Ephesus was the third largest city in the Roman Empire in what now modern day Turkey. We can read of Paul to Ephesus in Acts 19. It was a city famous for magic and sorcery. Paul visited Ephesus in about 52 AD and wrote this letter in about 60AD. A key defining verse is 4:1 “As a prisoner for the Lord, then I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” The Book of Ephesians might be similar to Romans. It was not so much written to address issues in a particular church but was written to a community of Christians to explains themes and doctrines of the faith. Ephesus was important to Paul. He lived and worked in Ephesus for 2-3 years — a long time for him. It is a letter that held in high praise by bible scholars (“the Queen of the Epistles,” “the crown of Paulinism”) because of its eloquent discussion of great Christian doctrines, principles, and the gospel of Christ. Like other letters, it is important to remember that Paul wrote this letter while he was in chains in prison. It is an important discussion about the place, role and purposes of God’s people (the new life) and God’s church. Paul repeatedly talks about the new identity we have as believers in Christ and what that means for a new way of life. It repeatedly makes clear that all things God has brought everything under Christ’s rule. There is a new kingdom under Christ as Christ reconciles the world to himself. There are things that must be given up to live kingdom lives and to prepare ourselves for spiritual battle (chapter 6) by putting on the full armor of God
Summary Outline of Ephesians Chapter 1
• Greeting (1-2)
• Praise for Spiritual Blessings (v3-14)
• Thanksgiving and Prayer (v15-23)
Outline of Chapter 2
• 1-10 Made Alive in Christ
• 11-22 Oneness and Peace in Christ/Jews and Gentiles Reconciled
Read Focal Verse 2:8-9
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
What does the Bible say about our salvation?
• It is by G__________ you have been S__________, through F__________.
This is a central verse of our faith. Spend some time reflecting what it means to be:
• Saved by the grace of God
• Saved through faith
What else does the Bible say in these verses?
• This is not from Y_________, it is the G_________ of G__________
• Not by W__________, so that no one can B__________.
Why is it important that our salvation is:
• A gift of from God
• Not based on works
• If we thought our faith was based on works, what might we do?
Read Verses 1-4
What’s does the Bible says about our condition before salvation?
• We were D__________ in our T___________ and S__________.
• We followed the W_________ of this W__________ and the
• R__________ of the K__________ of the A__________,
Discuss what it is like to be in the condition of spiritual deadness. What does it feel/look like? Do you know or remember what it’s like to follow the ways of the world?
Paul talks about a spirt that is at work. How does he describe it?
• The S__________ who is now at W__________ in those who are D__________?
What do we think about think about a spirit working in the lives of the disobedient? What can we as Christians to not find that spirit successfully working in/on us?
What are the characteristics that Paul describes as indicative of the disobedient?
• G__________ the C__________ of the F__________
• F__________ its D__________ and T__________.
What does it mean to satisfy these cravings, desires and thoughts? How do people feel in the pursuit of “earthly or fleshly” desires?
What does Paul say that we deserved as the result of running after sin? Do we believe that we have sinned in our lives in a manner deserving of God’s wrath?
Read again verse 4
• Given the conditions we’ve described, what comfort and joy do we have from the truths and promises in verse 4?