Ephesians 1: 1 “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful IN CHRIST JESUS: 2 GRACE to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST, 4 just as He chose us IN HIM before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons THROUGH JESUS CHRIST to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His GRACE, which He freely bestowed on us IN THE BELOVED. 7 IN HIM we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the RICHES of His GRACE 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed IN HIM 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things IN CHRIST, things in the HEAVENS and things on the earth. IN HIM 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope IN CHRIST would be to the praise of His glory. 13 IN HIM, you also, after listening to THE MESSAGE OF THE TRUTH, the GOSPEL of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed IN HIM with THE HOLY SPIRIT of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”
Most Theologians acknowledge the first two verses of Ephesians as the Introduction or Salutation for this letter. This is common when it comes to the writings of The Apostle Paul. Usually when we write a letter to family member or friend, we began with a simple intro and a greeting from the loved ones who are there with us. Paul’s fellowship with The Father and His Son is real so it makes perfectly good sense to send their greetings from The Godhead also. In verse 2, we first notice GRACE as a key word. We usually hear the GRACE of God described as His Divine Unmerited Favor bestow upon us, but what exactly does Divine Unmerited Favor mean toward us as The Children of God. I’ve heard this word mentioned practically every time I enter any Church service or Bible study, but very seldom will I hear anyone give an adequate definition of the word with a view of the effect of God’s GRACE/CHARIS on our lives. So why don’t we take a moment and examine this key word used so frequently by The Apostle Paul? From Romans to Philemon, he used that word somewhere in the neighborhood of 93-101 times depending upon the translation. If we include The Book of Hebrews that would be 8 more times. This excludes The Gospels, Acts, and James through Revelation. It’s found in The Book of Ephesians 12 times.
In my previous blog, I said we should focus on:
Things that are Emphasized &
Things that are Repeat.
That is why GRACE qualifies as a key word in this book. Now, what is good working definition of that word? By that I mean, how can GRACE be applied to our lives? If you’ve been a Believer for only one day, you probably already know that GRACE is God’s Divine Unmerited Favor, which simply means undeserving. Thayer Definitions sums it up like this:
1a) that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech
2) good will, loving-kindness, favour
2a) of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues
3) what is due to grace
3a) the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace
3b) the token or proof of grace, benefit
3b1) a gift of grace
3b2) benefit, bounty
4) thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward
Part of Speech: noun feminine
GRACE is many faceted. Often we stop at the GRACE that saves; Ephesians 2: 8. However, when the GRACE of God begins to unfold in our lives we find that there is so much more. For instance, did you known that there is a place called The Throne of GRACE:
Hebrews 4:16 “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” I think that is so beautiful. But we can’t stop there because there is a “therefore”, so we must know what the “therefore” is there for.
Hebrews 4: 12 “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of GRACE, so that we may receive mercy and find GRACE to help in time of need.”
I won’t belabor the point, but so far we see 3 facets of the GRACE of God.
Saving GRACE (Eph. 2:8).
A place of GRACE (Heb. 4:16).
And GRACE to be found post salvation (Heb. 4:16). To be continued…