“To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.” (Colossians 1:2, NAS)
This morning we begin a series of devotions on the book of Colossians. This is a letter written by the apostle Paul. It was common, in those days, to have a salutation at the beginning of letters, and Paul’s letters were no different. What is unique about Paul’s salutations is what he put in them. Grab your Bible and flip through Paul’s letters (the New Testament books of Colossians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Romans) and you will find two things common to most of his letters.
First, Paul refers to the recipients of each letter as “saints” (holy ones). When was the last time someone referred to you with such an endearing description? If Paul were writing us a letter today, he would refer to us as “saints.” Why would he refer to us with such a title? Because it is true! Because the blood of Jesus has washed all our sins away we stand before God today as sinless in his sight. We are truly saints in God’s eyes because of what Christ has done on our behalf. We are not saints because of our good works or perfect relationship with God. We all know where our weaknesses are in those areas. Today, at this very moment, we are saints in God’s eyes because when He sees us, He sees Jesus. So, let me be the first to say, “Good morning, Saint!”
Second, Paul always embedded in his salutation the phrase, “grace to you and peace.” Again, page through his letters and you will find that Paul reminded recipients of his letters that their Christian faith was created, rooted, and sustained in God’s grace and he offered to all who lived in that grace His peace. Friends, how important it is that we always go back to the grace of God. Our salvation has been accomplished by God Himself. He saved and redeemed us because of His great love for us. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Our faith rests and relies upon the fact that God is a God of love and that His grace will not change. Given such a salvation, we can have peace. We can have peace with God. We can have peace with other people. We can have peace within our own hearts.
Today, ponder for just a few minutes what it means to be a saint in God’s eyes. Think of how powerful a cleansing agent the blood of Jesus must be. Live out your day today knowing that your faith is rooted in God’s unchanging grace and therefore you can have peace.