Apostle Paul, Grace & Peace Proclaimer
Grace and peace
Paul prays for “grace and peace” for the Corinthians “from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:3). Grace refers to God’s activity for our good. Grace is not just what we are to receive, but also what we are to give. We receive grace to give grace. Peace is the result of grace. Peace describes both the absence of alienations and the presence of agape.
Grace and peace come from God and Jesus. In the Greek construction here, God and Jesus are linked up in a way to show that they are a unit. Jesus was God in flesh (John 1:1, 14). Two functions are spotlighted here—“Father” and “Lord.” Our God is both our Father who cares and our Lord who commands.
As a Christian, Titus had already known God’s grace. It was by grace he had been saved. But grace is needed not only at the outset of the Christian life. We need it all our days. It is by grace, for example, that the work of salvation continues. In all its parts, salvation is the fruit of God’s unmerited favour. We also need grace in the sense of strength or help—grace to love; grace to forgive; grace to pray; grace to serve the Lord, to endure affliction, to persevere to the end. Knowing that, Paul prayerfully wishes grace for Titus. Shouldn’t that be our prayerful wish for others?
Paul also wishes peace for Titus. Like every other believer, Titus was vulnerable to anxiety, and Paul would not have him anxious about anything. Instead, he would have him enjoy ‘the peace of God that transcends all understanding’ (Phil. 4:7) with all the blessing such peace brings. Hence his benediction: ‘peace’ to you ‘from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour.’ Shouldn’t that be our prayerful wish for others, too?
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you (Rom. 16:20; Rom. 16:24; 1 Cor. 16:23; 1 Thess. 5:28; 2 Thess. 3:18; Rev. 22:21); the grace of the Lord Jesus be with your spirit (Gal. 6:18; Phil. 4:23; Philem. 25); grace be with you all (Titus 3:15; Heb. 13:25); grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Phil. 1:2); grace and peace to you (Col. 1:2; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:2; Titus 1:4; Philem. 3; 2 Pet. 1:2; Rev. 1:4); grace, mercy and peace (1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2; 2 John 3); grace be with those who love our Lord Jesus (Eph. 6:24); grace to you and peace from God (Eph. 1:2); may grace and peace be yours (1 Pet. 1:2).