“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
– Ephesians 1:2 (ESV)
Paul writes something that we often overlook. He says Grace and peace to the Ephesians. We see this as just an opening, like “Hey Brother.” But it is much more profound than that. How?
He is telling them that as Christians grace and peace have been conveyed to us. What does this mean? We will get to that, but first there are some things about grace that we need to clear up. Grace is not something that we can work up and it is not something that can slowly leak away. Grace is God’s unmerited favor to Christians. We are a bunch of sinners and can do no good in comparison to God’s Holiness (Jeremiah 17:9, John 8:34). Our good works are nothing but filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). But through God’s unmerited favor toward us, grace, He has made a way.
Through Jesus we have been given the gift of salvation. This comes to us by Grace. It means He saves us not because of anything in us, but because it is His desire (Ephesians 2:8-9). But what are we saved from? That is where peace comes in. Peace in the Biblical sense is not just absence of conflict. It is being made right with God, Holy and blameless. Before salvation we are an enemy of God, being selfish and only doing what we desire. But through Jesus we are no longer enemies, we have been brought into a state of peace with God(Romans 5:10).
Notice Paul says that grace and peace come from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The use of the term Lord here shows that He is equal in power and authority with the Father. The term Christ is not His last name. It is a title that means savior and redeemer, the one who brings salvation.
You could say this verse like this. Jesus the savior has given us unmerited favor before a Holy God and brought peace between us and Him.
How about you today? Can you truly say that Jesus is your Lord? Have you submitted all to Him? Can you say that there is now peace between you and God due to the work of Christ? If not, then today may be the day you talk to God, ask for forgiveness and receive the work of Christ in your inner being; allowing Him to transform you and regenerate you. It is a life changing event for a person. Are you ready for eternity?
Rev. Joseph R. Kramer