THE SALUTATION OF THE APOSTLE
Paul identified himself as the writer of the epistle, and he qualified himself as an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God. He was known in Ephesus having been their minister for three years. Most of the members were converted through his ministry, thus he would know them by name. They too would have no doubt about the identity of the writer.
Paul was an Apostle of Jesus Christ; thus his message had to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ. That he was serving in that office by the will of God went back to the time of his conversion. He was called in a special way and was endued with the knowledge of God. He became an instant preacher without much experience or training beyond the time he spent in Arabia. The testimony of his calling is recorded in Acts 9. The Lord revealed to Ananias of Damascus of Paul’s appointment thus: “Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” Paul became an Apostle by virtue of this heavenly revelation. His background as a Pharisee gave him advantage in the knowledge of the Old Testament. As a Pharisee, Paul served with misguided zeal. But then as a believer, he knew the right interpretation and application of the Scriptures.
Paul identified his audience as the saints who were at Ephesus and faithful in Christ Jesus. All believers who are born again qualify as saints. They do not need canonisation after their death to become saints. They were also faithful in Christ. The time that Paul had spent with them was most fruitful in their spiritual maturity and he knew their faith. He could thus address them as he did. Wishing grace and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ showed their common bond in faith.
THOUGHT: Faithful service yields good fruit for God’s kingdom.
PRAYER: Lord, may I be a faithful witness for Thee.