“All Scripture is inspired by God and useful to teach us” ~2 Timothy 3:16
According to my Tyndale, New Living Translation Bible, the purpose of the Book of Ephesians is: To strengthen believers by explaining the nature and purpose of the church, the body of Christ. It has been my experience that instead of asking God to give us wisdom as we read His Word, we often approach it with an established mindset, looking for verses to support our point of view (which has been passed down from generations and denominations). In this study, we shall take our time in Ephesians, asking God to reveal His truth to our hearts even if it conflicts with our previous point of view. Whether or not this reading changes our stance, we shall be blessed by carefully reading the Bible. By the way, the Bible was written by 40 authors over 1,500 years (as they were guided by the Holy Spirit).
Ephesians chapter 1
1 This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus.
How familiar are you with Paul? This is an opportunity to refresh your mind and see why he begins the letter to the Ephesians reminding them he was chosen by the will of God. In Acts, 7:58, Paul, then known as Saul, is mentioned as participating in the stoning death of Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit).
In Acts 9:1, Saul is described as “eager to kill the Lord’s followers.” Then, armed with letters of authority addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, Saul comes face to face with a bright light identified as Jesus. He is blinded for three days. Then we learn that he is the Lord’s “chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles.”
God sends a believer in Damascus named Ananias to lay hands on Saul so he can see again and understand “how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.” Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit, received his sight and was baptized. He stayed with believers in Damascus a few days and then began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!” In Acts 13:9 Saul is called Paul.
Now we understand why Paul begins this letter as he did. And now we have a choice; we can return to Ephesians 1 or we can read more fully about the life of Paul. Since it all ties together, following different people or events in the Bible is not being side tracked. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide your reading.