Grace – Part 3
“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.” (Philippians 1:2, 7b NIV)
The apostle Paul began his New Testament letters by greeting the believers and wishing them grace and peace from God. Because God is love, we may consider that grace is all of God’s actions toward us as his people; and that grace is a gift. It begins with salvation, and it continues on with all of God’s dealings in our lives. But what of the word “peace”?
The apostle wished both grace and peace upon the Christians to whom he was writing, but it was not in the sense of two separate concepts that have nothing to do with each other. Some of the more literal translations of the Bible render Paul’s greeting this way: “Grace to you and peace...” In other words, you’re a recipient of God’s love in action, and peace is the outcome. It’s sequential. So Paul was saying, in essence, “I want grace for you; and if you have it, it will produce peace.”
Peace in this sense is not just the absence of agitation or conflict. It’s blessing, wholeness and wellness in every part of your being; and it’s God’s will for his children, every day and every hour of each day. Jesus said that it’s peace, not like the world gives, whereby you have peace only if things are going well. No, this is God’s peace: supernatural peace. It’s a sense of well-being, no matter what is happening around you.
First, it’s peace with God, because being saved means that we’re no longer in enmity with God; instead, we’re now children of God. But there’s also that inner peace — that inner tranquility and glow of God— so that a Christian can lie in bed at night, and say, “Thank you, Jesus,” even in the midst of the storms of life. And it also means peace with one another, because when God is working in people’s lives, they are peacemakers. They don’t want to fuss and have grudges against others. Why? Because they belong to Jesus, and he is the Prince of Peace.
So grace is this gift — this love in action from God; and it produces peace. Let’s acknowledge that everything we are, everything we have, and everything we do as Christians is by the grace of God; and let’s thank him today for the promise of his supernatural peace in our lives.
To be continued...
Read Philippians 1:1-11.