Christ and the Church

Ephesians

Introduction

Ephesus was a great city in Asia Minor. She called herself the first city of Asia. Apart from Paul’s visit to Rome, this was the most important center visited by Paul. Ephesus was an important center commercially, intellectually, and religiously. She also boasted one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the glistening temple of Diana, who was the great goddess of the Ephesians (see Acts 19:43).

The history of the Ephesian Church can be traced in detail throughout the New Testament. Paul founded and established the church in Acts 19:20. The spiritual maturity and capacity of the church can be ascertained in that he fed them “strong meat” (see Ephesians 1:3-14). Moreover, this epistle warns against the conflict with evil spirits (see Ephesians 6:10). This was a real menace at Ephesus (see Acts 19:11-17).

1 Corinthians

The Apostle Paul was the writer of this epistle. The epistle was written to the Church at Corinth, but is directed “to all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord” (see 1 Corinthians 1:2).

Julius Caesar founded Corinth, the capital of Achaia, Greece, in 45 B.C. It was a great commercial center. It also boasted of one of the greatest temples in the world. This temple was dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite. A vile system of worship was practiced here. This corrupted religion wreaked havoc on the morals of Corinth as a city, and also on the local church, thereby explaining the gross sins denounced in chapter 5.

Ephesians 5, Part 3

Walk In Love (Ephesians 5:1-5)

Ephesians 5:1-2 - In Ephesians 5, Paul discusses the social conduct of the believer. We are called upon to be imitators of God as beloved children. Furthermore, we are instructed to walk in love. The Spirit immediately gives us the standard of that love - just as Christ loved us. The term sacrifice implies the notion of bloodshed. As an offering, Christ’s death was voluntary, but as a sacrifice, His death was costly. This sacrifice was well pleasing to God. It was a fragrant aroma to Him; for He was perfectly satisfied with the Lord’s sacrifice. If we walk in love—and love our brethren as Christ loved us, the sacrifices involved will be a fragrant aroma to God. 

 

Ephesians 3

The Function of the Church, the Mystery, Christ and the Church

Introduction

In this chapter, Paul’s present position in jail and its cause are brought before us. Because he preached to the Gentiles, the Jews were angry with him. See Acts 22:21-22, Acts 13:46, and Acts 21:29. This resulted in his arrest in Jerusalem and his ultimate imprisonment in Rome, the city from which he wrote this letter. This was one of his prison epistles. A greater bondage claimed him—he was a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 3:2

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