Thanks for joining me for our Fridays in Philippians Devotion. Today we’re looking at Chapter 1 and verse 2:
Philippians 1:2 – Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace is favor that is extended to a person whether they are deserving of that favor or not. It is “unmerited favor.” God manifesting Himself in the flesh and coming to earth as Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins was an act of divine grace. None of us deserved it. He loved us and gave us the opportunity of salvation though we had done nothing to earn or merit it. That is grace.
Paul is reminding the Philippians (and us!) about God’s grace. We need reminded because we all have a tendency to stray from this truth. Man always leans toward imagining that God loves us and has been gracious to us because of what we have done. We are prone to thinking our performance, good deeds or moral virtue is why God loves us.
Paul begins (and ends!) the book of Philippians making reference to grace. He is reminding us that our walk with God begins and ends with grace. It is “grace that brought us safe thus far and grace will lead us home.”
Key Concept: “Grace and Peace” In Paul’s opening salutation to the Philippians he mentions grace before peace. Peace follows grace. Without a proper understanding of grace we will never have peace. If we see God’s love for us as conditioned upon our performance we will never have lasting peace. It is the understanding of grace that gives people peace.
How will you have peace if you live in constant fear that if you make a mistake God is going to strike you down? How will you have peace if you are constantly fearful that you’ll never be good enough or holy enough to please God? How will you ever have peace if you live your life trying to earn God’s favor?
Grace and Peace go together. Peace comes from an understanding of grace. Peace comes when you realize — it’s what Christ did – not what I did that brings God’s approval. Peace comes when you realize that when you fall short in your attempt to please God – grace makes up the difference. Peace comes when you realize that no matter what you do or don’t do — God’s love for you will never be exhausted
Grace is not a license to sin or an excuse to not bear the fruit of holiness. Grace just means when I fall short – His strength is made perfect in my weakness. And that brings peace! That brings joy!
Until next Friday in Philippians,
~Pastor Matthew Ball
Questions for reflection and discussion:
Why do you think people struggle so much with just accepting God’s grace?
Do you struggle with receiving God’s grace? Can you share why?
Grace is not a license to sin. How do you reconcile the concept of grace with God’s desire that we live a holy life?
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