“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.”—Colossians 1:1–2 (NIV)
Have you ever met twins? Two babies who, somehow, are miraculously conceived at the same time, share a womb, and sometimes even look exactly alike. It’s amazing!
One of the things I find so interesting about twins is the unparalleled kinship they usually share. There’s this uncanny bond between them. I recently read an article from a writer who had attended a twins festival and asked about 15 twin pairs the same question: “What’s the best part about being a twin?” The overwhelming answer? “It’s like having a built-in best friend for life.” Scientific evidence actually suggests that twins enjoy lifelong benefits from having each other.
So, why am I talking to you about twins right now? Well, because in the New Testament, we see a pair of twins, a set that’s always joined at the hip, inseparable. Their names?
Grace and peace.
Check this out: 15 of the 27 books of the New Testament contain these words paired together in their introduction! They've been called the Siamese twins of the New Testament because they're so commonly coupled together, particularly by Paul. It's an ingenious combination of the common Greek and Hebrew greetings.
Grace (charis): This word was used like the Hawaiian word aloha, both in greetings and departures. The word means joy or favor; a leaning towards to share benefit. In the New Testament, it's used to describe the Lord's favor, which He freely extended to give Himself away to people because He is disposed to bless and be near them.
Peace (shalom): A term used to this day, shalom, of course, means peace; a state of harmony and restoration. I love the way one Bible scholar put it: "The tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.”
I believe the reason Paul so frequently pairs grace and peace together is because these two powerful ideas go hand-in-hand; they are inseparable. You truly can’t have one without the other. And here’s something to think about: Whenever we see these two together in Scripture, grace always comes before peace. The reason is because you can never know, experience, or walk in the peace of God until you have received and been changed by the grace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
God's grace in us is the source of our peace. It brings us into harmony with our heavenly Father through the restoration of our souls by the saving work of Christ.
And as you receive, grow in, and are changed by the grace of God, you can experience that true peace, the peace that surpasses understanding, the peace that comes from the freedom from sin and death that Christ Jesus died to give us, according to the will of God and for the glory of God.
So today, let us bask in this grace and let His peace wash over us.
DIG: How have you seen the grace and peace of God show up in your life recently?
DISCOVER: What area of your life do you most need the peace of God right now?
DO: Today, spend some time basking in the grace of the Lord and allow His peace to wash over you.