1 Thessalonians 1:1
Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, to the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ…
Let us look at the blessings.
1. Grace — favour shown to one who has no claim upon it; and so either the kindness existing in God's heart towards us, or as some operation of that kindness. In the one case, we cannot see it — it is a boundless ocean hidden in God's infinite mind; in the other case, if we cannot see it we can enjoy it — it is a stream flowing out of that unseen ocean into our hearts. This grace —
(3) Upholds and strengthens.
(6) Comforts.We are lost till grace finds us, undone till it saves us, naked till it clothes us, miserable till it comforts us. Grace finds us poor and makes us rich; sunk, and never leaves us till it has raised us to heaven.
2. Peace, i.e., of mind through reconciliation with God. Naturally we are all strangers to this. We accordingly find men everywhere flying from thought and feeling to pleasure, business, science, and even cares. But quiet is not thus obtained. The soul slumbers but is not at peace. The peace of the text is not absence of thought and feeling, it is tranquillity and comfort while thinking and feeling. It spreads itself over the whole mind.
(1) The understanding no longer harassed in its search for truth feels that in the gospel it has found truth to repose upon.
(2) The conscience is quieted. Its tormenting fears go when the blood of Jesus cleanseth it from sin.
(3) The affections which no natural man can indulge without disquiet, have such objects as satisfy while they exercise them, as regulate while they excite them.
(4) The will before quarrelling with God's dealings now acquiesces in them and enters into perfect peace.
1. The connection is very close. Paul mentions them together in all his Epistles except Hebrews, and so does St. Peter. Nearly twenty times are they coupled together and prayed for in the New Testament. So the connection cannot be accidental.
2. They are always mentioned in the same order — nowhere "peace and grace."
3. They are united as cause and effect. Grace is the root of peace, peace the flower of grace. They are not found together like two trees that grow side by side, their roots and branches intertwined. Where grace is, peace is or will be.
4. We may apply this to rectify the errors of(1) The worldling. He cuts them in two. He wants peace without grace, happiness without holiness. But he might as well go round the world and search for a day without a sun.
(2) The penitent who looks for grace but despairs of peace.
III. THEIR TWOFOLD SOURCE.
1. From the Father, because His free everlasting love is the fountain of them. The work of Christ did not make God love, it was the way God's love was manifested.
2. From the Lord Jesus Christ, as the great Medium through which our prayers for grace and peace ascend, and through whom these blessings flow from God. Man in union with Christ — man's poor, empty, disquieted heart is the cistern into which the streams of grace and peace run.
3. In every instance in which Paul uses this benediction the two names are conjoined — an emphatic witness to the co-equality of Christ with God.
IV. THE LIGHT IN WHICH THIS PRAYER PLACES THEM. It represents them as —
1. Exceedingly valuable. If we have but these we need nothing more.
2. Needed by all.
(1) By sinners.
(2) By the comfortless.
(3) By saints of all kinds, as here.They are not given once for all, but moment by moment.
3. Copious — sufficient for all times, etc.
(C. Bradley, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.