The writer of this letter is Paul. Paul means, little or small, and though it probably referred to his physical presence, it is also a reference to his spiritual humility. Revered by all Christians as perhaps the one who made the most contribution to the New Testament, he is probably second only to Isaiah as far as the entire Bible is concerned.
Paul is referred to by those who did not particularly like him, as demeaning and unimpressive as an individual, 2 Cor. 10:10.
Paul was born into a Jewish family, Phil. 3:5, was a Roman citizen, Acts 22:25-28, was born with the name of Saul which was changed to Paul, Acts. 13:9.
He was raised in traditional orthodox fashion, circumcised on the eighth day, born of the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee, Phil. 3:5, fanatical and devout in Judaism, excelled among his peers, Gal. 1:14, was exuberant even in his participation in the death of Stephen, Acts 8:1, and the persecution of Christians in general, Acts 8:3, 9:1-2, 26:9-11.
While traveling to Damascus, Paul was confronted by Christ and converted to Christianity, Acts 9. Paul spent three years in solitary preparation then returned to Damascus proclaiming the gospel of Christ. He was run out of town, so to speak, and went to Jerusalem, where he was hesitantly received because of his former reputation, Acts 9:22-25, 2 Cor. 11:32-33.
Through the efforts of Barnabas, Paul was accepted, and went to Antioch, where he became one of the pastors in the church there. It was from that ministry that Paul launched his ministry to the gentiles, and thereby came to meet Timothy in due course, Acts 22:14-15, 26:16-18.
Paul is called an apostle, which means messenger, or to send off on a commission to do something as one’s personal representative with credentials furnished, an envoy, an ambassador.
Many in the New Testament were called apostles, both of the original twelve as well as others, Barnabas, Acts 14:14, Epaphroditus, Phil. 2:25, Andronicus and Junius, Rom. 16:7, and James, Gal 1:19.
In a more restrictive definition of the term, only the original eleven plus Matthias and later Paul, who were selected by Christ Himself, or who were witness to Jesus personally, came into possession of the title.
Jesus Christ is commonly known as the second person of the Trinity. However, this title does not make Him unequal with either the Father or the Spirit. All three members of the Trinity are co-equal, co-eternal, and co-infinite. They all have the same essence, omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, righteousness, justice, veracity, immutability, sovereignty, eternal life, love.
Long ago, Psa 1-2, the members of the Trinity set out a plan. They all knew that angels and then people would try to elevate themselves to the same level of God, and presume that they all had the right to approach God from their own attributes and character.
God, all three, therefore came up with a plan to counter creature arrogance. They set up a chain of command, and allowed no one to approach the Father, except by going through a second party. One of the three assumed the title, Son of God, and that person we have come to know as Jesus Christ.
He is still God, but the divine plan requires creatures to approach the Father, only through the Son. This is a title of authority and procedure.
Arrogance will immediately perceive that going through someone else, is undignified and beneath ones qualifications, thus arrogance rejects this requirement. That means man sets up religion, and beliefs and other philosophies in order to get around Gods prime requirement. But arrogance and by it, sin and evil, has to have a method to counter its destructive forces, thus the path to God must go through Christ.
That is the stumbling block of sin, of evil, of arrogance, because these concepts do not like to be relegated to any lower status. But the funny thing is, both Son and Father are equal, and approaching the Son is in effect the same as approaching the Father. Arrogance creates its own objection as an insult, when there is no need for such objection.
By the will of God, is a reference to Gods divine plan, which overrides all of mans plans, all of the angelic plans, all evil and so forth.
To the saints, is a reference to all believers, in Ephesus, as well as elsewhere throughout history.
And the faithful, is a reference to all believers who are advancing in their spiritual lives. Not all believers advance. Not all believers are interested in Gods plan and authorized method of spiritual advancement. Unfortunately just as God set out a procedure for approaching the Father (by means of Christ), so also He had to set out a procedure for advancement to spiritual maturity. Far too many believers reject Gods plan requirement for a daily study, for being taught, for learning as a student without portfolio, just as unbelievers reject Christ as the path to salvation.
Too many believers presume that they can figure it all out on their own, or that their emotions, or sincerity, or good intentions are enough. But those things are arrogance. Too many believers do not believe that they need to be taught anything, which renders them unteachable, and therefore become blemishes on Christianity.
In Jesus Christ, means several things. First, faith is directed at the Son. That is the mandate and requirement for salvation. Second, God is the Word and the Word is God, and they are all the Son. And to have the Word is to have the Son, and to have the Son is to have the Word. And you can only gain the Word, through being taught through a daily study.
So, by learning the scriptures, by reading them, by being taught, by listening and learning, you then assimilate not only the words, but the person of Christ, in the form of the words you learn. Christ in you, means doctrine you have learned and of which has become a part of your mind and soul.
This book has a subject, which is the Church, and that means the true Church. And that means you, if you are a believer, and that means you as a mature believer, if indeed you are studying and growing up as required by God.
So the question for you is, ‘Are you a part of the true church, or are you a phony filler that presumes authenticity, but are not?’