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Grace and Peace

September 15, 2015

Paul’s letters follow a very consistent pattern in their opening statements. The Pauline pattern includes an expression of his desire for the readers to know the grace and peace of God. Though Paul’s introduction is somewhat formal and standard, He does not use these concepts as mere polite nothings. Paul is expressing to the churches his desire for them to have of God all the resources needed to live as a Christian community in a hostile world.

What are these two things? Grace is the abundant treasure of God given to believers through Christ by means of the Holy Spirit. It is the grace of that God that gives salvation. The grace of God gave His Son to die in place of man. The grace of God gives His Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts to believers. The grace of God enables His children to do good works and service for Him. The grace of God is the host of spiritual blessings that are are the Christian’s. God’s grace is that which enables you to live the Christian life.

God’s grace to the Christian is more than a feeling of kindness towards him. The grace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ is grace that is sufficient for every need. Sometimes such grace is viewed as a way out of troubles, but most often God’s grace is not shown by removing the problems. God’s grace is most often His giving the spiritual ability needed to live obedient and glorifying lives in times of troubles. God is not as interested in the believer’s physical comfort as He is the Christian’s spiritual character. His grace is at work in you to make you become more like His Son. His grace is at work in you so that it will be seen by others and He will be glorified. You have abundant grace in God. Rely on Him for the spiritual capabilities you need to live a God honoring life in all things.

Peace is the supernatural repose of heart that is undaunted by the troubles of life. Physical peace was something distinctly lacking in the city of Thessalonika. When the gospel was first preached the Jews stirred up a riot in town. In the months following the church faced continual opposition. Persecution was the regular reality of their lives since coming to Christ. Peace had been notoriously absent and turmoil could be expected to continue for some time to come. Into this season of great stress and distress, Paul sends to them greetings of peace. Paul reminds them that God gives peace, no matter what the circumstances.

God’s peace is not found in circumstances. The peace of God comes from the perpetual presence of the God of peace. Circumstances will always change, God never will. To the troubled Thessalonians Paul can send peace. Not the peace found in the absence of problems, but the unmoveable peace found in the person of God. God’s peace will rule your hearts and minds through Jesus if you will remain focused on Him. Troubles come and the Christian loses perspective. The child of God begins to focus on the problem, the possibilities, the potential solutions and the probable bad outcomes. Seeing all these things the heart quakes. The mind is agitated and the emotions are inflamed. The troubled soul becomes like an infected wound, tender and upset by the least touch. Peace is found in continuing to trust God’s power and His good plan throughout all troubles. Recognize the hand of God at work in the Christian’s life through circumstances. The saved are in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ. The child of God has available grace for every day, every need, every blessing and every trial. Depend on God’s grace. The Christian can have the peace of God. Trust Him. In all troubles remember His goodness, His perfect care, His perfect plan, His eternal purposes and He will give calmness of soul no matter the storms of life.

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