The Women of Faith Ministry promotes Orthodox Christian Fellowship with the purpose of glorifying God together by way of faith, fellowship, prayer, and the study of God’s word. Weekly Bible studies are led by Fr. Peter and are followed by a time of spiritual enrichment and discussion, as well as a time of prayer. Class meets on Thursday mornings from 10:00 am to Noon in the fall and during Great Lent. Refreshments are provided. Women who cannot attend the class can join the email group to participate in weekly summaries and prayer requests. Please contact coordinator Lauren Karanikolas at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to be added to the email distribution list.
Fall 2019 dates: Thursday October 3rd-Thursday November 7th.
We invite all women of faith to study together the Book of Ephesians. Please bring your Orthodox Study Bible, or you can purchase one in class for $32.
Introduction to Ephesians from the Orthodox Study Bible
Author—Some have cited differences in style, vocabulary, and doctrinal emphasis between Ephesians and other Pauline epistles to dispute Paul’s authorship of Ephesians. However, the epistle itself claims to be written by Paul (1:1), and the Church has recognized Paul as the author, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Because Paul dictated some of his letters, differences in content and style would be expected.
Date—Paul probably wrote Ephesians from Rome during his imprisonment in AD 61–63, as recorded in Acts 28:16–31.
Major Theme— The riches of Christ in the Church. The mystery of salvation in the Church, the body of Christ, is not only for all mankind but for all creation, affecting this age and the age to come. The body of Christ is the center and life of all. Subthemes include:
- The work of the Holy Trinity in our salvation (1:3–14, 17; 2:18, 22; 3:4, 5, 14–17, 20, 21; 4:3–6; 5:18–21 )
- The blessings of Christ to the Church (1:1–3:21 )
- Our response to God’s grace (4:1–6:24 )
- God’s strength for spiritual warfare (1:19–2:10; 4:17–31; 6:10–18 )
Background—Some of the early manuscripts do not have “in Ephesus” in verse 1. Further, the content of Ephesians is general, which gives it the character of a book rather than a letter. It includes no personal greetings, although it is addressed to a city where Paul had spent two and a half years in the midfifties AD (Acts 19:8, 10; 20:17, 31). It is probable, then, that this letter was intended not just for the Ephesians, but also for circulation among the churches of western Asia Minor that Paul had founded from Ephesus during his third missionary journey. It is possible Ephesians is the “letter to the Laodiceans” mentioned in Colossians 4:16.
- Greeting (1:1, 2)
- Praise of God’s Plan for the World (1:3–23)
- The creative sovereignty of the Father (1:3–6)
- The redemptive administration of the Son (1:7–12)
- The perfecting faithfulness of the Spirit (1:13, 14)
- A prayer for revelation (1:15–23)
- Theology of Christ and His Church (2:1–3:21)
- Salvation as a gift for all (2:1–10)
- The church as one household for all (2:11–22)
- The apostles as faithful messengers (3:1–13)
- A prayer for the deification of the Church (3:14–21)
- Conduct of the Body of Christ (4:1–6:20)
- As the body of Christ (4:1–16)
- As children of God (4:17–5:5)
- As partakers of light (5:6–21)
- As families in the Church (5:22–6:9)
- As soldiers of Christ (6:10–20)
- Conclusion (6:21–24)