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August 17, 2011

Notes from Ephesians 1: Grace and Peace

Ephesians 1:1-2  1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,  To God’s holy people in Ephesus,the faithful in Christ Jesus:  2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you ever wonder why Paul greets grace and peace in all of his letters. Paul is a man who thinks really hard what he puts in his letter. As you read through his letters you see the reason why.

Grace is the root of the gospel.

Peace is the fruit of the gospel.

The very foundation of the gospel message is the grace of God that saves us and transforms us. Take the grace out and all you get is the hard truth. Put grace and truth together and you get the transforming power of the gospel. Paul knew that the early church struggles with a “good works” mentality that pushes them to do good to earn God’s favor rather than believing that what Christ did at the cross for us, though we don’t deserve it, was enough to save us.

Peace on the other hand is the fruit of the gospel. The Scripture calls Christ the prince of peace. The gospel promises us peace when we put our trust in Christ.

John 14:27 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.