God writes His name on His people, and the name He writes is one that reflects His own righteousness and holiness. Believers are repeatedly called saints. A saint is not some special class of believer, but every true Christian is a saint.
Please turn to Ephesians chapter one. I simply want to read to you, Paul’s introductory statements. The greeting, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
I recognize that there’s a temptation to run very quickly past this. And one of the things is that there’s a similarity here in the way that Ephesians is open with the way some of the other epistles are open. Paul in addressing some of the other Christians and other churches may say things that are kind of like this and so it’s familiar to us and oftentimes we just we want to go right past it. Saying, “Yes I see it’s to the saints who are in Ephesus but let’s get on with it we want to get to what’s more important,” we get impatient. We want the message, we say “Let’s get to it, enough with the greetings, enough with the trimmings, we want the meat.” But the thing is if we will stop and look at this and just think for a second – this is God-breathed. I seem to remember reading somewhere that all Scripture is profitable, you ever read anything like that? You see the thing is there really is meat here and there really is doctrine here, if we will stop and listen. They’re actually some very important truths even in encompassed and encapsulated in these first two verses. We get used to it, “Grace to you you,” know there’s a radio program called that. And, “peace from God our Father,” we just go fly past this and we don’t even really stop and think and meditate and mull over this. “To the saints who are an Ephesus and our faithful in Christ Jesus.”
Where do these words come from? We need to stop and think about this, can you envision it? I can see it in my mind : Paul an apostle of Christ Jesus. This is one of the prison epistles we know that this guy is in jail, but think about what it is to be God breathed. Peter kind of gives us an idea, “carried along by the Spirit.”
Can you see Paul there in prison? I don’t know what the incarceration looks like. Sometimes Paul was under house arrest. Sometimes we hear about some of the horrors of what some of the Roman prisons were like. I don’t know what it looked like. Even at times when he was in prison it seemed like his friends were able to come to him and even even his secretary was able to write for him. I don’t know what this looked like….
(The rest of the transcript may come at a later date.)