Ephesians: Prescript (1:1-2) – to the saints (set apart ones).

Class Outline:

Thursday August 30, 2018

Ephesians: Prescript (1:1-2) - Qualifications of an apostle and how they apply to all believers, part 3.


EPH 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:


EPH 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Establishing the writer, we turn to the recipients.


“saints” - hagios = holy or set apart unto God’s purpose. Used 14 times in the letter.


A careful study of this word is of great importance to a believer’s understanding of the revelation of the New Testament.


At the start, we understand the word to mean “set apart unto God’s purpose and out from the world.” It is one of the believer’s eternal, descriptive titles.


As an adjective, it is to describe us as holy, pure, godly, and about the Father’s business of good works.


The NT takes this common Greek word, meaning to set apart or dedicated, and adds to it the morality and virtue of the Christian life, the life of Christ.


Every believer is taken out of the first Adam and placed in union with (baptism: immersion into Christ) the Last Adam. He is called a hagios (saint), a consecrated person equipped for good works.


Last time we saw the significant and resounding contrast between the first Adam and the last Adam in ROM 5:12-21. The contrast drawn by Paul, in which he used phrases “not like, much more, abound to, on the other hand, even so,” is so striking that it awes anyone who can comprehend it.


This significant change, this powerful and emphatic contrast occurs within every person who believes in Christ as their Savior.


ROM 5:12-21

In Adam: sin, death, transgression, judgment, condemnation, disobedience, sinners.

In Christ: free gift, grace abound, justification, righteousness, reign in life, justification of life, eternal life.


ROM 5:19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.


ROM 5:20 And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,


ROM 5:21 that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


It is easy to see that this set apart position of separateness demands a separation of life in his experience.


Sanctified saint set apart means separation from the world system of evil, separation in his own sphere of life from everything that would interfere in the least from the worship and service which is due to the God to whom he is set apart.


I quote Marcus Dods, the same quote from our conference in reference to Enoch walking with God.


“Enoch walked with God because he was His friend and liked His company, because he was going in the same direction as God, and had no desire for anything but what lay in God’s path. We walk with God when He is in all our thoughts; not because we consciously think of Him at all times, but because He is naturally suggested to us by all we think of; as when any person or plan or idea has become important to us, no matter what we think of, our thought is always found recurring to this favorite object, so with the godly man everything has a connection with God and must be ruled by that connection. When some change in his circumstances is thought of, he has first of all to determine how the proposed change will affect his connection with God - will his conscience be equally clear, will he be able to live on the same friendly terms with God and so forth. When he falls into sin he cannot rest till he has resumed his place at God’s side and walks again with Him. This is the general nature of walking with God; it is a persistent endeavor to hold all our life open to God’s inspection and in conformity to His will; a readiness to give up what we find that does cause any misunderstanding between us and God; a feeling of loneliness if we have not some satisfaction in our efforts at holding fellowship with God, a cold and desolate feeling when we are conscious of doing something that displeases Him. This walking with God necessarily tells on the whole life and character. As you instinctively avoid subjects which you know will jar upon the feelings of your friend, as you naturally endeavor to suit yourself to your company, so when the consciousness of God’s presence begins to have some weight with you, you are found instinctively endeavoring to please Him, repressing the thoughts you know He disapproves, and endeavoring to educate such dispositions as reflect His own nature.” [Dods]


ROM 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase?


ROM 6:2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?


It is the privilege of the saint to walk with God.


Like Enoch of Seth’s line, we are to walk with God. That is the privilege of the saint.


ROM 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts,


ROM 6:13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.


ROM 6:14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.


This is a saint in the Bible sense of the term. As we study Paul’s use of the term, he uses it 13 more times in Ephesians, we will learn more and more about it, and therefore about us.


Set apart unto God, the divine standard is the only way “proper” (prepo = distinguished by a thing) to the saint.


EPH 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;


EPH 5:2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.


EPH 5:3 But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints


EPH 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:


EPH 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


All believers are saints (set apart unto God) and all are called to be faithful. Yet, it would seem that the address would not only be to the mature - to the faithful in respect of their actions and deeds. All of us need this letter, not just the mature ones among us. In fact, the immature need the letter more so.


“faithful” - pistos (substantive adjective) = the faithful or believers. “to the saints who are … and (even) believers in Christ Jesus.”


The verb (ousin: who are) is not repeated in the original, but it doesn’t change to sentence to repeat it as it is inferred. Paul often defines the word saint, and so he likely is using the term faithful to mean all believers.


Indeed, Paul finds it necessary to define the word "saint" every time he uses it as a term of address in his epistles. In Romans, it is "saints beloved of God," in First and Second Corinthians, "saints sanctified in Christ Jesus," and in Colossians it is the same as here, "saints, even believers in Christ."


The faithful in this opening are those who have put their trust in Christ. They have entrusted the salvation of their souls to Christ Jesus.


Paul uses pistoson four different occasions to describe the stewardship that was “entrusted” to him. Therefore, the word can mean the believer who has entrusted the salvation of his own soul to Christ and this is likely the sense in Paul’s introduction.


EPH 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:


EPH 1:1

Christos - The Anointed One. The Son of God chosen to accomplish the purposes of God.


"Christ" is the transliteration of christos which means "anointed," and this Greek word is the translation of the Hebrew word which we take over into English in the word "Messiah," and which itself means "The Anointed One." However, in the church epistles, the word does not refer to our Lord in His official capacity of the Messiah of the Jewish nation, but as The Anointed of God, the Person chosen from the Godhead to be the anointed Prophet, Priest, and King to accomplish the purposes of God in the plan of salvation.


Jesus - Iesous (Yeshua in Hebrew) = means Yavah saves.


The name "Jesus" is the transliteration of the Hebrew word which comes over into English in the name "Jehoshua." It is Iesousin the Greek language. The Hebrew word means "Jehovah saves." In it we find the deity, humanity, and vicarious atonement of the Lord Jesus.


EPH 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:


EPH 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


And now we come to one of the most important words in the New Testament - grace. It is a word akin to God’s heart.


Classical use of charis to Greek speakers:

Art: a thing that gives joy to the beholder.

Ethics: a favor done without thought of reward.

Noble: an act beyond expectation.


The Greeks and Greek speakers used the word when referring to a thing that gave joy to its beholders. It evolved into referring to the thing itself. So, “The sculpture gives charis,” to “The sculpture is charis.”


Also, they would use charis for the thankfulness in response to the lovely thing.


The word also had an ethical meaning. Charis was a favor freely done, without claim or expectation of return.


“Conferred freely, with no expectation of return, and finding its only motive in the bounty and freeheartedness of the giver.” [Aristotle defining charis]


Charis was also used to describe an act that was beyond the ordinary course of what might be expected, and was therefore commendable.


I think it is important to note that non-Christians admired true beauty as well as selflessness. This means that the admiration of that which is good can be within an un-regenerated man, even though he himself is not righteous or holy by God’s reckoning. This is not to say that there is good in every man. God is clear in that we are all born in Adam as sons of disobedience.