The Grace Of The Lord
12th and last of a series of studies from Philemon
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit”
Philemon 25 (NIV UK)
Paul ends his and Timothy’s message to Philemon with the above phrase. We may skim by it and regard it as just something Paul might write at the end of his letter (which he does often – why not check and see which ones?). It is reminiscent of the last verse of the Bible: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen” (Revelation 22:21).
What is so significant about the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ? Why should it be with our spirit and why would John, who wrote Revelation, want it to be with God’s people?
Philemon, who may have been criticized strongly by his fellow Roman citizens and slave owners, for not punishing his runaway slave and for instead welcoming him back as a brother, needed the comfort of the grace of Jesus.
God’s people at John’s time, who faced untold persecution and intimidation for their faith, needed the comfort of the grace of Jesus.
Today’s believers, who stand up for God in a godless society in which they are held in derision, need the comfort of the grace of Jesus.
We need to know that someone sacrificed himself for us. We did nothing to merit it. It was grace pure and simple. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). It is this thought of God’s self-giving that should be with us permanently, that should permeate our very spirit, that gives us comfort and courage to face whatever lies ahead of us.
Without the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ all is pointless and futile.
With the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ our life takes on meaning and purpose, and, above all, with his grace we have hope.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with my spirit and with God’s people everywhere.
Study by James Henderson