Monday, December 27, 2010

Grace and Peace

Grace and Peace

Galatians 1

1 Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers and sisters with me,

To the churches in Galatia:

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

In almost every letter that the Apostle Paul wrote, he set out to establish himself as a true Apostle. Make no mistake, it was important for him to reiterate this fact at every opportunity because there were those who were working against him and his ministry by saying he was just a charlatan, an impostor, who went out on his own and did not have the Lord's blessings as the original Apostles did.

As you may recall Paul, who was originally known as Saul, began as an enemy of the Church and went around arresting and even putting to death Christians who were preaching the Gospel. For more background on this, read Acts 7, 8 and 9.

However, Paul never stopped with just establishing his Apostleship among the brethren. He also went on to give them a blessing and to restate the Gospel message which he was spreading among the gentiles. This also is quite common for the letters that Paul wrote to other churches as well. Let's look at each of the phrases that make this up in Paul's letter to the Galatians.

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

Grace and peace. Who's grace and peace? God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Paul was not talking about his grace and peace. It would have been polite, but secular. Paul goes one step further in establishing his own relationship with the Lord. As his Apostle, is was within his power to grant the grace and peace that comes directly from the one who sent him. Apostle, means literally, the one who is sent, or the sent out one.

Do Christians today have the right to extend grace and peace to people? Absolutely! In fact, we are almost mandated to do that if we preach the Gospel or if we present the Gospel message to someone and ask them to follow Jesus, aren't we? How in the world can you ask someone to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior if you do not offer them the Lord's grace and peace? That is what Jesus did for us! We must do it for others as well.

Paul goes on to explain in the next 2 verses his rationale for offering this Grace and Peace.

Galatians 1: 4-5 ...who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Grace and Peace offered to us because of what the Lord himself has done, not by our will, but by the will of God the Father. And indeed to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen!


Blessings All


--El