Alright, I got through one post yesterday. Let’s see how long I can keep this up now. So, on to verse two of chapter one of Ephesians. Like verse one this doesn’t seem like a very significant verse, but again like verse one it is packed with a deep depth of exhortation. This is Paul’s standard greeting in all of his letters, with the exception of 2Timothy and Titus where he adds mercy to the salutation. Okay, now lets start unpacking.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace comes from the Greek word charis which describes the undeserved, unmerited favor of God that He gives to us without expectation of any return(1). So, in verse one Paul introduced who he was an the authority by which he was writing. Now, immediately in verse two he is proclaiming a blessing over the people of Ephesus by that authority. He’s saying may the power of God through His undeserved, unmerited favor be upon you. This free gift of favor, which is power, enables people to overcome the entrapments of the flesh, the world, and unseen spiritual forces. He is pronouncing God’s power over them to overcome depression, sickness, addiction, and evil spiritual oppression. I don’t know about you, but I know I kinda take this term for granted all the time. It has always seemed like a fluff concept, I suppose you could say. Even in spite of the current ‘Grace Movement’ we’ve been experiencing the past decade or so, I still hadn’t really grasped it. However, based on the definition I see it is way more weighty than fluff. It is like a supernatural steroids that empower our spiritual muscles to overcome all elements that oppose us.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I come from a Word of Faith background. Now, in my training we talked a lot about accessing the power and gifts of God through faith. That is by accepting the stories of God’s power as our reality we are able to tap into that power. That is particularly, tapping in to the power which accesses spiritual gifts, healing, tongues, interpretation, prophecy, etc. I guess you might say it’s a level of power that must be sought. However, the power of charis is a little different. It doesn’t need to be sought after. It’s just there freely waiting to be received. These two concepts are still not too far apart though because Roman’s says we are, “Saved by grace through faith.” So, our eternal salvation, which is also the unmerited, undeserved favor of God must also be accessed through faith. Well, I think I’ve pontificated enough on this one. Moving on.
Peace from God
The Greek for peace is eirene. This definition actually kinda blew me away. It means to join or fasten together so as to reconnect that which has been broken or divided. It conveys the idea of setting at one again(1). Now, this definition sounds kind of awkward when you try to use it in conjunction with the phrase ‘from God.’ However, there are several other implications packed up in this word. For example in the in the English eirene is the root of serene which means clear and free of storms or unpleasant change. It stresses an unclouded and lofty tranquility. Added in that tranquility is health, well-being, and prosperity. But in the original secular Greek it was a reference to cessation or absence of war(1). Well before Jesus, Paul tells us in Romans 5:10 that mankind was an enemy of God. So, you might say humanity has been reunited in tranquility with with God. This unification came from God in the form of a gift the Lord Jesus Christ. Deep.
Since I’m here I want to go ahead and talk about the noun Father as it applies to God. Being an English major I’ve had to I’ve had to study feminism and gender politics quite extensively. Okay, at least more than the average person. Father or pater in Greek has the same meaning as it does in English, the male parent of a child. However, the Greek definition is a little more precise. It calls the father the generator. Now, I’m sure lots of feminist may say this is patriarchal bull crap. That it takes two to generate life. Yes it does take the bio-mechanics of a man and a woman equally to create life. And I’m sure there are now other ways of better explaining this spiritual concept more precisely, philosophically and scientifically. However, scientifically it is from the seed of a man’s DNA that life is sparked in the embryonic egg of a woman. And at the time in which Paul wrote this letter he didn’t have any other better metaphor to explain the concept of being generated or begotten from God. This was also an existential concept used frequently throughout the Old Testament, but wasn’t until the dispensation of Jesus that the concept became more concrete. Jesus was literally begotten of God, given the spark of life by God. Just as Adam in the Old Testament was given the spark of life by God. In the same way all mankind can now be given the spark of spiritual life by God through Christ Jesus. Thus, adopting us as His and making us just as equal as the His begotten son Jesus. So, for y’all feminist this concept did not originate out of patriarchal hegemony. This was the most accurate and scientific metaphor they had to describe the spiritual concept of salvation by faith in Jesus.
Lord is another word that has always fascinated me. One of my favorite definitions for lord is the Old English definition which roughly means loaf protector. It implies someone of royalty or authority with the might to protect people to include the grains of their lands that grow the wheat which is made into the bread that sustains their life. The Greek word kurios is similar but not quiet as metaphorically colorful. It simply describes one who has absolute ownership and sovereign power and authority(1). It’s also worth noting that Jesus is only referred to as Savior about ten times, but He is referred to as Lord around seven hundred times.
If you are reading this then I’m pretty sure you know who Jesus is by now, but you may not know that his name actually has a deeper meaning. The Greek Iesous comes from the Hebrew Yeshu’a which literally means Yahweh (God) is Salutation. So, Jesus is literally what his name implies, God’s Salvation.
The Greek for Christ is Christos. The verb form chrio means to rub or anoint, as with oil, for the consecration to an office. So, Christos or Anointed One is an implication to the Hebrew word Messiah. The Messiah, or Divine One, was prophesied in the Old Testament as the promised one who would be sent by God to set the world right again.
Okay, I think I’ve thoroughly dissected this passage enough for me to understand it, so let’s put it to back together. “Blessings! May God’s undeserved, unmerited favor and power be on you all! As a result may the unifying tranquil, health, wellness, and prosperity be manifested in your lives. For these things are from God the one who gave you the spark of spiritual salvation through the sovereign, powerful loaf protector Jesus, also known as God’s Salvation plan, the Divine and Anointed One who was promised and foretold about.” Well, I don’t think that turned out as well as the wrap up in the first post. It’s a little clunky when you try to put all of those deep concepts back together. I’m sure this probably won’t be the last one, but I still hope you were able to learn something.
Grace and Peace