GRACE AND PEACE

peace“The Maker of Heaven and Earth”

God is the Creator of the universe and he demonstrates two specific things: His Grace and Peace.

The book of Genesis is one of the most important books in the Bible because it introduces us to God as the Creator and well, like any book, many people go for the beginning chapters.

They read, “In the beginning God.”

Here they learn about God right out of the starting gate. Here God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are seen at work planning, speaking and active. God cares and is involved because he made everything. That says it all.

He is “the God of all grace.” (1 Pet 5:10). He is “the God of Peace” (1 Thess. 5:23). Grace and Peace kick off in the Bible and we should see that and talk about that to others. Believe in this God of grace and peace. When there was nothing and no one and what is now our planet was unformed and unfilled, the all-powerful Yahweh made all things. God brings his light and life. He monopolizes all goodness grace and peace.

God was not only involved but he was copious and meticulous in his actions. Creation seems so mysterious, people read about earth’s birthday more as a play by-play of the Creator’s actions all the time overlooking God’s creativity (Prov. 8). We see more of his muscle than his genius. His motive for creating all things was Jesus. “For through him God created everything and without him nothing was made that has been made (Col 1:16; John 1:3). He extends the gift of his Son by his grace. Grace is God’s detailed initiative to act in generosity and love. We are still discovering the wonders of creation that show us how caring and doting our Heavenly Father really is. We see he brings life where there is no life and when he does it is a spectrum of light.  He fills all emptiness with his gifts and His presence.  When he acts in grace, he is eager to show his goodness. His grace causes everything to multiply, it has endless variety and it is done with eagerness. When God made a paradise for men and women in which to live, He did so out of His lavish kindness, His grace. In fact, the book of Genesis gives the most used illustrations for grace by the prophets and apostles. Grace is all about God: His initiative, intervention and involvement. It shows the wisdom and understanding of his grace and how he enjoyed to plan ahead to save us, to shower down the wealth of His forgiveness and grace upon us bring us into his own family through Jesus.

With the close of the six days of the spectacular show of his power, he stopped creating. He made a day of rest. “His works have been finished since the creation of the world.” (Heb. 4:3). It was not just for ritual observance, for cessation of work does not mean one is at rest. A vacation can be more stressful than restful. Holy activity springs from being at rest in one’s relationship with God.  Rest is seen right away as God takes one day and makes it holy. He sanctified it. “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he stopped working and was refreshed.'” (Ex 31:17NLT).  God has given us a new creation and that is the rule we walk by, not being propped up by religious do’s and don’ts. Paul says, “God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.” (Gal 6:16). Rest and refreshment are the inheritance of the child of God because of Jesus (Heb. 4). How does he do this? As the God of peace he sanctified us (1 Thess. 5:23) so we need not struggle for what we already are and have been given. The God of peace puts an end to confusion (1 Cor. 14:33) and through his peace he produces everything in us that is pleasing to him (Heb. 13:20-21). There are so many preachers teaching how people can attain rest, by doing this or that. However, the Bible says it is simply accomplished by believing what Jesus has said.

Let me finish up with a quote by Martin Luther, “Grace remits sin, and peace quiets the conscience. Sin and conscience torment us, but Christ has overcome these fiends now and forever. Only Christians possess this victorious knowledge given from above. These two terms, grace and peace, constitute Christianity. Grace involves the remission of sins, peace, and a happy conscience. Sin is not canceled by lawful living, for no person is able to live up to the Law. The Law reveals guilt, fills the conscience with terror, and drives men to despair. Much less is sin taken away by man-invented endeavors. The fact is, the more a person seeks credit for himself by his own efforts, the deeper he goes into debt. Nothing can take away sin except the grace of God. In actual living, however, it is not so easy to persuade oneself that by grace alone, in opposition to every other means, we obtain the forgiveness of our sins and peace with God.”

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