Ephesians is one of my favorite books in the Bible. I love how it presents the message and purpose of the gospel so beautifully. It teaches Christians about who they are now because of their adoption into Christ’s body, and how they should live in light of their new identity. We are separate from the world and we live differently because of what Christ has done in our lives. Ephesians is a great place for new Christians looking to learn about their new walk with Christ. But it’s also just as helpful for mature Christians who need to be reminded of these truths. Taking some time to read closely and reflect on Paul’s message to the Ephesians can be transformational for our lives. Keep reading for five important things Christians may want to know about the book of Ephesians before reading or studying it in the near future.
5 Important Things You Should Know About The Book of Ephesians
1. Ephesians was written to Christians in Asia Minor
If you open the book of Ephesians, you will notice that chapter one addresses “the saints who are in Ephesus…” However, it’s more likely that this was a circular letter intended for multiple churches in Asia Minor since the earliest manuscripts do not include the phrase “in Ephesus.” This could also explain why the letter does not seem to address a specific issue or situation taking place within the church.
Rather than being situational, Ephesians can read like a summary of Paul’s teaching. Christians in Asia Minor were living among immorality and idolatry, and were likely being pressured to conform to Roman societal standards. They needed something to remind them of who they were in Christ and how they were to live so that the outside pressure would not pull them away from their faith. Our society today shares similarities with Asia Minor. We need the book of Ephesians as much as they did to remind us of who we are in Christ.
2. Ephesians speaks about our spiritual blessings in Christ
In chapter one, Paul speaks of “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…”
When I was working on the Ephesians Study book, Revelation 21 stood out to me as an example of these spiritual blessings. John sees Jerusalem coming down from heaven and it is radiant. The walls of the city were made of jasper and the city itself was pure gold, like glass. The wall’s foundations were made with all kinds of beautiful jewels and the gates were made of pearls. We might struggle here on this earth but one day we will enjoy God’s presence forever. This is the inheritance that awaits us.
Even though we are still awaiting the inheritance I described earlier, we can enjoy our spiritual blessings right now. They include God’s peace and presence through Christ and the gift of adoption he has given to us. While we are not promised an easy life, we have Christ with us to help us with whatever hardship we face.
3. Ephesians reminds us that salvation is God’s gift, not something we can earn
A lot of us know that salvation is a gift but sometimes our actions indicate that we don’t quite get it. In the first chapter of Ephesians, Paul focuses on what God does, not what we do. Paul says that God chose us, redeemed us, and gave us an inheritance. Ephesians reminds us to focus on God as the giver of the good gifts we have received. While a faithful response is needed on our part, we can’t take the credit for what God is doing in our lives. This teaches us humility and trust. We humbly thank God for all he has done in our lives and we trust him to continue working within us.
4. The book of Ephesians may have been written during Paul’s Roman imprisonment
Paul may have written Ephesians while imprisoned in Rome. This may be why Paul refers to himself as a “prisoner of Christ” in Ephesians 3:1. Although the Roman Empire imprisoned Paul, he willingly gave up his freedom to be a servant of Christ. While it may seem to many that being a prisoner of Christ is a negative thing, it actually leads to so much freedom and joy. As a prisoner of Christ, Paul was able to fulfill his God-ordained mission of preaching the gospel and planting churches all around the Roman empire.
5. Ephesians is practical and teaches us what our conduct should be like as Christians
Finally, Ephesians is a practical book. This is probably why it has had such a huge influence on Christian thought in church history. Ephesians 4 starts out with Paul’s exhortation that Christians walk worthy of their calling. He speaks about how Christians should act towards each other – with humility, patience, gentleness, and love. As the book continues, Paul addresses sins common to the surrounding culture and encourages Christians to avoid these sins. This can be particularly helpful for new believers who have recently received the gospel and need practical advice for how to live the Christian life.
Why Study the Book of Ephesians?
I hinted at this before but you should study the book of Ephesians because it is filled with practical instructions for Christian living and it beautifully communicates theological truths about God and his plan of salvation. Along with the Gospels, Ephesians is a great place for new Christians to begin reading about the implications of their salvation. It teaches you about your identity in Christ and gives you the tools you need to live in light of who Christ called you to be.
Interested in Studying the Book of Ephesians?
Now that you have learned some interesting things about the book of Ephesians, you may be wondering how to actually read and study the book. If you’re looking for more, I would encourage you to do our four-week study on Ephesians. It’s an in-depth, chapter by chapter look at the book. It walks you through key themes and concepts and helps you to discover the message of Ephesians and its significance for the church and your life as a Christian. The study is available both digitally and in print. Digital copies are available here on our website and print copies are available on amazon.
If you have more questions about the book of Ephesians or about the study, feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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