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:…
Grace is in the Holy Scripture in every way connected with God. The Father is the God of all grace (1 Peter 5:10); Jesus is the author, giver, and dispenser of grace (Acts 15:11; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Romans 16:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:28); and the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of grace (Hebrews 10:29), who dispenses to the Church His gifts and graces as He pleases (1 Corinthians 12:1-14). The seat of the Divine Majesty is the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16); the gospel is called the Word of His grace; and believers are the children of His grace. The first word the young believer utters is grace, and the oldest dies with the same word on his lips. It is this free grace which makes God the sovereign giver, and man the humble receiver; it is this which lends to the gospel its chief glory, and renders speechless in the presence of God those who reject it. It is this which roots out the principles of pride and human merit, and surrounds the mercy of God with unparalleled splendour. Incarnation, atonement, resurrection, and mediation are but steps in the manifestation of His grace. His acts are in keeping with His character; and neither in creation nor in providence does the Divine Majesty shine forth more gloriously than it does from the throne of grace. The apostle connects grace with peace: "Grace be to you, and peace," etc. Peace is a lovely characteristic of the gospel. Everything breathes peace and pardon to the believer. But what does the word mean? It includes peace with God, peace of conscience, and peace with our fellow men; it declares that the veil between you and God is rent, and that you have free access to the Holiest of all; it is the assurance to your trembling conscience that the enmity is taken away, and that God is love. This is what we receive in believing, which Jesus promised, and which the world can neither give nor take away. It is strong and perfect in proportion as the eye rests on Christ; it becomes weak and broken in proportion as you love earthly things. In the assurance of this peace we brave the storms of life, and in the same tranquillizing conviction we fall asleep in Jesus. Sin alone can disturb this calm and blissful repose. It bids defiance to the rage of the persecutor, and is never more radiant than when in pain and torture it looks upward to the martyr's crown (Acts 7:60).
(W. Graham, D. D.)
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: