Ephesians 1:1-2 - Grace And Peace To You
Our text is Ephesians 1:1-2,
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today is the first of many Sunday’s that we will come to study this book.
Will we come with hearts that are receptive and full of anticipation?
Will we come with humility and a sense of your great need?
Will we come rejoicing and with a heart full of praise and thankfulness?
Will we be quick to address any indifference or apathy in your hearts?
Will we allow the Word to bring itself to bear upon our heart and our conscience?
Consider the following verses from Psalm 19:7-9,
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple: the statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes: the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.”
Notice, ‘The fear of the LORD’ is used synonymously with: law, testimony, statutes, commandments and the judgments of the LORD. The Word of God can be described as ‘the fear of the LORD’ for three reasons:
the scriptures are the very words of God,
because of the subject matter in the scriptures
and because they are true and trustworthy.
John Calvin once said, “We owe to the scriptures the same reverence which we owe to God because it has proceeded from Him alone, and has nothing of man mixed with it.”
If we desire to respond in reverence as we study Ephesians, it will require the grace and peace that Paul is extending to us today in Ephesians 1:2 when he says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
We ought to come to the Word of God each week with fear and trembling. This will remind us that we need to receive by faith the grace and peace being offered to us.
Listen to what Philip Powers, concerning this. “The Word of God is intended to be, not a fear-creating, but a fear–dispelling word. No doubt it warns us about ourselves – our own weaknesses, our nothingness, and our entire liability to fall – but this is only to prevent our being set upon the wrong basis of self and our own strength. ‘Let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.’ But once off your own basis, there is no more mention of weakness. ‘Be strong in the LORD, and in the power of His might’ is the word.”
My desire this morning is simple. It is that we will come to love and cherish the letter as so many others have. We will begin by looking at Ephesians 1:2, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Dr. John Stott says of these words, “Much of the message of Ephesians is adumbrated (or outlined) in the apostle’s opening salutation. True, this was the customary greeting with which he began all his letters, a Christianized form of the contemporary Hebrew and Greek greetings. Yet we may safely say that nothing from Paul’s pen was ever purely conventional.”
Dr. Harold Hoehner, in his Exegetical Commentary on Ephesians, would agree with Dr. Stott. He says, “It is no mere introductory clic