Welcome to Ephesians
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
- Ephesians 1:1
This week we’re kicking off a new series out of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. And as we get started, it might be helpful for you to learn about Ephesus and the folks who received this letter.
Ephesus stood at a crossroads between Rome/Greece and Asia. The city had a valuable harbor and numerous tourist destinations (the Temple of Artemis was one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World). Money flowed richly through Ephesus.
People and ideas also flowed freely through the city. Paul stopped in Ephesus for 3 years, rented space in the lecture hall of Tyrannus and discussed philosophy, faith, and Christ with students and travelers. Ultimately, Ephesians launched a movement of church planters who dramatically expanded the reach of Christianity throughout the Roman world.
The Ephesian church experienced their fair share of controversy. The threat of Christian faith to Artemis-worship sparked a riot that almost turned deadly. Years later, Paul sent Timothy to Ephesus to straighten out false teachers and to help the church return to health. And a decade or so after that, John records that the church in Ephesus lost its first love and needed to repent and return to Jesus.
Would you consider taking a few minutes today to read Paul’s letter to the Ephesians? It’s only 4-5 pages. Give it a read and see what jumps out to you.