Bible Classes

Bible Classes

The Church in Ephesus

Series: New Testament Churches

Excerpt from the workbook, “New Testament Churches: Their Strengths and Weaknesses” by Carl McMurray:

“Ephesus was a city favored by both land and sea. It was a seacoast city 3 miles from the west coast of Asia Minor and opposite the island of Samos. It had an artificial harbor providing access to the largest ships and was linked by major roadways to all the chief cities of the province. The soil in this area was fertile, the climate temperate, and with its access both to the interior and to the sea, the city was blessed with religious, political, and commercial development. We might add here, however, that the truly great days of Ephesus were past. […] During the time of the apostle Paul here, the city was still a major center of its day, but […] in a couple centuries, Ephesus would pass from existence. […]

“The temple of Diana [also known as the Temple of Artemis] was connected to the culture of the city. This temple was burnt and rebuilt seven times, each time on a scale grander and larger than before. […] It was looked upon in that time as one of the wonders of the ancient world. Pilgrims brought wealth into this temple from all over the world, and in time, the temple came to own valuable lands, controlled the fisheries, and its priests became bankers of enormous revenue. The temple was, in addition to being a great bank and place of worship, a museum where the best paintings and statues were preserved. It was also well known for the orgiastic feasts and temple prostitutes that characterized their worship of Diana.”

Bible References:

  • Acts 18:24 – 19:41
  • Ephesians
  • Revelations 2:1-7



1. In your opinion, what was the most noteworthy thing about the city of Ephesus, and how would it affect the culture of a congregation? (Acts 19, Ephesians, Revelations 2:1-7)

2. Two amazing aspects of the church’s beginning here was that all of Asia heard the truth and that there was a colossal book burning. What do these two things say about the zeal and commitment of these early believers? (Acts 19:10-20)

3. First, the Spirit forbade Paul to teach in Asia, and then all of Asia heard the truth while Paul taught in Ephesus. What might this teach us? (Acts 16:6, Acts 19:10)

4. Remembering who we are is a powerful spiritual stabilizer. Who are we, in Christ? (Ephesians 1)

5. Remembering where we came from keeps one’s feet on humble ground. Where does Paul say the Ephesians and EVERY OTHER ONE OF US come from? (Ephesians 2:1-3)

6. It is easy to become a, “church-building,” Christian. But what areas of our life does the Ephesian letter indicate should be touched by our service to God? (Ephesians 5:1 – 6:10)

7. What was the criticism Jesus held out for this congregation in its mature, fullgrown state? Why? (Revelation

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