Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Grace and peace are two of those words that get thrown around a lot, but few people really get what they mean. Instead of going through a long explanation, I’ll try and briefly define each.
Grace – This is God leaning out and towards us. Not because of anything we’ve done or could do. God freely does it because of who he is and his love for us.
Peace – This is less about war and more about everyone and everything being whole, complete, the way it was made to be.
Grace and peace come from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ together. They come as a package deal. You can’t have grace without peace, and you can’t have peace without grace. We can never be at peace (whole) again without God reaching out to us.
God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ also come together. Yes, they are individuals, but they are equal parts of the trinity. They also work together to bring grace and peace. They cooperated and are cooperating to bring grace and peace to us.
And how do we get this grace and peace? What do we have to do to earn it? What great accomplishment do we have to do? How many spiritual brownie points do we have to collect in order to get his attention? How long of a race do we have to run? In what time?
The beautiful answer is that they aren’t earned at all. They don’t come by following some law, but by God’s grace. Not by going on a pilgrimage to get God’s attention, but through grace. Not by following checklists, but by grace. Not through chanting, meditating, or looing inside ourselves, but by grace.
And how did God show his grace? What’s the biggest demonstration of who he is and his gracious love for us? What shouts God’s grace more than anything else? What gets our attention more than anything that we could possibly do or say?
He gave himself for our sins. Our sins. Not someone else’s sins. Not the sins of those sinners over there. No. Our sins. The sins we did. The sins that we we’re responsible for. The sins that had separated us from God. The sins that crushed God’s heart.
He did all the giving. He did all the paying. He did it all. When he gave himself for our sins, nothing wasn’t left to be paid. We didn’t go “Dutch Treat” with God where we each pay for our own meal. It isn’t that he paid the bill and left us to pay the tip. No, he paid it all.
And how did he pay for our sins? He did it himself. He gave himself. Imagine that; the creator God of the universe came down, became a man, and gave himself for our sins. He didn’t send someone else. Anyone else. He didn’t send an angel, a prophet, a spirit. He gave himself.
He didn’t give himself because we deserved it. He didn’t give himself because we were so cute and cuddly. He didn’t give himself because we were mostly clean and only needed a little bit of cleanup. Just a tiny touchup.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins
We were dead. And as we all know, dead is dead. That’s it. Death can’t be stopped. It always wins. Death had won and we had lost. We were helpless, hopelessly dead in our transgressions and sins. Not dead because someone else screwed up and sinned. No, it was our sin. We did it. We owned it.
And to this lost people, God gave himself. Imagine that. He’s altogether holy, love, light, all powerful, all knowing, doesn’t need anyone or anything else. And he takes the initiative, surrendering himself to purify and change wicked people like you and me. Changing us into his people who are eager to do what is good.
What effect does God giving himself for you have on your daily life? Are you all bored to death with all this talk about God loving you? I’m here to tell you that if it’s not changing your life, then you really don’t know him at all.
It will drive you to worship and praise him each and every day. It will motivate and energize you to do what is good. You won’t be able to help yourself. You’ll bubble over with his grace and peace.
All because he gave himself.
Where do you see grace and peace in your life?
Since Jesus gave himself for you, how does that energize grace and peace for you?
What’s stopping your love for God from bubbling over?
 Titus 2:14