Grace, mercy, and peace are the gifts of God, even the Father, Who in this, as in all things, works in concert with His well beloved Son.  Such blessings as described above can never be of earthly origin.  The church does not confer grace, as Rome would have us believe, but rather the members who compose the church are those who have received grace as a free gift from the hand of a gracious God.  Mercy is something to which no sinner has a rightful claim, for although he is indeed in a most wretched condition, being blind and undone, he deserves no pity from God because he is the author of his own misery.  Nevertheless, God is full of compassion and tender mercy, and lifts him up from the dunghill to set him among the princes of His people.   Peace also is something which, if it is derived from the assurances or the dogmas of men, is sure to fail at the critical moment, or to give our consciences an unjustified pacification.  But peace from God, based upon the justifying work of Christ, is a chief blessing to which every child of God is entitled.  “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

As well as from the Father, these benefits are also conferred by He Who is always in conformity with the will of His Father, even Jesus Christ His Son.  Christ is the Mediator, by Whom all the love and grace of the Father flow to us.  Without Him, God could not justly bestow grace upon us.  His mercy would be but the temporary benefits of sunshine and rain, which would end as soon as did our lives.  Peace we could know nothing of, for our consciences could never have any just assurance that our sins are dealt with, and we will not have to answer for them before the bar of God.  But Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father in truth and love, works out the will of His gracious Father in bestowing all these graces upon us through His all-prevailing merit.  He is the Son of God, and therefore fully acquainted with the will of God, and well able to mediate all of His good designs towards men for us.

It is difficult to distinguish whether the words “in truth and love” should be connected to the benediction at the beginning of the verse, or to the person Jesus Christ.  Surely, truth and love are two of the most excellent qualities of Christ’s wonderful character, and may aptly be used to describe Him in this context.  It may also be said of grace, mercy, and peace, that they are tokens of the truthfulness of God’s promises in the Gospel, and likewise a manifestation of the greatness of His love towards us.  We may take it either way, and find much to delight in by either interpretation.

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