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Grace and Peace

by Danny Mihailovic last modified Feb 23, 2014 12:54 AM
In the opening remarks and greetings from Paul the Apostle and with those who travelled with him, we find a complete summary of the gospel.

The two words, Grace and Peace bring all of what God achieved through His Son Jesus Christ into our immediate view. Apart from Grace there can be no removal of sin from the sinner’s life; moreover, without the removal of sin there can be no Peace, because our conscience is riveted to our corrupt nature. Luther said that sin and conscience are two monsters vanquished by Christ who has trodden them underfoot, both in this world and in that which is to come. The gospel is that powerful “word” or “doctrine” that only Christians have, and are armed with it to get victory against sin, despair and everlasting death. Paul will argue this point against those who had infiltrated the church to unsettle her. False teachers are good at their craft. They know the arguments better than most and can use “human logic” as already discussed in the first article, to persuade God’s people that Grace and Peace are just not enough. Yet it is this very hub of truth that all Christians must settle once and for all before they determine to take on Kingdom work. Otherwise they will simply spread false teaching; robbing those whom they teach of “Grace and Peace.” Simply believing never saved anyone. Didn’t Jesus say, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free…..” The great Apostle Paul, contended for the truth. This was his passion….because Christ and the truth are synonymous……one without the other is impossible.

So then if we are to make disciples for Christ, they must have Grace and Peace…..sins forgiven and consciences set free from condemnation. Believing the truth is essential. You may have heard the old adage, “Practice makes perfect”. It sounds good but it is a lie. Only “perfect practice makes perfect.” You can practice whatever you want incorrectly, resulting in the unhappy outcome of an imperfect technique. You can make disciples, teaching them falsehood, and guess what? You will make very insecure disciples who have no assurance of salvation and worse still, they will believe every teacher who sounds convincing. Paul said of the Galatians…. “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel.” These folk who would pervert the gospel were simply trouble makers. “They want to trouble you!” said Paul. Note Paul’s comment and which was, that the Galatians were turning so soon from Him who called them in the GRACE of Christ. i.e. In Christ, was to be found the only source of mercy, through which God would forgive sin. Why? Because Christ fulfilled every jot and title of the Law on behalf of sinful mankind, out of which, God calls sinners to repentance. The mistake often made here is that Faith is put before Grace. Faith comes as a result of Grace. The transformation of the mind allows belief to rest in Christ and in no other. This is not a result of free will or any other will except that of God. (verse 4….) It is His will to save us, necessitating Grace because without that Grace there can be no forgiveness of sin. Christ makes that Grace possible because of the propitiation (legal satisfaction) He brings to God in the context of God’s law and its demand, that man created in God’s image, must reflect the fullness of that image through obedience to God and love of God. When our sinfully enslaved wills have the Grace of God applied to them, and we realise that repentance has been granted to us, as it was to the Gentiles, then comes the great response of a soul set free, to embrace Christ by Faith…..resting there and nowhere else. How could the Galatians have turned from this so soon? This Grace and Peace which is from the Father, (v3) and Jesus Christ, why do false teachers want to rob us of these wonderful gifts?