Ephesians, Ephe'sians Epistle to the.
Paul first visited Ephesus on his way from Corinth to Syria: he did not stay then, but left Priscilla and Aquila there, who were afterwards joined by Apollos. Ac 18:18-24. Paul soon returned and stayed there two years. There was thus time for the saints to be grounded in the truth. The opposition was so great in the synagogue that Paul separated the disciples, and they met daily in the school of Tyrannus. The word grew mightily and prevailed. Ac 19:1-20.
In 1Co 15:32 Paul speaks of having fought with beasts at Ephesus, doubtless alluding to the strong opposition manifested towards him there by the Jews. In Ac 20:17, etc., Paul exhorts the elders of Ephesus, as overseers, to feed the church of God. He warns them that grievous wolves would enter in, and some from among themselves would speak perverse things to draw away disciples after them. As their resource he commends them to God and the word of His grace. Following this was the Epistle he wrote to them during the two years he was a prisoner at Rome.
In 1Ti 1:3 Paul says he had besought Timothy to abide at Ephesus, and to exhort them to teach no other doctrine, and not to give heed to fables and endless genealogies. In 2Ti 1:15 there is the sad intelligence that 'all they which are in Asia' (which must have included Ephesus) had 'turned away from' Paul, doubtless signifying that they had given up the truth as taught by Paul, and settled down with a lower standard. In 2Ti 4:12 Tychicus had been sent to Ephesus. The great care and watchfulness with which Paul laboured for their welfare is very manifest. In Re 2:1-7 we have the address to this church, in which much is said in their favour, though the solemn charge had also to be made that they had left their first love, and the warning is given that if they did not repent their candlestick would be removed.
The Epistle to the Ephesians is remarkable in setting forth the counsels of God with regard to His people as connected with Christ. It is from this standpoint that they are viewed, rather than that of their need as sinners, and how it has been met. This latter is developed in the Epistle to the Romans. The state of the Ephesian believers enabled them to receive a communication of such a nature as this Epistle, in which glorious unfoldings of the mind of God about His own are given in the greatest fulness.
The key note is struck in Eph 1:3, where God is blessed as "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ"