We have lots of ways of greeting others. “Hi! How are you?” is a common greeting, but have you noticed how few people really seem interested in the answer?
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace and peace seem to be a common greeting from Paul. It’s used in Titus, the book right before Philemon (1:4b). It makes you wonder if it’s just common or if Paul really meant every word he wrote. But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt…
Grace – grace is what they both had in common. Philemon and Paul had both received saving grace. They were also receiving grace for daily living, although in different circumstances: Philemon was in his nice house, free to live his life, while Paul was in prison.
Peace – peace is something we all desire. Philemon certainly did not want trouble with the church in his home, although he knew every service was a risk, every newcomer suspect. And Paul certainly didn’t want things to get worse in jail. At least in peace he could continue to do ministry.
But where do grace and peace come from?
Ultimately, God the Father – he is sovereign and all powerful. He is the one in control of the world and everything in it, that he created and set into motion.
But even more, personal peace comes our Lord Jesus Christ. When we were far from God, Jesus bridged the gap. Romans 3:23-24 says,
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
And are justified by his grace as a gift,
Through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Through Jesus, we not only have grace, but peace.
In the midst of an election season, we need both grace and peace. We need to extend grace to others, just as we ourselves have received grace. And we need to find peace, not as the world experiences peace, but as Jesus gives us peace.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you;
Not as the world giveth, give I unto you.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Grace and peace I want to leave with you today —