It’s been a long road, but we’ve come to the end of a verse-by-verse exposition of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Throughout this astonishing letter we’ve been challenged, tested, exhorted, convicted, and encouraged. We’ve seen the beloved apostle affirm and confirm many core doctrines of the Christian faith, just a few being God’s will and plan in our salvation (1:3-14), salvation by grace through faith (2:8-9), the assurance of salvation we are afforded through Christ’s propitiation (1:11, 2:4-7, 3:11), the ancient mystery of the gospel revealed in that elect Gentiles are included in the Abrahamic covenant (3:4-6), and our roles and responsibilities as brothers and sisters in Christ (4:17-32, 5:1-33). Six chapters packed full of rich truths and wisdom we can use to live our lives in a manner worthy of our calling (Eph 4:1).
Culminating his letter, Paul finishes with a heartfelt greeting to the readers and hearers of his epistle:
But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love. Eph 6:21-24
Tychicus was also mentioned in Paul’s letters to the Colossians, Timothy, and Titus, and in Acts 20 we learn that he joined Paul on his early missionary journeys. Paul was imprisoned in Rome when he wrote to the Ephesians, so it’s likely the church was profoundly concerned for him. Therefore, he sent this letter with the trusted Tychicus, his brother and faithful minister in the Lord, to share with those believers in Ephesus. We find this event corroborated when Paul concluded one of his personal letters to Timothy (2 Tim 4:12).
Here we are reminded of the importance of humble service with those who are also working for the Lord. We each have a different role. Paul was a chosen apostle of Christ (cf: Acts 9), and yet he relied heavily on others like Tychicus, Mark, and Timothy to partner with in him in ministry. A good lesson for us here is that we aren’t called to do ministry alone. It’s a joint effort and requires the unique talents and skills of different individuals brought together by the Lord to accomplish the tasks He has set before us. The body of Christ works much better together (see 1 Cor 12:12-27, Eph 4:11-13).
Paul sent Tychicus to Ephesus so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts. No doubt receiving this letter and knowing that Paul was still in service to the Lord while behind bars was very encouraging and inspiring to this little church. We’ve seen time and time again the depth of love that Paul had for the Church. He cared about others, about their walk with the Lord, and desired the salvation of both the Jews and Gentiles so much that it hurt. In fact, in Romans 9:1-3 he wrote of his fellow Jews, “I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” Be honest: how often have we ever felt such a heavy love for others, especially the unsaved, that we would actually consider it a blessing to trade our salvation for theirs? A minister of the true gospel and slave of Christ, Paul understood the importance of loving others more than himself, even those who are rejecting the faith. Powerful and convicting!
Paul closed out his letters with very personal touches, and Ephesians is no different. He finishes with, “Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.” Encouraging, uplifting, edifying, and pastoral. The apostle Paul was man of abundant faith, a model of suffering for Christ with a blameless attitude, one who worked tirelessly through adversity, trial and tribulation, and a man who quite literally made a 180 in life when he met Christ. What better an example of a true Christian than our brother Paul? May we strive to live in such a manner!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey through Ephesians as much as I have. If you’ll allow me, let’s press on next with perhaps the most encouraging of Paul’s epistles: Philippians.
God bless you and may your love of Christ grow deeper every day!