Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO ePHESIANS\\

The city of Ephesus is, by Pliny {a}, called the other light of Asia;
Miletus was one, and Ephesus the other: it was the metropolis of the
lesser Asia, and one of the twelve cities of Ionia, and the first and
chief of them: it is said to be built by the Amazons {b}: it was
famous for the magnificent temple of Diana; and the inhabitants of it
were very much given to superstition and idolatry, and even to
devilish arts, \\#Ac 19:19\\. It abounded with orators and philosophers,
and men of great wisdom and learning {c}; and was formerly a very rich,
trading, flourishing city, but now a village, and a poor desolate
place; it retains the name of Efeso, though the Turks call it Aia
Salik. Hither the Apostle Paul first went after he had been at Corinth,
though he then made but a short stay; when he came thither again, he
found twelve disciples, and was the instrument of making a great many
more: here he continued two or three years and formed a Gospel church,
very large and flourishing, to whom he writes this epistle; and which
was written by him when he was a prisoner at Rome, as appears by
several passages in it, \\#Eph 3:1 4:1 6:20\\, and seems to have been
written much about the same time as were the epistles to the
Philippians, and to the Colossians, and to Philemon. Dr. Hammond thinks
it was written about the year 58, and Dr. Lightfoot places it in 59,
and the fifth year of Nero. The occasion of it was the foresight the
apostle had of false teachers that would spring up in this church,
after his death, and spread their pernicious doctrines, and draw away
disciples after them, and do great mischief in the church; wherefore
the design of this epistle is to establish the saints in the doctrines
of the Gospel, that so they might not be carried away with the errors
of the wicked: the subject matter of it is most excellent; it treats of
the most sublime doctrines of grace, of divine predestination, and
eternal election, of redemption by Christ, and of peace and pardon by
his blood, of conversion by the power of efficacious grace, and of
salvation by the free grace of God, in opposition to works: it also
very largely treats of the nature and usefulness of the Gospel
ministry, and of gifts qualifying for it, and of the several duties of
religion incumbent on Christians; and the method which is used is
exceeding apt and beautiful, for the apostle first begins with the
doctrines of the Gospel, which he distinctly handles and explains, and
then proceeds to enforce the duties belonging to men, both as men and
Christians.

\\INTRODUCTION TO EPHESIANS 1\\

In this chapter are contained the inscription of the epistle, the
salutation of the persons to whom it is written, the apostle's
thanksgiving for blessings received by him, and them; in which the
efficient, moving, procuring, and final causes of salvation are taken
notice of, and the several parts and branches of it observed; and the
whole is concluded with prayers for the Ephesians; in which mention is
made of various things to the comfort of the saints, and to the glory
of Christ. The inscription is in \\#Eph 1:1\\, in which the author of
the epistle puts his name, declares his office, and how he came into
it; and describes the persons to whom he wrote it, by their religious
characters, and the place of their abode. The salutation is in
\\#Eph 1:2\\, which is common to all his epistles: and in \\#Eph 1:3\\,
is the thanksgiving to God, as the God and Father of Christ, for
spiritual blessings in Christ in general; and then he proceeds to
particulars, and begins with election, which is represented as an act
of God the Father, as of particular persons, as done in Christ, and
from the foundation of the world, the end of which is perfect holiness
and love, \\#Eph 1:4\\, and which is further illustrated under the
name of predestination; the blessing which that is an appointment to,
is the adoption of children; the moving cause of it, is the good
pleasure of the divine will; the instrumental cause, or means, is
Christ Jesus; the end with God is for himself, \\#Eph 1:5\\, and
which, in the next verse, is explained of the glory of his grace; to
which grace, acceptance with him in Christ is owing; and which is
another spiritual blessing, or a branch of election and predestination,
\\#Eph 1:6\\. To which is added another, and that is redemption; the
author of which is Christ; the price, or procuring and meritorious
cause of it is his blood; a branch of which is forgiveness of sins; and
the whole is according to the plenteous and free grace of God,
\\#Eph 1:7\\, the entire plan and scheme of which is the produce of
abundant wisdom and prudence, \\#Eph 1:8\\, and is no other than the
mystery of the will of God revealed in the Gospel, according to his
sovereign will and purpose, \\#Eph 1:9\\, which lay hid within himself
until the fulness of times, or the Gospel dispensation, in which Christ
being sent, has gathered all together in himself, \\#Eph 1:10\\,
through whom the saints enjoy the inheritance they are adopted to in
predestination, which is the effect of an unfrustrable purpose, and a
wise counsel and will, \\#Eph 1:11\\. The end of which is, that those
predestinated, redeemed, and adopted ones, should be to the praise and
glory of God, \\#Eph 1:12\\, and who are described as such, who first
trusted in Christ upon hearing the Gospel; and after they had believed
in him, were sealed by the Holy Spirit, said to be the Spirit of
promise, \\#Eph 1:13\\, and who is also spoken of as the earnest and
pledge of the saints' inheritance, and who will continue so until all
the people of God are redeemed from the grave in the resurrection morn,
which will also issue in the praise and glory of God, \\#Eph 1:14\\,
and now on account of all these blessings of predestination, adoption,
redemption, calling, and the sealing of the Spirit; as also, because
of their faith in Christ, and love to the saints, these believers were
possessed of, the apostle gave thanks, and continued to give thanks to
God in his prayers to him, \\#Eph 1:15,16\\. The object of his prayers
is described as the God of Christ, and Father of glory; the petitions
to him are for an increase of knowledge of Christ from the Spirit, as a
spirit of wisdom and revelation, \\#Eph 1:17\\, and that they might
have a clearer view of the nature of that glory they were called unto,
and were hoping for, \\#Eph 1:18\\, and observe the wonderful display
of the power of God in their conversion and faith; which is illustrated
by comparing it with that power which was shown in raising Christ from
the dead, \\#Eph 1:20\\, which leads the apostle to take notice of the
exaltation of Christ at the right hand of God in heaven, consequent on
his resurrection; where he is advanced above angels and men, and has
all things in subjection to him for the good of his church, of which he
is the head, and which is his body and fulness, \\#Eph 1:21-23\\.