“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:3 NIV84)
The Apostle Paul had a signature way in which he addressed most of his letters. Before he would get into doctrinal debates, conflict within the church, or the spiritual warfare that the church might be experiencing, he would greet them in the name of God with a blessing of grace and peace. It was important for Paul’s hearers, and us as well, to know that they were blessed with the reality of continuously living in the grace and peace that only God can give. God loves (graces) us with a love so deep and so intimate that it is difficult to comprehend. He does not love us because we are believers. He loved us even when we were His enemies. His love moved Him to love us when we were unlovable. That love moved God to send His own Son into the world to bear the consequences of our sin and to set us free. In the words of Jesus spoken from the cross — “It is finished!” — we receive the greatest gift from the purest act of love ever to occur.
But there’s more! Because Jesus removed our sins from God’s sight, we finally have peace with Him. The peace and harmony that Adam and Eve experienced before the Fall has returned to us in God’s gift of forgiveness. The very Spirit of God that makes us born again settles in us a peace that surpasses all human comprehension. In Jesus, we have peace with God and peace with one another. We are blessed to live in a state of grace and peace because of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ.
May we daily accept and live in the grace and peace freely offered to us in our Savior Jesus!