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Philippians 1:2 – Profundity in a common greeting

07-12-2022 - Posted by Hans

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

This is the standard greeting with which all of Paul’s letters begin. In the opening words of his letters, he follows the Greek custom by first mentioning the sender, then the addressees and then the greeting. Two concepts dominate in the greeting: grace and peace. The first refers to the ordinary Greek greeting (charis = joy for free) and the second to the standard Hebrew greeting (shalom = peace).

Yet mentioning “grace and peace” is more than just a combination of the Greek and Hebrew greetings. The order alone is telling: first there is grace and then peace. Only those who know grace will also be able to understand what peace means. Peace can never be based on one’s own works.

The full meaning and value of “grace and peace” lies in the source from which it originates, namely “from God our Father.” He is God, i.e. The one who gives everything a place and moreover he is “our Father”. With the latter it is said that we ourselves come from Him. God’s fatherhood guarantees His love that He has proven in “the Lord Jesus Christ.” This source of grace and peace is inexhaustible!

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