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Grace and Peace to You

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Grace and Peace to You

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the

Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:2

1. Paul used grace and peace as a standard greeting in all his letters. Grace and peace were typical greetings utilized by Paul to express God’s desire for the believers’ well-being.

2. “Grace” is God’s undeserved favor—his loving-kindness shown to sinners whereby he saves them and gives them strength to live for him.

3. Legalism is the opposite of grace and is humanity’s attempts to gain acceptance from God through individual effort and determination. Legalism is a great temptation, because it involves self-reliance and self–sufficiency (Gal. 3:1-3).

“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal 3:1-3)

4. However, legalism is totally ineffective (Matt. 23:23-26)

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.” (Matthew 23:23)

5. We must resist the temptation to make ourselves acceptable to God, or to create unbiblical rules for others to follow (Col. 2:8; Gal. 5:1-5).

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Col 2:8)

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.” (Gal 5:1-5)

6. However, we should never confuse legalism with the clear biblical call for believers to lead lives of obedience to Christ (John 15:10; 1 Pet. 1:14-16).

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” (John 15:10)

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)

7. “Peace” refers to the peace that Christ made between sinners and God through his death on the cross.

8. “Peace” also refers to that inner assurance and tranquility that God places in the heart, producing confidence and contentment in Christ. Only God can grant such wonderful gifts and Paul wanted his readers to experience God’s grace and peace in their daily living.

9. The world offers a temporary and counterfeit version of grace and peace. Grace might be considered luck; peace might be seen as the absence of conflict. But for believers in Philippi and today, God’s blessings are not the result of luck, but because of God’s grace; peace is not a fragile calm, but an inner security. Grace and peace are abundant and available even in troubles, conflicts, and turmoil. Paul was in prison and the Philippians were experiencing persecution (1:28–30), yet Paul greeted them with the assurance of grace and peace.

10. This phrase God our Father focuses on the family relationship among all believers as God’s children. By using the phrase Lord Jesus Christ, Paul was pointing to Jesus as a full person of the Godhead and he was recognizing Jesus’ full deity. God the Father and Christ the Lord are coequal in providing the resources of grace and peace.

11. Grace and Peace are not something that we can create or produce in our own lives. This Christian life must be supplied by the presence of the Holy Spirit. We cannot manufacture, compose, or produce the Christian life for ourselves through education, determination, self-discipline, or self-reliance (John 10:10; 15; Eph. 3:17-19; Phil 4:19)

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”

(John 15:1-4)

“that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” (Eph 3:16-20)

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:19)

“for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Phil 2:13)

Grace

Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace. - Jerry Bridges

GracePointe Baptist Church

2209 N Post Road

Oklahoma City, OK 73141

Phone: (405) 769-5050

http://www.gracepointeonline.com

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