Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:…
1. It is the duty of a minister of Christ to bless the faithful children of the Church in the name of God (Numbers 6:23).
(1) What this blessing is. A ministerial act, applying God's blessing to the well-deserving children of the Church, and placing them in assured possession through faith of God's blessing towards them.
(2) On what it is grounded.
(a) The spirit of discerning (Matthew 7:20).
(b) The authority which God has bestowed.
2. Even the holiest justified persons have need of grace.
3. The best thing we can seek is the grace of God. This grace is our life; it is better than life. As the marigold opens when the sun shines over it, and shuts when it is withdrawn, so our life follows this favour; we are enlarged if we feel it, and troubled if it is hidden.
4. True peace is a most singular blessing (Philippians 4:7; John 14:22).
(1) What it is. Peace is a tranquility or rest in the mind, springing out of Christ's death, wrought in us by the Spirit, through the Word of God; opposed to fear, grief, or any kind of perturbation which breaks the sweet consent and harmony of the mind.
(2) In what kinds it may be considered.
5. All true peace is bred in us from the knowledge of God's love toward us.
6. God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are the authors of true peace. Let us, then, learn whither to fly, that our souls may be settled in true peace, such as the world cannot take from us; let us seek it of Him who, if He quiet, nothing can disturb. Many, when disquieted in mind and body, fly to such means as may still those pains which they feel smart upon them; and when they have, with music, company, etc., quieted their troubled spirit, then they think their peace is well restored. If a creditor should set a sergeant upon our backs, were it wisdom in the debtor to compound with him, and corrupt him, and to think all safe while the sergeant winks at him? Everybody would account this folly; for he is never a whit the more out of danger till the creditor be agreed with. Thus it is likewise in seeking our peace by stilling our evils, and not by quieting the anger of God, which is justly kindled against us.
Parallel VersesKJV: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: