“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:” (Ephesians 1:1 (ESV)
Immediately following identification that he was the author of the letter to the Ephesians church, he then identified the recipients of the letter: “To the saints who are in Ephesus.”
The word saints (ἅγιος; hagios) means God’s people who are holy and dedicated to Him. It also means “called out ones.” These were people who were consecrated to the Lord because He had set them apart from sin and declared them righteous by grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.
There is some dispute as to whether this epistle was a circular letter destined to many churches, or specifically intended for the church in Ephesus. The reason for the dispute is because some early manuscripts omit the phrase “who are in Ephesus.”
Dr. John Walvoord explains that, “The words “in Ephesus” are omitted by some early manuscripts, but strong external and internal evidence support their inclusion. If this epistle were a circular letter, it seems that Ephesus, such a strategic city in Asia Minor, would have certainly received it first.”
The Ephesians were not only called saints, an indication of the position in Christ, but Paul also said they were faithful in Christ Jesus, a likely reference to their daily dedication to the Lord. The word faithful (πιστός; pistos) means trustworthy, dependable, committed and reliable. The reason they were saints, and faithful ones at that, was because they were in Christ Jesus. They were in union with Christ. All Christians, throughout church history, enjoy this status and responsibility.
Take time today to thank the Lord that not only do you possess the position of saints, but also the responsibility of being faithful.
Soli deo Gloria!