1 Corinthians 1:3–4 (ESV) — 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus,
Few of us bother to open our email with a greeting any longer. If we do, it is generally pleasantries. If we close them with an expression, it is likely a pre-typed part of our signature. My point is that we most likely write these things with little thought at all.
Paul begins each of his letters to churches with the same expression. But there is a great intentionality and power in these words, not just for the early church, but also for you today. We find those words in v.3.
Grace is undeserved favor. Perhaps you think that grace is only the disposition of God’s heart toward you. Or you think of God’s grace as being something God gave you once when you first believed in Christ for your salvation. Both of these statements are true and good reminders for us. When, in verse 4, Paul gives thanks for the grace of God that was given to them in Christ Jesus, he is certainly reminding them of God’s past grace to them in their salvation.
But when Paul says “grace to you” he is also telling them something important about what it means for them to walk in grace for that day. In addition to being the disposition of God’s heart toward you and the gift of God in the cross to those who believe, it is also the power of God at work in you today. It is a daily gift that God continues to give you each moment of each day. Christian, you are swimming today in the grace of God. Take a moment and think through the day that is ahead of you. It will have challenges that you can foresee and some you can’t. God’s grace is the power at work in you in every situation both external and internal.
He also reminds them of the peace that is theirs. Peace is the result of the grace of God. It is the condition of the heart that trusts in God for salvation and for daily needs. If God, by grace, provided for your greatest need for salvation, will he not provide for your daily needs?
Romans 8:32 (ESV) — 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Peace is resting in God and in your restored relationship as His child through Jesus Christ. How does this truth affect the things that are causing you a lack of peace this morning? What will it mean for you to experience the peace of God today?
Christian, the gift of God extended to you today in Christ are grace and peace. I pray you will walk in them today.