Monday after the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Ephesians 6:18-24 (NKJV)
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. 21 But that you also may know my affairs and how I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make all things known to you; 22 whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our affairs, and that he may comfort your hearts.
23 Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
St. Chrysostom wrote concerning these verses, “In saying ‘peace be to the brethren and love with faith,’ [St. Paul] speaks comprehensively. He does not speak simply of love as such or faith as such but love with faith. … The peace is toward God and so is the love. For where there is peace there also will be love. This love is always ‘with faith,’ for there is no good in love without faith. Love cannot even exist without faith.”
Love does not win, or even exist, if faith is not present in the individual. Any expression of love apart from faith is a false love. True love establishes peace with God. That means that in repentance the individual’s sins are covered over by the blood of Christ, Who is the one true peacemaker between God and man. That repentant individual clings to Christ—to His perfect obedience to the Law and His sacrifice for him. Further, through the repentant one’s participation in the means of grace the Holy Ghost enlightens him to desire to obey God’s Law, because He fills the repentant with faith and thereby fills him with love.
This love produces the desire to lead a life in obedience to the Ten Commandments. And when the individual fails, this love drives him to the mercy-seat of Christ to find forgiveness of his sins. There peace is reestablished with God, and his faith and love toward God and man is strengthened and renewed.