Say Hello with “Grace and Peace”

Say Hello with “Grace and Peace”

What’s your go-to greeting? “Good morning!” “Hey!” “How are you doing?”

“Grace and peace to you” was likely the most frequently used greeting offered by the leaders of the early church.

Because our greetings tend to be tired and worn thin, it’s unsurprising that we skip over these greetings. Let’s slow down and look at those five words and consider why they would be used so frequently.

What does “grace and peace” mean? How can we offer grace and peace?

17x “Grace and Peace”

Let’s first take a look at the seventeen times that it is used in the New Testament:

  • To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~Romans 1:7

  • Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~1 Corinthians 1:3

  • Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~2 Corinthians 1:2

  • Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~Galatians 1:3

  • Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~Ephesians 1:2

  • Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~Philippians 1:2

  • To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. ~Colossians 1:2

  • Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. ~Thessalonians 1:1

  • Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~2 Thessalonians 1:2

  • To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. ~1 Timothy 1:2

  • To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. ~2 Timothy 1:2

  • To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. ~Titus 1:4

  • Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~Philemon 1:3

  • …according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. ~1 Peter 1:2

  • May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. ~2 Peter 1:2

  • Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.~ 2 John 1:3

  • John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne… ~Revelation 1:4

What Does “Grace and Peace” Mean?

Let’s start with the basics. The phrase “grace and peace” is so frequently repeated that we might miss all that is loaded in those three words. In Greek, grace (charis) refers to grace that brings about joy and delight. It is loving-kindness and favor.

Peace (eirene in Greek) points us to the Hebrew notion of shalom, which refers not just to a lack of conflict, but wholeness, wellness, harmony, and even prosperity.

It’s important to note that both words point back to God himself. Grace is offered by our perfect God who generously grants his unmerited favor upon us. Likewise, while we can achieve some measure of lack of conflict through human means, it is only God who can bring about true shalom.

Note how often the biblical writers mention the first two persons of the Trinity. Fifteen of the seventeen invocations of “grace and peace” mention both God the Father and God the Son.  That’s no mistake. God the Father bestows his favor upon his children. Jesus secures our peace through his reconciling work.

Note also that every one of these references occurs within the first seven verses of the letter. For Paul, Peter, and John, the double-barreled promise of “grace and peace” are what bullets of their letters are shot out of. Every truth that is fired in these letters emerges from grace and truth. This is no mere pleasantry; it is at the very heart of what God is doing in his people.

To state it even more bluntly: “grace and peace to you” is the gospel in five words.

How Can We Offer Grace and Truth?

If Paul, Peter, and John think that they ought to start almost everything they write with the double-barreled promise of grace and truth, shouldn’t we consider doing likewise?

Starting to offer these words as a blessing is a great start. Meaning these words is even more important. Declaring these words with the confidence of Paul, Peter, and John is where we are called.

We can declare grace and peace on brothers and sisters in Christ instead of judgment because we know that Christ has taken their sins upon himself. We can declare “grace and peace to you” because God the Father has already promised it to believers through God the Son. We are invited to see others through this blessing and then treat them as Christ does.

Grace and peace to you, my dear brother.

Grace and peace to you, my dear sister.

www.thebeehive.live.

GIVE NOW
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap