Grace and Peace

Geoffrey Cox

READ : Ephesians 1:1-2

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (v. 2)

When you fall in love, you want to tell people. You especially want to talk about the one you love. The apostle Paul is in love with God—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—so his words almost tumble over each other in the opening chapters of Ephesians.

The first two verses he writes are clear enough. Paul begins with the usual way of starting a letter in the ancient world. But he “Christianizes” the greeting by centering it all on God. Paul is “an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God” (v. 1). What he does is because of God, and his readers are special to God. They are “the saints who are in Ephesus,” people who belong to God because they are “faithful in Christ Jesus.” Saints are people with trusting hearts and therefore holy lives.

Paul greets them—and us, wherever we live with “grace” and “peace” from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. “Grace” is Christ’s love in action to us; “peace” is what we find when we know the Father through him.

Make it your practice to use this as a greeting when you enter a house and meet friends. Say it, think it, pray it, mean it.

PRAYER

“Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” be upon me and those I love.