Skip to content

7Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The apostolic benediction, with which Paul begins most of his epistles, is the summary of his theological knowledge, the concentration of his apostolic power, and the comprehension of his many blessings, which he pours out on his readers. So, put yourself consciously under the shower of grace in these words, and consider them in your heart that you may be rich in God. Keep the apostolic benediction in your heart, and delight yourself with it word by word.
The first thing which the apostle presents to you is complete grace, for you are lost and perishing, but God loves you and does not want to destroy you. Because of the death of his only Son, God, instead of judging you, will justify you. Grace is the lawful form of the love of God. The Holy One continues to be righteous, even if he justifies you who are unworthy to be justified. All God’s gifts are yours, and all the answers of your prayers are but a favor, for you deserve nothing else but wrath.
However, our state towards God has been changed since the death of Christ; formerly there was an enmity between God and sinners, but peace has now prevailed because of the reconciliation in the cross. The eternal Holy One will not destroy us at all. The first words which Christ said after his resurrection were: “Peace be with you”. He fulfilled all the requirements of the Law, and there are no more complaints against us before God, because of Christ’s blood, which cleanses us. A new era began with the true peace that had dwelt in the purified hearts.
Whoever accepts the comprehensive grace of Christ and lives in peace with God, recognizes the great miracle that the Creator and Almighty is not a tyrant who wants us to worship him in trembling, but he is our Father who loves us, and cares for us. He does not leave us, but endlessly forebears us. There are no words in the New Testament more beautiful than “God our Father”. This theological knowledge is brought by Christ himself. The notion of the fatherhood of God is the new revelation in Christianity. Moreover, the purpose of the cross is but to cleanse us that we may deserve the adoption, the second birth, and the dwelling of eternal life in us. This being in order that God may truly be our God, and we his children.
Do you know Jesus Christ? Do you recognize his greatness and his humility? He is both a man and God in his person. He gave up his glory, and humbled himself to redeem us. And when he had completed the atonement for all humanity, he ascended to his Father, where he sits at his right hand, highly honored, because he is the only one who could reconcile the world to God. This is why Jesus inherited the authority of God. He is the Lord himself. Is he also your Lord? He wants to have authority over your life; to purify, sanctify, and send you as he pleases.

O heavenly Father, You are my Father in Jesus Christ. You chose me lost and unclean to be a child of yours. I fall on my face, worship you, and love you, giving my life, my money, my strength, and my time to you and your Son. Make of me what you will that I may not be a shame to you, but glorify your fatherhood with behavior proper for your name. Thank you because you sent your Son Jesus to save all sinners. I worship you with everlasting praise.
Which statement in the apostolic benediction do you consider as the most important and the most effecting with respect to your life?