Ephesians Bible Study Lessons Lessons
Let’s face it. Most of us are problem-centered. How will I get all my work done on time? What can I do to be a better witness? Why isn’t my ministry more effective?
Solving all these problems is good. But so often we lack a broader perspective. We put Band-Aids over gaping wounds instead of looking for long-term solutions. We lack vision so we fail to ask why we are involved in these activities at all.
We have enjoyed going back again and again to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians because it communicates the Christian vision more powerfully and succinctly than any of his other letters. Most of Paul’s other letters are directed to the particular problems of a given church. For example, he wrote to the Galatians about the threat of legalism. He addressed a variety of problems at the church at Corinth. But his letter to the Ephesians is blissfully free from turmoil.
Some believe the letter has this quality because it was not written solely for the church at Ephesus. Rather it was probably a circular letter sent to the Christian communities of Asia and other provinces, especially where Paul was not personally known. While most of his letters are full of personal greetings, no individuals are mentioned here or greeted by name. In fact the oldest and best manuscripts even lack the words in Ephesus (1:1). They are addressed generally “to the saints who are also faithful in Christ Jesus.” But at an early date the letter became associated with the Ephesian church, so most later manuscripts have “to the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus.”
Ultimately, however, this letter is written to us, whoever the original readers were. It enables us to see the full sweep of God’s program from before creation to the ultimate union of everyone and everything in Jesus Christ. It puts our problems and our entire lives in the context of eternity.
This guide offers you the opportunity to capture God’s vision for all of history by studying Ephesians. It comes in the form of eleven studies for individuals or groups. Each study covers about half a chapter. But they are not isolated, independent discussions but rather build on each other.
May Ephesians expand your vision of what God is doing in history and give you wholeness in this broken world.
Andrew T. Le Peau and Phyllis J. Le Peau, Ephesians: Wholeness for a Broken World: 11 Studies for Individuals or Groups: With Notes for Leaders, A LifeGuide Bible Study (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Connect: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2000), 4–5.