As Paul often does in his letters, he asks God to give grace and peace to the Christians in Ephesus. In that way, he blesses them.
In Numbers 6:23-27, God told Israelís priests to bless Israelís people. Again, the priests asked God to show them grace (kindness) and to give them his peace. This was not just a prayer, but also a declaration that God would do these things. In other words, the priests spoke on Godís behalf that God would give grace and peace to the people. This happened at the same time as they prayed on behalf of the people for God to give them that grace and peace.
Paul was not one of Israelís priests, but he still considered it important to bless the Christians. Probably, all of the first Christian leaders did this. Peter does it in each of his letters (1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:2).
Grace means kindness, in particular the special kindness that God shows to his people. A person can only become a Christian because of Godís grace (2:8). Through that grace, Christians continue in their relationship with God (Romans 5:2). In their lives, they may suffer many troubles. However, God gives them his grace in each situation (2 Corinthians 12:9). Godís grace makes them strong when they themselves are weak. They are Godís friends, so he, in his great kindness, supports them.
Peace means the calm and content attitude that comes from a right relationship with God. Paul describes this in Philippians 4:11-13. In difficult situations he did not need to worry, because he had learned to trust God in everything. He could be confident in the knowledge that God would provide for him.
Next part: Blessings from God (Ephesians 1:3)
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© 2018, Keith Simons.