What would it look like if we greeted people according to who God says they are instead of how we see (in our flesh) they are?
What if we greeted our Christian brothers and sisters, the saints (Ephesians 1:1), how the early church did?
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:2
This is how Paul greeted the church when he wrote the letter that is now known as the book of Ephesians. He said, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
This sounds much better than what we sometimes hear or maybe just think in our minds. When we go to church or meet up with other brothers and sisters in Christ are we thinking, ‘I really want to bestow grace upon you’ or are we thinking, ‘what are you struggling with, how have you messed up this week, and what can I say to make you feel convicted?’
Grace is the unmerited favor of God. Grace is getting the good things we don’t deserve.
Peace is what people experience after having received grace.
Grace and peace.
Grace and peace are ultimately from God. The Father can give us grace and peace, and out of the overflow of knowing and believing we have received it, then we can be gracious and speak and act in a peaceful way toward others. This is why Paul said the grace and peace is from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
To encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ, we want to treat them based upon their true identity – as precious children of the King. The only way we will treat our brothers and sisters in Christ as royal princes and princesses is to see them the way Jesus sees them.
If we do not see them as royalty right now, we can do a few things:
1) Meditate on the Truth of who God is
2) Meditate on the Truth of who God says we are
3) Pray to see ourselves as we truly are
The reason I write ‘pray to see ourselves as we truly are’ is because if we do not know our identity in Christ, then we are really not going to understand who others are in Christ. Scripture says to love others as you love yourself. Mark 12:30-31 If we cannot love ourselves, how are we going to love others? If we do not know our own identity to live it out, how are we going to expect others to know their identity to live it out?
We need the spirit of wisdom and revelation (Ephesians 1:17-18) to help us know and believe who God is and who we are. Therefore, Papa, we ask for this – the spirit of wisdom and revelation about who You are and who You say we are. Please help us to know it in our minds and to believe it in our hearts and to confess it with our mouths. Amen.