The Apostle Paul usually ended his letters with the sign-off, “Grace be with you.” It’s interesting that Paul used this particular phrase because he was probably one of the least likely candidates to accept God’s grace. As a staunch religious leader, Paul’s “first” career was terrorizing early Jesus followers. He literally persecuted the church and killed first century Christians. That was his mission – until Christ appeared to him, saved him, and forgave him. Perhaps that’s why Paul, more than most, focused on Christ’s incredible grace, because he knew just how much he didn’t deserve to be chosen as a child of God. And you know what? None of us do! None of us deserve to have the God of the universe go to a cross and pay that awful penalty for us, so that we might be forgiven and have eternal life.
Paul’s salutation reminds us that a thriving church will focus on the grace of God that’s found in what Jesus did for us on the cross. A healthy church will emphasize the grace of God, by remembering the price Jesus paid in giving us something that no one deserves—forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life. Have you experienced God’s grace in your life?
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