Perhaps from this verse we can see one reason why Paulís message in Ephesus was so attractive.
We read in Acts chapter 19 about the many people who became Christians there. In other places, many of the new Christians either already belonged to Israel, or they were eager to know God better (for example, Acts 17:10-12). In Ephesus, many of the Christians had previously belonged to false and evil religions (Acts 19:18-20).
However, when they heard Paulís message, they believed in Christ. It astonished even Paul to see the wonderful change that God was making in their lives (1 Corinthians 16:8-9).
Paul came to Ephesus, of course, to declare the gospel, the good news about Christ. However, we can only consider good news to be truly good if we ourselves will benefit by it. Many of the first Christians only really wanted to teach the gospel to people from Israel. Paul, on the other hand, always emphasised that the gospel is Godís good news for people from all nations (Romans 1:16). Even as all people are guilty of wrong and evil acts (Romans 3:9), so Christ came to save (rescue) people everywhere (John 3:16; Romans 3:21-24). He died so that God can forgive their evil acts (Romans 5:6-8). God saves everyone from every nation, who believes and trusts in Christ (Acts 10:34-43).
Now, as Paul wrote again to Ephesusís Christians, he reminded them of these facts. God had joined them too with Christ; and so, God had joined them with Israelís people and all people who believe. In other words, God has made a connection between them, and that connection is Christ. Together, they are all Godís holy people, and God is present in their lives. He works in them and through them to make them into the kind of people that he wants them to be.
Next part: Paul, the prisoner (Ephesians 3:1-2)
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© 2018, Keith Simons.