Grace to you – 2 Corinthians 1 P.2, is where we are going to pick it up from the last post entitled 2 Corinthians 1 – Paul. If you’ve already been to that post, you’ll find that we really didn’t get too far into the chapter. Instead, we took a look at the Apostle Paul himself, and some of the parallels that we can see between his experiences and the experience of people out there today.
I’ve titled this Grace to You because grace is something that belongs to the Lord, and as Christians, maybe we aren’t aware at the different aspects of the grace of the Lord. Sure, we understand that it’s by grace we are saved through faith, but is that the extent to the grace of the Lord?
2 Corinthians 1
2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
A fairly routine looking greeting from Paul that you’d see throughout the Epistles. So routine, maybe we don’t take a moment to think about this greeting as much as we might dwell on other scriptures. That’s not going to be the case here, we’re going to dwell a bit…
Right off the bat, grace be to who? The answer is you! And peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Well, is that one peace from two different entities, or a different peace from each, one being from God the Father, the other from the Lord Jesus Christ?
In the New Testament, we can find these two words in the same verse 18 times (from what I’ve been able to find). Though we see these two terms used hand in hand throughout the Bible, they are not synonymous in any way.Let’s take a look and see whether or not we can find a supernatural truth tucked away in some words that we use off the cuff so often.
*NOTE* The questions and topic about peace will be covered in the next post coming soon!
Since this sentence begins with the word grace, let’s dwell on it for a moment. Who’s grace are we talking about? It’s clear Paul is referring to God’s grace, that’s simple enough. The Bible says allot about the grace of God. There’s one thing that I noticed right off the bat after deciding to take a deeper look into what the Old Testament had to say about God’s grace, and it blew my mind a little bit.
Law of First Mention
First off, when doing a word study like this, I like to use the Law of First mention. To me, that’s a fancy way of saying that it may be significant to your study where the word or doctrine may have first been mentioned in the Word of God. Taking the word grace, we can find it used first in the book of Genesis concerning Noah.
Genesis 6: King James Bible
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
So there’s the first mention. And that first mention is significant in a couple of ways that I can see right off the bat. Firstly, it’s the first mention of a man finding grace from the Almighty. And that man in particular just so happened to have been genetically pure according to Genesis 6:9 (Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.) And through that man named Noah, God shed his grace to the human race and all creation that he sent into the ark.
God’s Wrath or God’s Grace?
Now if you listen to traditional teaching, you’ll hear that the flood was God’s reaction to bad men behaving badly. A punishment upon the earth because of the wickedness of men. So in the Churchy version of the story, it’s God’s wrath upon the earth. Not much space in there when we’re looking to learn about the grace of God right?
Well, if we look past the church’s overall view of the incident, and take a look at what the Bible actually says, we learn something very different. Here it is in Genesis chapter 6 of the King James Bible. We’ll pick it up in verse 4.
4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. 13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Above, everything had become corrupted, and the reasoning is given in verse 4. In comes the Nephilim, Fallen Angels, and anything that they tampered with, corrupting all things upon the face of the earth. I believe the “them” being referred to in verse 13 to be these beings, the offspring of the fallen ones. The Lord declares what he’s going to do and how it made him feel in verses 6 & 7, and explains why in verse 13.
Now, the Lord says (which I highlighted) in verse 13 that the end of all flesh is come before him. What does that mean? Well, I think many people kind of breeze by that and assume that it means an old fashioned way of saying I’m mad and I’m going to destroy the face of the earth. That kind of thinking may be because we all know going in, that the Lord is gearing up to do just that.
However, I don’t think that’s what the Lord is saying to Noah. The way I see it, the Lord is saying to Noah (to paraphrase), “If I don’t do something now, no flesh shall survive what’s been going on.” In other words, he foreknew that to do nothing would mean the total loss of all flesh.
What’s all that got to do with Grace?
It was for the love of his creation that he spared Noah and his family along with all of the other animals that were preserved on the Ark. Because the Lord foreknew that the end of all flesh was approaching, he cut the days short… Hold on, where have we heard that before? Could it be something Jesus had to say to his disciples about the end?
Matthew 24: King James Bible
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
It almost sounds like Jesus was literally talking about what had happened via the flood doesn’t it? The Lord for the sake of his elect (Noah and Family), cut the days short because the end of all flesh had come before him. See a connection? But oddly enough, he wasn’t speaking about the past, but about the future. OUR FUTURE! This idea deepens the sense of what the Lord was talking about when he said:
Matthew 24: King James Bible
37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
God’s grace is at play in both situations for the same reason. For the sake of his elect. He shortened the days by way of a flood for the sake of mankind (specifically Noah and Family) who found grace in God’s sight, and also for the elect in the days spoken of by Jesus, who are partakers in the Father’s grace through him. It’s by that same grace that we are saved through faith!
The Lord loves those who loves him, but would rather all be saved. But for those who love him, he gives us grace and will do many things on our behalf through his riches in grace. To me, it’s scripturally impossible to deny a coming rapture. When it’ll happen, I couldn’t care less. Pre, Mid, other… All of that debate is just a sidebar compared to the realization that it’s just going to happen. That (so I believe) is going to be our idea of an Ark. God’s grace to us who love him is immeasurable. And just as he did with Noah, he will go through great lengths for his children.
But when Jesus says the days will be shortened for the elect’s sake, I believe that refers to a post rapture body of believers that did not take the mark, and perhaps are converts by means of all of the ministers that’ll be upon the face of the earth in those days. Revelation gives us a glimpse of how the Lord doesn’t give up on man even after a rapture. The two witnesses, and angels preaching the gospel to the inhabitants of the earth; these are not at play for nothing.
Now, one may say, “Well where’s God’s grace for all of the people who have been killed for the cause of Christ throughout all of the years?” That’s a fair question and also a very human one. Particularly a human one who may love their lives unto death. Those people who have been slain loved NOT their lives, even unto death. Sometimes I think that people forget what’s waiting for us, particularly for those who have been slain or persecuted for the cause and sake of Christ. God is not a respecter of persons, and as far as the rapture goes, it’s all about when it’s time to happen, not about who should’ve been around for it.
Revelation 12: King James Bible
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
The latter half of verse 12 up above is reserved for those who have rejected him will not partake in his grace, but instead will suffer his wrath, much as those did at the time of the flood. People who have rejected the Lord and deny that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, will never benefit grace from the Father as this world and all the systems in it are shredded into pieces. Their lot will be with the “them” that will be around (and already is here by the way), as they were in the days of Noah. They’re here alright, but just in a different wrapper.
The Usage of Grace
I found something interesting in my trip through the Word concerning what it has to say about grace. I’ve found that the word is mentioned 159 times throughout the entire Bible. In the Old Testament, it is mentioned 37 times. 29 of which speak about grace very specifically, as it did with the first time it was mentioned.
People found grace in the eyes or in the sight of the Lord, or in a few verses it’s directed toward someone else like a king, or someone like that. From Genesis to Psalms 45 it is exclusively mentioned in this sense. Always being connected to sight or the eyes of the Lord or someone of importance.
And why would that be? Well, that’s a good question, and before attempting to answer that directly right now, I think it would be better to inquire of the Lord about it. So until he fills me in on it, I’ll leave it alone as far as this post goes.
I guess I did it again! Didn’t ever really get past the first word in verse 2! We’ll get there though. If I don’t either amend this post or create another one as an extension to this one concerning other areas of God’s grace, we’ll go ahead and move into the issue of peace. To be more specific, Peace from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
So keep your eyes peeled for those, as I’m going to dig in and start getting ready to do them up soon. Thank you and I hope that this has blessed you in some way. If it has, would you consider making a donation to this ministry? I would truly appreciate it, and it is needed. Also, if you enjoyed this post and others on the site, please share via the share button that’s at the bottom of this page, or click the plus sign to the right hand side of your screen.
Click the link to head to the next post in this study: Peace – 2 Corinthians 1 Part 3
Thank you for reading Grace to You – 2 Corinthians 1 P.2, and may the Lord bless all of you in the name of Christ Jesus.