The Bible Book by BookThe City. It was the capital of pro-consular Asia, being about a mile from the sea coast, and was the great religious, commercial and political center of Asia. It was noteworthy because of two notable structures there. First, the great theatre which had a seating capacity of 50,000 people, and second, the temple of Diana which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It was 342 feet long and 164 feet wide, made of shining marble, supported by a forest of columns 56 feet high, and was 220 years in building. This made it the center of the influence of Diana worship, of which we read in Acts 19:23-41. The statue with its many breasts betokened the fertility of nature.
Next to Rome, Ephesus was the most important city visited by Paul. It has been called the third capital of Christianity, it being the center of work in Asia through which were founded all the churches of Asia, especially the seven churches of Asia to which Jesus sent the messages of Revelations. Jerusalem, the birth place of power, is the first, and Antioch, the center of mission work, is the second capital.
Paul's Work at Ephesus. (1) Revisited there on the return from the second missionary journey (Acts 18:18-21). and left with them Aquila and Priscilla. (2) On the third missionary journey he spent about three years there, (Acts 20:31). (3) During this second visit he had such influence as to check the worship of Diana to such an extent as to arouse the opposition of her worshippers and make it necessary for him to depart into Macedonia (Acts 20:1). (4) On the return from the third missionary journey he stopped at Miletus, thirty miles away, and sent for the elders of Ephesus to whom he delivered a farewell address (Acts 20:16-38).
The Epistle. The contents are much akin to those of Colossians, but also differ greatly from them. (1) In each book half is doctrinal and half practical. (2) Colossians discusses Christ-hood or Christ the head of the church, while Ephesians discusses church-hood or the church as the body of Christ. (3) In Colossians Christ is "All and in all", in Ephesians the ascended Christ is seen in his church. (4) In Colossians we have Paul in the heated arena of controversy; in Ephesians he is quietly meditating upon a great theme.
It has been said to contain the profoundest truth revealed to men, and the church at Ephesus was, perhaps, better prepared than any other to be the custodian of such truth, since Paul's long stay there had so well prepared them to hear and understand it. It may have been written as a circular letter to be sent in turn to several churches of which the church at Ephesus was one.
Date. By Paul, probably from Rome, A. D. 62 or 63.
Theme. The church, Christ's mystical body.
I. The Spiritual Blessings of the Church. 1:3-14.
II. Prayer for the Readers, 1:15 end.
III. The Great Work Done for Them, Ch. 2. Both Jews and Gentiles.
IV. Paul's Mission and Prayer for Them, Ch. 3.
V. The Duty of the Churches as the Body of Christ, 4:1-6:20.
For Study and Discussion. (1) The Christian's standing before God, Chs. 1-2. Such words as sealed, chosen, quickened. (2) The blessings of the church, make a list, 1:3-14. (3) The elements and characteristics of the new life, 4:25-32. (4) The different things done in an intelligent Christian life, 5:3-17. (5) The exalted nature and office of Christ, 1:2-33; 2:13-22. (6) The eternal purpose of God, 2:3-5; 2:4-7; 3:9-12. (7) Principles of Christian sociology seen in the home relations such as husband and wife, child and parents, and servant and master. (8) The Christian's relation to Christ as seen in these relations.
For the Outline Study of the Bible by Books by J.B. TIDELL, A.M., D.D. Professor of Biblical Literature in Baylor University, Waco, Texas
1916 BAYLOR UNIVERSITY PRESS Waco, Texas
ChaptersEphesians 1. Thanksgiving for the Ephesians; Election and Adoption by Grace
1. After Paul's salutation,
3. and thanksgiving for the Ephesians,
4. he treats of our election,
6. and adoption by grace;
11. which is the true and proper fountain of man's salvation.
13. And because the height of this mystery cannot be easily attained unto,
16. he prays that they may come to the full knowledge and possession thereof in Christ.
Ephesians 2. You Were Made Alive and One in Christ
1. By comparing what we were by nature, with what we are by grace,
10. he declares that we are made for good works: and being brought near by Christ,
19. should not live as Gentiles and foreigners, but as citizens with the saints, and the family of God.
Ephesians 3. Paul's Hopes and Prayers for the Ephesians
1. The hidden mystery that the Gentiles should be saved was made known to Paul by revelation;
8. and to him was that grace given, that he should preach it.
13. He desires them not to be discouraged over his tribulation;
14. and prays that they may perceive the great love of Christ toward them.
Ephesians 4. Unity in the Spirit; Life as Children of Light
1. He exhorts to unity;
7. and declares that God therefore gives various gifts unto men;
11. that his church might be edified,
16. and grow up in Christ.
18. He calls them from the impurity of the Gentiles;
24. to put on the new man;
25. to cast off lying;
29. and corrupt communication.
Ephesians 5. Be Imitators of God; Love and Respect between Husbands and Wives
1. After general exhortations to love;
3. to flee sexual immorality;
4. and all uncleanness;
7. not to converse with the wicked;
15. to walk carefully;
18. and to be filled with the Spirit;
22. he descends to the particular duties, how wives ought to obey their husbands;
25. and husbands ought to love their wives,
32. even as Christ does his church.
Ephesians 6. Children, Parents, Slaves, Masters; the Full Armor of God
1. The duty of children toward their parents;
5. of servants toward their masters.
10. Our life is a warfare, not only against flesh and blood, but also spiritual enemies.
13. The complete armor of a Christian;
18. and how it ought to be used.
21. Tychicus is commended.