When reading history books, we often see titles of people based on merit or position. We see Catholic churches named after Biblical people, often starting with the word “saint.” I realize that there is no way that I would ever qualify to be given the title of ‘saint’ by men.
I am nowhere near perfect or even close to being a saint in man's eyes. I don’t even think my kids consider me a saint, despite them thinking I can do everything. It is not to men that we should look for recognition and acceptance, but it is to God that we are called to find favor and peace.
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:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus is a letter to the church as a whole. Despite being imprisoned during the time he wrote this letter, he was concerned about the spiritual needs of the church in Ephesus. The principles covered in this letter are to promote unity among believers in Christ. We see this in how he opens the letter to the Ephesians. Paul, an apostle (apostolos) was commissioned by Jesus with the obligation to preach God’s Word and build the new church in Christ. God predestined Paul to be the spokesperson to the Gentiles and build His kingdom by making disciples of Jesus. This was God’s will for Paul. With that authority, Paul speaks to the ‘saints’ that are ‘faithful’ in Christ Jesus. We read about historical figures labeled ‘saints’ and often see this in the catholic church. But we are ALL saints because of Christ. We are all found to be holy and blameless because of Jesus Christ. We are set apart and sanctified because of the blood of Christ. Therefore, this is a central teaching of Ephesians…it is to all the faithful saints who are ‘in Christ Jesus.’ Being saints in Christ Jesus means that we are together and unified as the body of Christ. Christ surrounds us and we are within Him. The Holy Spirit provides us the perseverance needed and the direction to draw closer according to God’s will in our lives.
What does Paul mean by being faithful? He uses the term to demonstrate to the saints that being faithful is to be reliant and trustworthy in Christ. These saints, the believers in Ephesus, have shown themselves as trustworthy Christians who have steadfastly stayed true to the truth of Jesus Christ. Paul had previously It is the body of Christ, the church, that Paul directs this letter. But these saints could not be faithful without the grace and peace that only God provides. But it requires faith to accept the grace that God has generously offered to everyone. Then through faith, God gives us eternal peace knowing that we are forever His and may experience the fullness of His blessing on our lives.
Remember that we are all set apart by God and are one body in Christ. We are the church and remain together despite any differences we may have. Paul didn’t say ‘saint,’ singular. No, he called ALL the faithful saints. Paul calls all who have the faith that God’s grace is sufficient and the faith that Christ Jesus died and rose from the grave. Because we have faith and take the step to accept God’s grace, we are bestowed with peace that surpasses all understanding. It is so great that our minds can’t even fathom it.
I encourage us all to build each other up in Christ. We are to be unified as the body of Christ and function as a whole. Fall back on the grace that only comes through God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Posted in Ephesians
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Trusting God in a Time of TransitionThanksgiving Among ChallengesOverwhelmingly Overwhelmed?Building Authentic FaithHoliness, It's What I Long ForSatisfy the CravingPreparing The Temple of God - 1 Peter 2:4-10Absolute Submission - 1 Peter 2:11-17Enduring Unjust Treatment - 1 Peter 2:18-25Building Stronger Marriages - 1 Peter 3:1-7Retaliating With Grace - 1 Peter 3:8-12Trial and Defense - 1 Peter 3:13-22Putting Aside Our Sinful Nature - 1 Peter 4:1-6Taking Responsibility and Ownership of God's Grace - 1 Peter 4:7-11Count Yourself Blessed - 1 Peter 4:12-19Shepherding the Followers of Christ - 1 Peter 5:1-5We're Not Alone in This Journey - 1 Peter 5:6-14Setting the Tone - Galatians 1:1-5The Simple and Pure Truth - Galatians 1:6-10Not by men, but by God - Galatians 1:11-24Discernment and Strength - Galatians 2:1-6Remain Firm Amongst Peer Pressure - Galatians 2:7-14Overcoming Anger and Frustration
Justified By Faith - Galatians 2:15-21Fools Without Faith - Galatians 3:1-14Keeping Our Promises - Galatians 3:15-18Imprisoned by Sin - Galatians 3:19-29Being an Heir of God - Galatians 4:1-7Transformed by Faith - Galatians 4:8-20Children of Promise - Galatians 4:21-31Stand Fast in Liberty - Galatians 5:1-12All About Liberty - Galatians 5:13-15Actively Living in Christ Produces Fruit - Galatians 5:16-25Spiritual Obligations - Galatians 6:1-5What Seeds Are We Planting? - Galatians 6:6-10Emphasize the Truth - Galatians 6:11-18Saints...In Christ - Ephesians 1:1-2Richly Blessed in Christ - Ephesians 1:3-6In HIM...we have... - Ephesians 1:7-14Praising Others and Lifting Them Up in Christ - Ephesians 1:15-23Where Did We Come From - Ephesians 2:1-10Filling God's Dwelling Place - Ephesians 2:11-22The Mystery of Christ - Ephesians 3:1-6Bringing the Light to Others - Ephesians 3:7-13Bowing Our Hearts With Humility - Ephesians 3:14-21Unified as the Body of Christ - Ephesians 4:1-6Gifts in Unity - Ephesians 4:7-16Putting On Our New Self - Ephesians 4:17-24Edifying Words in Christ - Ephesians 4:25-32Being Imitators of God - Ephesians 5:1-2Guarding Our Hearts, Our Words, and Our Actions - Ephesians 5:3-14
Walking Wisely - Ephesians 5:15-21Godly Marriage - Ephesians 5:22-33What Kind of Parents Are We? - Ephesians 6:1-3Equipping Ourselves in Christ - Ephesians 6:10-20Being the Encouragement to Others - Ephesians 6:21-24Being Set Apart From This World - 1 Corinthians 1:1-9Let the Division Cease - 1 Corinthians 1:10-17My Wisdom or God's? - 1 Corinthians 1:18-25What Are We Boasting In? - 1 Corinthians 1:26-31Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing - 1 Corinthians 2:1-5Being Active in the Holy Spirit - 1 Corinthians 2:6-16Growth in God - 1 Corinthians 3:1-4The Fields of God - 1 Corinthians 3:5-9Building God's Temple - 1 Corinthians 3:10-17Don't Deceive Yourself - 1 Corinthians 3:18-23Faithful Stewards - 1 Corinthians 4:1-6Are We Being Humble - 1 Corinthians 4:8-21Purging Our Sin - 1 Corinthians 5:1-13Disputes Within the Church - 1 Corinthians 6:1-8No Tolerance for Sexual Immorality - 1 Corinthians 6:9-20Being True to Your Marriage/Relationship - 1 Corinthians 7:1-11Being True to Your Calling - 1 Corinthians 7:17-24Single or Married? - 1 Corinthians 7:25-40Knowledge and Love - 1 Corinthians 8:1-6Not Being a Stumbling Block for Others - 1 Corinthians 8:7-13Willingly Surrendering Our Rights to Christ - 1 Corinthians 9:1-23Let History be an Example to Abstain From Sin - 1 Corinthians 10:1-22Do Everything For God's Glory - 1 Corinthians 10:23-33Imitating Christ - 1 Corinthians 11:1