Introduction: We begin a new series of studies, this time on
the book of Ephesians. While topical studies are popular, I
strongly prefer to write studies on specific books of the
Bible. Why? Over my years of studying the Bible I have come
to believe that not only are the statements in the Bible
directed by the Holy Spirit, but the order of the thoughts
is also inspired by the Spirit. Why trade a human order of
study for a Holy Spirit ordered study? This week’s study is
an introduction. From then on we will follow the order of
the book of Ephesians.

I. Greetings!

A. Read Ephesians 1:1. Who does Ephesians say is the
author of this book? (Paul.)

1. It has become fashionable to dispute that Paul
wrote Ephesians. If he did not, what does
that say about what we are about to study? (If
the writer falsely claims to be Paul, we can
hardly trust anything else in the book.)

2. What does it mean that Paul is an
“apostle?”(An apostle is a messenger or a
delegate. He later calls himself an
“ambassador.” Ephesians 6:20.)

3. What does it mean that he is a messenger “by
the will of God?” (Read Galatians 1:1. Paul
says he was commissioned directly by God.)

B. Note that Ephesians 1:1 says that this message is
directed to “the saints who are in Ephesus, and
are faithful in Christ Jesus.” Do you think Paul
is writing only to the faithful in that specific
church? (I think Paul is writing to those in
Ephesus and to the faithful to Jesus everywhere.
Vernon McGee’s commentary says in some of the
better manuscripts “in Ephesus” does not appear.
There is evidence for that. If true, that promotes
the idea that this book is for all of us who are
followers of Jesus.)

C. Read Ephesians 6:20. What was Paul’s situation
when he wrote Ephesians? (He was imprisoned.)

1. Where and under what conditions was Paul in
chains? (Read Acts 28:16. The timing of Paul’s
writing is uncertain, but he is likely in Rome
with a Roman soldier. He is not housed in a

D. Read Ephesians 3:13. If you were imprisoned, would
you be more concerned about yourself or those who
are free? (This shows Paul’s heart for the
believers in Ephesus.)

1. Why would they lose heart over Paul’s
situation?(The optics are not good. They are
proclaiming a message about a man who was
crucified through a fellow who is in chains.)

2. Why is Paul’s situation “glory” for them?
(Read Romans 8:18. Because Paul was sharing
the gospel with them, they have access to
glory. Romans tells us that suffering leads to
ultimate glory.)

E. Read Ephesians 1:2. What does Paul wish for us who
are studying this book? (Grace and peace. Imagine
Paul wishing grace and peace when he is

II. Paul’s History With Ephesus

A. In Acts 18:19-21 we read of Paul making a brief
visit to Ephesus. Paul says that he would like to
return and he returns in the next chapter. Read
Acts 19:1-3. What is unique about the baptism of
the believers in Ephesus? (They are not baptized
in the Holy Spirit. They don’t even know about the
Holy Spirit.)

1. What do you think is “John’s baptism?” (They
must be referring to John the Baptist who was
baptizing in preparation for the coming of

B. Read Acts 19:5. What other defect in their baptism
is suggested here? (They were not baptized in the
name of Jesus.)

C. Read Acts 19:6. What proof do we have that they
have now received the Holy Spirit? (They speak in
tongues and they prophesy.)

1. Is it necessary to speak in tongues to prove
that you are baptized in the Holy Spirit?
(Read 1 Corinthians 12:30-31 and compare
1 Corinthians 12:10. Speaking in tongues is
proof of the gift of the Holy Spirit. But 1
Corinthians tells us two things about this
gift. First, not all speak in tongues. Second,
it is a low level gift. We should desire
higher gifts.)

2. Have you seen someone who is baptized in the
name of Jesus who did not immediately speak in
tongues? (When I write these studies I have no
doubt that the Holy Spirit guides my thoughts.
A few years ago I was in a meeting where the
speaker invited people to the front to receive
the gift of tongues. I trotted right up and a
person placed hands on my head and prayed for
me. My prayer to God was “Let’s do this if you
have this in mind for me.” Nothing happened.
The Bible is clear about the gift of tongues,
but apparently it is not for me.)

D. Read Acts 19:7-8. Paul starts with twelve male
believers in Ephesus and from there begins
evangelizing in the local synagogue. Why start at
the synagogue? (He would find Jews who were
looking for the Messiah. No doubt Paul’s message
was that the Messiah had come.)

E. Read Acts 18:19-20. What other reason do we find
for Paul speaking at this synagogue? (In his prior
brief trip the leaders of the synagogue wanted him
to stay and speak longer. He has an invitation.)

F. Read Acts 19:9. What is the problem that Paul
eventually encounters? (Some speak evil of “the
Way.” These people are able to speak before the
congregation at the synagogue.)

1. What does Paul do when he has shared the
gospel, but meets opposition? (He withdraws.
Notice that sharing in the synagogue covers
only a period of three months.)

2. Is there a lesson in this for us? (We should
not pester hostile people with the gospel.
Share it, and if they resist, withdraw.)

G. Look again at Acts 19:9 and add Acts 19:10. What
is the “Hall of Tyrannus?” And, what is his new
audience? (One commentary says the general view is
that Tyrannus was Greek, and he taught classes in
philosophy or rhetoric. Paul stayed there for two

1. What is the result of Paul’s two years of
teaching in the Hall of Tyrannus? (Both Jews
and Greeks in Asia heard the gospel.)

H. Think about how Paul has approached evangelism in
Ephesus and Asia. What lessons can we learn from
this? (Start with a core of believers. Speak first
to those who share a common Biblical view with
you. Then hold meetings for everyone.)

1. Some of my most unpleasant and inefficient
evangelism over the years involved me going
door to door to share the gospel. What does
Paul’s approach suggest about going door to
door? (In the areas of the United States where
I have lived people resist others coming into
their homes to change their opinion. When Paul
met opposition, he withdrew. The ideal is to
have a meeting where the Holy Spirit will
inspire people to attend and hear what you
have to say about the gospel.)

III. Aids and Challenges to Evangelism

A. Read Acts 19:11-12. If miracles of this magnitude
were happening in your church how many people
would attend your evangelistic meetings?

1. Why is that not happening in your church? (For
the same reason why I have not so far been
given the gift of tongues. The Holy Spirit is
in charge. Note, this is a time that follows
the extraordinary showing of the power of the
Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2).)

B. Read Acts 19:13-16. What is the warning for those
who invoke Jesus’ name for miracles without the
power of the Holy Spirit behind the invocation?
(Demons do not respond positively.)

1. Why did the demon not simply ignore the sons
of the High Priest? Why wound them? (This
shows the mind set of the fallen angels who
oppose the gospel.)

C. Read Acts 19:26-29. What other reaction do we see
to the gospel message? (Riots.)

D. Read Acts 19:34-36. What other way do we see truth
opposed? (They shout down the speaker. They try to
prevent him from being heard.)

1. Notice the tactics of the forces of darkness:
crucifixion, jailing, wounding, and stopping
free speech. Why such extreme tactics? (High
power evangelism is met by vicious

E. Friend, would you like to hear more about Paul’s
adventures with the Ephesians? Stay with us as we
study through this book.

IV. Next week: God’s Grand, Christ-Centered Plan.

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this
link: Pray for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit as you study.