Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)
Peace is such a wonderful sounding word, isn't it? We think of the absence of all wars. No fighting. Perhaps, we think of peace as the lack of stress and fear. What we need to consider in this verse is Paul's understanding of peace. First of all, we discover that this peace is something that comes from God. That is particularly significant. We look for peace in so many places. We think that if we just made a certain amount of money we would have peace. If we had just the right spouse we would have peace. If we had just one more drink we might have peace. The peace that Paul is talking about comes from God, and not from any other worldly source.
We find this peace in the person of Jesus Christ. The prophet Isaiah, when writing about the coming Christ, described him as the Prince of Peace. This leads me to consider the kind of peace we find in Jesus. That peace is peace with God. The Creator of the universe looks on a humanity that is filled with sin, hatred, rage, jealousy, murder, lust, and all kinds of evil. It is our sin that separates us from God and keeps us from having any peace. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on our behalf offers to us the opportunity to know real peace. We can confess our sin, receive his offer of forgiveness, and experience real and genuine peace. If we have accepted Jesus, we no longer need to fear God, fear death, or fear tomorrow.
Now, I want to give you a heads up on what Paul is about to do in the rest of this wonderful letter to the church at Ephesus. In the first three chapters he talks about the doctrines of grace. He expounds in beautiful descriptive language about the grace of God. And in the last three chapters he transitions to peace. Paul will talk about the fact that because we have received the grace of God, we then live out the peace of God with our brother and sister. Hang in there, there are wonderful discoveries ahead.
Are you filled with stress? Do you fear death? Do you want a relationship with God, but are terrified to approach him? I invite you to a relationship with Jesus Christ. He died to give you peace. Perfect peace. Confess your sin to him. Ask him to forgive you. He will give you peace. No matter what you are facing, go to Jesus. He is the prince of peace.