Skip to main content

Ephesians 1:2: Grace and Peace


Ephesians 1:2

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

Ephesians is 6 chapters long.  Yet, the entire message of this letter is summed up in this verse. Grace and Peace.  Let's talk for a moment about grace.  There is no more wonderful doctrine of the church than the doctrine of grace.  Songs have been sung about it.  The great hymn Amazing Grace sums it up.  God's grace is truly amazing.  But why is it amazing?

God's grace is amazing because it is undeserved!  One of the most common definitions of grace is "God's unmerited favor."  Here are what a few theologians say about the definition of God's grace.  A. W. Tozer said: "Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines him to bestow benefits on the undeserving." Berkhof said that grace is "the unmerited operation of God in the heart of man, effected through the agency of the Holy Spirit."

While these definitions are accurate they don't go far enough!  Grace is a gift of God.  It is his love toward us.  But what makes it more amazing is that we are not just undeserving, we are in active rebellion against him.  Before the grace and kindness of God appears in our lives we are true rebels of God.  Our natural inclination is to go against him.  God doesn't just love strangers, or ingrates, he loves ENEMIES.  That is why his grace is so amazing.  And that is the grace that Paul is talking about.  In fact, who could be a better proponent of the amazing character of God's grace than the Apostle Paul, who before the grace of God appeared in his life, was killing Christians!

The danger for many of us is that we take far too favorable look at ourselves.  We think that we were pretty good, and then God came along, offered grace to us, and made us better.  That is the kind of thinking that diminishes God's glory.  If we truly want to honor God, and enjoy a relationship with him, we must start with an understanding that we are wretched by nature, and God is perfect.  His grace to us becomes far more amazing when we can grasp the difference between man and God.

Are you amazed by God's grace?  Have you fallen for the lie that somehow you deserve grace?  In light of the grace that God has given you, how will you live your life today?  Who else might need to know that they can receive God's grace? 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18 [18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV) Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic. Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison. Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death,

Romans 11:24: For If You Were Cut From What Is By Nature A Wild Olive Tree, And Grafted, Contrary To Nature, Into A Cultivated Olive Tree . . .

Romans 11:24 [24] For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV) We continue looking at the illustration of an olive tree. The root of the tree is the covenant relationship relationship of God with Abraham. Abraham's faith is what this spiritual tree is built on. The first branches would have been the faithful people of Israel, who like Abraham, placed their faith in God. They believed God, just like Abraham, and it was credited to them as righteousness. There were branches of the people of Israel who never placed their faith in God. Because these branches were not true followers of God they were broken off of the tree. Faith in God was the essential element that made the branches true branches of this spiritual tree. Some branches remained. Others, the faithless unbelievers, were removed. After Jesu

Romans 3:18: There Is No Fear Of God Before Their Eyes

Romans 3:18 [18] “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (ESV) Should we be terrified of God? There are many who think that God is only a God of love and not to be feared at all. Is God a God of judgment? The Apostle Paul is going to bring us some perspective on how how we should approach God. This verse is a quote from the Old Testament and is a statement on the overall condition of humankind in every generation. First of all, we are going to need to define the word "fear." This idea of fear is not necessarily terror, but rather it is a healthy sense of awe of God's greatness. It is astounding how man can look at God, and see all that he has made, and not be overwhelmed by a sense of awe at his greatness. I think of how man has come up with a theory of evolution primarily to excuse their ignoring of God. As a result of ignoring God's greatness and refusing to give him the glory that he deserves there is another aspect of fear that man should have. Man