Ephesians 1:15-16 “That is why since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks to God for you. I always remember you in my prayers,” (NCV)
Paul comes to the end of this magnificent eulogy vs. 3-14 and launches into an introduction of Thanksgiving for the readers in Ephesus.
Our key introductory point is the phrase “For this reason”!
Verses 13-14 “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (NIV)
Because God has set us as his possession of salvation our response should be like that of the Ephesians that Paul cannot stop giving thanks for:
1. Paul praises their response of Faithfulness: vs. 15b “the faith in the Lord which exists among you,”
• Their response of faithfulness is two fold:
Belief in Jesus as Savior:
1 Timothy 2:5-6 “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men.” (NIV)
Belief in Jesus as Lord:
Romans 10:9 “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (NIV)
Acts 16:30-31 “He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” (NIV)
Jesus the Savior is Jesus the Lord, and Jesus the Lord is Jesus the Savior. He does not exist in parts!
Romans 1:5 “Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.” (NIV)
2. Paul praises their response of Love: vs.15c “and your love for all the saints,”
Christian love is indiscriminate; id does not pick and choose which believer it will love.
Philippians 2:1-2 “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” (NIV)
1 John 3:16-18 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (NIV)
Faith and love must always be kept in balance!
1 John 5:1“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.” (NIV)