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 11:24: For If You Were Cut From What Is By Nature A Wild Olive Tree, And Grafted, Contrary To Nature, Into A Cultivated Olive Tree . . .

Romans 11:24 [24] For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV) We continue looking at the illustration of an olive tree. The root of the tree is the covenant relationship relationship of God with Abraham. Abraham's faith is what this spiritual tree is built on. The first branches would have been the faithful people of Israel, who like Abraham, placed their faith in God. They believed God, just like Abraham, and it was credited to them as righteousness. There were branches of the people of Israel who never placed their faith in God. Because these branches were not true followers of God they were broken off of the tree. Faith in God was the essential element that made the branches true branches of this spiritual tree. Some branches remained. Others, the faithless unbelievers, were removed. After Jesu

Romans 15:20-21: And Thus I Make It My Ambition To Preach The Gospel, Not Where Christ Has Already Been Named

Romans 15:20–21 [20] and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, [21] but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” (ESV) We need to be reminded continually that the message of the Gospel is intended to move all across the world. Jesus said that his followers were to preach the Gospel, starting in Jerusalem, and continue preaching the Gospel to the whole world. Christians have not always been good at delivering the Gospel message as far and as often as they should. In the first century church it took intense persecution to motivate the disciples in Jerusalem to bring the Gospel to Judea and Samaria. Once the disciples fled to new regions they shared the Gospel wherever they went. Would the disciples have preached the Gospel without the persecution? We may never know. Some probably would have stayed in their co