The book we’re studying is not first a list of rules or a theological treatise. Instead, it is a letter written by a real missionary to a real church. Though it has tremendous application for us today, it is helpful to review the historical context – and the book of Acts help a lot with that.
Apparently, this letter was written while Paul was in prison, after he had seen the Ephesian church for the last time. As we begin this story, read Acts 18-20 and reflect on the questions below.
Questions for your study:
Though Ephesus was famous for its temple to Diana, Paul went to the Jewish synagogue first, where he “reasoned with the Jews.” Why did he begin with them, and not the pagan Gentiles to whom he was called? How was his message received?
Why was it so important for Paul to return to Jerusalem for the feast, especially when there was such profound interest in his message? What steps did Paul take to ensure the growth of the church in Ephesus? (see 18:21, 26) What did God do once Paul left? (18:24-28)