Grace, Mercy, and Peace

"Paul . . . To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." (2 Timothy 1:1-2)

Of the thirteen letters written by the apostle Paul, only the three to Timothy and Titus use this three-fold greeting: "Grace, mercy, and peace." The other ten letters use the more common "grace and peace." Why the distinction? The Holy Spirit is never whimsical nor capricious. Perhaps, since these three letters were the only ones addressed to pastors that Paul had trained, there was a more poignant emphasis intended.

Grace (charis) is the foundational core of God's gift of salvation to those who trust Him (Ephesians 2:8). It is also the essence of the "gifts" that we received from the Holy Spirit to minister to each other (1 Corinthians 15:10). The charis is the basis for charisma that we receive. Those who have been entrusted with leadership responsibilities are reminded that the measure of those gifts is still God's charis (Romans 12:3, 6).

Mercy is often understood through God's forgiveness both in justice delayed and sentence nullified through Christ. It is also what the Sovereign Godhead responds with when we ask for His help. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).

Peace is much more than mere lack of anxiety. It is "not as the world giveth" (John 14:27), but rather a supernatural, non-circumstantial contentment that is only given to the Lord's Twice-Born. This peace is "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding" and is specifically designed to "keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

May this grace, mercy, and peace be a regular portion of your walk in the kingdom as you serve the Lord Jesus. HMM III

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