3 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Grace to you
We find a typical salutation in 1 Corinthians of grace and peace. Grace is the Greek salutation. Grace is what God is free to do for us because of the death of Christ. Thus, we get what we do not deserve. Grace has to do with the benefits God provides for the family of God. It is all that is comprehensible in the love God exercises toward sinners.
Peace is the Hebrew salutation. Grace manifests itself in peace. Grace always precedes peace. Peace is the ability to sit down on the inside. It is more than the absence of strife but the presence of blessing. It is the ability to rest in the provisions and promises of God.
from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Both God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are the sources of grace and peace. The ultimate source of grace and peace is God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Father has a concern for the family of God at Corinth.
Paul refers to the first and second members of the Trinity in the salutation. Authors of Scripture normally do not mention the Holy Spirit in the salutation but do mention Him in the benediction. The role of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Son.
Grace results in inner orientation to God’s order.
We do not get God’s peace by our own effort. It comes exclusively from God. We never get God’s peace without first receiving God’s grace. We obtain a full measure of peace with a full understanding and appropriation of God’s grace. We cannot manufacture this peace because it comes solely from God. He dispenses it freely from His character. If we try to operate without God’s grace, life will grate on our souls.
Salvation is Christ plus nothing. Sanctification is Christ plus nothing. Anything else is a mongrel gospel or mongrel sanctification. God’s truth is always unadulterated grace. We owe our salvation to Christ and we owe our sanctification to Him as well.
Good works do not save us nor sanctify us. They do not make us more secure in our salvation or in our walk with the Lord. Many people feel that if they have a good batting average with the Ten Commandments then God will accept them into Heaven. Others believe that if they are good people in their Christian walk then that impresses God. Both of these groups fail to realize that they are poor, lost, helpless, hopeless sinners apart from the work of Christ. Only the finished work of the sovereign Son of God can save us or sanctify us.
Sin stands between God and us. Our only plea is the cross of Christ. Anything else is inadequate, insufficient and incomplete. Jesus died to remove the penalty triggered by sin. The law deepens and defines our need for the Savior but it cannot save. Human effort cannot save; only the Savior can save when we put our trust in His finished work on the cross. Peace only comes through grace.