This Weeks Passage: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
So much to ponder, so much to ponder.
Paul begins his epistle (his salutation) in a similar way that he will later end his epistle – offering grace and peace to his readers. But it is not grace and peace from him, it is grace and peace from “God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” He seems to be reminding them right off the bat about what God has done for them.
Grace – This has to be one of the greatest words in the New Testament. God has offered us grace. This flies in the face of every other religion. So far as I know Christianity is the only faith where God takes the initiative and then does EVERYTHING needed to bridge the relational gap between God and man. Christianity is all about relationship not religion. And this is exactly what grace is all about. I have to be reminded of this constantly because I have a tendency to default into trying to earn favor with God by impressing Him with good works that I do. Apart from the amazing and abundant grace of God I would still be dead in my sins and separated from God.
Peace – It is one thing to experience peace in this world and still another thing to be at peace with God. At one time their was a holy hatred that God had towards me – the Bible refers to this as His wrath. I was an object of God’s wrath because of my sin. But God took the initiative to reconcile our broken relationship – His wrath was propitiated (satisfied) by the death of His Son on the cross and peace was restored. And is a wonderful thing to not only experience peace with God but also to experience the peace of God. This has been a crazy 5 weeks for me and my family but because we have peace with God we have also known the peace of God.
As Paul contemplated all that God had done for him by giving him His grace and peace, I have no doubt that he was overwhelmed and could not help but praise God: “Praise be to the God and Father…”. My prayer is that God would overwhelm me in the same way and that my life would more become a testimony of praise to the grace and peace of our great God.
I’m just sayin’!
Next Week’s Passage: Ephesians 1:4-8