the congregation as “one man” is the fullest explanation found in the Bible of the “sacred secret” of God, revealed in the good news about the Christ.
OUTLINE OF CONTENTS
I. The sacred secret of God’s will (1:1–4:16)
A. Those to be associated with Christ in administration for bringing universal unity adopted as sons of God (1:1-12)
B. Holy spirit advance token of their inheritance with Christ as members of his body (1:13-23)
C. God’s mercy and love manifested in connection with Christ to those once dead in trespasses and sins (2:1-7)
1. Saved by undeserved kindness through faith, not works (2:8-10)
2. Gentiles, formerly without God or hope, reconciled to God through Christ (2:11-13)
3. Law forming barrier between Jews and Gentiles abolished; both peoples become one in union with Christ (2:14-18)
4. Gentiles become joint heirs and members of Christ’s body or congregation, a “holy temple for Jehovah” (2:19–3:7)
D. God’s dealings with congregation reveal his wisdom even to those in heavenly places (3:8-13)
E. Prayer for Ephesians to gain depth of understanding of God’s provision through Christ (3:14-21)
F. God provides all necessary things for unity in Christ (4:1-16)
1. One spirit, one hope, one faith, one baptism, one body under the one Lord and the one God and Father (4:1-6)
2. Gifts in men as a result of Christ’s ascension (4:7-16)
a. For training to maturity, stability (4:11-14)
b. For growth and upbuilding (4:12, 15, 16)
II. The new personality (4:17–5:20)
A. Not nations, but Christ the example (4:17-21)
B. Be made new in force actuating mind and put on new personality (4:23, 24)
1. Practice self-control, honesty, generosity, truthful and upbuilding speech; act in harmony with God’s spirit (4:25-30)
2. Remove maliciousness, anger, screaming and injuriousness; replace with kindness and forgiveness (4:31, 32)
3. Imitate God; follow Christ (5:1, 2)
4. Manifest cleanness in morals and speech (5:3-5)
5. Be awake to distinguish darkness; reprove wrongdoers by walking in the light (5:6-14)
6. Strictly watch conduct; buy out time, using it to praise Jehovah (5:15-20)
III. Proper subjection (5:21–6:9)
A. Husband-wife relationship like that of Christ and congregation (5:21-33)
B. Parent-child relationship (6:1-4)
C. Master-servant relationship (6:5-9)
IV. Christian’s fight, not with men, but against wicked spirits (6:10-17)
A. Put on spiritual armor (6:10-17)
B. Be awake to use all forms of prayer on every occasion, remembering others of the holy ones, including Paul (6:18-24)
Anciently, a wealthy and important religious and commercial center on the W coast of Asia Minor, nearly opposite the island of Samos. Ephesus was built on the slopes and at the base of several hills, chief of which were Mt. Pion and Mt. Koressos. This port lay astride the main trade route from Rome to the East. Its location near the mouth of the Cayster River, with access to the river basins of the Hermus and the Maeander, placed the city at the junction of overland trade routes in Asia Minor. Roads linked Ephesus with the chief cities of the district of Asia.
The writings of the first-century Roman author Pliny the Elder and the ancient Greek geographer Strabo have given rise to the view that at one time a gulf of the Aegean Sea extended as far as Ephesus but that the coastline gradually moved seaward, for now the ruins of the city are several miles inland. However, excavator J. T. Wood, on the basis of his findings at Ephesus, concluded that the city anciently lay four miles (6.4 kilometers) from the Aegean Sea. If this is correct, then in Paul’s time ships must have come up the mouth of the Cayster River to an inland harbor that was kept navigable by constant dredging. Over the centuries, though, the harbor and the mouth of the river have become filled with silt deposited by the Cayster.
TEMPLE OF ARTEMIS
The most outstanding edifice of the city was the temple of Artemis, ranked by the ancients as one of the seven wonders of the world. The temple existing in the first century C.E., when the apostle Paul visited Ephesus, had been rebuilt according to the plan of an earlier Ionic temple said to have been set on fire by Herostratus in 356 B.C.E.
According to J. T. Wood, who excavated the site in the latter half of the nineteenth century, the temple was erected on a platform measuring about 239 feet (73 meters) in width and 418 feet (127 meters) in length. The temple itself was approximately 164 feet (50 meters) wide and 343 feet (105 meters) long. It contained 100 marble columns, each standing about 55 feet (16.8 meters) high. The columns measured about six feet (1.8 meters) in diameter at the base and at least some of them were sculptured to a height of about twenty feet (6 meters). The temple’s inner sanctuary, measuring about 70 feet (21 meters) in width and 105 feet (32 meters) in length, is thought to have been open to the sky. The altar contained therein was approximately twenty feet (6 meters) square, and the image of Artemis may have stood directly behind this altar.
The fragments that have been found indicate that brilliant color and sculpture adorned the temple. Large white marble tiles covered the roof. Instead of mortar, gold is reputed to have been used between the joints of the marble blocks.
About a mile (1.6 kilometers) to the SW of the temple of Artemis was a stadium that had been rebuilt under Nero (54-68 C.E.). This was probably the site for athletic contests and possibly also gladiatorial combats. If the apostle Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 15:32 about fighting with wild beasts at Ephesus is to be understood literally, perhaps he had to defend himself against wild beasts in this stadium.
The theater where the Ephesians rioted at the instigation of Demetrius was less than half a mile (.8 kilometer) S of the stadium. This theater was situated within the hollow of Mt. Pion. (Acts 19:23-41) Its facade was decorated with pillars, niches and fine statuary. The marble seats for the spectators were arranged in a half circle of sixty-six rows; these, it has been estimated, afforded room for about 25,000 persons. The acoustic properties of the theater were excellent. Even today, a word spoken in a low voice at the location of the stage can be heard at the top seats.
In front of the theater was a wide marble-paved road that ran directly to the harbor. This street