Ephesus was the most considerable city of the lesser Asia; famous, first for sin, witchcraft, Act_19:19, idolatry (especially the worship of Diana, Act_19:24), and persecution, 1Co_15:32 1Co_16:9; then for piety, having received the gospel by Paul's preaching, Act_18:1-28, and showed great zeal, Act_19:17-18, &c.; Rev_2:2-3; but, lastly, it was noted for coolness and declining, Rev_2:4, leaving her first love. The apostle seems to have foreseen this as like to come to pass among them by means of false teachers, grievous wolves that would not spare the flock, Act_20:29, and some that would arise from among themselves speaking perverse things, Act_20:30. Hereupon he not only admonished the elders of the church to look to themselves and all the flock, Act_20:28; but afterward, when a prisoner at Rome, out of his care of these Ephesians, and concern for them, he writes this Epistle to them, to confirm and settle them in the faith they had received, and persuade them to a holy conversation, as best suited to a holy gospel. In the Epistle there are two principal parts:
1. Doctrinal, in the first three chapters, where he lays down and commends to them the doctrine of the grace of God in election, redemption, vocation, justification, adoption, Gal_1:1-23, illustrating it by the deplorable condition in which before their conversion they had been, Gal 2, and assuring them of the truth of their call, by asserting, against all objectors and cavillers, his apostleship with respect to them Gentiles, and his commission from God to preach among them the unsearchable riches of Christ, Gal_3:1-21.
2. Practical; in which he exhorts them to walk worthy of their calling in the diligent practice of Christian duties, whether more general, and which concern all believers, or special, such as belong to them in their several relations, especially economical, Eph_5:1-33 and Eph_6:1-24.