Grace and Peace

GRACE AND PEACE

“Grace and peace
be multiplied unto you
through the knowledge of God,
and of Jesus our Lord”
(2 Peter 1:2)

Grace and Peace are the unspoken needs of the human heart. The absence of either results in the turmoil and unrest in the world in which we live. The lack of these things within the Body of Christ has contributed to the divisions and disunity of the Spirit in our day. The Grace and Peace spoken of here are not available to the human heart apart from an intimate knowledge of God through Jesus Christ the Lord. The Greek Word used for “knowledge*” here (see note below) speaks of an intimate and experiential knowledge, not an intellectual one. Many years ago I was working for a company that involved a lot of driving so I had a lot of time to spend seeking God. One day He drew my attention to a tree and said that for me to see that tree was a fact; but until I touched that tree and felt it I did not know the “truth” of that tree. So it is with our God. We may memorize the scriptures, read much concerning Him and even speak often to others concerning Him; but unless we have that intimate knowing of Him the power of that Grace and Peace will continue to elude us in our every day experience.

This Peace and Grace is ONLY made available to us “through the intimate knowing of God and Jesus Christ our Lord”. The grace and fruit of the Spirit cannot be known “experientially” apart from knowing God. He is the sum and source of all righteousness; without which we are cut off from the benefits of the New Testament. In Hebrews we are told that the Israelites could not enter the land of promise because of unbelief. This unbelief caused them to remain in the wilderness where they were cut off from enjoying the fruits and the provisions of the Land of Promise. It is through the medium of faith that we have access to knowing Him in an experiential way. It is by this knowing of Him that we grow into this GRACE. (“by faith we have access into this grace”; Romans 5:2).

It is in the knowing of Him that we are made partakers of His merits, His provisions, His grace and His peace. It is no wonder that Paul cried out in Philippians 3:10 “That I might know Him…”. There is no end to the fullness of God; there is no measure at which we can arrive in the knowing of Him. It is to this end that we fill up the remainder of our time here in the pursuit of “knowing” Him.

“Grace and peace
be multiplied unto you
through the knowledge of God,
and of Jesus our Lord”

*NOTE:
Cognate: 1922 epígnōsis (from 1909 /epí, “on, fitting” which intensifies 1108 /gnṓsis, “knowledge gained through first-hand relationship”) – properly, “contact-knowledge” that is appropriate (“apt, fitting”) to first-hand, experiential knowing. This is defined by the individual context.

Brian Troxel

PSALM 23 – CONCLUSION – CONFIDENCE & REST – PART 23

PSALM 23

PART TWENTY-THREE

CONCLUSION

CONFIDENCE AND REST

“…and I will dwell* in the house of the LORD for ever.”
PSALM 23:5

The Hebrew word translated here for “dwell” comes from the primary Hebrew root word to “sit” (*see below). It speaks of a rest and a posture of confidence and comfort. David in his pursuit of God came to a point where he was confident in His God, not himself. His posture of rest was not based on some teaching or the fact that he was a King rather his rest was based on the character of HIS GOD. This statement of confidence “I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” had little to do with David’s own ability to serve God; it was founded upon the personal KNOWING that the LORD was HIS SHEPHERD! Many of God’s people struggle with this confidence, this sense of knowing and belonging. We seek for assurance by doing good things, by clinging to doctrines, assurances from others, belonging to some Christian organization, subscribing to a well-known teacher or some other outward thing to satisfy this need for security. God has only one thing to offer us: the PLEDGE of HIMSELF; the verity of HIS own character. Every action and motive that is not birthed from this place of abiding will eventually fail to satisfy the deep longing within the heart of His own. This place of rest cannot instill a sense of complacency or apathy. It must and will produce a pursuit and seeking of HIM who has become the ONE THING the true heart desires (Psalm 27:4, Philippians 3:13). The pursuit of Him is no longer based on gaining HIS approval but is birthed of an intense desire “to know HIM”.

“That I may KNOW HIM, and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings,
being made conformable unto his death…
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this ONE THING I do…
I press toward the mark for the prize
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:10 – 14

The one who wrote the scripture above also wrote…

“But God, who is rich in mercy,
for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins,
hath quickened us together with Christ,
(by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together,
and made us SIT together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”
Ephesians 2:4 – 5

The posture of sitting together with Christ in heavenly places is born of an insatiable desire to know HIM more fully and deeply. It is the starting point of our journey. In this knowledge we will arise from our failures, disappointments and trials that are all part of the discovery of both the depths and the riches of His Grace.

Trust and confidence can only be known via relationship. Such is the heart of our Great Shepherd who leads us to the “still waters” of resting in HIM, the “green pastures” of feeding upon Him in the tranquility of His tender love and care, the feasting with Him in the “presence of our enemies” and to the discovery of His Presence with us in “the valley of the shadow of death”! Let us with great humility of heart follow HIM, seek Him and grow in the graces of HIM who is the LORD OUR SHEPHERD!

Ω

The Lord my pasture shall prepare,
And feed me with a shepherd’s care;
His presence shall my wants supply,
And guard me with a watchful eye.
Joseph Addison (1672–1719)

* H3427. יָשַׁב yāšaḇ: A verb meaning to sit, to dwell, to inhabit, to endure, to stay. Apparently, to sit is the root idea, and other meanings are derived from this. (THE COMPLETE WORD STUDY DICTIONARY: OLD TESTAMENT Warren Baker, D.R.E. Eugene Carpenter, Ph.D.)

Brian Troxel