Ephesians: Prescript (1:1-2) – Grace to you and peace.
length: 63:01 - taught on Sep, 6 2018
Thursday September 6, 2018
“The word especially denotes God’s grace and favor towards mankind or to any individual, which, as a free act, excludes merit, and is not hindered by guilt, but forgives sin; it thus stands out in contrast with erga (work), nomos (law), hamartia (sin).” [Cremer]
Man’s problem before God - his inability to do any of God’s works, follow God’s law, and his ability to sin prolifically. Grace cuts through it all. No matter how sinful, lawbreaking, and useless a man is, grace stands at the doorstep of his soul and bids him to dine with God in righteousness.
Not every man accepts the invitation, but the invitation delivered to every man is grace.
It is called grace as denoting the relation and conduct of God towards sinful man.
God was affronted by sin and He responded to it with grace in sending the Son of God to earth as a man, making the invisible visible.
ROM 5:15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
TIT 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
1CO 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
1CO 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
1CO 15:11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
GAL 2:19 "For through the Law I died to the Law, that I might live to God.
GAL 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.
GAL 2:21 "I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly."
EPH 3:1 For this reason [charin: accusative of charis] I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles —
EPH 3:2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you;
EPH 3:3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.
Charis: God’s conduct towards sinful man, through Christ, in spontaneous favor without obligation on man’s part.
Charis has been distinctively appropriated in the NT to designate the relation and conduct of God towards sinful man as revealed in and through Christ, especially as an act of spontaneous favor, of favor wherein no mention can be made of obligation.
No obligation refers to the fact that all men receive grace whether they will accept it through faith in Christ or not. Spontaneous means that it was not on the drawing board considered alongside other options. God never considered not grace.
We are to be the same by the way. Spontaneous in our graciousness, never contemplating or debating non-graciousness.
The element of spontaneity is not prominent in the classical use of the word.
Charis is set against words like debt and wages.
ROM 4:4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due.
ROM 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift [charisma] of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Charis is no more hindered by sin than it is conditioned by works.
With the worthlessness of works in connection with grace we thus have the non-imputation of judgment for sin and thus redemption, the forgiveness of sin, the positive imputation of righteousness which leads to life.
And all this done for God’s enemies.
The NT use of charis is one of the most significant change to a word made by God and competes with love as the most critical concepts to the life of the human race. We will learn more of it as we progress.
EPH 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:
EPH 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace to you (preposition humin) and (kai) peace (eirene).
We observe the influence of the Hebrew shalom which denotes a state of wellbeing, and only in a derivative manner “peace,” in contrast with strife.
In the LXX, peace (shalom, eirene in the Sept.) is contrasted with evil (ra, kaka).
ISA 45:5 "I am the Lord, and there is no other;
Besides Me there is no God.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me;
ISA 45:6 That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun
That there is no one besides Me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other,
ISA 45:7 The One forming light and creating darkness,
Causing well-being [shalom] and creating calamity [ra];
I am the Lord who does all these.
The same words are used in:
JER 29:11 'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord,' plans for welfare [shalom] and not for calamity [ra] to give you a future and a hope.
Eirene denotes a state of untroubled, undisturbed wellbeing.
ACT 9:20 So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and, going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.
The meaning of the word as a state of mind will be written of by Paul in chapter 2.
EPH 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,
EPH 2:15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,
EPH 2:16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.
Minds full of peace produce unity amongst the brethren.
EPH 4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
EPH 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love,
EPH 4:3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
This state is the object of divine and saving promise, and is brought about by God’s mercy, granting deliverance and freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as a result of the sin and evil that permeates this world.
EPH 6:14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
EPH 6:15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Peace is a Messianic blessing given by the gospel.
How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
EPH 6:16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.
EPH 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
EPH 6:18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.