By Curtis L. E. Graves
“To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:7). Grace and peace were common expressions of greeting used by Paul. Paul, himself, was well acquainted with the grace and peace of God. Having an atmosphere of grace and peace within the church enables it to face a world of conflict, social problems, frustrations, and friction.
Without that sense of grace and peace the church would lose its effectiveness in its task of taking the gospel to the world and being lights to the world. Our Lord prayed for peace and we must seek it in Him.
The child of God cannot win with hatred and strife. We must be spiritually minded, and walk as Christ and not as man. We can escape the hatred and strife of the world in the kingdom of peace, the one church that Jesus built! Not only can we have grace and peace ourselves but we can also share with others how they may have it. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom. 8:6). “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith” (Gal. 5:22). “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17). “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).
- Curtis L. E. Graves, Chesapeake, VA; via the Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere church of Christ, Belvedere, SC. Ken Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website: http://www.belvederechurchofchrist.org