By Wayne Camp

TEXT: I Peter 1:2

INTRO: This is a strange salutation for a Sovereign Grace Baptist preacher to give to people who have already been the objects of God’s sovereign grace. It was, however, a common greeting among Jewish people, especially among Jewish Christians.

Not only did Peter bid them grace and peace but it was his prayerful desire that grace and peace be multiplied to them. The fact that we are a chosen generation, regenerated and converted though the grace of God, that does not mean that we are not in need of and should desire more grace and more peace from God.

Sometimes I fear that we get the notion that grace comes in a single package like regeneration, but that is not true. I think of Paul when troubled by a thorn in the flesh, the Lord told him that his grace was sufficient for him. He was not speaking of elective grace for that was exercised in eternity and God is not continuing to choose any to salvation. But there are graces which we need to have operative in our lives continuously.

I think the more grace is multiplied to us, the more we realize we are in need of it, and the more we desire it. I should also point out that peace without grace is an artificial, imagined peace. In fact, Matthew Henry wrote, "Peace without grace is mere stupidity." Where there is no grace there is no real peace. Where there is grace, there may not be the full realization of peace, but there can be no peace where there is no grace.

    1. It was, in fact, commanded by God as a greeting from Aaron and his sons to the people of Israel. Numbers 6:22-27 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, 24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: 25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. 27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.
    2. A similar salutation was used by Nebuchadnezzar when he was about to show the people what God had done upon him. Daniel 4:1-3 Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. 2 I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me. 3 How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.
    3. A similar salutation was used by Darius after Daniel had been delivered from the den of lions. Daniel 6:25-26 Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. 26 I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.
    4. Peter used a similar statement in his second epistle to these same Pilgrims. 2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.
    5. Jude used a similar salutation in his greeting to other Christians. Jude 1-2 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: 2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.
    6. John used such a salutation to the seven churches of Asia. Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne.
    7. Paul greeted the Roman congregation in a similar manner. Romans 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    8. Paul again used this kind of salutation in his greeting to Philemon. Philemon 3 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    9. Again he used it in his greeting to the church in Ephesus. Ephesians 1:2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    10. John employed a similar greeting in his second Epistle. 2 John 3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
    11. Paul also used this type of salutation in greeting the church at Corinth. 1 Corinthians 1:3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    12. Paul also used it in greeting the church at Philippi. Philippians 1:2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    13. This greeting was very commonly used, and should probably still be used among pilgrims. Many do use it.
    1. God, the Triune Godhead, is the source of all grace. 1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
      1. God himself proclaimed this truth. Exodus 34:6-7 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
      2. The Psalmist proclaimed it. Psalm 86:15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
      3. There was never a god created in the imaginations of man that was like our God in the matter of mercy and grace. Micah 7:18-19 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. 19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
    2. We also learn that the channel through which this grace and peace comes to us is the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:20-21 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
    3. The joy and peace of God is ministered to us by the Holy Spirit. It is given by the Father, purchased by the Son, and administered by the Spirit. Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
    4. We learn also that knowledge is an essential in the multiplying of this grace and peace. 2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.
      1. This is why we are admonished to increase in our knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.
      2. This is why Satan and his demonic helpers and ministers are so opposed to folks who grow in their knowledge of God. 2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
      3. It is a shame for a Christian to not grow in his knowledge of God. 1 Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
      4. One of the marvelous things about this growing in the knowledge of God, we will never out grow the knowledge of God. Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
        1. When all of us kids were home, we bought our flower by the barrel and when it would get low mother would say to daddy, "We are scraping the bottom of the barrel. We need to get flour."
        2. Don’t ever worry about scraping the bottom of the barrel in your quest for the knowledge of God, you can’t reach the bottom of the barrel, much less scrape it.
    6. We learn the importance then of growing in the grace and knowledge of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.
      1. God’s has given us his words as a mean’s of growing in this knowledge that is essential to grace and peace being multiplied. Ephesians 4:14-16 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
      2. Paul desired this growth in the members of the congregation at Colosse. Colossians 1:9-11 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.
      3. A new born babe in Christ begins his growth on the milk of the word. 1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.
    8. We learn that this is one characteristic of the truly righteous, they grow.
      1. They go from strength to strength. Psalm 84:7 They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.
      2. Their light shines more and more as the days go by. Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
      3. This growth is accomplished as God continues to perfect the work he has started in us. Philippians 1:6-11 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: 7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. 8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
      4. This is called pressing toward the mark of the high calling of God. Philippians 3:10-14 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
      5. Our spiritual strength is determined by our growth in grace and knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10-11 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.
      6. Paul speaks of the multiplying of this grace and our growth in it as increasing with the increase of God. Colossians 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
      7. This growth in grace will result in a growth in love, an abounding in love. 1 Thessalonians 3:10-13 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? 11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. 12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. 2 Thessalonians 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth.
      8. Have you tasted that the Lord is gracious, if you have then I pray that you may grow in that grace and in the knowledge of God. 1 Peter 2:1-3 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
    1. The more I learn of God the greater will the peace of God be multiplied to me.
      1. The peace which God gives is one that cannot be stolen from us by someone else. Job 34:29 When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble?
        1. You may conjure up some false peace of mind but the first thing that happens of an adverse nature will steal that false peace.
        2. One of the tests of peace is how it fares in time of trouble for when God gives peace there is not a thing or person on earth that can steal it.
      2. This peace which God gives will let us sleep at night when trouble is all around. Psalm 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. Psalm 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. (KJV)
      3. When we grow in our knowledge of God we will trust him to give us peace. Psalm 29:11 The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
      4. This peace is also grounded in a love for and knowledge of the word of God. Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
      5. It was the conviction of Solomon that the word of God was a great source of peace for the saved person. Proverbs 3:1-2 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
    2. Knowledge of God and keeping our focus on him will give us perfect peace. Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
    3. And let us not forget that Christ is our peace. Ephesians 2:13-19 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.
      1. He paid the price for our peace. Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
      2. Let us so live and keep ourselves growing in grace and knowledge that we will enjoy the peace of God which passes all knowledge. Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
    4. We Sovereign Grace folks tend to shy away from the idea of letting God do things, but if we are to have this peace multiplied we must let it rule our hearts. Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
      1. The Greek word for let rule is brabeuw {brab-yoo'-o} "rule, to be an umpire, to decide, determine, to direct, control."
      2. Literally translated the clause in this verse is "And the peace of the God let rule in your hearts."
      3. While it is the peace of God, if it would be multiplied in our hearts there must be an agreement on our part to permit it to rule.

CONC: I close with these words, "Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied." Our great God, when known through the Lord Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit and the Holy written word, is our source of grace and peace. I am reminded of the words of Jesus, John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. The world may offer some kind of peace, but it is no equal to the peace which God gives. 2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.

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This page last updated Friday, March 04, 2011