18. Ephesians 1:1-4 Introduction~The Blessing of Peace XVIII. More on Peace
December 1, 2017
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” (NASB)
Acts 28: 3 “But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they began saying to one another, “Undoubtedly this man is a murderer, and though he has been saved from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 However he shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm.” I don’t think Paul even flinched because he was at peace with God. He had a mission from God, and he knew he had not finished his race. So undoubtedly, there was no fear in the man, at all, just peace.
The word “peace” means:
Brown-Driver-Diggs Hebrew Definition: Shalom is equivalent to:
Thayer Definition: G1515- eirēnē- 1) a state of national tranquility
1a) exemption from the rage and havoc of war
2) peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord
3) security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)
4) of the Messiah’s peace
4a) the way that leads to peace (salvation)
5) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is
6) the blessed state of devout and upright men after death
Part of Speech: noun feminine
Anyone in his or her right mind should want for peace. However, the world does not want the God kind of peace; similarly, they don’t want any part of Zoe, which is the Greek word for the God kind of life (Eternal Life). The world wants these things based on their understanding, which is by human nature limited, and on their terms. Whether you prefer the term Christian, Believer, Disciple, follower of The Way, whatever you want to call yourself…those titles and names mean nothing if the following verse isn’t true when it comes to your relationship with God:
John 17: 1 “Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, 2 even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. 3 THIS IS ETERNAL LIFE, that they may KNOW You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
This is the most important thing above all of the other things that we deem so super important, such as the banner for that denomination you love so much. Or whether you call yourself a Christian, Believer, Disciple or whatever. If those things are at the top of your list of priorities, you are still carnal, in other words you are not walking in The Spirit.
The Greek word for KNOW in John 17: 3 is: Thayer Definition: ginōskō
1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel
1a) to become known
2) to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of
2a) to understand
2b) to know
3) Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman
4) to become acquainted with, to know
Part of Speech: verb
God’s ideal relationship with mankind is like the intimacy of sexual intercourse between a husband and his wife. Usually when we talk to God, it’s all about what we want. We tend to treat Him in the same manner each other, what’s in it for me? But do we truly study His Words and remember what He has said, and what He wants. Instead of always praying about what we want, why don’t we flip the switch and pray about what The Word says He wants? That Greek word ginōskō is a verb, which requires active participation in our relationship with The Godhead. Knowing what The Father wants is not the same as knowing what The Son wants, and I know for a fact that The Holy Spirit wants our joint participation with Him in the work of the ministry. In any relationship where we actively listen to one another with a view of conflict resolution you will know peace. As I’ve stated repeatedly, God has given, not loaned you right standing with Him, He’s not holding any of the twisted things we’ve done against us…He literally wiped the slate clean:
Col. 2: 13 “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”
Christ has done something we never would have been able to do for ourselves. He has definitely flipped the switch for us. Then by Baptizing us into The Holy Spirit we have Him as our deposit, a guarantee in us as His inheritance. A treasure that has been place inside of these earthen vessels, so unworthy but made worthy by the redemptive power of His Blood. My mother used to say, “This world is going to hell in a hand basket”. I never really figured out the handbasket reference, I guess it was one of those metaphors only grown-ups understood. However, she was right on about the world going to hell. Jesus made this statement:
Matthew 7: 13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.” This world by and large will never know this kind of peace or relationship with The Godhead. However, we don’t really know those whom God has foreknown. We’re not privy to that information because if we were, witnessing would always go smooth as silk. That is why we have got to know this Covenant, preach this Covenant, and teach it all over the world.
Paul said in 2nd Cor. 5: 18 “God has done all this. He has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. 19 In other words, God was using Christ to restore his relationship with humanity. He didn’t hold people’s faults against them, and he has given us this message of restored relationships to tell others. 20 Therefore, we are Christ’s representatives, and through us God is calling you. We beg you on behalf of Christ to become reunited with God. 21 God had Christ, who was sinless, take our sin so that we might receive God’s approval through him.”(GOD’S WORD Translation)
God has made the world an offer that would be difficult to refuse if presented in a manner that reflects the Light, Life, and Love of God. To be continued….