What is in a greeting? Let’s examine today the life-giving greeting of the Father.
In nearly all New Testament epistles, the authors greet their fellow believers wishing them grace and peace from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Here is one example from the Ephesians. “To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 1:1-2)
The Life-Giving Greeting of the Father
Through the mouth of Apostle Paul, the Father greets His children. In just one sentence, God defines who we are, what is our calling, and how we are to live and assures us of His provision of everything we need to fulfill this calling. We are God’s faithful saints in Christ, recipients of His grace and peace (His salvation and redemption), and one in Him.We are God's faithful saints in Christ, recipients of His grace and peace (His salvation and redemption), and one in Him. #identity #Christianliving #bgbg2 Click To Tweet
Greetings influence us more than we can imagine. In my childhood, my father did not greet me–he just shouted my name, accompanied by belittling statements. That sucked the life out of me. Years later, it was just my name. And finally, in middle age, my father greeted me and wished me good. At last, he was able to express his love and acceptance, giving me what I need.
The story of our broken and restored relationship is captured in my father’s greetings. But it is incomparable with the grand story hidden in the greeting of our heavenly Father. This is a story of identity, purpose, and provision.
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Our Identity and Position – Saints
The early Church did not call themselves Christians. In the Bible, the title most often used was “saints”. The word translated from Greek means “holy, consecrated to God, sacred, pious, set apart“.
Because God is holy and we belong to Him, as newborn believers we are infused with His nature and covered by the righteousness of Christ, called to live fully dedicated lives to Him. (1 Peter 1:16) We are God’s holy people.
Our Calling – to Be Faithful
Our calling in this life is to be faithful citizens of God’s Kingdom. This means to live a set-apart life in accordance with our new identity, imitating the ways of God and doing His word. We can accomplish this only when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and renew our minds according to the truth. (Romans 12:2)
To be faithful, loyal, and steadfast means to commit to the process of growth and transformation, of knowing God and His grace. It is the daily choice to seek His kingdom and righteousness first. (Matthew 6:33)To be faithful, loyal, and steadfast means to commit to the process of growth and transformation, of knowing God and His grace. #spiritualgrowth #Biblestudy #bgbg2 Click To Tweet
God‘s Encompassing Provision to Fulfill Our Calling
God’s provision to fulfill our calling is His grace and peace, and the oneness in Him. His grace is the power to live a righteous life of a faithful saint. We have already received grace for salvation, but now we need the grace to overcome, to pass through the trials of life, obeying His word and maturing, working out the salvation of our souls. (Philippians 2:12)
God’s peace is His awesome protection: peace of mind, calmness, confidence despite circumstances (Philippians 4:6-7), and wholeness (the redemption of our brokenness). When Paul wishes the faithful saints grace and peace, he proclaims to them the mystery of the Gospel in miniature. This is the life-giving greeting of the Father.
The Oneness in Christ
Grace (charis) was a typical Greek greeting at the time Apostle Paul wrote his message while peace (shalom) was a typical Hebrew greeting. Greeks were part of the Gentiles and we know that Jews were God’s chosen people.
The combination of these two greetings is a powerful symbol of our oneness in Christ. Because “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
Do you see yourself as a faithful saint? Do you believe God has provided everything you need to live the righteous, holy life He has called you to? Share in the comments and on social media. Thanks!When Paul wishes the faithful saints grace and peace, he proclaims to them the mystery of the Gospel in miniature. This is the life-giving greeting of the Father. #grace #peace #encouragement Click To Tweet
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