May Grace and Peace Be Multiplied to You

The apostle Paul starts all of his letters with the prayer that "grace and peace" will come to the reader. But he never uses a verb. He never says, "Grace and peace be to you," or, "Grace and peace come to you." He assumes the verb. Peter makes it explicit. He begins both his letters, "May grace and peace be multiplied to you." Paul would be very happy with this verb. It's what he means when he says thirteen times, "Grace to you and peace." The verb behind "be multiplied" is used twelve times in the New Testament and always means "increase" — move from lesser to greater.

There are at least seven important implications in these words for our lives.

1. Grace and peace are experienced.

Grace and peace are not only the objective status we enjoy before God. They are also the experiential enjoyment of that status. It is gloriously true that God made an objective peace between him and us by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:14–15). And he did it by a historical act of divine grace that was firm and unchangeable (Ephesians 2:8).

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