Philippians 1:1-2 How Paul’s Slavery to Christ Leads to Peace

Living in Christ means we receive grace and peace from him and the Father. Grace is unmerited favor from God extended to us in his gift of Christ. Peace, or human wholeness, results from grace. Peace is what Israelites were looking for when God would get together with them again. He gets together with us through his grace, the gift of Christ.

In the Philippis of this world, grace and peace can be hard to find. We are more aquatinted with harshness and brokenness. Therefore, we really don’t believe we can receive something without having worked for it; otherwise we’d be very happy to receive a gift without feeling obligated. We really don’t believe that there’s a place that can heal our wounds and make us whole; otherwise we wouldn’t be working so hard to heal ourselves. It comes as a shock to the system that grace and peace can be found at all; that’s why it’s so hard to receive them. We project our experiences with humans onto God. But grace and peace can be found — sometimes in Philippi, all the time in Christ. God at this moment is extending you grace that will give you peace. He is greeting you with grace and peace, his favor and wholeness.

Henri Nouwen writes of his struggle to receive the grace of God in trying to understand that God’s words, “You are my beloved son,” are addressed to him:

“My tendencies toward self-rejection and self-depreciation make it hard to hear these words truly and let them descend into the center of my heart. But once I have received these words fully, I am set free from my compulsion to prove myself to the world and can live in it without belonging to it. Once I have accepted the truth that I am God’s beloved child, unconditionally loved, I can be sent into the world to speak and act as Jesus did.

“The greatest spiritual task facing me is to so fully trust that I belong to God that I can be free in the world — free to speak even when my words are not received; free to act even when my actions are criticized, ridiculed, or considered useless; free also to receive love from people and to be grateful for all the signs of God’s presence in the world. I am convinced that I will truly be able to love the world when I fully believe that I am loved far beyond its boundaries.”

Scott Grant

Heart Preparation
Read Philippians 1:1-2. Notice that Paul’s slavery to God leads to peace because of the grace of God. Are you resting in what it means to be a slave of God? If not, do you understand what it means to be a slave of God and the hope that comes with it?

Posted on: January 29, 2015 - 10:00PM

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