Biblical Exegisis: Ephesians 1: 15-23

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Vv. 15-16: I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.
Paul’s introductory phrase “for this reason” takes us back to the introductory blessing (1: 3-14) and is the basis for Paul’s prayer. Paul begins this prayer report giving thanks for and encouragement to his audience. Many have taken “I have heard of your faith” as evidence against an Ephesian audience but this does not necessarily imply that Paul does not know them. Some suggest this is Paul responding to a recent report of encouraging news he had received concerning the Ephesians. The best explanation is that Paul intended this to be a circular letter not only for the church in Ephesus, but also the surrounding churches in Asia that resulted from his initial ministry in Ephesus, which supports his purpose to encourage the new and remind the old. “Thanking God for the readers’ fidelity and love serves pastorally to affirm believers .” “In other words, the thanksgiving, however brief, serves to congratulate readers on their faith(fulness) and love, even as such faith and love are acknowledged to be God’s blessings .”
“The prayer report combines Col 1: 3-4 and Phlm 4-5. Pauline thanksgivings make it clear that the appropriate response to evangelization is a reputation for Christian faith. The apostle’s preaching would not be successful if his churches did not become known to others as places of faith and mutual love (see 1 Thess 1: 3-12) .” In this introductory thanksgiving, Paul comments on the audience's “faith in Jesus” as well as their “love toward the saints.” He inseparably links the two like the problem and soluti...

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