THIS LETTER was written to the believers in Ephesus, a prosperous cosmopolitan city in what is now Turkey. It was home to the temple of the Greek goddess Artemis (whom the Romans knew as Diana). The account of the Apostle Paul’s visit to Ephesus and his encounter with Artemis’s worshippers is in Acts 19.
Followers of Christ are called to a greater Temple—formed of believers, both Jews and Gentiles. This Temple, when completed, will be greater than even the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem! Built on the foundation of the teachings of God’s word, through the apostles and the prophets, with Jesus Christ as ‘the cornerstone’, this Temple will become a dwelling-place for God Himself! (Ephesians 2:19–22).
The Unity of the Faith
Unity is a key theme of this letter. The barrier between Jew and Gentile has been broken down by Christ (2:14), and all true believers have become one in him. And they are united in agreeing on the basic doctrines of their faith—summarised in 4:4–6 (and set out below).
- ONE BODY- True Believers
- ONE SPIRIT- God’s Power
- ONE HOPE- Eternal Life
- ONE LORD- Jesus Christ
- ONE FAITH- The Promises
- ONE BAPTISM- Adult Immersion
- ONE GOD- The Father
Chapter 5 includes a beautiful portrayal of marriage, drawing out the spiritual parallel with ‘Christ and the church’ (vs. 22–33).
The Armour of God
The letter gives sound practical advice on how believers are to live, putting off the ‘old man’ and putting on the ‘new man’ (4:22–24); by their actions they will witness to Christ. Though raised to a high status (called ‘heavenly places’, 1:3), they still have to fight against sin, being protected by ‘the whole armour of God’ (6:10–17).
By kind permission of ‘The Christadelphian’
Some interesting links with other parts of the Bible:
- Ephesians 1:22—see Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 10:17.
- Ephesians 2:8—see Romans 3:24; 6:23.
- Ephesians 2:12 – see Acts 11:18; John 10:16.