“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ” Gal 1:3 (KJV)
The Apostle Paul frequently wishes God’s grace and peace upon those who read his letters. We find this formula in Rom 1:7, 1 Cor 1:3, 2 Cor 1:2, Gal 1:3, Eph 1:2, Phil 1:2, Col 1:2, 1 Thes 1:1, 2 Thes 1:2, and Phlm 1:3. Paul wishes grace, mercy, and peace in 1 Tim 1:2, 2 Tim 1:2, Tit 1:4 as does Peter in 1 Pet 1:2 and 2 Pet 1:2, as does John in 2 John 1:3. John also uses grace and peace in Rev 1:4. All this is enough to suggest that a wish of grace and peace is most likely a common form of epistolary address or perhaps an early form of Christian salutation.
It is interesting to note that in every instance, peace follows grace. There is a very logical progression from receiving grace from God to having peace with God. The link which logically connects these two is reconciliation. The grace of God (unmerited favor) leads to reconciliation, which results in peace. In the next post, I’d like to define grace and peace and show how that reconciliation is the logical link between the two.
GRACE -> RECONCILIATION -> PEACE
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
2 Cor 5:17-21 (KJV)