Saturday, 26 November 2016
Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 6:23
Paul’s final words are given verses 23 and 24. He begins with “Peace to the brethren.” The subject of “peace” seems heavy on his mind during his time in prison. He seems to have found an understanding of peace which filled his life in a way he didn’t fully realize until he was bound with his chain. This is most especially expressed in Philippians 4 –
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6, 7
He wishes this peace to those in Ephesus, and to any who would read his letter and apply its contents to their continued walk with Christ.
He next says, “and love with faith.” Peace with God come first, through receiving the work of Christ. In that moment, a propitious relationship with God is restored, and peace and harmony are realized. When that occurs, God can then pour His love out on us in a way which was not previously possible. And this will grow as our faith grows. Thus he says, “and love with faith.” His words are a petition to continually grow in faith, and thus receive the love which comes “from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
God the Father is the Source of these good blessings; Christ is the One through whom they come. There is no hint of subordination noted in Paul’s words, but rather a logical process by which the love with faith is lavished upon us. To grasp this, we could look at the love as a future anticipation (the source). When the moment comes that we exercise faith (which is in the present), the love is received. The present then would be the logical progression of time from future to “here and now.” There is no subordination of the present to the future. Rather, one follows logically after the other, coequal and yet having a different aspect. Such is true with the nature of God towards us.
Life application: Let us be grateful to God for the perfect Gift which is Christ Jesus our Lord, and through whom come all of the many blessings which God sends upon His favored children.
Lord God Almighty, how grateful we are to You for the Gift of Jesus Christ our Lord. Through Him, You have lavished upon us peace, love with faith, mercy, and grace. Reconciliation is found, harmony is realized, and we are brought into Your marvelous family. What an honor to be granted these beautiful blessings because of the blood that was shed on Calvary’s cross. All hail the great and exalted name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!