23 Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Reflection on This Scripture
The word “peace” begins verse 23 as Paul begins to close out his letter to the Ephesians and the word “grace “ begins verse 24. Usually when we write a letter to someone, we tend to say cliché things at the end, such as, “I hope this letter finds you well.” Paul is being more intentional than this. He uses the words “peace” and “grace” as bookends for the entire letter of Ephesians. In chapter 1:2, Paul says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Peace represents reconciliation as in chapter 2:14-18 where Paul states that Christ preached peace to us who were far off and peace to those were near. Because we were once dead in our trespasses and made alive by grace through faith, we have peace within us. Peace is our through Jesus Christ and it should flow freely in God’s people. Because God’s peace is within us we have peace with God and have peace with one another. Because we are God’s adopted children we belong to the same family, regardless of our differences. God values his redeemed children and so we must also value the body of Christ because Christ have himself up for her (Eph. 5:25).
Paul also wants “love with faith” to abound in the body of Christ at Ephesus. Our love is to be united with our faith. Because our faith is rooted in the gospel, we love the unloved. Jesus exhorted his disciples to love their enemies (Mat. 5:43-47) for what credit would one get for loving their friends, which is something that is to be expected? We love those who persecute us and demonstrate love especially for those who are in the family of God because we too were once unlovable, yet Christ died for us.
In the same manner that our love is united with our faith, our faith has to be united with our love. If we love God, we will keep his commandments and seek to please him because of what he has done for us on the cross. Our faith in the magnificent, glorious, immeasurable grace shown to us by God through the death of his son Jesus will compel us to love God and love people.
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