From the letter of Paul to Philemon
The way of the disciple is the way of grace and peace…”Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philemon 3
Paul followed his normal exercise of pronouncing a blessing upon the recipient of the letter that he was writing. Grace to you, Philemon. Grace has been defined as God’s riches at Christ’s expense. Paul wanted Philemon and his family and his church family to be blessed with all the spiritual riches of God. Grace is also used in our New Testaments to speak of God’s power bestowed upon the believer so that the believer can accomplish the will of God. Paul wanted Philemon and all under his charge to be blessed from heaven with the very power of God to do the will of God. The way of the disciple is the way of grace (not human power or ingenuity, but God’s) so that the disciple is equipped and empowered by God to accomplish all the Lord has for him to accomplish for the sake of the gospel.
Not only did Paul pronounce the blessing of grace upon Philemon, but also that of peace. The root of the Greek word used for peace is “to join”. We join a church, a club, an association. We believe in their objectives, their cause, their mission. And we want to be a part of it. By the grace of God, we have joined Jesus Christ, accepting with gratitude His great salvation, and are a part of His Kingdom work. Joining Him through grace and faith makes us “joint” heirs with Him of all God Almighty is and has. And knowing this, there is sweet peace and bold confidence for us in the midst of any tribulation or trial. For who is there with us? The Lord Almighty is there with us. And there is none greater than our God! He will be before us, beside us, and our rear guard…now that is peace!
The blessing of grace and peace is the way of the disciple. James 4:6 states that God resists the proud but gives great grace to the humble. Paul wrote to the church at Rome and taught them that God blesses those that do good with peace (2:10). May we humble ourselves before the mighty hand of our God….He will exalt us in due season with grace to do the will of God….which would be good works indeed that carry the blessing of peace, no matter what comes. Lord bless you, church. For the way of the disciple is the way of grace and peace.