Oftentimes as Christians we gloss over the start of the New Testament epistles. We think that the salutations at the beginning of these letters are unimportant, but the Word says that all scripture is God-breathed and good for teaching (2 Timothy 3:16).
Tucked away right at the start of 2 Peter (1:2 ERV) is a greeting which reads, “Grace and peace be given to you more and more because now you know God and Christ Jesus our Lord”.
If grace is God’s unmerited favor and peace is the thing which pretty much every human seeks, then how blessed are we who know God because knowing Him ensures we have both these things.
There is a biblical call to Christlikeness (1 John 2:6, 1 Corinthians 11:1, 1 John 3:2-3). Have you ever thought about that and what it means for your marriage?
If we say we want to be Christlike, we need to consider what Christ is like. Jesus laid down His life. He didn’t seek His own comfort. He served. He sacrificed. He loved. He demonstrated selflessness time and time again.
This is the antithesis of living by the flesh. Being in the flesh or carnal is living life with the five senses (taste, touch, sound, sight and hearing) leading the way instead of the Spirit of God. We make decisions based on what we comprehend through our interactions with our senses instead of based on our relationship with God and His Word. We rely on what we know and can do instead of Who we know and what He has already done. Grace and peace belongs to the one who knows Him and makes His Word priority in their lives.
Our flesh nature is selfish. We want our way, our glory, our best, but that’s not Christlike. In fact, being Christlike in our own ability is just about impossible… except that through our relationship with Him, all things are possible (Mark 9:23).
The way that we are empowered to act in a Christlike manner in our marriage and in other relationships is through intimacy with God which gives us grace and peace. When our fulfillment is found in God, we have all we need to show grace to others. When I am strong in my relationship with God, I no longer need my wife to stroke my ego. I no longer find my identity in what my wife does for me. Instead, when I am strong in the Lord, I begin to love my wife with a sacrificial, serving love that seeks her best rather than my own.
“Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:6
2 Timothy 3:16
2 Peter 1:2
1 Corinthians 11:1