Eph 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:"
My wife and I have been reading Ephesians for a couple of weeks now. I think it is an amazing book. It has so much in it that is rich. As a result I decided that I was going to do a study on it again during my morning time with God. It may be that I may not do one chapter a day. It may be that I may get through one verse a day, but it has so much in it, I want to spend some significant time there because it is really good stuff.
And where better to begin than the first verse? Who wrote it? Paul. Where did he write if from? Prison. Who did he write it to? Believers in Ephesus. What was Paul? An apostle. What is an apostle? Basically a messenger who has seen Christ. So this would include the twelve disciples, Paul, Timothy, Barnabus…some of those guys. The weird thing about Paul is that he did not see Christ like these other guys did. He did not live with Jesus when He was here in the flesh. Instead, Paul was knocked off his horse on the way to Damascus. It was there that Jesus first spoke to Paul and it was after that time that Jesus taught Paul.
The point? Paul was chosen to be an apostle by the will of God. This was God's desire. This was God's decision. Paul didn't decide to do this. In fact, he was totally against it. But one thing he learned very quickly, you can't avoid the will of God. What God wants is what God wants and what God will do. This was true for Paul, it was true for the first Apostles, it has been true all through history, it is true for our world today, it is true for me. The sooner I realize that God works all things according to the purpose of His will, the better off I am. Why? Because I can rest. I can relax. I can be still in the hands of a sovereign God who has everything under control.
This letter was written "to the saints who are in Ephesus". Saint. What a cool term. There is one religion who believes that sainthood has to be bestowed on people. That you have to be voted in to become a saint by the hierarchy of the church. I wonder what they would say about the people who were believers in Ephesus? They were all saints. Saint simply means "holy one"…set apart one. This can be anyone. Anyone who is set apart to live for God and not the junk in this world…what every Christian should be. Sometimes I wonder. I believe that I am a saint, but many times I find that my mind and my desires run in the opposite direction. Sometimes I get wrapped up in the stuff that this world has to offer and my focus gets off.
That is where the next term comes in: Faithful in Christ Jesus. Consistent in Christ Jesus. Stable in Christ Jesus. Steadfast in Christ Jesus. This is a long term thing. This is a lifelong thing. The emotionalism is gone. The reality is there. Slow and steady growth is seen. This is what I want for me. This is what I would love to see in people that I have a chance to impact with my life. The thing I have to realize is that the faithfulness is not achieved by me, but it is because of who I am…in Christ. It is His work. It is His doing. It is because of who He is.
Like I said: Ephesians is good stuff.