“Grace and peace to you” says the NIV translation of the Apostle Paul’s standard salutation. What a total rip off that is! No, not in the Pauline greeting itself but rather, in the translation. It sounds like such a throwaway line when it is put that way. What is missed with the simple “grace and peace” translation is the connection between the two. Paul is not just throwing out there some half-witted nicety as if to say, “I hope you’re feeling swell about your situation.” No! He is talking cause and effect here. He is talking about the aftermath of our rebellion with God when it is met with His grace toward us. He is talking about the result of God’s grace being peace—real peace that cannot be had without grace! A much better translation would be, “grace to you, and peace” implying what Paul was implying, that the result of God’s grace to us is peace.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Even though the world may swirl chaotically around us, we can have peace knowing that we are at peace, through the work of the Savior, with our Creator who is one and the same with the Savior. Of course, the problem is we often forget about or dismiss or reject or deny or feel we are not worthy of the peace we have with God. So we, like the original recipients of Paul’s letters, need to be reminded—grace to you, and the peace.
For the last few weeks, as part of an ongoing series on Call and Commission, we have been talking spiritual gifts. The last two messages have been about the way spiritual gifts are rooted in love and are a result of the grace of God, and as such, act like love, and are bestowed on the undeserving to be used in the lives of the undeserving. This week we will be talking about how spiritual gifts work to bring peace and reveal that we have peace with God even in the midst of chaos!
 Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; Philemon 1:3