The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

Who are the Ephesians? The ruins of this town on the southwest coast of what is now Turkey are several miles inland. The port that was present in Paul’s time silted in. At one time, Ephesus was an important port and trading area. One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Temple of Artemis, was there. The city was also a center for magic, so Ephesus’s population was very aware of dark spiritual forces.  

The Gospel Changed the Ephesians

Paul first preached in the synagogue in Ephesus for three months but was rejected. Acts 19:But some became stubborn, rejecting his message and publicly speaking against the Way. So Paul left the synagogue and took the believers with him. Then he held daily discussions at the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for the next two years, so that people throughout the province of Asia—both Jews and Greeks—heard the word of the Lord.[1]

As the people heard the word of the Lord, they believed and changed their lives. Acts 19: 19 A number of them who had been practicing sorcery brought their incantation books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars. 20 So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect.[2]

This growth of the church in Ephesus also had opposition. So many people believed in Jesus that the worship of Artemis fell off. This affected the business of a silversmith named Demetrius. His business had fallen because people were no longer buying statutes of Artemis. To counter this, he started mob action against Paul. (Acts 19:23-42).  

Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians Encourages Us

Today Paul wrote the letter to encourage the believers in Ephesus. Ephesians 1: Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. [3] We can be sure that it is the same for us today.

Paul also wrote this prayer for this church to mature. Ephesians 1: 15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. [4] God still desires that we mature in the faith as we grow in our knowledge of the Lord and look forward to eternity with Him.

Who are the Ephesians? To learn more, listen here:

[1-4]Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188.

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