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To all the saints in Christ Jesus

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To all the saints in Christ Jesus. The word translated saint is  Hagios, and its Hebrew equivalent kadosh, are usually translated holy. In Hebrew thought, if a thing is described as holy, that it is different from other things; it is in some sense set apart. When the regulations regarding the priesthood are being laid down, it is written: “They shall be holy to their God”  The priests were to be different from other men, for they were set apart for a special function.1/ The tithe was different set from other things which could be used as food.2/The central part of the Temple was the Holy Place ; it was different from all other places. 3/The word was specially used of the Jewish nation itself. The Jews were a holy nation  They were holy unto the Lord; God had severed them from other nations that they might be his.It was they of all nations on the face of the earth whom God had specially known. The Jews were different from all other nations, for they had a special place in the purpose of God. The privileges and the responsibilities they should have had were taken away from the nation of Israel and given to the Church, which became the new Israel. Therefore, just as the Jews had once been hagios, holy, different, so now the Christians must be hagios; the Christians are the holy ones, the different ones, the saints. To say that the Christians are the saints means, therefore, that the Christians are different from other people. Wherein does that difference lie?Paul addresses his people as saints in Christ Jesus. No one can read his letters without seeing how often the phrases in Christ, in Christ Jesus, in the Lord occur. In Christ Jesus, 48 times, in Christ 34 times,  in the Lord 50 times,Total 134 times. Clearly this was for Paul the very essence of Christianity. What did he mean? Being in Christ, means that the Christian lives in Christ as a bird lives in the air,or a fish lives in the water, the roots of a tree live in the soil. What makes the Christian different is that he is always and everywhere conscious of the encircling presence of Jesus Christ. When Paul speaks of the saints in Christ Jesus, he means those who are different from other people and who are consecrated to God because of their special relationship to Jesus Christ—and that is what every Christian should be.                                   

When Paul put together these two great words, grace and peace, (charis and eirēnē), he was taking the normal greeting phrases of two great nations and moulding them into one. Charis is the greeting with which Greek letters always began and eirēnē the greeting with which Jews met each other. Charis is saying let joy , pleasure, brightness and beauty;be with you.(charm.) But with Jesus Christ there comes a new beauty to add to the beauty that was there. And that beauty is born of a new relationship to God. With Christ life becomes lovely because man is no longer the victim of God’s law but the child of his love.Eirēnē orshalom in Hebrew.We translate it peace; but it never means a negative peace, never simply the absence of trouble. It means total well-being, everything that makes for a man’s highest good.Eirein, which means to join, to weave together. And this peace has always got to do with personal relationships, a man’s relationship to himself, to his fellow-men, and to God. It is always the peace that is born of reconciliation.So, when Paul prays for grace and peace on his people he is praying that they should have the joy of knowing God as Father and the peace of being reconciled to God, to men, and to hemselves—and that grace and peace can come only through Jesus Christ.

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