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How to Fight

Biblical teaching on spiritual warfare, the battle for your mind, and training your thoughts toward Christ.

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Lent
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The Book of Ephesians

Within the letter, the author of Ephesians is stated as the Apostle Paul (Eph. 1:1, 3:1) – a claim backed up throughout church history. The vast majority of the letter fits with the expected language, arguments, and writing style of the apostle.

Paul claims that he is currently “in chains” for the gospel (Eph. 6:20). Throughout the book of Acts, we see Paul imprisoned several times because of his ministry. Many scholars agree that Paul is most likely writing this letter to Ephesus during his time in Roman imprisonment. When you compare the ending of Ephesians to other New Testament letters, we learn that Colossians and Philemon were probably written and sent out simultaneously. This would place the writing of Ephesians around 60-62 AD.

Many scholars suggest that this letter was designed as a “circular letter” to be sent out to many churches around Asia Minor. This theory has a lot of merit to it for two reasons. First, Paul doesn’t begin his letter with greetings to any church leaders that he knows. (This is fairly common for his other writings.) Second, the letter sounds much more general. In many of Paul’s other writings, he addresses specific people and problems. Paul was a pastor in Ephesus for several years. Yet, he writes as if he doesn’t fully know the recipients of the letter (Eph. 1:15). Therefore, it is likely that Ephesians was written originally not directly to the city of Ephesus, but rather to the general area under Ephesian influence aka Asia Minor.

Paul was the pastor of the church in Ephesus for several years (Acts 19:9-10). During that time, “all of Asia heard the gospel” (Acts 19:10). So many people were converting to Christianity that the local idol economy suffered, resulting in local silver workers causing a riot meant to persecute the Christians in Ephesus. Along with persecution, the church in Asia Minor was surrounded by many different spiritual beliefs about spirits, demons, magic and special ceremonies. With this in mind, Asia Minor needed some encouragement in the basics of the Gospel and community life in the face of trials and false religions.

Paul’s letters are typically split into two sections: theology and application. Chapters 1-3 focus on the theology of the gospel and Christ’s ultimate victory. Jesus has forgiven us, blessed us with every spiritual blessing, and brought us into a relationship with God. Chapters 4-6 show us how the truth of Chapters 1-3 should influence us personally and corporately as we strive for unity & love. The finished work of Jesus is not just an abstract thought to be considered, but a present reality that changes how we think, talk, walk, and direct our lives. The same powers and principalities under the rule of Christ (Eph. 1:21-22) are now the same we have current victory over (Eph. 6:11-12).
  • Bible Project
  • Beale, G. K., & Gladd, B. L. (2020). The Story Retold: A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament. InterVarsity Press.
  • Klein, W. W. (2006). Ephesians. In Expositor’s Bible Commentary (pp. 19-176). Zondervan Academic.
  • Snodgrass, K. (1996). Ephesians. Zondervan.

Plan Your Visit

We’d love to see you at Grace for our How to Fight sermon series this weekend.