GRACE AND PEACE
Today Peter is sharing his heartbeat in his writing, addressed to various churches in Asia Minor. He started out by craving that they have and experience grace and peace in abundance and without limits.
Reference: 2 Peter 1:2 New International Version (NIV) "Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord."
Peter is letting us know that grace and peace can become ours in abundance through the source: The Knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. If you are looking for anything in life, once you locate the source, you are just about to possess it. First of all, at what degree does God want us to have and enjoy His grace and peace? In abundance! That's huge. God loves us so much that He doesn't want His grace and peace to be limited in our lives, and its not possible to gain it without understanding His Word or going for His knowledge. So Peter points out that the knowledge of God and of the Lord Jesus, is the right path to gaining abundant grace and peace.
This means that the "knowledge" of God and that of our Lord Jesus, can never be ignored, if we really want to excel in life by grace and peace. Divine knowledge is essential and its something we have to build on a regular basis. Strikingly, the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord are supposed to be the same. So why did Peter not mention the knowledge of God alone? Why do we need both knowledge before grace and peace can be gained and multiplied? We all understand Jesus to be God, but we also understand Jesus fills a separate and distinct role in the Trinity, as well as the Holy Spirit. When it comes to God's grace and peace, Jesus is the entity of the Godhead that made them accessible to mankind. In Romans 1:7 (NIV), both are still mentioned, 'Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.'
Now these are the reasons we need both knowledge: First, when it comes to grace, since the fall of man, sin was transfused to humanity through Adam and it spread all over the world with death as a result (see Romans 5:12). But when Jesus came, He introduced grace to us according to John 1:17. In fact the Bible says in John 1:16, 'From His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.' This means that without Jesus showing up to die on the account of the sins of mankind, the grace of God would never be possible or available to us. By this grace, Christ fulfilled the conditions of God's promises and blessings (2 Corinthians 1:20 NLT).
Second, when it comes to peace, Jesus Christ is the only justification for our peace with God. Romans 5:1-2 (KJV) reads, 'Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.' Jesus made it possible for us to live peacefully with God by breaking the barrier between us and God. But He didn't stop there, it was also by Him we have access to this grace, which I will soon discuss in detail. Ephesians 2:14 (NIV) reads, 'For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.' Jesus Christ is called the Prince of Peace because He restored the broken relationship between God and man and provided a well-ordered and balanced life for us by offering us eternal peace. And He did so by making the greatest sacrifice on the cross of Calvary.
Beloved, without grace and peace, the basis of our relationship with God would not be in place. That is why God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, had to come into the world to establish this grace and peace. The Bible says, '...they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17 KJV). With abundance of grace and the peace of God gained through the knowledge of God and our Lord Jesus, we can reign in this life and activate the atmosphere of heaven on earth. Glory be unto God!
Scripture Reading - John 14:27; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Thessalonians 3:16.
Guided Prayer: Thank you Father in heaven for the overflowing grace and peace I experience in Christ. Through your sincere, inspired knowledge and of the Lord Jesus, I increase in grace and peace. Thus my daily moments are carried by every wave of grace into a harbour of peace. I face life with this consciousness, thereby walking in favour and reigning with Christ now and forever, in Jesus' Name, Amen!