Friday, August 10, 2012

Divine Favor and Total Well-Being

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:2)
Paul offers the Jesus believers at Philippi a benediction, as he does so often in his letters. A benediction is a prayer of blessing. Literally, a benediction is a “good word.”

A common Jewish salutation in Paul’s days was “Greetings and peace.” The Greek word for “greetings” is chairein, but Paul has replaced that with a related word, one that is, theologically, much more potent: charis — grace! Grace is the favor of God, who opens up all the resources of heaven on our behalf.

The Greek word for “peace” is irene, but Paul, being Jewish, no doubt has the Hebrew word shalom in mind, which is, again, more theologically profound. Shalom speaks of wholeness and restoration. It is total well-being, with nothing missing or broken. The shalom of God is the wholeness that comes from being in right relationship with Him.

The divine favor and wholeness of which Paul speaks comes from “God our Father.” Fatherhood speaks of family, household and inheritance. A good father blesses his children with good things. God our Father blesses us with the inheritance of grace and peace, and we share in it together (there are no Second Class saints). It comes to us through King Jesus the Messiah, who He is and what He has done for us. We receive this divine inheritance of favor and total well-being through faith in Him. “The LORD be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant” (Psalm 35:27 NIV).

Focus Questions
  1. Do you believe God looks on you with favor and desires for you to be made whole?
  2. Do your words to yourself speak God’s favor and well-being for your life?
  3. Do your words to others minister God’s grace and peace to them?

There is Always Joy!
There is Always Joy!
Paul’s Letters to the Jesus Believers at Philippi
Bite-Size Studies Through the Book of Philippians
by Jeff Doles

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