In 1994 Pastor John began explaining a theme he noticed in the introductions and conclusions to all 13 of Paul’s epistles. Paul begins each epistle with grace, and he closes each epistle with grace. The pattern is “a bracing trumpet call to the centrality of grace in Christianity.”
It is. But there was more to be discovered in the pattern.
As he studied these bookends closer, Pastor John discovered that each grace-centered greeting included some form of the phrase “grace be to you.” Each grace-filled benediction included some form of the phrase “grace be with you.”
Here are the passages:
“grace be to you” / “grace be with you”
Romans 1:7 / Romans 16:20
1 Corinthians 1:3 / 1 Corin…