Ordinary or Extraordinary?
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Galatians 1:3-5 (ESV)
How many times have you read passages like this? For many of us who have been in church all our lives, this seems familiar, as it should. This is how Paul begins almost all of his letters. In fact, it is a very common greeting. However, even though it seems ordinary, it contains something extraordinary. It contains the most important truth to Christianity and tells us of our Lord, who gave himself for our sins. It tells us of Christ, who died on the cross to deliver us not only from our own sins but also the present evil age. Christ did so according to the will of the Father. This demonstrates a difficult but amazing truth. Christ willingly submitted to the will of the Father in his act of sacrifice.
Paul tells us in Philippians 2 that Christ did not count equality with God as something he needed to cling to or maintain. Rather, he humbled himself. He stepped down from his rightful place in the throne room of heaven and made himself nothing so that God could give us everything. This is the grace and peace we receive from God. Grace is the unmerited, undeserved favor God gives us. It is the gift of salvation that is the result of Christ’s sacrifice. The peace is knowing that we are set free from the chains of sin. No longer are we bound in separation from God. No longer are we slaves to the present evil age. We have been set free. This peace comes from knowing that no matter where we go or what we do, God is always there with us because we are now in a relationship with him. This is the grace and peace we have because of Christ. To Him be the glory forever and ever.
This week, thank God for the gift that he has given to you. Tell someone about this amazing gift you have been given and give God all the praise and glory.