Saturday, August 17, 2013

Paul's letter to the Ephesians - the greatest work on Christian theology ever penned

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:
Paul is speaking here to the Christians at Ephesus and to Christians throughout the ages who would read this letter. You do not do injury to the verse by taking that tack. Imagine that Paul is also writing this letter to you.
Paul is an apostle by the will of God and we are saved by the will of God.
John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Paul is an apostle. An apostle is separated unto God.
Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
An apostle is a preacher and a teacher.
1Timothy 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
Bible students will always argue whether or not there were apostles other than the eleven and Paul or whether or not Junia in Romans 16:7 was representative of female apostles.
Romans 16:7  Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
That is whether its meaning is that Junia was esteemed by the apostles or was an apostle of note as it can read either way. But, if there were more apostles than the twelve or if Junia was an apostle let’s not forget that some seventeenth century Baptist churches had female deacons to monitor and protect the chastity of females in the church and at the Baptisms.*
*H. Leon McBeth, The Baptist Heritage: Four Centuries of Baptist Witnesses (Amazon Digital Services.)
Ephesus, now only ruins about 2 to 3 miles southwest of Seljuk, Turkey, was one of the great Greek and Roman cities of the ancient world with a one-time population of more than a quarter of a million people plus one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Diana, mentioned in Acts, chapter 19. It is also called by some scholars the Temple of Artemis, which is confusing, as I’ve read articles that said Artemis was a different Greek goddess than the Ephesian Diana. Others say Diana is the Roman name for Artemis.
The church at Ephesus would have met in someone’s home as there were no church buildings as such until the late second century. The church at Ephesus could have been composed of several house churches as Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; & Philemon 1:2 reveal.
“The saints which are at Ephesus,” is an interesting phrase. Saints, in the Bible, are those set apart or sanctified by God. The church is composed of God’s saints, His sanctified ones.
1Corinthians 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
Faithful is another interesting word. To be careful is to be full of care or worry.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.   
To be fruitful is to be productive.
Genesis 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
To be joyful is to be full of joy.
1Kings 8:66 On the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king, and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people.
So, there are many other words that end in –ful that denote a quality of being filled with something or like dreadful, causing someone else to be filled with something. Faithful, then, in this context implies that the saints are full of faith and faith implies obedience to God’s will.
Numbers 12:7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
A faithful Christian is full of faith.
Acts 6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
Acts 11:24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
So, those in charge in any church body should be also.
1Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
In the context in 1 Corinthians it is faithful, holding the mysteries of God in faith, as in faithful to God’s doctrines for Christians to live by, trust in, and believe.
1 Corinthians 4:1 ¶  Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
So, here Paul sends his salutations and greetings to the saints, God’s sanctified ones, at Ephesus, those who are filled with faith in Christ Jesus, and to you, if you fit that qualification.

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