Thursday Saturday so it’s time for another benediction salutation. This one is from Daniel (a real life person).
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father; who raised from the dead Jesus Christ our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”
1 Cor 1:3 (and others), Romans 4:2
Like the benediction, the salutation is a blessing given to the audience (readers) of Paul’s letters to the early Christians. The greetings (and closures) of a letter can just be formality, but they can also demonstrate love and concern. These epistolary greetings and the nature of the letter which followed were clearly the product of Paul?s concern and care for his readers as it pertained to the particular circumstances of their lives.¹
Most people tend to read rapidly over these epistolary salutations in an attempt to get on to the so-called real ?meat? of the epistle, but to hurry past these warm greetings is to miss some important and very practical truth. They were important to Paul, to his readers, and as we reflect on them and seek to apply God?s Word to our lives, we find they are important to us.
Look at Romans 1:1-17. Paul begins his magnificent letter with the longest of his salutations. In 1:1-7 he tells them who he is (1:1), gives them the heart of the gospel (1:2-4), the nature of his mission and ministry (1:5) and addresses the audience he has presumably never met (1:6-7).
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,
3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh
4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,
6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the first draft so expect this to be ammended (aka less plagiarism¹). I also want to expand on the idea of what a salutation consists of and why we are using them in our Men’s Group. Of course I may just make that a seperate post so look for a trackback in the comments area, too.