Here is a little video Robert Mayer and I put together to help give an introduction to Paul and the purpose his letter.
In case you didn’t catch it all… here is the script:
Ephesians. Ephesians is a book (well, a letter) written by a man named Paul to the church in Ephesus.
Of course, Paul used to go by Saul and as Saul, he wouldn’t want to write nice letters to the church. He was more of the “breathing out murderous threats (Acts 9:1)” type. Then Saul had a blinding experience that opened his heart to the truth of the Savior. Jesus changed everything. Now Saul is Paul, and Paul is preaching Jesus in the synagogues, the street corners, on top of hills and in homes. Nothing can stop Paul from telling people the Good News about Jesus.
And he also writes letters. Lots of letters. To the churches in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Phillipi, Ephesus and more. Paul writes to encourage, equip, inform and challenge the church to be the church. Some of the letters he wrote while visiting other churches. Others he wrote while under arrest for preaching the Gospel. Ephesians is one of these letters, dated to around 62 AD, while Paul was imprisoned in Rome.
So once again, Ephesians is a letter written by a man named Paul to the church in Ephesus.
Now Ephesus was big. Big in size and big in importance. It served as the capital for Roman Asia Minor and was a leading center of commerce. It even contained one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, called the Temple of Artemis. This actually got Paul in some hot water, stirring up a riot because his preaching was cutting into the lucrative idol making business – read more about that in Acts 19.
But Paul’s letter, while given to the church in Ephesus, does not speak much to any local problems or situations. Some say this is because the letter was meant to be shared with many churches, not just those in Ephesus. Either way, we benefit, because Paul’s writing in Ephesians speaks clearly to the incredible work of Jesus and His incredible love for the Church… not just one church, but all who believe in Christ who make up the universal Church. It explains who Jesus is, what He did, and why it makes all the difference.
So we make Paul’s prayer, our prayer: “that out of God’s glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:16-18).”
Ephesians: a letter written by Paul to the Church… about Jesus. To sum it up… Jesus loves the Church, to the praise of God’s glory.