1 Corinthians 1:3 says, “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”.
This greeting is used in all of the Apostle Paul’s Epistles, except the pastoral Epistles. There he adds the word mercy. To impart grace; is to impart joy, favor and kind feelings to those whom he writes this letter. The greeting is used by Apostle Paul in acknowledgement of faith in the redemptive work Jesus Christ.
Grace is the revelation of God, giving us himself in Jesus Christ, in order that we might be saved for sin and its consequences (eternal damnation). Grace flows from the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our salvation, our redemption; both, were paid for on the cross at Calvary. Grace is unmerited favor; it sanctifies us in Jesus Christ; it is the essence of our faith.
The peace of God transcends our circumstances and situations and affirms the power of God over all creation. Jesus is revealed as, The “Lord of Peace,” and the “Prince of Peace.” It is a peace that comes down from heaven and cannot be subdued by the troubles and trails of this world.
The incarnate Christ, who returned to Heaven after God raised Him from the dead, transcends heaven in the form of the Holy Spirit whom God sent to indwell believers. The indwelling Holy Spirit is the Peace of God alive and living within us.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ affirms the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives and facilitates our relationship and with God. We experience the peace of God when we read, mediate and live in accord with the Gospel.
The peace that we find in the Gospel also helps us live in pursuit and realization of love, justice and joy, in a world of injustice, sadness and suffering.
Paul says, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” (1 Corinthians 4:12)
The peace that we receive in Jesus Christ ushers health, prosperity, security, friendship, and salvation into our lives.
This was made clear when Paul said, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way” (2 Thessalonians 3:16).
Grace and peace are manifestations of the Spirit, thus, the Holy Spirit was sent and indwells the believer so he or she will understand and relate to the spiritual dimension of life and the world we live in. For when we live in accord with the Spirit, we please God, and become participants in God’s plan.
And so, Paul says, “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 4:13)
Holy God, as you speak to us through your word; we thank you for the Holy Spirit, who inspired the Apostles in the writing of Your Word. Sometimes we forget that you created us; sometimes we fail to surrender and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit. But, your word lives; it reminds us that we are Your creation, and that Your indwelling Spirit is full of grace and joy.
Thank you Holy God for loving us so much that you gave to us, Your only begotten Son to know and believe in. Thank you for the gift of faith, as we profess faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ who came to ensure our salvation. Thank You for loving us, and filling us with Your love.
Holy God, grant our ear to hear Your Spirit, so that, like you, we would have nothing but the best intentions for one another. Bless us to be better members of the human race, and bless us as we go about life, striving to leave this world better than when we found it. This is our prayer, in Jesus name. Amen.