Ephesus was the queen city of Asia Minor with a population of about 340,000 people. It was the capital of the province of Asia. There was no city like Ephesus. It was known for the great temple of Diana with 127 columns. Diana was called the goddess mother of everything. This temple was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. This city had an open-air theater with a seating capacity of 25000. Those seats were made of marble stones. It was a city of culture, religion, philosophy and worldwide commerce.
How was the Church of Ephesus formed?
During the second missionary journey, Paul made a brief visit to Ephesus. He left Priscilla and Aquila there to work in his absence and promised to return later (Acts 18:18-21). On his third missionary journey, Paul stayed in Ephesus for about three years evangelizing the city and surrounding regions (Acts 19:1-20). During this time this church was founded. On his way to Jerusalem, Paul met the elders of the church at Miletus and warned them about false teachers (Acts 20:17-38). Timothy, Onesiphorus, Tychicus and Apostle John labored at Ephesus. From here gospel spreads all over Asia Minor.
The writer identifies himself as Paul (Ephesians 1:1; 3:1). It is one of the four prison epistles (Ephesians 4:1; 6:20). Paul was imprisoned three times, at Caesarea for two years, again in Rome for about two years and lastly in Rome for some time. Paul wrote Ephesians during his first Roman imprisonment in A.D. 61-63. Some scholars suggest that it was a circular letter sent to the churches of Asia Minor. Some of the oldest manuscripts do not have the title “Who are in Ephesus”. Also the epistle lacks any personal greetings. Colossians 4:16 also may suggest that it was a circular letter. The recipients are those who are in Christ. Tychicus was the bearer of this letter to Ephesians.
The epistle of Ephesians was written to share the great truth about the relationship between Christ and the church. The church is the divine institution set forth to fulfill God’s purpose in Christ (Ephesians 1:9, 10). The church is the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 1:23). It is the body of which Christ is the head. This epistle was written to strengthen the believers in their faith. This Epistle has some comparisons with the epistle to Colossians. In Ephesians the emphasis is on the dignity of the church. In Colossians the emphasis is the deity of Christ. In Ephesians we see the completeness of church in Christ. Ephesians consider the church’s oneness with Christ. Ephesians speak of the believers being in Christ. In Colossians the emphasis is Christ being in the believers. Ephesians Chapter 1-3 summarizes believer’s spiritual standing and all the blessings they have in Christ. Chapters 4-6 explain how Christians should live in the world. The epistle of Ephesians begins with the believer's spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3). So some scholars call this epistle "The heavenly epistle".