Word for the World devotionals from Dr. Randy White

Love for the Saints

For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints,” (Ephesians 1:15, NASB95)

The Apostle Paul is celebrating the faith of the gentile believers in Ephesus. In and of itself, this is a two-fold miracle.  First, that the gentiles have faith (having once been “without hope”), and second, that Paul would rejoice! Remember that these words come from the pen of one who was determined to stamp out the church of God and faith in Jesus Christ.

Paul’s rejoicing is also two-fold, however. Notice that he celebrates “your love for all the saints.” Faith and love go together, but this is a particular love that Paul celebrates: the love for the saints. 

The term saints has been so sorely misused through the centuries that we scarcely have an accurate understanding of this group of people called saints.  The Catholic community has reserved the title to Christians of certain meritorious work and miracles. The Evangelical community has rejected this view and seen the saints as descriptive of all believers. I am convinced, however, that when one gives the word closer study, it is actually a reference to the Jewish believers of Paul’s day. The word simply means “holy ones” and, in that regard, could describe any believer, righteous in Christ. In its context one sees that particular holy ones are in mind, and I believe they are those of His own who did not reject Him, but became the children of God.

In His Grace;

Dr. Randy White

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