Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the
Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:2)
Paul is pronouncing God’s favor on those who are reading this letter. We often find ourselves searching for peace in a world of turmoil, and Paul, in his greetings, always reminds us how to find this peace. There is importance in the order mentioned – we find peace from the grace that we are given.
Each of Paul’s letters begins this way. He is making a point to each group that received and read his letters. True peace only comes from the grace of God.
Grace (χάρις charis) is found more than 150 times in the Greek NT. It can be rendered in different ways, depending on the context. It has the sense of underserved kindness freely given by God; a kindness conferred on one who does not deserve it. God’s good will, favor toward someone (Lk 1:30; Ac 2:47) Grace has been defined as “getting what we don’t deserve.” The late Norman L. Geisler offers the following insight: “Grace, then, is unmerited favor. What we work for, we earn, and what we do not work for, we do not earn. Since salvation comes to us without works on our part, it follows that we did not merit it: Salvation is “the gift of God” (Rom. 6:23). God’s salvific grace is His unmerited favor for us. Some have contrasted grace and mercy by noting that grace is giving us what we did not deserve (viz., salvation), whereas mercy is not giving us what we did deserve (viz., condemnation). Although biblical usage of these terms does not necessarily accord with this distinction, the point is biblical nonetheless. God’s actions of grace and mercy are two sides of His unconditional love for us. According to the Bible, God’s grace of salvation is not bestowed automatically or unilaterally on sinners but is received only through faith. Paul is careful to qualify how God’s gracious provision of eternal life is received: ‘It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God’ (Eph. 2:8). Elsewhere, he adds, ‘Now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.’ (Rom. 3:21–22) Again, ‘There is no difference [between persons], for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.’ (Rom. 3:22–25) Even in the strongly stated words of Romans 9, the “objects of his wrath” are such because they did not repent: ‘What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?’ (v. 4:22). Why is God salvifically patient with us? Because, as Peter says, He doesn’t want “anyone to perish, but [He wants] everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Therefore, the rejection of grace incurs wrath, and the acceptance of grace brings salvation. As we have seen, like a person standing under Niagara Falls with an upside-down cup, the emptiness comes from rejecting the flow. By a simple act of repentance (turning the ‘cup’ of the soul right side up), one can receive the blessings intended for him from the abundant flow of God’s love.
It carries a close association with the Hebrew word shalom, which carries the concept of wholeness, completeness. Therefore, in his typical greeting to each recipient of his letters, Paul is seeking God’s unmerited favor producing the oneness, completeness in us by the Father and the Son.
Paul’s crediting both the grace and peace as coming from the Father and the Son attests to the equality of both of them. He sees both the Father and Jesus as God.
Peace (εἰρήνη eirēnē), an oneness and completeness and rest is something that this world continually is striving for. It is harmonious relations and freedom from disputes, freedom from worry (Gal 5:22). However, the world is striving for the end result – without acknowledging and accepting the cause of true peace. The world continues to bring out ideas of how to achieve peace in life, and these ideas constantly fail. Yes, they work for a while, but without a strong foundation, they can never succeed. The Bible teaches that true peace only comes from God. We need to understand that God is the cause of peace, and man in a relationship only finds it with the Savior, Lord Jesus Christ. In this, we see the full range of the title and name of Jesus. The first word (κύριος kurios) translated “Lord,” speaks of our being the doulos (servants) that seek to do the bidding of our Master, it is our relationship to Jesus. The next, Jesus (Ἰησοῦς Iēsous), translates as savior; this speaks to our need to be rescued from sin. Finally, the last word Christos, states that He is the Anointed One, the Messiah. He is our Prophet, Priest, and King.
Man cannot find true peace outside of receiving Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
SCROLL THROUGH DIFFERENT CATEGORIES BELOW
BIBLE TRANSLATION AND TEXTUAL CRITICISM
BIBLICAL STUDIES / INTERPRETATION
CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM
CHURCH ISSUES, GROWTH, AND HISTORY
 A reminder that these letters sent by Paul were distributed and shared among the various local congregations of the time. Sometimes they would copy and send them, other times they would lend them to each other.
 See also: Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4; and, Philemon 3.
 This goes hand in hand with the statement the “mercy is not getting what we do deserve.”
 Norman L. Geisler, Systematic Theology, Volume Three: Sin, Salvation (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2004), 183–184.
 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996).
 It should be noted that man and woman were made in the image of God, and, thus, would have reflected all of His qualities, characteristics, and attributes. Even in imperfection, humanity has a measure of that reflection. However, Scripture makes it clear that we are mentally bent toward evil (Gen 6:5; 8:21, AT) and our “heart [inner person] is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick.” (Jer. 17:9, ESV) Even still, whichever we cultivate, the mental bent, or the image of God, this is what will grow.
 The Messiah (O.T.) and Christ (N.T.) are equivalent in meaning. This is the promised One in the OT who was displayed to us as Jesus in the NT. It is from the Hebrew ceremony of anointing with oil anyone beginning the office of Prophet, Priest, or King. According to Jewish teaching, The Messiah would be all three in one.
Leave a Reply