At the start of his letters, Paul often includes a prayer for the people who originally read the letter. Here, his prayer for the Christians in Corinth is very brief. He simply blesses them and asks God to give grace and peace to them. Such a prayer is called a Ďblessingí; in the Old Testament (the first part of the Bible), it was the duty of the priests to bless the people*.
Actually, a blessing was both a prayer and a declaration. As a prayer, the priest asked God to show kindness to the people. The priest prayed this on behalf of the people. As a declaration, the priest declared that God would do these good things for his people. The priest declared that on Godís behalf. We can see that Paulís words here have this double purpose, too. He asked God to give grace and peace to his people. He also declared, at the same time, that God would give them grace and peace.
There is a very close relationship in the Bible between grace and peace. They are both gifts that God gives to his people. They are the people who have invited Christ into their lives. The peace in their lives is the result of the grace that God gives to them.
Grace means Godís kindness. When God saves a person, that is an act of grace*. However, God constantly gives grace to his people; through grace, he continuously blesses them*.
Peace is the calm and content attitude that comes from a right relationship with God. Even when a personís circumstances seem terrible, God can still make that person content*. God is active in that personís life; God has given that person the strength to trust him in that difficult situation. That is his gift of peace.
Next part: The comfort of God (1:3-7)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.