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.
As we turn to Ephesians, we are immediately confronted with 3 realities:
- PAUL’S AUTHORITY FROM GOD (v. 1a)
- “…an apostle of Christ Jesus…”
- “…by the will of God…”
- Application: Because Paul is speaking with the authority of Christ Himself, we ought to devote ourselves to “the apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42)
- THE CHRISTIAN’S IDENTITY IN GOD (v. 1b)
- “…saints…” (“holy ones”)
- “…in Christ Jesus…”
- Application: As a Christian, who do you believe yourself to be? As a Christian, where do you find your identity? You ought to find your identity in who and what God has made you: Because of His grace, you’re one of his holy ones, you’re a faithful believer, and above all, you’re in Christ.
- THE CHRISTIAN’S STANDING BEFORE GOD (v. 2)
- “Grace to you…”
- “…peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ…”
- Application: As Christians, we have a new standing before the living God. It’s not a standing of acceptance by works, but of acceptance by grace alone, apart from our works. Not only that, but our standing before God is characterized by peace, not enmity, hostility, or alienation any longer. All of this is owing to the Father’s purpose, the Son’s sacrifice, and the Spirit’s regenerating power.
Conclusion: As you live in your Ephesus (a dark, pagan, sensual, ignorant culture)…
- Remember your ultimate authority: God’s Word (v. 1b)
- Remember your identity: You’re a faithful saint in Christ (v. 1b)
- Remember your standing: God’s grace and peace (v. 2)
- Remember your first love: the Triune God
- This is something the Ephesians abandoned (Revelation 2:4).
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