Sunday, 17 May 2015
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:2
This is Paul’s common greeting, even if it contains slight variations. It is an exact repeat of 1 Corinthians 1:3. He has identified himself, his calling, who was accompanying him, and who the letter is directed to. After those formalities, he gives these words – “Grace to you and peace to you.”
Grace is unmerited favor; it cannot be earned. This is a common greeting among the Greek people. Peace however is the more common greeting among the Hebrew people. In their language, the word is shalom. Shalom however is more than a greeting for calm or quiet, but a petition for wholeness and completion in all ways. Paul unites the two terms just as the church is being united between Jew and Gentile during his time. This grace precedes the peace because only after receiving God’s grace can His peace truly be experienced.
This wonderful blessing to them is extended “from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” It is a greeting from the eternal God – both the unseen Father and His Son who reveals the Father to us. Rather than being an argument against the deity of Jesus Christ, it is an argument for it. He is tying the two in as one – Jesus being a member of the Godhead. He is not inferring some type of God/non-god distinction, but a harmonious blending of the two; both fully God.
Throughout his letters, as with the entire Bible, the deity of Jesus Christ is a concept and a precept which simply can’t be missed. It is the very heart of what God has done for the reconciliation of the people of the world.
Life application: There may be someone around you today who is lacking peace. Take time today to tell them of God’s grace. In doing so, they may come to the peace which is truly peace – reconciliation with God through a personal relationship with His Son.
Heavenly Father, the fragrance of flowers is such a wonderful delight. Different ones come out at different times and some of them literally envelope me in their all-permeating scent. They bring back memories of my youth and they tell me of the seasonal changes which show me everything is working according to an infinitely wise plan. I thank You and I praise You for the wondrous smells which You have given us in the flowers of the earth. Praises to You! Amen.