“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” (Romans 1:7; 16:24)
The Apostle Paul begins his letter to the believers in Rome with a marvelous greeting: “Grace to you.” He then closes his letter with a prayer that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with them.
Paul dictated all his letters but one to a stenographer. At the close of each letter he took the writing instrument from the scribe and in his own hand wrote these words: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”
Paul greets and leaves believers with a wish and a prayer for grace, because grace is the dynamic of God that saves us. We can define grace if we turn this five-letter word into an acrostic to spell out:
But grace is not only the way God saves us. The grace of God is the dynamic we desperately need to live for Christ.
In Romans 5:2, Paul writes that God has given us access, by faith, into the grace that makes it possible for us to stand for Christ and live a life that glorifies God.
Paul begins this letter and closes all his letters the way he does because he knows it is absolutely critical that we access God’s grace to live our lives for Christ in this world.
Since grace is one of our greatest needs, consider meeting and leaving each other with a wish and a prayer for grace.
Dick Woodward, 24 February 2012