Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ephesians Introduction

Here is the Introduction I wrote for Ephesians for my Ugandan friends:

Ephesians is usually grouped with other letters (Colossians, Philemon, and Philippians) that Paul wrote from Rome in AD 61-63. There are some stylistic and thematic differences that have led some scholars to question Paul’s authorship. However, there are also significant language and thematic similarities that lead many scholars to support Paul’s authorship. The early Christian movement placed Ephesians in this place among the other prison epistles because they recognized Paul as the author. The letter appears to be a cyclical letter for all of the churches in Asia Minor and is identified with Ephesus because Ephesus was the most significant city in the region. The letter provides very few clues as to the situation in the churches to which it was written. The central theme of the letter is that God’s glorious plan is to bring people of every nation and background together in Christ (1:10). As Christians we all stand on equal terms. Chinese teacher Watchman Nee’s study of Ephesians is titled Sit, Walk, Stand and shows, through Ephesians, the progress of a Christian’s growth. We sit under God’s grace, we learn to walk in love, and finally, we are able to stand against the attacks of the evil one.

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