When we read, “grace to you and peace from God…” (Eph. 1:2) we don’t want to think it’s just a salutation. We have to watch out for familiarity to set in when we deal with God’s Word. If things become familiar, they can tend to lose a sense of their weightiness. Yet if we can grasp what Paul is saying to the believer here, that this grace and peace is “to you”, we will be greatly helped.
Ephesians 1:1-2, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” We’re going to stop right there. I want us to focus our attention on that second verse, “grace to you,” very familiar words to us. John MacArthur’s radio show is named, “Grace to You.” “Grace to you, and peace,” in other words, “peace to you,” “grace to you.” emphasis on, “to you.” “From God our Father,” and from, is implied, “the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now I don’t know, I can’t imagine whether any of you have ever heard a sermon on this verse or any of the similar verses like this; because Paul starts with very similar similar salutations in his different epistles. But I want to preach just on this verse.
Brethren, I want us to think first off about salutations. We can just look at this and say, “Well, after all this is just the salutation.” and we read right past this. It’s so familiar and therefore one of the one of the things we have to watch out for is familiarity, when we deal with God’s Word, because God’s Word is not like any other word. We want to be careful of familiarity because if we become overly familiar with something, what happens is we lose a sense of the weightiness. You know sometimes we take verses or portions of scripture that mean a lot to us and you know you tag it on the end of your email or something; and what happens over time is because of the familiarity with it we can lose it. And then we think, “Oh it’s just part of a salutation.” Familiarity can set in, but that’s not all.
When we’re dealing with salutations sometimes we recognize this: we recognize that a salutation is expected and so we don’t put a whole lot of weight into them because after all people just say them in somewhat of a trivial manner. Sometimes people are looking for something to say because they’re ready to greet somebody or they’re ready to depart from somebody and they recognize they need to say something and so they just say what is customary, what is traditional, and they really don’t think of the meaning at all.
I hear people say, “Adios” a lot, especially in Mexico. I don’t say adios to people, because I know what that means. I know that the, “a” is to, and the “dios” is God and it’s “to God.” Just to flippantly say that, I don’t want to do that. It’s like saying, “God bless you,” or, “praise the Lord” when it’s just flippantly coming off of your tongue….
(Rest of the transcript may come at a later date.)