October 1, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”—Philippians 1:1–2 (NIV)
Have you ever met twins—two babies who, somehow, are miraculously conceived at the same time, share a womb, and sometimes even look exactly alike? It’s amazing!
One of the things I find so interesting about twins is the unparalleled kinship they usually share. There’s this uncanny bond between them. I recently read an article from a writer who had attended a twins’ festival and asked about 15 twin pairs the same question, “What’s the best part about being a twin?” The overwhelming answer? “It’s like having a built-in best friend for life.” Scientific evidence actually suggests that twins enjoy lifelong benefits from having each other.
So, why am I talking to you about twins right? Well, because in the New Testament, we see a pair of twins—a set that’s inseparable and always joined at the hip Their names? Grace and peace.
Check this out: 15 of the 27 books of the New Testament contain these words paired together in their introduction! 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’re 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.
Pause: How have you seen the grace and peace of God show up in your life recently? What area(s) of your life do you most need the peace of God right now?
Practice: Today, spend some time basking in the grace of the Lord and allow His peace to wash over you.
Pray: Father, Lord, God of grace and peace, I thank You for who You are and what You’ve done. I thank You for giving me Your Word and the Holy Spirit that allow me to know and enjoy You! I thank You for Your grace in me that is the source of all peace, joy, and power in my life. Help me walk firmly in the sanctifying grace of Christ and enjoy the peace of Christ daily. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at 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.