A note from our Pastor:
”Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. // Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.“Ephesians 6:23-24
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
As we consider our study verses this week we come to the conclusion of the book of Ephesians and this series of writings on Ephesians. We began this weekly study in Ephesians in April of 2020 and bring it to a close in November of 2022. It is my sincere prayer, as a minister of Christ, for this series to have been a blessing to those who have read and studied with us along the way.
The Apostle closes this letter with a familiar benediction. However, his prayer and wishes are two fold due to addressing two different audiences. Although this letter, by its title in our bibles, is addressed to the church at Ephesus, it likely was also sent around to other groups of believers.
The first prayer offered by the Apostle is specifically for those disciples at Ephesus. He refers to them as brethren expressing a close bond and a love shared between them. For these disciples, the Apostle offers a prayer for God and Jesus Christ to grant them, first, peace. All disciples in every age stand in need of this prayer. Trials and tribulations abound and only the peace of God is sufficient to navigate those difficult times. Second, the Apostle prays these disciples would be granted love with faith. Through these few words, the Apostle is teaching a mighty lesson.
Love and faith must be combined in the disciple. First, love without faith will become self-serving. Despite the best of “intentions” the very nature of mankind is to protect and take care of oneself. Without faith which reminds the believer of their own lowly state, the sacrifice Christ made on their behalf, and the need to show mercy to others love will turn into looking for gain. On the flip side, faith without love becomes a tool of judgement. It leads to believers placing themselves on elevated plains and looking at others around them with a scornful eye. Faith combined with love brings empathy and grace into the equation.
The second prayer, and closing thought of the Apostle Paul, is a prayer for all the other disciples of Jesus Christ which might hear or read this letter. For them, not knowing them personally or the situations they might face, the Apostle prays for grace. The grace of Jesus Christ encompasses so many things — his love, his sacrifice, his forgiveness, etc. — and thus the Apostle knows the grace he prayers for would meet their needs no matter the situation.
Our prayer for you as we conclude this study of Ephesians is for the Lord to grant you grace and mercy as you stand in need, might grant you a desire to love and forgive, and might fill you with his hope.
Our Prayers are with you daily,