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INTRODUCTION TO EPHESIANS BY J. Vernon McGee

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Arthur Lewis Collier II, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. Arthur Lewis Collier II

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    The Epistle to the Ephesians (Introduction by J. Vernon McGee)

    Ephesians reveals the church as God’s masterpiece, a mystery not revealed in the Old Testament (see Eph. 2:10). The Church is more wonderful than any temple made with hands, constructed of living stones, indwelt by the Holy Spirit. It's the body of Christ in the world to walk as He would walk and to wrestle against the wiles of the devil. Someday the church will leave the world and be presented to Christ as a bride.

    The Holy Spirit would not permit Paul on his second missionary journey to enter the province of Asia where Ephesus was the prominent center: “Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia” (Acts 16:6). The Holy Spirit put up a roadblock and said to Paul, “You can’t go down there now.” We are not told the reason, but we know God’s timing is perfect. He would send him there later. So Paul traveled west into Macedonia—to Philippi, down to Berea, down to Athens, over to Corinth, and then, on the way back, he came by Ephesus. Oh, what a tremendous opportunity he saw there! “And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews” (Acts 18:19).

    Paul was so favorably impressed by the opportunities for missionary work that he promised to return, which he did on his third missionary journey. He discovered that another missionary by the name of Apollos had been there in the interval between his second and third missionary journeys. Apollos had preached only the baptism of John and not the gospel of grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. At that time Apollos didn’t know about the Lord Jesus, but later on he himself became a great preacher of the gospel.

    Paul began a far–reaching ministry in Ephesus. For two years he spoke in the school of Tyrannus, and the gospel penetrated into every center of the province of Asia. Evidently it was at this time that the churches addressed in the second and third chapters of Revelation were founded by this ministry of Paul.

    It's my firm conviction, after having visited Turkey and seen that area and having read a great deal on the excavations that have been made there, that the greatest ministry the gospel has ever had was in what is today modern Turkey. In that day there were millions of people living there. It was the very heart of the Roman Empire. The culture of Greece was no longer in Greece; it was along this coast, the western coast of Turkey, where Ephesus was the leading city. It was a great cultural center and a great religious center. The climate was pleasing, and it was a wonderful place to visit. The Roman emperors came to this area for a vacation. This is where the gospel had its greatest entrance.Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries” (1 Cor. 16:8–9). Because Paul’s preaching was putting the silversmiths out of business, there was great opposition, and as a result there was a riot in the city. Paul was preaching the gospel of the living God and life through Jesus Christ. God marvelously preserved him, which encouraged him to continue (see Acts 19:23–41). Paul loved this church in Ephesus. His last meeting with the Ephesian elders was a tender farewell (see Acts 20:17–38).

    A great company of believers turned to Christ there. I think the gospel was more effective in this area than in any place and at any time in the history of the world. I believe the Ephesian church was the highest church spiritually. It's an amazing thing to me that there were people living in that pagan city who understood this epistle—Paul wouldn’t have written it to them if they couldn’t have understood it. Furthermore, in the Book of Revelation we find that Ephesus is the first one of the seven churches of Asia mentioned in a series of churches that gives the entire history of the church. Ephesus was the church at its best, the church at the highest spiritual level.

    The doctrinal section of Ephesians is very logical. In chapter 1 the church is a body. In chapter 2 the church is a temple. In chapter 3 the church is a mystery.

    When we get to the practical section, we find in chapter 4 that the church is a new man. The church is to exhibit something new in the world: walking through the world as a new man. In chapter 5 the church will be a bride. Don’t get the idea that the church is a bride now; the church is not a bride today. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:2, “… for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” In effect he says, “I’m getting you engaged to Christ today, and someday the church will be His bride.” In chapter 6 the church is a soldier, and there's an enemy to be fought. There's a battle going on in this world. The bugle has sounded and it's time to fight.

    In the coming days, weeks and months I will be posting here my study through the book of Ephesians as presented to my Adult Sunday School class.

    Yours in Christ, Lewis
     
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  2. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    Greetings and welcome to the BB :Biggrin
     
  3. Marooncat79

    Marooncat79 Well-Known Member
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    Check out

    Opening Up Ephesians

    $2.00 here

    Cvbbs.com

    Its a much better book

    Opening Up Philipians is $2.00 as well

    I think Olyott does it
     
  4. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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  5. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    Arthur Lewis... hmm sounds Welsh. My great grandmothers family were Lewis folks outa Wales. Her son was an Arthur and my middle names Arthur.

    anyway, welcome to the board.
     
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