Apostle strongest statements about the unity of

Paul wrote the book of Ephesians and was written under house arrest from about
A.D. 60 to 62. Like other letters in the New Testament, Ephesians was directed
toward issues being faced within a particular setting. In comparison with other
New Testaments letters, Ephesians is notable for its lack of urgency and direct
argument. It seems rather to have been written for a church in need of a solid
grounding in the Good News that emphasized the unity of all believers in
Christ. Central aspects of the Christian message thus come in for discussion in
this letter, including the great love of God, the suffering and exalted Christ,
and the present relationship believers have with God through Christ. Also,
Ephesians we find one of the strongest statements about the unity of all
people, Jew and non-Jew, in the one Body of Christ, this is stated in Ephesians

            Many Christians at Ephesus came from
pagan background or from religious backgrounds where evil spirits and cosmic
powers were emphasized. An explanation of the Good News for Ephesian Christians
quite naturally focuses on issues raised within this context. Ephesians deals
with the question of hostile spirits, primarily by emphasizing the superiority
of God and of Christ. Christians need not fear those evil powers because they
have access to an even greater power, the power of God! Moreover, in the last
half of the letter, we read specific guidance designed to help those who were
formally pagans to know what behavior was appropriate, given their new relationships
to Christ.   

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            The central theme or key theological
terms concepts include the affirmation of Israel as God’s elect, the special,
restrictive use in Ephesians of first and second person plural pronouns to
distinguish Jewish from Gentile Christians for precision and clarity of
argument, the role of cosmic, demonic powers in attempting to prevent and or
destroy the unity of Jews and Gentiles in the one body, and the fact that
access to God is equally available to Jew and Gentile through faith rather than
through the law of Moses.2

            Paul wrote the letter Philippians in
A.D. 61 while imprisonment at Ephesus, but some say Paul wrote the book during
his brief prison term at Caesarea. However, the consensus of church tradition
is that the letter was written during Paul’s house arrest in Rome. The letter
is written to the first church Paul established in Europe-Philippi, a Roman
colony in Macedonia. The Philippine church was largely non-Jewish.

            Paul wrote this letter from prison,
yet it is full of joy. In fact, the world joy is mentioned more than fifteen
times. The letter is the notion of partnership, which is also important. Paul
sees the Christians at Philippi as his partners in the Good News. At one level,
the letter to Philippians is an extended “thank you” letter, since Paul is
writing to thank the Philippians for their support in his missionary efforts.
At another level, Paul wants the Philippians to take a further step in their
own growth as Christians. He is concerned that they learn the lesson that comes
through humility and through serving others.

            The apostle Paul wrote the letter to
the Colossians. The letter is written to the Christians at Colossae, a city in
the Lycus Valley some one hundred miles east of Ephesus in south central Asia
Minor. Like, Ephesians, with which it shares many points in common, Colossians
was written during Paul’s first imprisonment at Rome. It was written during
Paul’s two-year house arrest between A.D. 60 and 62.

            Paul had not actually started the
church in Colossae, but, according to Acts 19:10; his message had reached
people throughout Asia. A man named Epaphrus was probably the one who started
the church at Colossae, and Paul regarded him as a partner in ministry.
(Colossians 1:7; 4:12)3

            Epaphrus told Paul good news about
the Colossians, but also told about a big problem. An attractive, but false,
teaching had been heard at Colossae, and some were accepting it. Paul knew that
if this teaching continued, it could undermine the Christian message. It was to
oppose this false teaching that Paul wrote the letter to the Colossians.

            It is hard to say what exactly this
false teaching was. It seems to have been related to an ancient philosophy that
denied that the body or anything else that is physical or material, was good.
What was important, then, was the spiritual world, and Christians who followed
this teaching might find themselves trying to please cosmic spirits and powers.
They would find themselves not worrying about how they lived in this world, as
though things done in this world really don’t matter.

            Paul oppose this false teaching by
asserting the supremacy of Christ. Then he insists that those who believe in
Jesus need not please any other power, since Jesus is the sole mediator between
God and humanity. Last, he writes that life in this world is very important,
since the present world is the arena in which we work out what it means to be
faithful to God.

            The themes of Ephesians and
Colossians are not as different as some would seem to make them. The emphasis
in Colossians on Christ as the head of the church but in Ephesians on the
church as a body of Christ is not as different as it may first appear. The
problem at issue in both books is the salvation of all people, Jew and Gentile,
in one body-the church. The point to be seen is that God, in fulfilling the
promise to Abraham that all nations would be blessed in him and his seed, had
to destroy the satanic power that caused the existing religious division
between Jew and Gentile.4

1 The ESV Bible, English Standard Version, (Crossway
Bibles, 2008)

McRay, Paul: His Life and Teaching, (Baker
Academic, 2003) pg. 339


Joel B, Ph.D., & Longman, Tremper, III, Ph.D., The Everyday Study Bible, (Word Publishing, 1990)


John, Paul: His Life and Teaching, (Baker
Academic, 2003) pg. 249-250