So this week, we covered verses one and two of 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.When Paul's name was Saul, he persecuted Christians. Then, he was on the road to Damascus one day (to find more Christians to tie up and cart back to Jerusalem), when Jesus appeared to him. The experience was so life-changing that he could not see for three days. Thereafter, became a Christian himself, and a missionary, and was finally persecuted himself and killed.
I found my most satisfying definition I found for the word 'apostle' in an answer at ask.com as an 'ambassador'. Thus an apostle of Jesus would be an ambassador of Jesus. The use of the word apostle as opposed to follower or disciple means to me that Paul could speak of Jesus and act, in Jesus's name, with some authority. And of course, nothing happens if not by the will of God. But sometimes we just need to be reminded of that.
So Paul tells us by what authority he writes, then proceeds to tell us to whom the message is written. Of course there are saints in Ephesus of the day. But maybe there are other Christians passing through the city or visiting relatives, etc. Certainly a missive from one of the foremost apostles of the day would want to reach the biggest possible target audience.
2. Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.Dictionary.com gives a definition of 'grace' as a manifestation of favor. So Paul is conveying a message of grace and peace to the Ephesians both from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. What better gift is there in the world? One word: NONE.
Most, if not all of the Bible verses I quote will come from the King James Version (KJV). I just love the formality of the language. But then, Shakespeare is one of my favorite authors. No matter the version of the Bible, I think a wonderful poetry shines through the language, so you get:
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. Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Instead of simply: "To Whom It May Concern".
Now, it's your turn:
1. Are you participating in the 'Hiding Ephesians 1 in My Heart' challenge at Do No Depart? Would you like to?
2. Do you have a favorite Bible verse to share?
3. If you are not religious and/or not Christian, do you have a favorite quote or saying to share?
ALL ARE WELCOME!