“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.” (Philippians 4:23, NIV84)
Here the Apostle Paul ends his letter to the Philippian church. I am sure it is no surprise that he ends it on the theme of grace. Could there be a more suitable ending from the man whose entire ministry was focused on grace? He knew it was the grace of God that sent Jesus into the world. He knew that Jesus was the very expression of that grace. He knew that because he had errantly persecuted the church, he did not deserve that grace but was given it nonetheless. He knew that he, and all Christians, were saved by God’s grace and nothing else. Nothing else could ever measure up.
Paul, the Philippians, you, and I are redeemed and saved because God loves us. His love for us is unilateral (not dependent on ours for Him) and unconditional (there are no “ifs” or ” as long as’s”). Everything we know and believe is contingent upon God’s grace. It is for this reason that Paul begins and ends most of his letters emphasizing this theme. Like him, he would have us stake our last heartbeat and breath upon the love that Jesus has for us. There is a reason that the most quoted verse of the Bible is John 3:16. It is because God’s love for a sinful world is the only way we could be sure. Knowing the Son He sent into the world to save us is the basis of our faith.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with our spirits today and always!