II ROMANS 4
GRACE AND PEACE
In his original salutation to the Christians in Rome, Paul uses two
of the most important words in the world to those who believe in Jesus Christ. The import of “Grace” and “Peace” are beyond the mind of man to completely comprehend. They are the key to man’s
return to a relationship with his Creator, after he lost that wonderful privilege when Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden. No fact in all human experience could exceed the importance of that.
The word “Grace” has had many meanings over the centuries. It has meant “beauty”, and we still use it that way when we speak of a graceful person. It then came to mean presenting or giving something beautiful. By the time Paul used it, it meant giving something lovely and good to a person, without any expectation of return or any merit on the part of the recipient. In short, it meant that it was a gift which the recipient did not earn or even merit, and could not pay for. Therefore, it meant that the one giving it cared for the one receiving it, and wanted to bless him with the gift. This is what it means when God extends His blessings and forgiveness to us
The incredible fact is that God loved His creature, man, and wanted to have a love relationship with him. However, to have such a relationship, both parties must want it. So, God left His spiritual existence and the perfection of Heaven, and actually came to earth
in the form of a man to show us that we could actually walk with Him and be a personal friend with Him. He even went through the ultimate pain for man, death, to prove both His earthly humanity and His absolute love for us. We cannot comprehend the magnitude of this, but we can look at the evidence, culminated in His resurrection, and accept it all by faith. We did nothing to merit this, we cannot do anything to earn it, and we cannot pay for it. Therefore, Paul is proclaiming “Grace” to his readers. This is the Gospel Paul is explaining in the book of Romans.
Since the time of Adam, man has imitated him by serving his own selfish desires. The needs and wants of our physical bodies and our personal ego are the primary forces that determine most of our behavior. All of this is at variance with what God wants and thus makes us antagonistic to the One who created us. The creature drives are at enmity with our spiritual selves, made in the image of God. Later in this letter Paul is to say, “Having been justified by faith,
let us have peace with Him, through our Lord Jesus Christ”. God
has extended to us a power to override the enemy within each of us,
the urge to sin by satisfying the fleshly man, and if we place our faith in Him, we resolve that which separates us, and we have “Peace”.
In this world of worry and pain, conflict and death, finding peace is a dream of every tortured soul. Paul is telling the Romans that God is the source of “Peace”, and in this letter, he is urging them to receive it as a gift from God…”Grace and Peace to you from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ”. The sacrifice of Christ on the Cross offered us the forgiveness of our sins, which stood between us and God, and made us enemies. This gift of God was His treaty of “Peace” if we choose to accept it.