Week1. Monday: Meet Paul, a Prisoner for Christ
PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word.
Snapshot of Ephesians:
Paul is writing to believers in Asia Minor (Modern-day Turkey) from a prison in Rome in A.D. 60-62. This letter was circulated from Ephesus to the surrounding churches.
The church in Ephesus likely began with Priscilla and Aquila but was more firmly established by Paul on his third missionary journey (see Acts 19).
Ephesians has two major sections connected by the word, “therefore” or “then”.
The first section, chapters 1-3, is theological (explains the gospel).
The second section, chapters 4-6, is practical (explains how to live).
READ: Ephesians 1:1-3
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words
Paul (Greek: paulos): a name of Latin origin meaning “small” (formerly named Saul). Read about Paul’s conversion in Acts 9:1-31 and his trip to Ephesus in Acts 19-20.
Apostle (Greek: apostolos): a messenger, sent on a mission with orders
Holy (Greek: hagios): pure, set apart, different (1 Peter 1:15-16)
Faithful (Greek: pistos): convinced, trustworthy, reliable (Luke 16:10-12)
Grace (Greek: charis): merciful kindness of God to save and keep us (Eph. 2:8-9)
Peace (Greek: eirēnē): in harmony, secure, safe (Romans 5:1)
Every Spiritual Blessing (Greek: pas pneumatikos eulogia):
Note that these “blessings” are “spiritual” and are in the “heavenly realms”
Paul was not interested in living for earthly or worldly blessings.
Paul explains what these “blessings” are in the remainder of the first chapter. (God has chosen us to be adopted, forgiven, redeemed, unified, sealed.)
APPLY: What is this passage calling me to do?
Paul is writing to believers in Ephesus whom he calls “holy” and “faithful” people.
Do those words describe you? How could you be more holy and faithful?
Remember that Paul is writing from a prison in Rome. Suffering for Christ was not unusual for Paul. For much of his ministry he endured great difficulties (see 2 Corinthians 6:3-10 & 11:23-28). However, even in such pains Paul would stay focused on the power and goodness of God. From prison, Paul begins Ephesians talking about grace, peace, praise, and blessings.
If you were in prison for serving God, what would you write about? Would you be angry with God? Why or why not?
Pray: Ask God to help you to be holy, faithful, and joyful even when life is difficult.