An appropriate benediction

“Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send greetings. All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”  (Philippians 4:20-23)

We can picture the Christian congregation in Philippi gathering around for a time of worship, eagerly soaking in the special letter written to them by the beloved Apostle Paul. His message of encouragement and uplifted spirit of rejoicing must have been an amazing experience.

Notice Paul not only calls the Christians in Phillipi saints, but also the believers in Rome. Even though Paul was a little disappointed in how some of the saints were responding, that still does not change their status. Saints in Christ Jesus are those who have been set apart as God’s children through God’s grace.

We also notice a reference to Caesar’s household. One may think that these may be slaves or servants. On the other hand, there is also a strong possibility that the Christian faith was slowly becoming a part of the high ranks of Roman officials.

It is by grace, God’s undeserved love that makes us Christians. No wonder we can rejoice through any circumstance that comes our way when we can be assured of our status before God, not by what we have done or what we are doing, but what God has already done for us. What an appropriate way for Paul to close a letter by reminding us that God’s grace is always with us.

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