Paul started this letter with his standard greeting “grace and peace are ours from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” And I say, “Hooray! Thank you Lord”!
In Romans 1:4-7 Paul’s greeting is amplified so we see clearer why we have “grace and peace.” "...[Jesus] was declared His son, who was born of a descendant of David according the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection of the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake, among whom you also are called of Jesus Christ." This confirms and reminds us of our relationship to the Lord and that peace is ours through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
Three privileges are extended to us because of God’s grace and peace through the Lord Jesus.
Philippians 1:6 - I am confident that because You "began a good work in me You will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." You will never leave me or forsake me! I am secure in Your love and care. Like Paul, I have Christian friends "in my heart" because we "all are partakers of grace with each other," since we share in God's blessing. My problem is that I don't have some of them in my heart. But "they" (the aggravating people I know) are "partakers of grace with" me. Since I should love them "with the affection of Christ Jesus" I pray for grace to do so. And I "pray that [my] love may abound more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that [I] may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ." Grant that we all will love others with "the affection of Jesus Christ."
The word "affection" is the strongest Greek word and expresses compassionate love and involves our entire being. So I pray like Paul did that my "love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that [I] may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ."
"Approve" means testing things I read or hear to make sure they are correct.
"Excellent" means I need the ability to distinguish the things that are truly important, so I can establish right priorities. I pray for both of these blessing for my life, and give thanks that in Father’s sight I am "blameless."
I pray I will be without offense in relationships and not cause others to sin. Grant that I will consider others this way even as I rejoice in this truth for myself. The next part of Paul's prayer (verse 7) is "having been filled with the fruit that righteousness produces and comes through Jesus Christ." This is the transformation salvation our Lord provides and is His ongoing work of power in us by the Holy Spirit! AND it is all "to the glory and praise of God." !!! Grant that my life will be "to the glory and praise of God" and my motivation in all I do.
Prayer: Dear Father, I pray these blessing for all believers. Grant that we will love one another.
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