Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, 7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace and peace. This form of greeting was common in Paul’s letters, in fact, it was the regular form of greeting even in common social settings. The Jews would often greet each other with the word shalom or peace and those in the Greek culture would often use a word similar to charis which is grace.
But Paul’s use of grace and peace extend beyond the normal means of saying hello, because he connects them as coming from God the Father and the Son.
The grace we receive is God’s unmerited favor towards us as his children. It is the means by which you and I have been brought into the family of God. It is the means by which we have been saved the moment we trust Christ for our salvation and it is the means by which God is saving us daily. It is also the means by which we will one day receive our complete salvation when we are in the presence of God himself. This grace is God’s favor towards us, not because of who we are, but because of who he is and his desire to display his glory by freely giving his grace to those he has called his own.
The result of that grace is peace. The peace we have is the end of the enmity that existed between us and God. Through Christ we have been reconciled to God and his wrath has been removed so that we are no longer under his condemnation and now we are free to call him Father. But we also have been given peace that passes all understanding. This peace comes from knowing that because of the grace of God we can have confidence in any circumstance that God is with us, he is for us, and he will care for us in and through all troubles. Because the grace of God sustains us we have peace, and that peace comes from the trust we have in God because of his grace towards us.
So I say with Paul, grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.