Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible. (ESV)
Grace and love. Beautiful words. Final words in this magnificent letter from the Apostle Paul to the church at Ephesus and to us, followers of Jesus Christ today. Let's talk more about these words. These are words that he has spoken of all through this letter. Perhaps this is why Ephesians is my favorite book of the Bible. The themes of God's grace and love are so encouraging.
Grace. In the famous verse from Ephesians 2:8 we learn that it is by grace that we have been saved, and not by our own works. Is there anything more wonderful than that? None of the so-called good works that we could ever attempt can even come close to providing for our salvation from our sinful nature. God looks at our sinful state, and in love, pours out his grace to us.
Love. This word is used a lot in our culture. And very rarely is it used properly. Most of the time that we use the word love we really mean lust. We have selfish motivations that come from our wicked hearts. We say love to get things that we want. God looks at us and loves us, even in our sinful state. We look at others and refuse to love them because they cannot give us what we want.
These concepts of love and grace can only be understood as they are defined by God himself. Grace is God's favor towards us that we do not deserve. Love is demonstrated in the sacrifice of Christ himself shedding his blood for rebellious sinners. So as we finish up this wonderful letter to Ephesus think on these words. Grace. Love. You would know nothing of either one if it were not for Christ reaching out to you. What should your response be?
Love the Lord with all of your heart. Everything else will fall into place after that.