Paul begins his letter with an introduction which sets the foundation for the entire book of Ephesians. He first declares who he is (an apostle of Jesus) and reminds the believers in Ephesus who they are (saints and believers in Christ Jesus).
Paul’s Introductions to the Saints and Believers in Ephesus
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A Simple Study of Ephesians 1:1
Ephesians 1:1-2 – Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
occurs 79 times in the NT, 35 of which are in Paul’s writings
Classic Greek: commander of a navel expedition (of a fleet)
Hellenistic Period: (in the secular society) it came to mean a person commissioned and authorized by one of the gods
New Testament: meant either an eyewitness of the life of Jesus (or) a delegate/messenger (ambassador of sorts) that was sent forth with orders or a message…
In short, Paul is saying that he not only was an eyewitness to the resurrection and life of Jesus (as seen in Acts 9), but Paul was sent—he was commissioned with an authority and responsibility to deliver a message
- refers to the source, focus, and identity of the apostleship
- Paul wasn’t just any messenger or eyewitness. Paul was an apostle OF Jesus Christ — He was sent and commissioned by God Himself with a message. The entire focus, source, and identity of his life was wrapped up in one place: Jesus.
- Philippians 1:21: For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
- Galatians 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
- In Colossians, Paul uses the language that it is Christ in you which is the hope of glory (1:27), that we are complete in Jesus (2:9), that we are to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly (3:16), because He is our life (3:4), and is to have in all thing the preeminence (1:18).
- BY THE WILL OF GOD:
- “Will” shows an expression or inclination of pleasure toward that which is liked, pleases, or creates joy
- SAINTS & FAITHFUL IN CHRIST JESUS:
- The word “saint” in Greek is from the same root for holy or holiness. In fact the word itself contains the idea of holding tight to and cherishing purity, holiness, and righteousness. It is all about sacredness.
- This adjective “saint” (hagios) in verse one is dative which suggests personal interest and shows possession. These saints belong to God. Their focus and position is “In Christ” as they are filled with the Holy Spirit.
- “Faithful” can also be translated “believers”
NRJohnson Commentary on Ephesians 1:1
» sorry for the delay on the commentary, I am finishing it up and will have it available on here early next week once its edited. Thanks for your patience.
In Our Next Study Together …
I invite you to join me on this journey from the book of Ephesians to discover God’s eternal purpose, His plan for your life, and learn how to practically live out an abundant and fruitful Christian life.
If you desire to join me in preparing for next week’s study, I encourage you to do the following two things:
- Read the book of Ephesians (preferably every day)
- Consider why Paul uses the greeting (or blessing) “grace and peace” in verse two.
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Each week, Nathan helps Christians build their lives around Jesus Christ through …
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The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series with Nathan Johnson
The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series in Ephesians is an in-depth verse-by-verse study of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. These studies will guide you through this life-changing book of the Bible and give you practical application to help you grow in your faith, gain greater intimacy with Jesus, experience the victorious Christian life, and help you build your life around Jesus Christ.