Grace and Peace (2 Corinthians Series #1)
Updated: Jul 19
Greetings can tell us a lot about people and the situation they are dealing with.
2 Corinthians 1:1-2
When peace escapes us, often we have lost sight of grace. God is with us through the precious gift of forgiveness through Christ.
A warm smile, a friendly welcome, a strong handshake, people looking you in the eye—these can all indicate to the visitor that I am seen, appreciated, and valued. I know when I walk into a new environment, if people avoid looking at me, they don’t speak to me, and others around me are distant and cold, I don’t feel welcomed. Maybe you have been to some churches like that. One thing a number of people have said to me about SHBC is that they have felt welcomed.
As we start our series through 2 Corinthians, we are reading Paul’s letter that comes out of a context of where Paul has not been welcomed. Paul had planted the church, yet over time, the church had moved from the gospel, put their trust in false teachers and had ridiculed Paul and his authority. Paul goes to visit them, and he describes it as a painful visit because he has had to correct them. Paul left them wounded and devastated from the visit. Paul then sends Titus with a “severe letter” calling them to repentance, and many do. Then Paul writes this letter we know as Second Corinthians.
His simple greeting (2 Cor 1:1-2)
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother. To the church of God in Corinth, together with all his holy people throughout Achaia. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
He draws the Corinthians to a fundamental truth - grace and peace come from God. Paul, battered and bruised from his last visit greets them with welcome. Why? Because Paul, the greatest of sinners, knows and has experienced grace. He wants them to know that grace, hold to that grace and live in that grace so that they might also know peace.
When peace escapes us, often we have lost sight of grace. God is with us through the precious gift of forgiveness through Christ. Extend that welcome of grace which leads to peace to others this week.