Presentation on theme: "Ephesians At last.... But first... Your notebooks; This is what you should have in them Sin 2 nd Tim in Greek Eph prayer - split Paper – uh, it’s for."— Presentation transcript:
Ephesians At last...
But first... Your notebooks; This is what you should have in them Sin 2 nd Tim in Greek Eph prayer - split Paper – uh, it’s for taking notes...? Book of Ephesians outline Ephesians outline 2 Glossary, plus a second page Lockhart’s Axioms of Hermeneutics Top 10 hermeneutic principles Greek verbs; tense, mood, voice Paul's timeline chart We are adding these. Eph 9 notes / grace The fathers role Additionally, this Ephesians outline is the one I will mostly stick to “Book of Ephesians outline”
And on the Glossary page... And one new word; Doxology – a liturgical formula of praise to God. The tradition derives from a similar practice in the Jewish synagogue, where some version of the Kaddish serves to terminate each section of the service.JewishsynagogueKaddish The Kaddish is a hymn of praises to God found in the Jewish prayer service. The central theme of the Kaddish is the magnification and sanctification of God's name. (wiki)hymnJewishprayer serviceGod A liturgy is a ceremonial form for religious conduct So let’s write “Doxology” into our glossary
Ok, so what do we remember about, “the rules of engagement” when we approach a book in the bible? Think, “Hermeneutics” the science and rules of interpretation. And, The first rule is:
The first rule of interpretation is... Context is king! And the first rule of context is?
The first rule of context is? The Historical and cultural context. T his is the first thing to consider when starting on a book of the bible. This becomes the “frame of reference” for determining the original intent of the author when we “Read the book as a whole.” A fter we establish the general background, we read the whole book at once, with an understanding of who wrote it, to whom, for what reason, regarding who, what, when, where, why.
Recap - Context is king, and the key to understanding the book Who said what, to whom, when, where, why Historical / cultural context – determine before hand Contextual / literary context – our safety net and guard rails as we dig Grammatical context– digging deeper as we go McQuilken pg 27, pgr 3…read this
So what are we doing today? Today we want to look at some of the general background details of the book of Ephesians; Its context Here are the things we want to understand; (you have this on a note sheet) To whom was it written? (Is it relevant to me?) Who actually wrote it (yes, some folks just aren’t sure) When and where was it written? What are the main most important words (ideas) used? What are the main themes? What are the sub-themes? What are the parallel books?
So what else are we doing today? We also want to take a moment to consider in more depth, a key concept found in the book. It is a word foundational to the “age” we live in, and the foundation of Pauline doctrine. It is also a manifest aspect of God’s nature. (You have a place for notes on this on the other side of your note paper) And the word is...?
the word is...? Grace! the grace that establishes us – the grace that keeps us So then, let’s have us a look at the general background of the book of Ephesians.
Ephesians – behind the scenes The book of Ephesians was written between 60-62AD, by Paul, from prison, in Rome, along with Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon. The letters were sent by Tycheus and Onesimus (Eph 6:21, Col 4:7) Here is your “note” paper... See Paul’s timeline chart Ephesians is part of the 2 nd stage of Paul’s ministry
To whom written ? well, right off the bat we find “controversy” Perhaps it was not written to the church at Ephesus? Here are a few reasons why we think it may not have been. There are no personal greetings in the letter Paul always made personal addresses/greetings when he wrote to those he knew Paul spent 3 years in Ephesus and knew many people Acts 20:31 – Esp Ch 3 has a parenthetical statement, “if you have heard..?” Well, of course the actual Ephesians would have heard. Again, Paul had been with them for 3 yrs.
To whom written ? There are internal references that imply that Paul was writing to those he had only heard about (Eph 1:15) but not actually known personally. Clarke says that perhaps it was written to the Laodicean church to which Paul had not ever been. Col 4:16 While JFB says, no, it’s not to the Laodicean church. Anyway, it is interesting that Laodicea “Lost” its first love MUCH latter suggesting it had no sigifigant problems at first? The earliest manuscripts were not addressed directly to the Ephesians church They only said, “Paul, to the saints who are faithful…” Perhaps it was latter tagged “Ephesians” because the Ephesian church at that time was the central one (and BIG,) and because when they determined to “canonize” the bible, the copy from Ephesus might have been the one they had? So then, if not to the actual church at Ephesus, then to whom?
It is more likely that Ephesians was a general letter to all churches Here are a few reasons why we think it may have been. There are no specific people or problems addressed. Unusual, even unprecedented. (for 2 nd phase of church building) And Ephesians definitely had its problems culturally, and so we presume, also in the church. The book of Ephesians is essentially a doxology. It is all positive, very broad, and all-encompassing of New Testament foundational doctrine. It is a general doctrinal statement of what the Church is, and what the Church does. It is not specifically targeted, but general and broad in subject Sound doctrine – for sound living
Here are a few more reasons why it may have been a general letter, not to the Ephesian church The “church” is named in singular, as the universal - as a type, not as a specific local church. The doctrines in the book of Ephesians are something relevant for all Christians of all time. It is written to the universal church specifically, though to gentile minds. In Col 4:6, there is a reference to a letter “from” Laodicea” not the one that was “to” them. Remember, the Colossian church came out of Ephesian church, and the Laodicean one came from Colossae. They were all in proximity and Tycheous carried all those letters in that direction… In Col the reference regards that the letter be shared
What we can be certain of is that......it is written to Christians specifically, and to gentile converts in particular. Not only in Ephesus, but in the surrounding area many gentiles were converted These gentiles were from a pagan Hellenistic (Greek) culture with many “mystery religion” ideas. Paul “trumps these ideas with his choice of words in the analogy that he presents the gospel Head, body, fullness, mystery, age, rule. (the unknown god) These cultures were also very immoral, hence the practical detail of “Christian living” in the last three chapters
It was written to instruct believers in who they were now, “In Christ”, and to exhort and encourage them to live accordingly.
Who really wrote it? Again there has lately been a question raised... Was it Paul? That it might not be is a very recent notion. Reasons to believe that Paul was indeed the author: He names himself, and as an apostle, just as he did in most of his other letters There are no contradictions with the doctrines that he taught in other books All early church fathers had accepted that Paul was the author without question It is known to be written at the same time as Colossians, a parallel book (sharing 55 verses) Pg 2 of “Contextual backdrop.”  Autobiographical info.
Possible reasons to doubt Pauline authorship, and responses refuting them: Q: 70 words in Eph not used by Paul in other letters, and it is a different writing style. A: It was a new thought; a deeper, more mature understanding. A: There was a different tone, mood, and intention because he was not addressing “problems” but rather, the majesty and wisdom of God as the answer. (grace – the church) A: It was not written on the road, but from jail where he had time to reflect and ponder. A: It was written after the church planting stage, and near the end of the phase of reaching back and establishing those churches. Its not a different author, it’s a different letter
Date and place of writing AD It was the 2 nd of 4 prison letters Written during house arrest in Rome – after Paul had appealed to Caesar (as a Roman citizen) and been moved to Rome – still without trial See Paul's timeline chart
Main important words used in Ephesians ( Unger’s pg 495) In – used 90 times – stressing our union with Christ; (asking Jesus into our heart?) In death, In resurrection, In ascension In Christ – used 27 times (before God, in every way in Christ alone, who covers and represents us before God – until that day) This is the heart of our position in chapters 1-3 Grace – 13 times – Ephesians expounds on “the gospel of grace” Acts 20:24 Spiritual/spirit – 13 times – (I am crucified with Christ...) the sphere of truth, and the realm of life for the believer Pilgrim, translated, seek 1 st, set affection – lovely, store up in heaven, the waiting bride, bought w/price, work out Salvation
Body – 8 times A metaphor of our union with Christ. He is our “Head,” we, His body Eph 4, Rom 12; 1 st Cor 12 Walk – 8 times describing our behavior in the body in relation to our head. This is the heart of the practical appeal in chapters 4-6 Heavenlies’ – 5 times this is the sphere of our position in Christ, and the realm of our walk and warfare 1:3, 1:20, 2:6, 3:10, 6:12 We wrestle not against flesh and blood- the weapons of our warfare are not carnal... Mystery – 5 times the hidden truth of Gods divine program, now at the fullness of times revealed.
The main themes of Ephesians The mystery church –two into one, unto God, in Christ The mystery is the revelation that the Jews and gentiles are both being gathered together, IN Christ, as His church. The mystery church in position (1-3) Who we are in relation to Christ; the bride, the body (and so to God)... 2:9-10 we are His workmanship in Christ (1-3) The mystery church in practice (4-6) Once Paul has established our position in Christ, he then makes an appeal on what it means to walk worthy of our calling unto good works foreordained (4-6)
Certainly the book of Ephesians is unequivocally a revelation of the mystery, the church.
Eph 1:9-10 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; [even] in him: Eph 1:22 And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all [men] see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly [places] might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
Sub themes Unity of the body, in and to Christ, One together, one with Him by Grace, This word is used 13 times. Grace made us perfect before God, in Christ Grace continues to perfects us until that day Grace will finish our redemption on that day developed and manifest through the church, Revealed, established, formed, directed, quickened in the (restored) family Created/household order established to the glory of God the purpose of God in the Church
Parallel and complimentary books; The book of Colossians......is amazingly similar in ideas, and even in specific language. And shares 55 verses, verbatim... Remember; scripture interprets and confirms scripture, and sound doctrines come from the full progressive revelation of the whole bible
The Colossian church was probably started by Epaphras, who had been converted in Ephesus and had carried the gospel to Colossae. He later came to Rome to see Paul when the heresy became a problem. This presumably led to the letter to Colossians. (Col 1:7-8; Ac 19:10)1:7-8Ac 19:10 Note: Colossae at this point was a much diminished market town, and a neighbor of the now booming Laodicea. Both Ephesians and Colossians were written about the same time; Colossians just before Ephesians. The book of Colossian addresses heresies; there was a mixture of an extreme form of Judaism and an early stage of Gnosticism. 55 verses in Colossians are verbatim the same as in Eph (Barclay pg62)
The book of Colossians is Christ centered It is about Christ the head and His sufficiency in all things 1:14 Christ alone is necessary and sufficient for salvation. 1:19 The fullness of God dwelt in Christ. 2:3 in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 2:9 in Christ the fullness of the deity dwells bodily. Col 1:27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. The book of Ephesians is about the mystery of the church We “in Christ,” are the church, His body. Eph 1:3-15 the word Us is used 5 times, we is used 4 times as Paul describes our being in Christ and what that means
Philippians, Esp. ch. 2 and 3 The book of Philippians also shares a similar message, though not at all as completely as we see in Colossians. Philippi was a roman colony with no synagogue, but there was a gentile church It was written primarily giving thanks for a gift. It was the last of the prison letters. It also includes exhortations for unity, and to be firm under persecution, and warnings about judizers
Other books with similar messages... 2 Corinthians 4 2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us 2Co 4:15 For all things [are] for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. The book of Romans, especially chapter 6, which profoundly articulates the reality of the finished work and of our position with and in Christ. It has no message of the collective church, but rather addresses these truths from an individual perspective.
So what do we know about t he background context of Ephesians ? It was certainly written to Gentile Christians Most likely as a general circular letter It was written by Paul, from prison in Rome, along with three other letters, (Colossians, Philippians, Philemon )between AD (the “prison epistles) The key words used are; In, in Christ, Grace, Spirit/Spiritual, Body, walk, Heavenlies, Mystery Its main themes are; the mystery of the church, our position In Christ, our practiced on earth Its sub themes are; Unity, by grace, through church, in family, to Gods glory Parallel books include Colossians, as well as Philippians, 1 Cor 4, and Rom 6-8
So what is grace? Grace is the expressed nature and purpose of God, made possible by the propitiation of Christ, now manifest freely towards the elect unto their salvation, and continuing thereafter as the working of God and His purpose, wrought by the indwelling Spirit, through and according to the word; motivating, empowering, and equipping us, unto the transformation fore-ordained. It will finally be fulfilled on “that day” when our redemption is complete. It is Gods initial and ongoing impartation of everything we need unto a perfect and eternal salvation. It is all that we could not do or obtain otherwise. It is the finished work sovereignly being made a reality in our eternal lives. It is appropriated by faith, also a gift, which all Saints must, and will, exercise.