(In this series I hope to take a leisurely stroll through St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians to reflect on the truths that are to be found throughout the epistle and to turn those truths into suggested prayers.)
The Text. Eph 1:1 “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Some Amazing Truths
We really can’t ignore the wonderful truths in the opening words of this letter. They are full of meaning. Paul himself had been a recipient of God’s amazing grace (Note 1) and had come to know the God of peace, to know peace with God and to know the peace of God (as we will see in other passages).
By the grace of God Paul had changed from being the great persecutor of the church to being the great preacher of the church. He saw this as being the gracious will of God for him.
He describes his Christian readers as being the “saints,” that is, those who are separated from the world to belong to God while still living in the world. They are the “separated ones” or the “holy ones.”
The Ephesian believers are “faithful in Christ” because they have trusted in Him for salvation and were continuing to trust in Him as they sought to live for Him in the world of that time.
Paul wanted his readers to experience God’s grace and His peace. He describes his God in very intimate terms as being “God our Father” echoing Jesus’ own words as He taught His disciples to address God as “Father” in the Lord’s Prayer.
The grace and peace also come from Jesus who is described as the “Lord Jesus Christ”. In these words Paul reminds us that Jesus’ name means “one who saves. Jesus is also the “Christ”, God’s “anointed” one. In addition Jesus is the “Lord” a term used of God Himself.
So even in the very introduction to his letter Paul gives Jesus His rightful place as a member of the Godhead and One who is able to impart grace and peace.
A Suggested Prayer
“Heavenly Father we thank You that You called Paul to be an apostle to share the good news about You. We thank You that You inspired him by Your Holy Spirit to record these words so that You would use them to bring blessing to countless generations.
We thank You that through the gospel You call your people to belong to You as your saints. We pray that we may become more and more holy in our thoughts, words and deeds so that Jesus may be seen in and through our lives.
We thank You for Your amazing grace in calling us to respond to You, and that by Your grace, we have been saved through faith. We thank You that like St Paul, we have come to know peace with You as the God of peace and that we can know Your peace in our hearts and minds to keep us safe.
Help us Lord to live by the power of Your Spirit so that we may bring glory to You in all we say and do. We ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour Amen.”
Paul had been a recipient of God’s amazing grace as we see in this epistle.
Redemption and forgiveness. Eph_1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
Made alive with Christ. Eph_2:5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
The riches of God’s grace to him in Christ. Eph_2:7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
The stewardship of God’s grace to him. Eph_3:2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you,
He was gifted for ministry by God’s grace. Eph_3:7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. And Eph_3:8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, AND Eph_4:7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.