“Grace and Peace to you…”
Let the sheer volume of Paul’s grace-greetings to the various saints sink into your spirit:
1Co 1:3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
2Co 1:2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ga 1:3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
Eph 1:2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph 6:24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
Php 1:2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Col 1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Col 4:18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.
1Th 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Ti 6:21 Grace be with thee. Amen.
2Ti 4:22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.
Tit 3:15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.
Heb 13:25 Grace be with you all. Amen. Written to the Hebrews from Italy, by Timothy.
Friends, if you think for a moment that this was just another way for Paul to day, “Yo dude, how’ya doin’”….if you think it was just a nice little Christian-y way to say, “Hi”… you couldn’t be more wrong.
Paul blessed the saints with “grace” or “grace and peace” because this man knew grace and peace to be the crying need of the entire body of Christ, every soul in it.
I am not too proud to concur. Please read that last sentence, if you don’t mind, just once more: I am not too proud to agree. I need a deeper understanding of this grace by which I stand.
It began to be expressed in Eden. Eden was the heart of God for humanity. No sweat. No sin. No sorrow. Even after the Great Fall, we can still see glimpses of this massive, grace-heartbeat of God- as almost instantly, prophesies of a coming Redeemer were communicated to shamed Adamic mankind. Hope!
Then. Oh, then. New Covenant Moment! A light in the night sky! A party in the heavenlies! A heavenly host, appearing to common shepherds, praising God and bringing The Message: “Glory to God in the highest! And on earth, peace, goodwill to men!”
The message was too simple. It was a happy moment. Go figure. No words of impending judgment. No hint of any performance on our part. Just believe. The shepherds did just that…and it changed them forever. They became the first to hear the Good News.
The Bible says the law was given….but grace came.
Law = impersonal. Grace = person. One was given. One came, in person. And grace is still coming to all who will humble themselves enough to admit they can’t get enough, to all who will embrace the weakness of the cross – which is very simply to count our human effort as dung, in order to know Him, and understand the immense suffering (on the cross) He endured in order to make us the righteousness of God in Christ. Yes, I need to fellowship (get to know the real reason behind – become acquainted with the deeper issues of) with that sort of suffering – his wounds purchased my healing. I need to be conformed into His image, allowing grace to come to others through me.
Grace and peace to you, church. And if you think you don’t need it….if you think you already have a handle on it….you are the one who needs it more than most.