By Oscar M. Baker
If we are to understand God's Word, we must get the divine viewpoint. We must have some idea of the plan and purpose of the ages. We must know something of God and His character so that we may look at things as He would. Without this understanding, all truth will be out of focus and distorted.
Among our readers may be some who are called "shutter bugs". Their wives may be darkroom widows, as some say. But these who operate the camera know the importance, not only of the correct focus, but also the correct point of view and the range of view or content of the picture. The fly sitting on the great painting in the museum could only see great humps and daubs of paint. He could not see why folks should rave over such a common thing. It is a matter of viewpoint. Are not many doing the same with the Word?
Let us look at the expression ALL SAINTS as it occurs in Ephesians:
1:15 Love unto ALL SAINTS.
3:18 Comprehend with ALL SAINTS.
6:18 Praying for ALL SAINTS.
These saints are nothing else but saved sinners. Eph. 1:1-14 gives the scope of the work of God in behalf of these who are in the dispensation of the mystery. You have there, the will of the Father, the work of the Son, and the witness (seal) of the Spirit. Now we do not look about and try to discern who are saints and who are not. In the eye of the flesh we are not to judge. We cannot judge, unless we see them as God sees them; in Christ.
In connection with first reference, Paul speaks of their faith in the Lord Jesus. That came first. Then their love unto all the saints. Both these facts are a ground of thanksgiving on the part of Paul. In fact, it is a ceaseless thanksgiving. He makes mention of them in his prayers. Paul's prayers rose somewhat above his little wants and blessings! May it be so with us. When Paul starts his epistle to the Ephesians, he first speaks, "Blessed be God ... Who hath blessed us."
Sure, we should ask for light and guidance in the study of the Word. It is fine to pray for the power to speak to the unsaved. But how often do we stop to pray for the spirit of wisdom and unveiling in the knowledge of Him?
Are we speaking of our hope, or His? Our inheritance, or His? Do we think of our own things instead of the things of others? It may be that we need more love to ALL SAINTS. This lack of love for the saints will give a man the eyes of an eagle for finding fault, but totally blind him to spiritual things. The remedy; love to ALL SAINTS.
Do we realize that we have been chosen...in love? Do we realize that we have been accepted in the Beloved? Do we have any comprehension of the great love wherewith He loved us?
All this love is of grace. It was not because of us and our merits, but in His Son. Let us be careful lest we deny others what has been so freely lavished on us.