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Grace and Peace

Peter not only extends grace and peace to us in Christ, he expresses that it be multiplied.

“Grace to you and peace be multiplied.” (1 Peter 1:2) 

“Good morning” is a typical way to greet one another as we rise to face another day. It conveys attentive warmth. Underlying the expression is more of a sentiment than a declaration, more “I wish you a good morning” than “It is a good morning.” 

Ordinarily, we don’t give much thought to such casual greetings. They are just a way of welcome, ice breakers to an encounter. 

Such can be the case when we read the epistles of the New Testament. Grace and peace are common greetings in the epistles of Paul. Peter extends them in both his letters. They are so familiar we can be tempted to gloss over them. 

Yet these two words, grace and peace, are rich in meaning to believers. They belong to the DNA of our salvation. 

Grace speaks to the underserved, unexpected, unmerited favor of God. It is the sole reason we stand as we do in reconciled relationship with God. It points us to what has been bestowed upon us as a gift. We are debtors to grace. 

Peace can carry a dual emphasis. We have peace with God through His saving work to reconcile us to Himself. We also enjoy the peace of God that the world does know. Amidst the suffering and turmoil of our lives, we need not let our hearts be troubled or afraid. 

Just as “Good morning” can be understood as shorthand for “I wish you a good morning,” so “grace and peace” can be seen as shorthand. Peter spells it out in his second letter. “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Pet. 1:2). 

It is in respect to our God and the saving work of Jesus that grace and peace have meaning and impact. As Peter puts it to close his first letter, peace is extended to “all who are in Christ Jesus” (1 Pet. 5:14). 

Peter not only extends grace and peace to us in Christ, he expresses that it be multiplied. He wants us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus. 

REFLECTION: Grace and peace are not mere sentiment. Pray to know their depth in Christ. 

Unless noted otherwise, Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Stan Gale

Stanley D. Gale (MDiv Westminster, DMin Covenant) has pastored churches in Maryland and Pennsylvania for over 30 years. He is the author of several books, including A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ and The Christian’s Creed: Embracing the Apostolic Faith. He has been married to his wife, Linda, since 1975. They have four children and nine grandchildren. He lives in West Chester, Pa.
Books by Stan Gale

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