“To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”
This is Paul’s customary greeting to churches by Paul. “Grace” is the normal Greek salutation. “Peace” is the normal Hebrew salutation. This is no perfunctory greeting. Paul conveys his heart for the Colossians here.
This is not saving grace. This is grace for daily living. It is grace for the pilgrim path. Grace enables a believer to maintain his spiritual equilibrium (Rom. 12:3). A believer full of grace will go off on no tangent. Grace makes it possible for us to put a proper estimation upon ourselves (James 4:6; 1 Pet 5:5). Grace is something that God provides; we cannot earn or deserve it (1 Pet. 5:10). God gives enough grace so we can face anything that may come our way (2 Cor. 12:9,10).
“Peace” is the other spiritual commodity God gives. This is not peace with God. That peace we receive at the point of salvation. This is peace of God, God’s very own peace for everyday life. It does not take much for people to get our goat. We charge into conflict over something insignificant. Paul desires that every believer will know the peace of God in whatever situation they face. This is the ability to call an armistice because the war is over. We no longer need to fight insignificant battles.
Grace is what sustains us in the Christian life.
Grace is God’s provision for daily living. The peace of God disappears quite often with Christians. It leaks out somewhere. Peace goes when we lose our temper and speak harshly to our family. We wound those closest to us. The peace of God enables us to live with a tranquil spirit. In the midst of turbulence with people, no one ruffles us. When everyone else is upset, we are calm. We can sit down on the inside. Not many of us have that kind of serenity.
It is easy to have peace when everything is going our way. We are on top of the world. When everything comes up roses, and everything goes our way, we can live the spiritual life. That is not the test of spirituality. The test is when we face trouble. God’s peace is dynamic in the middle of trouble.