To the saints and faithful

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:1-2)
It is good to remember that the apostle who wrote this letter to the Ephesians is also the one who asserts in his letters (Romans 1:5) to have been appointed by God to bring the obedience of faith to the Gentiles. He also encourages the early Christians (and through them all those who will believe) to imitate him, consider his way of life and take him as model of faith.
By considering the actions of this messenger of God (that is what the word apostle means); it becomes obvious that his way of life had its source in Christ's meekness and humility. It is by drinking the Spirit of Christ that he received this disposition of heart that urged him to appear, sometimes as an “untimely born” and “the least of the apostles” (1. Corinthians 15:8-9), sometimes as “a loving mother who cares for the children she feeds”. (1. Thessalonians 2:7)
The model of faith he invites to adopt is that which Paul quotes from the prophet Habakkuk: “the just shall live by faith”. To imitate the apostle's faith simply consists to imitate Christ just as Paul did himself. (1. Corinthians 11:1) That imitation consists to learn (in order not to become incredulous) to live by faith and to fight the good fight of faith.
Thanks his writings and the book of the Acts we know the apostle Paul. His letters give us the understanding that the grace and peace he wishes to the saints at Ephesus (and to all the faithful in Christ Jesus) are the expression of his deep affection for these faithful Christians and, through them, for all the saints and faithful wherever they are... even nowadays. By expressing himself as he does in these verses, the apostle Paul imitates in a remarkable way the example of Jesus Christ, which said to his disciples:
Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. (John 14:27)
The peace this verse speaks about has nothing in common with "peace" that the leaders of nations dangle to their peoples: Peace of arms, social peace, commercial peace, etc. Jesus speaks about the peace he possessed himself: Christ's peace; that peace which fills the heart of believers in response to their faith. This wonderful peace is the most precious thing on earth. It is so precious that we have to watch over our heart with all diligence. (Proverbs 4:23) That does not mean to bury the treasure (as did the unworthy servant) but do so that it bears fruit.
The seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:18)
There is no better training camp than the everyday life to sow peace and bear fruits of righteousness. Every day offers opportunities to learn how to live in peace and sow peace. Among the daily circumstances, we have opportunities to work out our salvation, and by keeping confidence in our heavenly Father, to preserve peace. Instead of remaining little children who need milk, we learn to eat solid food where we can exercise our senses to discern good and evil. (Hebrew 5:12-14)
Thus our experiences transforms into blessings that we can spread in our families, the churches, and everywhere. We give a brotherly hand to our brothers and sisters in faith and stimulate them to love and good deeds. (Hebrew 10:24-25) There is no geographical limit to be a blessing. In mind and thoughts, we also can reach our hand to the saints and faithful who live far away. Whether by phone, e-mail or letter we can send them some words of friendship. God stands himself between the addressed and us so that our sincere wishes of grace and peace always provide them ever-greater riches of grace and peace.
For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. (Matthew 13:12)
It is hardly conceivable that Christ’s peace fill our heart without trying to communicate and share it with others. It also would be natural to do everything to keep the peace (as far as it depends on us) with all people we go alongside in life. (Romans 12:18) However, we have to avoid imposing on others. A grace may be requested and implored but not imposed. God never imposes himself.
There is a strange custom spread among believers to wish God's grace and peace to people who live in sin. Let us avoid practicing such nonsense! God cannot grant his peace to people who do not see fit to acknowledge him or, worse, turn away from him. (Romans 1:28) This is a divine law that God reminds us by the mouth of prophet Isaiah:
The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace for the wicked, says my God. (Isaiah 57:20)
Moreover, the sinners remain generally indifferent when they receive such wishes. And if ever they answer, they often do it by raising mud and silt which are, contempt, irony and mockery. And why? Because their thoughts and their heart are plunged into darkness, they are by nature alienated from the life of God. (Ephesians 4:18) As long as they are not converted, the Holy Spirit can neither reveal them his divine thoughts nor write them in their mind. God's word is alive for any sinner.
This divine law is one of the reasons the apostolic letters do not address the sinners but the saints and faithful in Christ Jesus. When the saints and faithful read the Scriptures, they do it to understand God’s will better in order to grow in love, faith and hope.
Some people read the Bible as a religious duty and with the secret desire to appropriate its promises. They content themselves, unfortunately, with a ritual reading while omitting to do the will of God. This kind of reading does not provide a great benefit. The words scroll too quickly to engrave on the heart. This is what Jesus suggests by saying to the Jews (although accustomed with the Bible) who tried to kill him:
You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them, you have eternal life; it is these that bear witness of me; and you are unwilling to come to me, that you may have life. (John 5:39-40)
The rich young man, who was an exception among the experts of the Scriptures, came to Jesus and said:
What good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life? (Matthew 19:16)
Is there a more beautiful promise than eternal life? Knowing the Scriptures, this young man knew that promises always are in connection with conditions to be performed. This is evident in the fifth commandment that promise, that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth; it directly relates to the injunction for the children to obey their parents and honor their father and mother. (Ephesians 6:1-2)
God's promises are always associated with obedience; also the promise to receive the Holy Spirit. This wonderful gift is only to those who honor both God and the Lord Jesus-Christ by a flawless obedience. (Acts 5:32)
Not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. (Romans 2:13)
Certain knowledge of the Bible is found today in the general culture. However, when unbelieving people begin to search the Scriptures - even if they are biblical scholars and exegetes - they rarely do it to be converted and change their way of life. Often they conspire against God and against His Anointed and try to forge weapons against the saints and faithful in Christ.
Why are the nations in uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against his Anointed. (Psalm 2:1-2)
Why is there such uproar? It is in the nature of unbelievers to shake the faith of the saints and faithful. The kings of the earth, the powerful, the rich and the wise according to the flesh, only seek to sow skepticism and doubt among Christ’s disciples in order to deliver them to the enemies of the Gospel, as Judas did with Jesus Christ.