The Words Grace and Peace
When Paul used the words, grace and peace, charis and eirene, he was taking the normal greeting phrases of two great nations and molding them into one.
Charis - a Greek greeting
- Basic ideas in it are joy and pleasure, brightness and beauty. It is, in fact, connected with the English word charm.
- But with Jesus Christ there comes a new beauty to add to the beauty that was there. And that beauty is born of a new relationship to God - the relationship of grace.
- With Christ life becomes lovely because man has become the child of the love of God. We have the supreme beauty of discovering God The Father.
Eirene - a Hebrew greeting
- Translated peace, which means total well being-everything that makes for a man's highest good.
- It may be connected with the Greek word eirein, which means to join, to weave, together. This peace has always got to do with personal relationships, a man's relationship to himself, to his fellow men, and to God. It is a peace born of reconciliation.
So, when Paul prays for grace and peace on his people he is praying that they should know the joy of knowing God as Father, and the peace of being reconciled to God to men, and to themselves-and that grace and peace can only come through Jesus Christ.
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