Address Part 3 of 3 (series: Lessons on 1 Co.)
by John Lowe
grace to you, and peace:
by "grace" is not meant ministerial gifts, which are not common to all the saints; or the Gospel, which was at Rome already; or the love and favor of God, which these persons were sharers in, as appears from their above characters; or the principle of grace, which was now formed there in their effectual calling; but an increase of grace, as to its degrees, acts, and exercise; every grace is imperfect in this respect, and those who have the most stand in need of more; there is such a thing as growing in grace, which is very desirable, and may be expected from God, who is able to make all grace to abound, and has promised to give more: by "peace" is meant, peace with God through Christ; peace in their own consciences, and with one another; all manner of prosperity inward and outward here, and eternal happiness hereafter. The persons from whom these are desired are, God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ; God the Father of Christ is spoken of as our Father, which is by adoption; partly to engage fear and reverence of him at his throne; and partly to encourage freedom and boldness there, and an expectation of receiving every blessing of grace from him: "the Lord Jesus Christ" is mentioned, as being the person through whom, and for whose sake, all the blessings of grace and peace are communicated to us; and being put upon a level with the Father in these petitions, shows him to be equal with him, and so truly and properly God. "Grace" may be thought to be particularly wished for from the Father, and though not exclusive of Christ, since He is the God of all grace, who has treasured up a fulness of it in his Son. And "peace" may be considered as desired to be had from Christ, though not exclusive of the Father; since the covenant of peace was made with him, the chastisement of peace was laid on him, and he has made peace by the blood of his cross, and is the giver of it to his people.
The foundation and the life of the Church is Christ Jesus, who has been given by the Father. It is His church and He is the Head; if you are a member of His church, then this benediction is for you: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. An apostle of the prince of peace must be a messenger and minister of peace. The gospel brings this blessing with it and every preacher of the gospel should heartily wish and pray that this blessing may be the lot in life of all among whom he ministers. Grace and peace; the favor of God, and reconciliation to him is, in reality, the summary of all blessings. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace, was the form of benediction under the Old Testament (Num. 6:26). But we have this advantage by virtue of having the gospel: That we are directed how to obtain that peace from God: it is in and by Christ. Sinners can have no peace with God, and they may not receive any good from Him, because those things must come through Christ. We are told what must qualify us for this peace; namely, grace: first grace, then peace. God first reconciles sinners to himself, before he bestows his peace upon them.
1Jer 9:23-24 (KJV) Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
21 Cor 9:1-2 (KJV) Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord. Am I not an apostle? Am I not free?—These questions are all designed as assertions of the affirmative: I am an apostle; and I am free—Paul possessed of all the rights and privileges of an apostle.
32 Cor 10:10 (KJV) For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.
4Gal 1:1 (KJV) Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
15:10 (KJV) But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. But by the grace of God I am what I am. Not by his own merit, which he considered so small, but by God's grace he had been enabled to do a more abundant work than any other apostle.6
Acts 9:15 (KJV) But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: he is a chosen vessel -- a word often used by Paul in illustrating God's sovereignty in election (Ro 9:21-23 2Co 4:7 2Ti 2:20, 21)7
John 15:16 (KJV) Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.8
Romans 9:16 (KJV) So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.9
Acts 18:17 (KJV) Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things.10
Acts 18:12-17 (KJV) And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat, Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law. And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you: But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters. And he drave them from the judgment seat. Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things.11
1 Cor 1:4 (KJV) I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;12
1 Cor 16:12 (KJV) As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.13
1 Cor 16:19 (KJV) The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.14
Acts 18:9-10 (KJV) Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.15
Gal 3:27 (KJV) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.16
1 Cor 12:13 (KJV) For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.17
Romans 6:3 (KJV) Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?18
John 17:3, 11, 26 (KJV) And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent… And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are… And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.19
Acts 9:5 (KJV) And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.20
1 Cor 8:6 (KJV) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.21
Eph 4:5 (KJV) One Lord, one faith, one baptism,22
1 Cor 1:13 (KJV) Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?