Paul’s Thanks for the Church – faith, love, thanks and prayer
Ephesians 1:15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:
Let’s get a little into the context of the book of Ephesians. Paul wrote this letter to impart a high vision of what Christ has done and yet wants to do through the church. The first 3 chapters are the vision with Christ in the heavens after accomplishing redemption for us on the cross. Then the last 3 chapters are a lot of application about Marriage, family life and how we get along with other and ourselves.
Paul particularly was thankful for his readers’ faith and love. Faith finds its focus in Christ and expresses itself in love to others. Such love is the evidence of genuine faith.
In verse 15 Paul mentions 4 items: faith, love, thanks and prayer. Paul is thanking God for the Church composed of those in Ephesians who have faith in the Lord Jesus, and those who love the saints.
Its very interesting that Paul focuses on God and thanks God, rather than focusing on the problems that might have plagued the Ephesians. Was Paul blind to the believers issues, or did he see something higher in what Christ accomplished that drove him to just thank the Lord for the saints who just loved each other in this city. Sometimes a prayer meeting with just praises can do more than itemizing all the problems, but of course both are real prayer.
Notice also that Paul mentions first their faith, then their love and then thanks. Why does he not mention sin, that the believers are just sinners saved by grace. It seems in chapter 1 of Ephesians Paul does not even give a hint of sin, but he sure does in chapter 2 where he says “dead in trespasses and sins”. So Paul in chapter 1 mentions faith, then love, but chapter 2 death and sin.