It has been some time since my last post on Ephesians, but I still mean to work my way through it. I suppose, actually taking the time to look into it, formulate my thoughts, and write them down has taken longer than I guessed. But I’m the richer for it. Meditating on God’s Word more regularly has been one of my highlights from this year so far. I hope you have found the same through using the Bible Reading Plan.
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Although there is debate whether Ephesians was written specifically to the church at Ephesus or was written as a circular letter one thing is clear “one copy of the letter was certainly directed to the Christians at Ephesus, and this means these faithful saints, who were “in Christ,” were nevertheless also in the world—in Ephesus—and were obliged to live for Christ there.”* Likewise, we must live for Christ wherever we find ourselves. wherever God has placed us, we must be faithful saints who are in Christ. (verse 1).
But, how do we do this, you ask, when our world is so far fallen? You forget that Ephesus, and the rest of the Roman Empire, was just as sinful, if not more, than our current world. They, like us, had to live amongst a materialistic, secular, pagan, and sex-crazed culture. How can Christians remain faithful in such environments? How can they stand out as “saints” among the sinners?
Paul tells us in in verse two, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father“. This is more than just a polite greeting. This is Paul expressing his desire that God’s grace and peace would be upon them. We need God’s Grace to stand as faithful saints who are in Christ. Without it, we will fail a hundred times over. As the Epistle progresses, we learn more about how to be in God’s grace so that we are able to rightfully stand while still being in the World.
While we wait for more explicit instructions on how to be faithful saints, what is something that we can learn from this verse to apply today? Mathew Henry, commenting on this verse, said: “the best saints stand in need of fresh supplies of the graces of the Spirit, and cannot but desire to improve and grow: and therefore they should pray, each one for himself and all for one another, that such blessings may still abound unto them.”* Paul desired the saints at Ephesus to have God’s grace and peace. Do you desire to improve and grow in your Christian walk? Do you desire to have more of God’s grace and peace? Are you praying for others to have that same grace and peace? If not, see to it that this becomes something you regularly pray for. Start today.
- *James Montgomery Boice, Ephesians: An Expositional Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Ministry Resources Library, 1988), 7.
- *Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 2307.