“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Right at the beginning of his letter Paul tells us that the results of being faithful saints are that we obtain two wonderful gifts. The gifts are grace and peace. Many Christians, unfortunately, do not understand what is meant by these two terms. Let’s take a quick look at them and see how they might apply to our lives today.
The first term is grace. This word comes from the Old Testament as well as from the New. In the Old Testament it is the Hebrew word “hen, ” and in the New Testament it is the word “charis.” In either part of the Bible, the word’s basic meaning is “favor.” It most often occurs in scripture as God’s favor to mankind. In the New Testament that is the use almost exclusively.
The very idea of favor suggests that it is a decision of the one bestowing it and cannot by its very definition be imposed. That is why it is often referred to as “unmerited favor.” We normally assign this favor to salvation, and certainly, that is a major example of the need for grace. However, that is not the only grace we receive. The grace of God is upon his people, his saints, continually. We live our lives under the power of grace. God’s favor is bestowed daily; his grace gets us through the day.
Grace is a permanent, renewed daily, gift. Don’t fail to use yours.
The second gift mentioned is peace. Peace is a large concept in the Bible. As a gift of God, it is as old as Abraham (Gen. 15:15). Even God’s covenants were covenants of peace (Ezek. 37:26). So important was this word in ancient times it was often used as a daily greeting.
Jesus did not come to bring peace on earth in the sense of no more wars, but he did come to offer peace in another sense to his faithful saints. What is this peace that Jesus gives? It is the gift of peace with God. Jesus is our peace (Eph. 2:14). We were at war with God, alienated from him by sin, but Jesus became the means of our peace. He reconciled us to God, thus creating peace between us. We had no means of achieving this reconciliation of peace ourselves.
As long as we are his faithful saints, we will have peace with God. His wrath will never touch us. We never have to be afraid of anything the world brings because our peace overcame the world. The peace proclaimed by angels is realized in the death of Jesus on the cross.
Feel at peace today. Trust your savior. Grace and peace are his gifts to you as his faithful saint. You live in God’s favor and wrapped in his peace. Praise God for his unspeakable gifts.