The Source (1 Corinthians 1:3)

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:3, ESV)

I have to say that growing up, my brother, sister and I were truly blessed. Not everyone has a good family life like ours. Yes, there were ups and downs in our family. However, our parents always provided for us kids. We lived in a good home. We always had food on the table. We were clothed properly. Our parents provided us with everything we needed in life. We did not have to do a thing to receive all of this. We did not have to pay for any of it. They freely gave us all we needed and beyond, everything that was necessary to have a good life.

Paul opened this letter to the Corinthians by affirming his apostolic authority and reminding the church of who they were. In this verse he continued this opening by extending this salutation, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” While it is a common salutation that Paul used in his letters, it is one with deep meaning. It too should have been a reminder for the church in Corinth.

Grace,” charis, is that unmerited gift of favor that God grants to believers and collectively to the church. It is that which has divine influence upon the heart, and produces joy and blessing (Strong G5485). All the blessings of our faith are a result of grace. Grace grants the believer and the church the ability to fulfill God’s great purposes. Without grace there are no believers and no churches. Without it, we can do nothing for the glory of God.

Thus, grace and every virtue of the Spirit are vitally connected. One of these is “peace.” This peace of God is that which transcends all understanding (Phil 4:7). It is the peace we need to negotiate the trials and tribulations of life in victory. It is essential for harmony in our relationships. It is essential for unity in the church.

As we look at the church in Corinth, we see many evidences of unrest. They needed this peace and this peace is inseparable from grace. The thing is that God has provided to the church His grace, everything they needed to be and to do that for which He called them. Yet, something was missing that kept them from experiencing the ongoing blessing of grace. It is that which Paul addressed in the letters to the church at Corinth.

In our world today, there is a definite lack of peace. There are wars waging around the world. There is much strife and division in our country. The problem with this is that people have lost touch with God the giver of all grace. The only hope to bring peace is God’s grace. To this end, we should pray that God would manifest His grace so that people would experience it and repent from their destructive ways, bringing harmony where there is division.

Unfortunately, the church is not immune to this problem either. If we cannot even achieve harmony in the church, how can we ever expect it in our world? The church must lead the way in repentance and turning back to the Lord our God.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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