“Grace to you… from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ…” (Romans 1:7)
As you study the letters of the Apostle Paul you will find a common greeting and salutation in all of them. At the beginning you will find these words: “Grace to you.” At the conclusion you will find words like these: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” (Romans 16:20)
In nearly every generation of language and culture there are words people use when they first encounter someone. After visiting with them there are words used for parting. Some of these greetings and salutations do not have much meaning. It was not so with the way Paul began and concluded his letters.
One of Paul’s favorite concepts was “grace.” In many of his letters he emphasized the truth that we are saved by grace and not by works. He also wrote that we have access by faith to grace that makes it possible for us to live a life that glorifies God. (Romans 5:2)
Perhaps Paul’s greatest verse that describes the empowering dimension of grace is 2Corinthians 9:8. He writes there that God is able to make all grace abound toward us so that each one of us may always find the spiritual dynamic we need to abound in every good work God is calling us to do.
All grace – all the power we need – each and every one of us that we might find all the sufficiency we need to abound in every good work – ALWAYS!
As you come to appreciate the meaning of “grace,” isn’t it an appropriate heartfelt concept to include in your greetings with your brothers and sisters in Christ?
Dick Woodward, 10 August 2010