Today I’m going to start Ephesians 1, and go through each section in a different post. The first section is Ephesians 1:1-2 which say:
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To God’s holy people in Ephesus,[a] the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
In verse one Paul is greeting the church at Ephesus by saying that he is an apostle of Christ. He us basically telling them that he is writing this letter in Jesus’ name and by His Gospel. We can see by the very start of his letter, that he is giving all the glory to God, while at the same time, he gives a reminder of the Gospel by calling himself an apostle, which therefore points us back to Jesus’ death, Resurrection, and His appearance to many after He had risen.
He starts his letter by encouraging them to continue being faithful in Christ. One thing we can learn from Paul’s letter introductions is to encourage the person you are writing to. Imagine if you opened a letter from your boss that started out by saying: “Dear ____, you are doing a horrible job at your work. Do better or you’re fired.” How would you feel? Now imagine if your boss sent you a letter saying, “Dear ____, congratulations on your perseverance at your job. I’m proud of your dedication. However there are a few issues with your work…” now how would you feel? Encouraging is an important thing to keep in mind when you are writing to a struggling believer.
One of the main ways, as believers, that we can encourage one another is through the Gospel. I have a challenge for you this week: Pick someone you know who may be struggling with something, and send them a little note reminding them of what Jesus has done. Be the encouragement someone needs this week. Even if it’s a small prayer, or a verse that would lift their spirits. In the meantime, here is a little encouragement for you to dwell on this week:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
God really does love you. He sent His very own son to die for you. He took all of your shame and your guilt. That’s how much He loves you.
Next week I will be posting on Ephesians 1:3-14. Until then, Encourage one another in Christ!