Ephesians 1:1-2: The True Soundtrack of Your Life

Blessed woman loved by God listening to music

Ephesians 1:1-2 (ESV)

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.

If your life had a soundtrack, what would it be?

I imagine a “no more worries” kind of life with the Lion King’s “Hakuna Matata” playing in the background as I strut confidently through my day. But, more often, life’s needle scratches along to the tune of “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees as the world’s cadence attempts to shift my heart away from trusting God.

The “faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1) in Ephesus experienced this same daily assault of discordant refrains pressuring them to turn from trusting Jesus alone (Ephesians 2:8-9) to trusting the self-reliant rhythms of their non-believing neighbors. This dizzying clash of cultures must have left them hungry for a good word – a benediction – to reorient their weary souls.

Aware of the struggle, the apostle Paul used his greeting (Ephesians 1:1-2) to bathe their hearts in the true soundtrack of their lives, offering blessings far greater than the forces at work against them. He pronounced a benediction over them, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 1:2) tuning their hearts again to the incorruptible love of God in Jesus (Ephesians 6:24).

Paul veers away from the traditional salutation of the day, “chairein” (greetings), often given in the name of pagan gods and goddesses. He offers, instead, the blessings of “charis” and “eirini” (grace and peace) from the only reliable source – the one true God (Ephesians 1:1). Paul unpacks the depth of these blessings throughout the book of Ephesians.

The first word of Paul’s blessing is grace (charis), reminding the Ephesians of their “favored” status with God. The curse of sin, once separating them from God, is over; their sin paid for through the blood of His only Son, Jesus (Ephesians 1:7). As favored ones, they no longer live under justified condemnation but are forgiven, holy, and free to love God and neighbor.

Paul’s second blessing, peace (eirini), declares the result of the first blessing. Eirini can be defined as an absence of conflict and return to harmony. It comes from the Greek verb eiro, meaning to bind together something that was separated, making it one again. It presents a perfect image of what God did through Christ’s death on the cross, uniting, and weaving the divided together, making them one (Ephesians 4:4-6). Through Jesus God offers His peace in place of alienation, birthing a new community rooted and growing in the love of Jesus (Ephesians 2:19-22).

Jesus embodies the two blessings, grace and peace (Ephesians 2:14). Paul’s greeting declares Him as the true soundtrack of life with songs resounding in choruses of “It is finished.”, “You are favored.”, and “We are one.”, in Him, for eternity.

Paul’s blessing-filled benediction was not just for the believers in Ephesus. It is meant for us today. Let’s lean in together and listen as He sings the sweet rhythms of His amazing grace, pouring His peace into our weary souls.

Responding to Ephesians 1:1-2

Sometimes this life can leave us feeling less than blessed. The first half of the year has brought with it so many opportunities for my heart to be discouraged. In the midst of it all, I have struggled to believe I am one of God’s favored ones. I am thankful that His favor does not rely on the efforts of my fickle heart but only on the blood of Jesus.

How has your heart been feeling lately? In what way has Paul’s opening blessing to the church of Ephesus encouraged you today?

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