begins his official ministry, his baptized and the Holy Spirit falls upon him (Mat. 3:13-17).
The letter is to the saints. The word saint means “holy one.” All Christians are saints, because we are all holy in Christ. However, he further defines what he means by “saints.” He says that they are the “faithful,” that is, those that believe in Christ Jesus.