(Ephesians 6:23) “Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
At the beginning of this letter to the Ephesians, God’s provides us with His official proclamation in this Dispensation of Grace: “grace and peace.” (Eph 1:2) We see this throughout Paul’s epistles. Here we arrive at the end of this epistle full of advanced information for our edification and encouragement. We see God has even more than “grace and peace” for us. He also gives us “love with faith.” Grace, peace, faith and love are the key provisions we have from God at so many different levels it would take libraries of books to describe it all.
Ephesians provides the Church with the ideals in doctrine and application. Every local church is supposed to be a mini-picture of what is designed for the entire Body. We are supposed to be the visible demonstration in our communities that there can be true peace and true love. We are supposed to live at a higher level than the economic, political, entertainment and media driven society in which we are immersed. It’s important we recognize what God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ directs towards us today. But if we look around at all the problems and hypocrisy in Christianity, it’s hard not to wonder how God could possibly expect this out of human beings. On one hand God tells us he directs peace and love towards us but on the other hand we see just the opposite. Is God wasting His time or expecting something that isn’t possible?
In Christ, we are free from judgment and condemnation (Rom 8:1). We are free from the bondage of our old identity. Therefore, we are free to exhibit the attributes of God Himself because He is our identity and gave us every provision we need for Him to personally live through us. We are designed to live on a higher level than our flesh and the old sin nature. He is the One who makes us qualified and capable to live in a mature faith. The Lord doesn’t direct grace, peace and love towards us for it to be bottled up within the boundaries of our own soul and spirit. He provides us with His identity and indwelling, and thus a capacity, so we can reflect these attributes towards each other. This is the real key to overcoming every problem in a local church – living out who we were made to be in Christ. We can live better, higher and more powerfully than what most believe is “normal” in our local churches.
Renewed Thought – What kind of impact could we have for the gospel if our local churches were made up of believers reflecting the attributes of God towards each other and those without?