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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—and all the brothers and sisters with me, to the churches in Galatia: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”—Galatians 1:1–5 (NIV)
Do you remember the Frank Sinatra song “Love and Marriage”? The first verse of the song goes a little something like this: “Love and marriage, love and marriage,
go together like a horse and carriage. This I tell ya, brother, you can't have one without the other.”
It’s an interesting lyric when you think about it. Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage. They’re a pairing that just go together, like peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, macaroni and cheese, milk and cookies, or grace and peace!
Grace and peace . . . they've been called the Siamese twins of the New Testament because they're so commonly coupled together, particularly by Paul. It's an ingenious combination of the common Greek and Hebrew greetings.
Grace (charis): This word was used like the Hawaiian word aloha, both in greetings and departures. The word means joy or favor; a leaning towards to share benefit. In the New Testament, it's used to describe the Lord's favor, which He freely extended to give Himself away to people because He is disposed to bless and be near them.
Peace (shalom): A term used to this day, shalom, of course, means peace; a state of harmony and restoration. I love the way one Bible scholar put it: "The tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.”
I believe the reason Paul so frequently pairs grace and peace together is because these two powerful ideas go hand-in-hand; they are inseparable. You truly can’t have one without the other. And here’s something to think about: Whenever we see these two together in Scripture, grace always comes before peace. The reason is because you can never know, experience, or walk in the peace of God until you have received and been changed by the grace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
God's grace in us is the source of our peace. It brings us into harmony with our heavenly Father through the restoration of our souls by the saving work of Christ.
And as you receive, grow in, and are changed by the grace of God, you can experience that true peace, the peace that surpasses understanding, the peace that comes from the freedom from sin and death that Christ Jesus died to give us, according to the will of God and for the glory of God.
So today, let us bask in this grace and let His peace wash over us.
DIG: How have you seen the grace and peace of God show up in your life recently?
DISCOVER: What area of your life do you most need the peace of God right now?
DO: Today, spend some time basking in the grace of the Lord and allow His peace to wash over you.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.