Monday, January 10, 2011

Ephesians: Introduction (1:1,2)

“In an increasingly postmodern world, Ephesians is refreshing in its strong affirmations that truth is important, namely, the truth of God and his gospel, a truth that stands over against all sham and lack of reality.” –Peter T. O’Brien

In Romans, Paul wrote (likely from Ephesians or at least shortly after spending three years there) that he had accomplished his goals and the whole region had been evangelized. Paul was ready to move west, through Rome to new territory. That does not mean that Paul had personally witnessed to every person in the region around Ephesus or that he had planted congregations in every village. However, the work Paul had done, and the way he disciple people and communities of belief, had led to an explosive movement of people turning to Christ. Churches planting churches. It is apparently to these communities, many whom Paul did not directly know, that he wrote this letter. This time he is sitting in Rome under house arrest.

The letter Paul created in Rome (along with Colossians) is different from his earlier letters. He is not addressing specific circumstances in specific congregations. He is not presenting the gospel given to him in the way of introduction. He is composing careful explanations of important truths that are vital to the Churches that are carrying the message forward into the world. These truths are important still to the Church in the world today…

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