God’s grace: His unmerited favor and the assurance it brings; and His peace that can keep our hearts and minds settled in joy rather than anxiety, are precious gifts to every believer.
Galatians 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
This verse is not just Paul’s hope or desire for God’s grace and peace to be manifest in the lives of believers (it is that), but is also in itself a means of ministering them to us. The man of God here offers a blessing that can be received, ignored, or rejected. When we read this word of the Lord to us, it allows us to make the decision, here and now, to receive His grace and peace. And when we make that choice, we actually do receive them, for God’s grace and peace are always available to us.
Paul has no grace or peace to offer. But he reminds us, and leads us, to receive in this moment what God is always ready to give us. So, these words are a reminder that God’s grace and peace are there for our taking, because they are His free gifts to His children, and we have only to receive them.
By giving us this word, Paul – and any man or woman of God who delivers a similar blessing – becomes an actual conduit of God’s grace and peace into our lives. His words stimulate us to slow down and actively envelop ourselves in the grace and peace God offers to us every day.
So we should never think of these words of greeting in Paul’s epistles as simply a prolog to the real message. If we stop and actually take them in, they have a spiritual force all their own.
Grace and peace be to you all from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.