The Salutation of Paul’s Letter to the Church in Ephesus

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will: To the saints and believers in Christ Jesus at Ephesus. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1:1-2 HCSB.

Someone has written that the letters of Apostle Paul to the Philippians, Colossians, and to his friend, Philemon, are simply about being ‘in Christ.’ Paul discusses in these letters the glory of the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. His letter to the Ephesians is divided into six chapters was not originally penned by the Apostle like that, but was later divided into verse and chapter by the translators. Paul provides for us the design and purpose of the Church with her calling and consummation “in Christ.” Every Divine purpose of God for the Church is related directly to the Lord Jesus Christ. What we oftentimes fail to see is that the local church is not a human organism, but her conduct must be observed from the standpoint that the Church is the Bride of Christ. What we must understand is that Paul has placed the foundation of this letter in the expression, ‘in Christ.’ If a person in the local church is not “in Christ,” he has no claim upon the supernatural blessing of redemption in Christ Jesus. We cannot expect to go to Heaven without being “in Christ.“

In Paul’s writings, we find that he was simply amazed by the fact that “by the will of God” he was made an Apostle. Hey, I find it quite the same that God called me to be a missionary, an evangelist and pastor. Everyone who works for him should be so amazed. We should stand amazed in His presence, “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound….” Paul had no other glory in his life than that God, in the amazing wonder of His grace, had called him on that road to Damascus as he was en route to continue his persecution of the Church. The Spirit of God encircled him, changed him, and sent him as an apostle to the Gentiles. Paul could never get over that he was, “Called by the will of God.”

Paul writes, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” What a gift that every Believer in Christ shares; grace and peace from our God and Savior. No matter our circumstances in this life our names are in the Book of Life because of His grace.

But there is something else here and that is His peace. Paul writes this in Philippians 4:4-7, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” We, like Paul, should rejoice ‘in Christ’ and proclaim His grace to everyone and then the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds. This is our responsibility if we are to know His peace.

Jesus is Lord!!

 

About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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