In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed…
In other Epistles the apostle introduces his expression of thanksgiving at the beginning, but here he brings it into the very heart of a doctrinal statement, enumerating in successive steps the immense blessings of salvation.
I. IT IS THE INSTINCT OF. A HOLY HEART TO PRAY FOR THE SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING OF OTHERS. "It is an angel's grace to rejoice over the conversion of sinners." But Paul had the care of all the Churches daily upon his heart; they all had a place in his supplications, as well as individual Christians among them; and he "ceased not" to pray for them till he had received an answer to his prayers. He must have spent a large portion of his busy life in prayer. How could he find time to remember all the Churches in his supplications? A godly pastor in America was in the habit of isolating a day now and then for prayer for the whole world. When asked how he could find matter for a whole day's supplication, he answered, "I spread out a map of the world before me; and as I know something of the religious condition of all the countries on the map, I cannot be at a loss for matter." What a large heart was that of the apostle, that could bear all the Churches up to the throne of God in earnest and affectionate entreaty!
II. THE GROUND OF HIS THANKSGIVING - "the faith and love" of the Ephesian Christians. These two graces, like the two great commands of the Law, sum up in a sense all the graces of the Spirit. "Faith and love are the two arms and the two eyes without which Christ can be neither seen nor embraced." They have their origin in the grace of Christ, which "was exceeding abundant in faith and love" (1 Timothy 1:14); faith holding the first place, because "faith in the Lord Jesus Christ" is the first principle of Christian life, because it worketh by love, because love springs out of faith (1 Timothy 1:5) - not love to God, but love to the saints, which is implied in this higher love; for "he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" (1 John 5:20). It was a catholic love - "to all saints," with all their differences of character, habit, and life. The apostle was thankful for the exhibition of these two graces at Ephesus, not only because he had been the instrument of their conversion, but because they marked the interest of his disciples in the blessings of salvation. He was delighted, besides, to find them persevering in grace: "Now I live if ye stand fast in the Lord." The spiritual friendships of the apostle were marked by great intensity of interest and feeling.
III. THESE PRAYERS OF AN APOSTLE WOULD BE EFFECTUAL IN' BRINGING DOWN BLESSING UPON THE EPHESIAN SAINTS. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,