He heard about their faith

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints,
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,
–Ephesians 1:15–16 ESV

Paul heard of their faith in the Lord Jesus, and their love toward all the saints. Here Paul is acknowledging that he’s heard about them—he is complimenting them for their faith and love. He is acknowledging that there is a certain renown about these believers, and thus this is way of giving them honor. Concerning these believers, their affections are directed upward in faith toward heaven and outward in agape love toward their community of believers.

Because of their faith and love, Paul prays, but it is not a quick one-time prayer. “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering your in my prayers…” This is sustained prayer, unceasing prayer. It is prayer saturated with thanksgiving.

This surely is a figure of speech—hyperbole or exaggeration—that Paul does “not cease to give thanks…” But it reflects the passion, concern, and enthusiasm for the saints at Ephesus which is in his heart, and the sense of responsibility he feels for their growth and maturity in Christ. There is a deep relational connection between Paul and these believers and Jesus Christ.

There is an interplay between the Godhead (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), an individual person (Paul), and groups of people (the community of believers receiving this letter)—which is so beautiful and characteristic of Christianity.

From the perspective of honor and shame, this verse displays Paul’s way of honoring the believers to whom he is writing. I wonder: was Paul aware that his letter would be read by believers in a variety of communities in Asia Minor—and on through the ages by believers all over the world—further enhancing the reputation and honor of this community of saints?

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