Ephesians – 1
Over the next few weeks we’re looking at Ephesians, an amazing letter Paul wrote to the young church in Ephesus. This is the first installment, which was led by Simon on Sunday 13th.
Introduction to Ephesians
In coming months the church will be studying Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (https://www.biblegateway.com/
God has chosen to work through his Church and in Ephesians Paul explains God’s purpose for the Church; God’s plan for salvation; the spiritual resources available; and the values that should be shown in the Church.
In Roman times, Ephesus in Asia Minor (now modern day Turkey) became a significant and prosperous port city, a commercial hub and seat of the governor https://en.m.wikipedia.org/
wiki/Ephesus. For centuries city had been a centre of worship of the goddess Artemis (aka Diana to the Romans). The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Ephesus had all of the features that might be expected of an important Roman city of its time, temples and places of worship, stadia, theatres, baths, brothels, council and administrative offices. Christianity was introduced into the mix in about 52 AD. Acts chapters 18 & 19 introduces the Christian work in Ephesus.
Christianity was a minority religion, the new kid on the block competing for attention. however as it attracted converts it ran into conflict with those who worshipped Artemis – or perhaps more accurately into conflict with the metalworkers who made images of the temples of Artemis who were concerned their income was being reduced. Acts 19 tells of a very boisterous meeting where the metalworkers voice their concerns!
A few years later Paul wrote his letter to the Church.
Main themes of Ephesians:
- The story of salvation
- The privileges as participants in a new creation
- The new ministry
- Our spiritual example
- Human relationships
- Spiritual warfare.
Paul also sets out some the values that should be evidenced in a community living in relationship with the risen Lord Jesus. These include:
Over coming weeks we’ll be looking in more detail about how God wants to build Ebbsfleet Community Church in the light of what we learn from Ephesians