This post is Day 3 in a series of studies about “Philemon”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.
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Philemon – Day 3
If you were to wish someone grace and peace today, they would think you were a bit odd. Old fashioned (at least in our western world). Peace we understand, or we think we do, but grace is an old fashioned word, and not one that appears in our daily conversations.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
A familiar greeting from Paul to his friends and church groups. The expression grace and peace appears fourteen times in the New Testament and eleven of those fourteen are in Paul’s letters. It was what he wished for everyone. Paul had led a rigorous and disciplined life as a serious Jew before meeting Jesus and having a complete personality change. So wishing grace and peace was not a reflection of his early life. It was something that had overwhelmed him once he met Jesus.
If you were to wish someone grace and peace today, they would think you were a bit odd, or at worst, old fashioned (at least in our western world). Peace we understand, or we think we do, but grace is an old fashioned word, and not one that appears in our daily conversations.
Webster’s dictionary describes grace as “unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration and sanctification.”
Christianity.com gives the following definition, “grace is the love of God shown to the unlovely; the peace of God given to the restless; the unmerited favour of God.”
That sounds good until we remember that Paul, in the verse for today wished his reader “grace and peace”. In his mind they were two different things.
There are 124 mentions of Grace, and only 10 of those are in the Old Testament. It is definitely a subject relating to Jesus’ earthly life. The last verse in the Bible declares The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen (Revelation 22:21).
Think today about grace and what it means in today’s society.
Look for some of the verses which speak of “grace” and apply them to your life and to those you know.
Pray for more grace to be evident in the Church.
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