GRACE TO YOU: charis humin:
(Ro 1:7; 2Co 1:2; 1Pe 1:2)
(Click for additional notes on Grace,
Spurgeon on grace)
This salutation is
undoubtedly a form of a blessing or prayer. Several of the modern paraphrases
agree rendering it...
I pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you
and will bless you with peace! (CEV)
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
May grace and peace be granted to you from God our Father and the Lord
Jesus Christ. (Weymouth)
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Notice that grace
is like the "bookends" of this letter, Paul beginning and ending with a
prayer for grace for his beloved saints at Philippi...
grace of the
Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. (Php 4:23-note)
In fact, with the exception of the epistle to Romans, every Pauline letter begins
and ends with "grace", thus constantly emphasizing that the Christian
life begins with grace, is lived by grace and ends with grace, not by
reliance on self or works.
Paul is opening
with a prayer that the Lord's grace (His transforming, energizing
enablement or power to live the supernatural, abundant life for His
glory - see discussion of empowering aspect of grace at 2Ti 2:1-note) be with all the the
saints at Philippi. Is this not a prayer we should pray for all the
saints in Christ Jesus? Have you ever prayed grace and peace for other
Grace and peace,
are always found in that order because grace is the foundation and peace
is the result. No grace, no peace. Know grace, know peace!
C H Spurgeon well says
Blessed men scatter blessings. When
the benediction of God rests upon us, we pour out benedictions upon
others. (The Second Coming)
(charis) (click detailed study of grace)
is the unmerited and "free favor and good-will of God, and all the blessed
fruits and effects of it" (Matthew
Henry). Grace is not license to do as we please (Jude
to do as we should. Godís
grace insures that those who have been truly
regenerated will persevere until the end of life. This entire work is called
sanctification, a work of God ďwhereby we are renewed in the whole man and are
enabled more and more to die daily unto sin and to live unto righteousnessĒ as
stated by the Westminster Shorter Catechism (Ro 12:2-note;
The grace of God
not only makes us what we are, but then allows us to carry out fruitful
labor (see 1Cor 15:10, cf the strengthening effect of grace in 2Ti 2:1).
writes that grace in the salutations of many of the NT letters
(Ro 1:7, 1Cor 1:3, 2Co 1:2, Gal 1:3, Ep 1:2, Col 1:2, 1Th 1:2, 2Th
1:2, 1Ti 1:2, 2Ti 1:2, Titus 1:4, Philemon 1:3, 1Pe 1:2, 2Pe 1:2, 2Jn
1:3) is supplemented...
by the remarkable addition "mercy"
appears; in Jude, "mercy, peace, and love." In these salutations, "Grace"
is all the free and loving favour of God in its spiritual efficacy. "Peace"
is specially the complacency of reconciliation with which He regards His
people, but so as to imply also its results in them ; repose, serenity
of soul; spiritual happiness, in the largest sense. (The
Epistle to the Ephesians)
Wuest writes that grace...
In its use among the pagan Greeks referred to a favor done by one Greek
to another out of the pure generosity of his heart, and with no hope of reward.
When it is used in the New Testament, it refers to that favor which God did at
Calvary when He stepped down from His judgment throne to take upon Himself the
guilt and penalty of human sin. In the case of the Greek, the favor was done to
a friend, never an enemy. In the case of God it was an enemy, the sinner, bitter
in his hatred of God, for whom the favor was done. God has no strings tied to
the salvation He procured for man at the Cross. Salvation is given the believing
sinner out of the pure generosity of Godís heart. The Greek word referred to an
action that was beyond the ordinary course of what might be expected, and was
therefore commendable. What a description of that which took place at the Cross!
The grace spoken of here is sanctifying
grace [Ed note: In
contrast to "saving grace", "sanctifying grace"
is the Spirit of Christ indwelling me and enabling me to overcome sin. I
cannot overcome it...it will overcome me if I try. All attempts to
defeat the flesh in my own power will fail whether it be doing works or
keeping rules or the Law. See
Relationship of Justified, Sanctified,
Glorified] that part of salvation given the saint in which God causes him to grow
in Christ-likeness through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Studies in the
Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans)
Grace and peace - just the
"grace", the Western (or Greek)
"peace", the Eastern (or Hebrew)
but when the HOLY SPIRIT led Paul
to combine them here, we may be sure that He intended their use to be
something so much more than formal and usual; both writer and readers
would be led to see in them very deep and rich meaning.
Wilson Cash makes the interesting suggestion that
Paul combines both Jewish 'peace'
and Gentile 'grace' in one salutation as a pledge of unity between
East and West, between Jew and Gentile, in the one Saviour, who unites
all in the one fellowship of His Body.
Dr. Hugh Michael, in the Moffatt
Commentary, speaks of
the enrichment of the commonplace
by the new faith of CHRIST, which elevates a salutation into a
How arrestingly that is seen in the
transmutation of everything, however lowly, that He touched - a common
Name, a despised City, a humble workshop, even a felon's Cross.
Dr. Johnson said of Oliver Goldsmith,
"He touched nothing that he did not
adorn: how infinitely truer of the Master. So here the common greeting
is invested with uncommon beauty."
What are these things that the
apostle desires for his friends, and which are no less desirable for
(a) Grace - a quality which is, at once
(i) an Attitude, which He
adopts towards us, as in Ep 2:8
(ii) an Activity, which He
exerts for our help, as in 1Corinthians 15:10; and
(iii) an Accomplishment,
which He works in, and out from, us, as in Acts 4:33.
Paul ardently, and prayerfully,
desires for his converts everywhere - for he uses the words in all his
church letters - that they may experience to the full this "grace",
which the late Bishop Handley Moule describes as "love in action".
(b) Peace - the "God of all grace" is the "God of peace",1Pe
(note); Ro 15:33
and it is only by, and after, His grace that we can enjoy His peace.
- Peace of heart - no condemnation
- Peace of conscience - no
controversy with GOD
- Peace of mind - no anxiety about
- Peace of action - no grit in the
This gift is an immensely precious
boon; and it may be the possession, should be the possession, of every
believer. Paul will have some deep things to say about this later.
These two joys come, says our passage, "from God our Father, and from
the Lord Jesus Christ" - the Father is the Source, from whom they
come; the Saviour is the Medium, through whom they come. Not from the
world arise such blessings, nor from our circumstances, however
affluent and pleasant, nor from our own inner being, however much we
strive, but only from Him, through Him, and "all the fulness of the
Godhead . . . and ye are complete in Him" (See Col 2:9, 10-note)
Guy, Joy Way,1952 - online version) (Bolding added)
AND PEACE FROM GOD OUR FATHER AND THE
LORD JESUS CHRIST:
apo theou patros hemon kai kuriou Iesou Christou:
From is the preposition apo (575)
which governs both objects, God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who
together form one unit and are placed on a level of equality making this passage
a definite affirmation of the deity of Jesus Christ.
We hear "God our Father" so often, we tend to miss the profound meaning
and implications of this phrase. God is called our Father because we are
His children by the new birth, John recording...
But as many as received Him, to them He gave
the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who
were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man,
but of God. (John 1:12-13)
(pater) was not a term generally used for God in the Old Testament and so
to be able to call God our Father as Paul does is a
privilege believers need to meditate upon (see
Primer on Biblical Meditation). We
belong to His family and have all the rights of members of His divine family. In
the Sermon on the Mount Jesus places special emphasis on the Fatherhood of God,
addressing Jews who were not accustomed to addressing God in such familiar,
intimate terms. Perhaps you have had a less than ideal earthly father and this
experience makes it difficult for you to appreciate (and appropriate) the
glorious truths inherent in the fact that the Almighty God Himself is now our
Father. Study Jesus' description of the personal care and concern our Father
manifests for each of His children (Mt 6:25,2 6-
Mt 6:27, 28, 29-note,
Mt 6:30, 31, 32-note,
Mt 6:33, 34-note)
[word study] from kķros = might, power in turn from kurůo
= give authority) describes the One Who has absolute ownership and sovereign
power and authority. In the New Testament, Jesus is referred to some ten times
as Savior and some seven hundred times as Lord. When the two
titles are mentioned together, Lord always precedes Savior. And even if, as some
erroneously contend, Lord were simply a synonym for God, the very term God by
definition includes the idea of sovereign authority and lordship. Kurios
is used in more than 7000 verses in Old Testament
Septuagint (LXX), usually
translating the Name "Jehovah".
In one of the most beautiful passages in all
of Scripture, Paul explains Christ's Lordship writing...
Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and
bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus
EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the
earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to
the glory of God the Father. (see note
Lord is not merely a name
that composes a title, but signifies a call to every saint to reverently bow
down to Jesus Christ. If Christ is our Lord, we are to live under Him,
consciously and continually submitting our wills to him as His bondservants,
always seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness. According to this
"definition" is He your Lord?
is not merely a name that composes a title, but signifies a call to action so
that every saint should willingly, reverently bow down to Jesus Christ. If
Christ is our Lord, we are to live under Him, consciously, continually
submitting our wills to him as His loyal, loving bondservants ("love slaves"),
always seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness (Mt 6:33-note).
According to this practical working "definition" beloved we all need to ask
ourselves "Is Jesus Christ my Lord?". "Do I arise each day, acknowledges this is
the day the Lord hath made?" (Ps 118:24-note)
"Do I surrender my will to His will as I begin each day?" (cp Ro 12:1-note,
Beloved, don't misunderstand. None of us have "arrived" in this area of Jesus as
Lord of our lives. And it is precisely for that reason that Peter commands us to
imperative) in the
grace (unmerited favor, power to live the supernatural, abundant life in Christ)
and knowledge (not just intellectual but transformational) of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of
eternity. Amen." (2Pe 3:18-note)
So do not be discouraged. Don't "throw in the towel" as they say. Keep on
keeping on, pressing (continually =
"on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Note also that there can be no grace and peace
except from God our Father, the fountain and original of all blessings for
Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from
the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
As noted above, the Prince of Peace, the Lord
Jesus Christ, is clearly identified by Paul with God the Father, leaving no
doubt that he considers Jesus to be fully divine, which counters the argument of
skeptics who say the Bible never says Jesus was God! In His special time with
the disciples just prior to His crucifixion, Jesus declared...
Peace I leave with you; My
peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your
heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. (John 14:27)
These things I have spoken to you, that in
Me (Ed: Think of the days of the flood, when the waters began to rise
- those who had "peace" [Noah, et al] were safe in the Ark - Christ is the
believer's "Ark" and in Him we are "safe" and have peace! And only in Him!) you
may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I
have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
[word study] from verb eiro = to join)
pictures the binding or joining together what is broken or divided and conveys
the basic meaning to set at one again.
Eirene is the root word for our English "serene"
(serenity) which means clear and free of storms or unpleasant change,
stresses an unclouded and lofty tranquility.
Peace implies health, well-being, and prosperity. Christ Jesus through the
blood of His Cross binds together that which was separated by human sin,
the sinner who puts his faith in the Lord Jesus, and God.
In secular Greek eirene referred to cessation or absence of war. In Adam all men before
salvation "were enemies" (Ro 5:10-note,
"alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds" (Col 1:21-note)
and so were ''at war'' with the Almighty'.
Saints now have "been
justified by faith" and "have peace
with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ro 5:1-note)
because they have "been reconciled" (Ro 5:10-note)
The war between the believer and God is over, and the treaty was written not
with pen and ink but with Cross and precious blood, where the Lamb of God paid
the price in full (Jn 19:30)
so that believers now can be at rest in Christ (cf Heb 4:10-note). Paul
writes later in this letter that the "peace of GodÖ shall guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus" (Php 4:7-note),
referring to the peace that comes
from being in unbroken communion or fellowship with God. The first peace
is often referred to as peace with God (justification) and the
later as the peace of God (fellowship, communion, daily walking
with your Savior).
Peace with God then is the harmony that exists between
the Creator and His creatures who by grace through faith "receive the reconciliation" (Ro
The apostleís desire is that
those to whom he writes may live in the enjoyment of both grace and peace.
Everything is from God, and because grace has been given from God, peace is
total of God's activity toward his human creatures is found in the word
grace; God has given himself to
His people bountifully and mercifully in
Christ. Nothing is deserved, nothing can be achieved. The sum total of those
benefits as they are experienced by the recipients of God's grace is
God's shalom, both now and in the ages to come. The
out of the grace, and both together flow from God our Father and
were made effective in human history through the Lord Jesus Christ.
peace as a state of tranquility or quiet, freedom from disquieting or oppressive
thoughts or emotions, harmony in personal relations, a pact or agreement to end
hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity, state of
repose in contrast with or following strife or turmoil.
Jim Walton was translating the NT for
the Muinane people of La Sabana in the jungles of Colombia. But he was having
trouble with the word peace. During this time, Fernando, the village chief, was
promised a 20-minute plane ride to a location that would have taken him 3 days
to travel by walking. The plane was delayed in arriving at La Sabana, so
Fernando departed on foot. When the plane finally came, a runner took off to
bring Fernando back. But by the time he had returned, the plane had left.
Fernando was livid because of the mix-up. He went to Jim and launched into an
angry tirade. Fortunately, Walton had taped the chief's diatribe. When he later
translated it, he discovered that the chief kept repeating the phrase,
I don't have one heart.
Jim asked other villagers what having "one heart" meant, and he
found that it was like saying,
There is nothing between you and the other
That, Walton realized, was just what he needed to translate the word
peace. To have
with God means that there is nothing--no sin, no guilt, no condemnation--that
separates us. And that peace with God is possible only through Christ (Ro 5:1-note). Do you have "one heart" with God?
Wuest adds that peace...
in classical Greek means "to bind together,"
in the New Testament, "the operation of Godís grace in binding the believing
sinner to God and His life again, this operation continued in bringing that
believer in his experience more and more into harmony with God in his life and
service," the latter being the particular phase to which Paul refers here.
Barclay writes that
contemporary colloquial Greek this word eirene had two interesting usages. It
was used of the serenity which a county enjoyed under the just and beneficent
government of a good emperor; and it was used of the good order of a town or
village. Villages had an official who was called the superintendent of the
villageís eirene, the keeper of the public peace. Usually in the New Testament
eirene stands for the Hebrew shalom and means not just freedom from trouble but
everything that makes for a manís highest good. It is interesting to note that
Chara and Eirene both became very common Christian names in the Church. (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press)
If joy speaks of the exhilaration of heart
that comes from being right with God, then peace refers to the tranquility of
mind that comes from that saving relationship. The verb form (eiro) has to do with
binding together and is reflected in the modern expression "having it all
together." Everything is in place and as it ought to be. Like joy,
peace has no
relationship to circumstances. Christians know "that God causes all things to
work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according
to His purpose" (Ro 8:28-note). Because God is in control
(Sovereign) of all aspects of a
believerís life, how his circumstances may appear from a human perspective makes
no ultimate difference. That is why Jesus could say without qualification to
those who trust in Him, "Let
imperative = Command
with negative = Stop letting this happen!) not your heart be troubled" (John 14:1). There is
absolutely no reason for a believer to be anxious or afraid. (MacArthur,
J. Philippians. Chicago: Moody Press)
(Bolding and notes in parentheses added)