By Charles H. Welch
Faithfull, in Ephesians 1:1, Colossians 1:2 and 2 Timothy2:2. The epistle to the Ephesians is addressed to believers in a twofold character, "saints and faithful". Saints are primarily such by reason of redemption, their after saintliness is a matter of growth in grace. See Doctrinal Analysis under the heading SANCTIFICATION. A company like the church at Corinth could be addressed as "saints" yet rebuked for carnality. It is otherwise with the conception of faithfulness. No one can be made "faithful" by imputation, it is a personal attribute, embracing some degree of responsibility, and is the essential qualification for a steward (Matt. 25:21,23, Luke 12:42, 16:10, 1 Cor. 4:2). If this be recognized, then we can see that the teaching of the Ephesians is not addressed to all the redeemed as such, it is addressed to the believer as a steward, and this may account for the limited acceptance of this epistle by believers generally. The article entitled ACKNOWLEDGE presents this personal and responsible side of truth in much the same light, and the reader would profit by referring to that article, of which the present is but a supplement. This sense of stewardship and responsibility is found in Paul's injunction to Timothy:
For further light upon this aspect of the truth, see articles entitled DISPENSATION, GOOD DEPOSIT. There are some of the Lord's people who, having realized the depth of the teaching of the Mystery, and how difficult many find it to understand, have thought to help the general reader, or "the babe", by writing on the subject in simple language and with much more extension -but the attempt is vain because illogical. An adult person would not be right in saying "this steak which I am enjoying is not fit for a baby as it is-I will cut it up smaller" -the truth would be that a steak is no food for a baby at all, and what the babe in Christ needs is not Ephesian truth put through a mincer, but the milk of the Word. See the article BABES.
Balancing the opening emphasis upon faithfulness is the exceptional addition to the closing benediction of the words "in all sincerity" (aphtharsia, "incorruptibility") Eph. 6:24. These are words full of solemn import and many departures from the teaching of Ephesians may be explained by these searching qualifications required of those who profess to hold and teach the truth of the Mystery.