Amplified: Grace (favor and blessing) to you and [heart] peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah). (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
NLT: May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: grace and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ the Lord! (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: (Sanctifying) grace be to you, and (heart) peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
This salutation is undoubtedly a form of a blessing or prayer. Several of the modern paraphrases agree rendering it…
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…
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 believers?
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 that…
Grace (5485) (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 1:4), but power to do as we should. God’s 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 “whereby we are renewed in the whole man and are enabled more and more to die daily unto sin and to live unto righteousness” as stated by the Westminster Shorter Catechism (Ro 12:2-note; Ep 4:23-note Col 3:10-note; 2Cor 4:16)
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).
Moule 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…
Wuest on 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 God’s 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. (Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Studies in the Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament)
Guy King writes that…
AMAZING GRACE BEFORE PERFECT PEACE
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…
Father (3962) (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- note, Mt 6:27, 28, 29-note, Mt 6:30, 31, 32-note, Mt 6:33, 34-note)
Lord (2962) (kurios [word study] from kúros = might, power in turn from kuróo = 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…
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?
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, Ro 12:2-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 continually "grow (present 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 = present tense) "on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Php 3:14-note)
Note also that there can be no grace and peace except from God our Father, the fountain and original of all blessings for
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…
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, Ro 5:12-note), "alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds" (Col 1:21-note) and so were ''at war'' with the Almighty'.
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 God… 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 5:11-note).
The apostle’s 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 possible.
The sum 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 peace, God's shalom, both now and in the ages to come. The peace flows out of the grace, and both together flow from God our Father and were made effective in human history through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Webster defines 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.
ILLUSTRATION OF PEACE
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 person. That, Walton realized, was just what he needed to translate the word peace. To have peace 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…
Barclay writes that "in 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 village’s 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 man’s highest good. It is interesting to note that Chara and Eirene both became very common Christian names in the Church. (Daily Study Bible)
John MacArthur adds that "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 believer’s 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 (present 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)