Fairytales are renowned for the new beginnings their stories provide to everyday individuals consumed by the most dismal of situations. We love to see the damsel in distress rescued by her prince charming. Inside fairytales we witness mistreated stepdaughters become princesses and puppets become human. Fresh starts and unanticipated blessings are what fairytales are made of. What would happen, though, if the damsel returned to her tower prison? What if the princess ran back to the stepmother or the little boy longed once again to be a puppet? Stories such as those would soon be forgotten. No joy or hope could be found from a story in which someone has nothing, is given all, and returns once again to his or her persecution, poverty, and shallowness. Why then, do we as Christians, live our lives as if we are powerless and defeated? Why do we live in sorrow and despair rather than in the joy and hope of our salvation? It is because we fail to recognize the spiritual blessings bestowed upon us by our Creator. We have been deceived by the enemy of our souls and have become ignorant of what it means to have an identity in Christ. Through Jesus’ death on the cross we have been called out, delivered and sanctified by God. Nonetheless, we continually live as if we are still locked up in our tower, under the authority of an evil stepparent, without the hope of a better life. This is exactly what Satan longs for us to believe. This is exactly what Paul’s letter to the Ephesians so eloquently and truthfully refutes.
The New Testament book of Ephesians was originally a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the believers in Ephesus. Composed while he was imprisoned in Rome, Paul’s letter was delivered to the church at Ephesus with the intention of encouraging the Christians in their walk with the Lord. Ephesus was a major Roman city in western Asia (now the country of Turkey). Ten years earlier Paul had spent two years in Ephesus planting a new church (Acts 19:1-20). During this time God worked mightily in the lives of the Christians there. The book of Acts tells us that most of the continent of Asia Minor heard the gospel as the result of Paul’s preaching (19:26). Now, however, bogged down and oppressed by the strong influences of the Greek god Artemis, Paul writes the Ephesian Christians to enlighten them on the vast riches and truths of what it means to be called a child of God.
It is my prayer that you will take this journey with us through the book of Ephesians, and in doing so, come to know God more intimately through a clearer understanding who you are in Christ. We have been adopted by the King of Kings. Towers, evil stepparents, and the lies of inadequacy and worthlessness have been defeated. Together, lets march forward through the text of Ephesians and claim our heritage as children of God!
This is a great online virtual tour of the excavated city of ancient Ephesus.
Take special note of the Great Theater. It could hold 24,000 people. Act’s 19:24-41 tells of a riot located at the theater because of Paul’s preaching. It’s amazing to look at the pictures and imagine Paul being there!
For more background on Paul’s time spent in Ephesus read Acts chapter 19
Originally Published: 2003