November 2017
Mark Watson
New Testament Studies, Books of the Bible

Ephesians is a letter attributed to the Apostle Paul and addressed to the Christians at Ephesus, a city on the western coast of Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). Ephesians is one of four so-called Prison Letters (the others are Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon) and is commonly grouped with Colossians due to overlapping themes and structure. Ephesians might have been a circular letter sent to multiple churches in the region, including the congregation at Ephesus. (Kuo, J. C. (2016). Ephesians, Letter to the. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.)

Paul is writing to Christians who live in the Greek city of Ephesus. He writes to them about the new life Christ gives—a life of unity, purity and joy. Through Jesus, God is uniting earth and heaven. The same power which raised Jesus to life is setting people free from sin and making them God’s children. And because people belong to Jesus, they can dismantle the ancient barriers which divide them. Jews and Gentiles especially can make peace through Jesus Christ. In Christ, no one is a stranger; everyone belongs. Paul urges the Ephesian Christians to come out of their old paganism with its dark thoughts, dirty talk and immoral ways. They must discard that life like a set of filthy clothes, and put on the new life of Christ instead. Knowles, A. (2001). The Bible guide (1st Augsburg books ed., p. 613). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg.

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