When I preach in our church I normally preach a series of messages, building on a theme and developing it each week.
At the moment I am considering preaching through the Epistle to the Ephesians so I have been reading over and over again the start of the letter.
And right away in verse 1 I have seen a really encouraging statement.
At the start Paul writes to the people and calls them “saints” and “faithful”.
Now this could be taken in one of two ways; we could say everyone he is writing to are saints and faithful or that he is greeting separate groups.
It is interesting that I have changed my view on this since the last time I studied it; I love that about the Word in that we can keep having revelations and new understanding irrespective of how well we think we know the Word!
I think Paul is writing to the people of Ephesus (thus the saints in Ephesus) but knew it would be read by others, including you and I (hence the faithful in Christ Jesus).
One of the meanings of the word faithful means to believe, or to have faith and I now think that this is written to all other believers (not living in Ephesus at the time) who read this letter.
We can have absolute assurance then that what we read as we move through the letter is for each one of us who has faith and who believes.
So we are all accepted in the beloved, we are all children of God and we have all been redeemed though the blood of Jesus for example (Ephesians 1 v 5 to 7).
The letter to the Ephesians is one of Paul’s grace masterpieces and it is as relevant today as it was when it was written.
The encouragement thorough grace is for us as is the challenges that Paul sets down with regards to behaviour in the latter part of the letter.
This letter is for you and it is for me, as we are “the faithful in Christ Jesus”.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for all the truths held within the Epistle to the Ephesians and thank you that these truths are also for me”.
Ephesians 1 v 1…..Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus