Skip to main content

Ephesians 1:15-16: I Do Not Cease to Give Thanks

Ephesians 1:15–16
[15] For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, [16] I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, (ESV)

In the previous fourteen verses of this opening chapter of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul has introduced himself and expounded on the mystery of the Gospel and true saving faith.  Now, he speaks directly to the Ephesians about how thankful he is for them.  So thankful that he does not cease to give thanks for them, remembering them in his prayers.

Why is Paul so thankful?  What was so great about the church at Ephesus? He tells us, in verse 15. He has heard of their faith in Jesus, and their love for all the saints.  Their faith was not just talk.  It was real.  It resulted in loving one another.  Remember that the structure of this book of Ephesians is theological and practical.  The first 3 chapters being theological, tells us what it means to be a genuine believer. The last 3 chapters being practical, show us how genuine believers behave.  Verse 15 is another reminder that what we believe affects how we behave.

I am struck by Paul's reaction to a church's faith.  I wonder how many churches in this great land of ours would receive the same admiration from the Apostle Paul.  Churches claim to have faith.  They claim to believe in God.  But, how many of those same churches are full of gossip, divisiveness, and ignoring the needs of their brothers and sisters in Christ?  I am afraid that Paul's great thankfulness for the Ephesians' genuineness would not exist for too many of our churches today.

Genuine faith expresses itself in genuine love for one another.  The Apostle John puts it this way:

1 John 4:7
[7] Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (ESV)

If Paul were to write a letter to your church today, would he say how thankful he was to hear of your genuine faith expressing itself in genuine love for others?  If not, what is God calling you to do about it?  How can you make changes in your life to love others more?


Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18 [18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV) Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic. Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison. Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death,

Romans 15:14: I Myself Am Satisfied About You, My Brothers

Romans 15:14 [14] I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. (ESV) The Apostle Paul was a strong man. His words to the churches in all of his letters are full of doctrinal truth and instruction that are not for the faint of heart. In this letter to the church at Rome he had to correct them in their understanding of how to deal with issues that could potentially divide them. Paul had never even been to Rome yet. He had not met these believers. Paul is telling the church at Rome in this verse that the reason they were able to receive his strong words was because of their spiritual maturity. He declares that they are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. This is an incredible compliment that Paul would not offer to every church. This concept of being filled with goodness and knowledge speaks of a group of believers who had listened to t

Romans 15:16: To Be A Minister Of Christ Jesus To The Gentiles In The Priestly Service Of The Gospel Of God

Romans 15:16 [16] to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (ESV) The time of the Early Church was a time of great transition. Up until Christ coming and bringing redemption to all who believer the people of faith were the Jews. If you wanted to worship God the only appropriate way was to go through a priest who would offer sacrifices on your behalf to God. All of the sacrificial system was fulfilled in Christ. Now, there was a new way to righteousness. This time of transition was a challenge for all involved. The Jews had to move from an approach to God that involved keeping the Law. The Law was fulfilled in Christ. Now the way of salvation was a way of faith. There were some traditional aspects that were now gone. It was hard for them to move away from their traditions. It is hard for all of us to move from our traditions. For the Genti