1a. The Book of Ephesians II.~(KJV) verse by verse
December 20, 2017
Ephesians 1: 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:”
We’re all familiar with The Apostle Paul, how he ravaged The Church of God. According to Philippians 3: 6 & Acts 9: 1-2, every Christian he found in his wake would be either imprisoned or eventually be put to death. It took the LORD Jesus Christ Himself to pick this man up and turn his life around. For some of us conventional methods just aren’t enough, i.e. witnessing to someone, or getting them to come to your church. Christ needs to make himself real to each and every one of us, and at that point we should know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has placed His mighty hand upon our lives.
The will of God is not something one should take lightly. If there is a call on your life it will not be a mystery to you, because God has a way of making it known. You may try to run but you can’t hide, ask Jonah. Some will even act as if they don’t know by behaving contrary to a Godly lifestyle.
Our Father communicates His will for our lives either by the circumstances around us, or He’ll speak deep within your human spirit, and then your conscience, which is the voice of your spirit will in turn make it known to your conscious mind. Paul, then known as Saul of Tarsus was the complete opposite of Jonah. When The LORD appeared to him on Damascus Road he immediately confessed in Acts 9:5 “who art thou, Lord?” He received instructions from Jesus after the light of God’s glory struck him blind; afterward he obeyed without deliberation or debate. Verse 6 of that chapter really tells the story of a changed man:
Acts 9: 6 “And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”
He never complained about being blind, he simply humbled himself under The Mighty Hand of The LORD.
But enough about Paul. Let’s land our Cessna for a closer look at what’s on the ground. We will be answering # 3. Who are the people in that particular chapter or book? He described them as saints. In most of Paul’s letters, he describes the recipients as “Saints”, which begs the question… what exactly is a Saint? First, we should know that all saved men and women are Saints. It is non-scriptural to venerate anyone living or dead based on his or her good deeds. The Greek word used in scripture is ‘hagios’=Thayer Definition: 1) most holy thing, a saint.
The moment you said yes to Jesus, you became a “most holy thing”, set apart from the world for the Masters use. From that very moment you are not your own (1st Cor. 6:13). In addition, becoming a most holy thing had nothing to do with any works on our part. People get confused about calling themselves saints because Catholicism, unfortunately has twisted God’s intent for all of His people, not just a select few. Always remember, whatever the Bible says we are that is what we are. No other person can dub you into sainthood; we’re holy because of what Christ has done and Him alone. His blood has cleansed us from all unrighteousness (1st John 1:9). We don’t become unholy if we sin, but we have broken our fellowship with God. However, if we are truly His we know that we have an Advocate with The Father Jesus Christ The Righteous, and we will confess our sins. A holy thing will not abide in sin, it cannot fellowship with darkness, because what we desire more than anything else in this world is sweet fellowship with The Godhead. Ephesians 1:1 also says “and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:” Paul never speaks negatively about The Body of Christ. I believe he practiced the same principles he wrote about in Romans 4: 17 “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 18. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.”
Before Paul departured Ephesus, he warned them that wolves would come bringing doctrines that would divide. So we can say of the Ephesians that they were faithful, until they weren’t.
According to Revelation 2: 1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2. I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3. And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 6. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. 7. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”