1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul (v.1) = little one, small
apostle (v.1) = sent one, messenger, one sent on a commission as a representative
“Christ” is the transliteration of christos which means “anointed,” and this Greek word is the translation of the Hebrew word which we take over into English in the word “Messiah,” and which itself means “The Anointed One.” However, in the Church Epistles, the word does not refer to our Lord in His official capacity of the Messiah of the Jewish nation, but as The Anointed of God, the Person chosen from the Godhead to be the anointed Prophet, Priest and King to accomplish the purposes of God in the plan of salvation. The name “Jesus” is the transliteration of the Hebrew word which comes over into English in the name “Jehoshua.” It is Iesous in the Greek language. The Hebrew word means “Jehovah saves.” In it we find the deity, humanity, and vicarious atonement of the Lord Jesus. — Wuest, page 15.
saints (v.1) = called of God, holy (set apart to God) — The word is always used collectively in the New Testament to refer to those whose righteousness is Christ.
Paul took it [saints] right out of the terminology of the pagan Greek religions. He had to. There were no other terms which he could use so long as he was confined to the Greek language. There it meant “devoted to the gods.” For instance, a Greek worshiper would bring an offering to the god as a gift. He devoted it to that god. Or, the Greeks would build a magnificent temple and devote it to a certain god. The building was thereby set apart from any secular use, and separated to a religious one. It was consecrated to the worship of that particular Greek god. The building was therefore holy, not in our sense of the term, pure, for the Greek temples were filled with immoral practices that were part of their religious worship, but holy in the sense of being non-secular, and therefore religious in nature, set apart for the worship of the Greek divinities. The term was also used of persons who were devoted to the service of a god, separated to the service of the god, thus, hagios, consecrated, non-secular in character, but on the other hand, distinctively religious in nature and occupation.
The words, “saint, sanctify, sanctification, hallow, holy, holiness” in the New Testament are all translations of this same Greek root hagi. The verb means “to set apart for God,” and refers to the act of the Holy Spirit setting apart for God the sinner who has been elected to salvation, taking him out of the first Adam and placing him in the Last Adam. This is positional sanctification, an act performed once for all the moment the sinner places his faith in the Lord Jesus as his Savior. This is followed by progressive sanctification, a process that goes on all through the earthly life of the Christian and continues throughout eternity, in which that person is being gradually conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus. That person is called hagios, a set apart for God person, a distinctively religious person, in that he has been set apart for God, His worship and service. This he is positionally. It is easy to see that this set apart position of separateness demands a separation of life in his experience, separation from the age system of evil, separation in his own sphere of life from everything that would interfere in the least from the worship and service which is due to the God to whom he is set apart. This is a saint in the Bible sense of the term. — Wuest, pages 16-18.
faithful (v.1) — When we come to the noun, we have the meaning of “faith and confidence, fidelity and faithfulness.” The adjective gives us “faithful and trustworthy.” Paul uses the word in his directions to the Philippian jailer, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and though shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31). He exhorts him to consider the Lord Jesus worthy of trust as to His character and motives. he exhorts him to place his confidence in His ability to do just what He says He will do. He exhorts him to entrust the salvation of his soul into the hands of the Lord Jesus. He exhorts him to commit the work of saving his soul to the care of the Lord. That means a definite taking of one’s self out of one’s own keeping and entrusting one’s self into the keeping of the Lord Jesus. That is what is meant by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The words, “the faithful,” refer in this context not to the fact that the saints a Ephesus were faithful in the sense of being true to the Lord Jesus in their lives, but to the fact that they were those who had put their trust in Him. They were believers as contrasted to unbelievers. The word “and” (kai) should here be translated “even.” Paul is writing to the saints. he identifies these saints as believing ones in Christ Jesus. There were two kinds of saints (hagios) in Ephesus, those who were devotees of the pagan religions, and those who were devotees of Christianity. The Greek word was taken by Paul from the Greek mystery religions and transplanted into Christianity. it therefor needed careful definition. It was the saints who were believers in Christ Jesus to whom Paul was writing, not the “saints” in the pagan religions. — Wuest, pages 19-21.
Grace (v.2) — a traditional Greek greeting.
Charis in classical Greek referred to a favor conferred freely, with no expectation of return, and finding its only motive in the bounty and free-heartedness of the giver. This favor was always done to a friend, never to an enemy. Right here charis leaps forward an infinite distance, for the Lord Jesus died for His enemies (Romans 5:8-10), a thing unheard of in the human race.
Thus, the word charis comes to its highest and most exalted content of meaning in the New Testament. It refers to God’s offer of salvation with all that that implies, which salvation was procured at Calvary’s Cross with all the personal sacrifice which that included, offered to ne who is His bitter enemy, and who is not only undeserving of that salvation but deserves condign punishment for his sins, offered without any expectation of return, but given out of the bounty and free heartedness of the giver. — Wuest, pages 22-23.
Peace (v.2) — a traditional Hebrew greeting.
Peace is another word rich in meaning. The Greek noun is eirene, the verb, eiro. The latter means “to join.” That is, when things are disjointed ,there is lack of harmony and well being. When they are joined together, there is both. — Wuest, page 24.
Grace and peace come from the Father and the Son, but by the Spirit.
The recipients of this letter were already saved — saints — so the grace here is grace for living and the peace is peace of God, not peace with God.