Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ is more than just a Pauline salutation. In fact 18 out of the 22 books in the New Testament start out pronouncing grace, peace, and mercy on the readers. God is wanting us to see one of the major differences between the Old and New Covenant. God was not pleased with man under the Old Covenant, but extends grace, peace, and mercy to man under the New Covenant. What made the difference; Jesus’ perfect work on the cross.
Ephesians 1:2, Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
How many people have actually taken the time to read and meditate on what this verse truly says? The importance of verse 2 is often over looked. This verse is actually saying God along with His Son Jesus Christ has extended grace and peace to you. This verse is more than just a Pauline salutation as many people believe. The word is clear that everything written in the bible is for a purpose. In every book written by Paul he states grace and peace to us from God and Jesus. In Galatians 1:4 he goes further and explains that it is Jesus who gave Himself for our sins and that according to the will of the Father. In 1st and 2nd Timothy and Titus Paul adds in the word “mercy” as also from God and Jesus. 1st and 2nd Peter says “grace and peace be multiplied.” 2 Peter 1:2 continues by telling us how we can grasp this grace and peace through the “knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” 2 John 1:3 tells us that our grace and peace from God and Jesus rests in “truth and love.” The New Testament starts with Matthew, but the actual “manual of life in Christ Jesus” runs from Romans through Revelations. When you look at those 22 chapters, only Hebrews, 1 John, 3 John, and James do not pronounce “grace, peace, mercy, or love” to us. If God tells us something twice, we can bet it is important, but He mentions eighteen times that grace and peace has been extended to us by Him and our Lord Jesus Christ. You don’t have to meditate on this verse for long before you begin to see there is no anger in it. God does not see us as sinners nor is he waiting for us to mess up again so He can destroy us. His Grace and peace is multiplied to us.
If we continue to believe God is angry at us, we too will be afraid to approach Him. If we think God is the bully out to get us, who can we turn to for help when the real enemy gets in our face? The truth is God is watching for us to turn to Him so He can protect us, and show us His love.
God was not pleased with man in the Old Testament. He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their hardened heart that led to their vile life style. In the days of Noah He destroyed all mankind, but 8 people in the flood. He was sorry He had created man. I have heard preachers say “If America doesn’t change from its evil ways and God does not destroy us, He will have to apologize to Sodom & Gomorrah.” This is just not true. The fact is if God were to cause any harm to man because of their sinful nature, He would have to apologize to Jesus for allowing Him to die on the cross for those sins. Preaching condemnation only happens when one truly does not understand what happened on the cross at Calvary. John 3:16 is what happened! And now we have grace and peace from God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son. If you don’t know the verse John 3:16, go read it. It will change your life! John 3:17 & 18 are the extension of 3:16 as it tells us what God is not going to do. Together these three verses are probably the most powerful verses in the bible.
Today's devotional come directly from thirty plus years of Dr. David Jones' personal study notes.
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