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Ephesians - An Introduction

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Intro

Ephesians - 4 months
Easter series - Grace, Even When

Setting up Ephesians

When Paul writes this letter, he’s come off of three years living in Ephesus (Acts 19-20)
He writes it from prison in Rome - 3:1; 4:1; 6:20
There are no personal greetings in this letter because of the importance of Ephesus
Compare spreading news today with social media to back then when word was spread by mouth (Monday Morning Recap video - 200 people reached)

Ephesus

Map of Paul’s third missionary journey
Picture of the temple of Artemis
Considered one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world
Games were played on behalf of Artemis called “Artemisia”
Was the banking center of its day
This was one of up to 50 other gods and goddesses worshipped in Ephesus
Picture of the stadium
Picture of the theater
Sat somewhere between 25,000-50,000
People in the top row could hear clearly what was being said on stage
Ephesus is considered to be the commercial cent of Asia Minor and maybe the most important city on the eastern side of the Roman Empire

Ephesians 1:1–2 NIV
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
“The faithful in Christ Jesus” - When you read the Bible, there are things that say something but we also know that there is an opposite.
Peter says in 1 Peter that testing comes so that our faith may be proved genuine
That means that faith can be proved to be false
“Grace and peace to you” - A common phrase used at the beginning of letters. Not unlike “I hope this finds you well”
“From God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”
Both “Father” and “Lord” give us a clear indication of authority
Grace can only be received from God
Oprah’s example of “finding your own truth”
We can’t earn it and we don’t deserve it
Peace with many different areas
Peace with God - There is no peace with God without Jesus
Peace with yourself - There is no peace with yourself until you see yourself as a sinner and Jesus as your Savior
Peace with others - How can I love my enemies, love someone as I love myself, etc without the power of the Spirit

The Beauty of Ephesians

Chapters 1-3 - God’s High Promise - doctrine
Chapters 4-6 - Our High Calling - ethics
Doctrine - a belief or set of beliefs
Ethics - moral principles that govern a persons behavior
“There is an intimate linking between doctrine and ethics.” - Foulkes pg. 20
“The church must stop expecting outsiders to act like insiders while insiders act like outsiders.” - Andy Stanley

Closing

My prayer is that God convicts us of a doctrine that is wrong or an ethic that is wrong. God has a high purpose for our lives and those around us and he has a high calling that we are to strive and meet. Let us pursue a life that meets reflects God’s purpose and calling.
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