Ephesus was a very large city for that time; it is in modern day Turkey. The city was a major seaport and was a very important trade center because of this Ephesus was financially well off.
There was a large population of about 300,000 people. It was a cultural hub with a huge theater where many philosophers would gather to discuss ideas.
One of the main attractions was the temple of Artemis. The people of Ephesus worshiped a false Goddess by the name of Artemis or Diana when Paul came to Ephesus to start teaching the gospel.
Paul’s Ministry in Ephesus
Paul was able to convert many people and established a church in Ephesus.
The Holy Spirit performed miracles through him. People would touch aprons and handkerchiefs and become healed from illnesses and evil spirits would leave them.
Of course there were Jews that tried to imitate Paul.
They tried to drive out evil spirits, however, the evil spirits said they didn’t know them but knew Jesus and Paul. Then the evil spirits attacked the men and they ran out of the house bleeding.
When the Jews and Greeks heard about this they were very scared and had faith in Jesus. Many people that studied magic were burning their scrolls.
Now that people were becoming aware of Jesus and hearing about the miracles they were not visiting the temple of Artemis.
Merchants started protesting because people were not buying the little statues of Artemis and it was affecting their pockets.
They didn’t understand that God was working in their city. They were just concerned about money.
God is Working
It’s like all the people today that don’t understand that God is at work in our nation. He will restore this nation back to His will. Regardless of what it looks like with our natural eyes.
God will use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. We may not understand the purpose of the craziness but there is definitely a plan.
It’s not up to us to try to figure it out. We just need to have faith and trust God.
We need to remember that we have been adopted into sonship and we are heirs of the Kingdom of God.
Protect Our Citizenship with Armor of God
When Paul was in prison he wrote to the Ephesians to remind them of their identity both Jews and the Gentiles.
Paul was concerned for the spiritual well-being of the people he ministered to. Ephesus had many things that could be tempting and cause someone to fall.
- Ephesians 2:19 – Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.
We need to protect our citizenship like we have the military protecting our country. How do we do that? We protect our citizenship by wearing the Armor of God.
- Ephesians 6:13-17 – Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The Belt of Truth
- John 14:3 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
- John 1:14 – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
- Psalm 106:3 – Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right.
- Proverbs 4:23 – Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it
Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace
- Romans 10:15 – And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news
- Isaiah 52:7 – How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
The Shield of Faith
- 1 Peter 1:5 – who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
The Helmet of Salvation
- 2 Corinthians 10:5 – We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
- Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The Sword of the Spirit
- Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Stand Firm with the Armor of God
When Paul wrote the church of Ephesus, he was reminding them of who they were in Christ and how they should live.
There is a lot of confusion, deception and uncertainty during this season. We have no idea who we should believe; doctors, politicians, corporations.
It seems like everyone has an opportunity to prosper from the suffering of the masses.
With so much deception, we need to stand firm in our identity as children of the Most High. We need to protect ourselves and our way of life.
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is relevant for the times we are living in. Its too easy for someone to walk away from Christ. The world can be so enticing and the schemes of the enemy are subtle.
Stay strong and stand firm.
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
~1 Corinthians 16:13~