Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
Grace releases sin, and peace makes the conscience quiet. The two friends that torment us are sin and conscience. But Christ has vanquished these two monsters, and trodden them under foot, both in this world and in the world to come. This the world does not know, and therefore it can teach no certainty of the overcoming of sin, conscience, and death. Only Christians have this kind of doctrine, and are exercised and armed with it, to get victory against sin, despair, and everlasting death. And it is a kind of doctrine, neither proceeding of freewill, nor invented by the reason or wisdom of man, but given from above. Moreover, these two words, grace and peace, do contain in them the whole sum of Christianity. Grace contains the remission of sins; peace, a quiet and joyful conscience. But peace of conscience can never be had, unless sin be first forgiven. But sin is not forgiven for the fulfilling of the law: for no man is able to satisfy the law. But the law rather shows sin, accuses and terrifies the conscience, declares the wrath of God, and drives to desperation. Much less is sin taken away by the works and inventions of men, as wicked worshippings, strange religions, vows, and pilgrimages. Finally, there is no work that can take away sin, but sin is rather increased by works. For the justiciaries and meritmongers, the more they labour and sweat to bring themselves out of sin, the deeper they are plunged therein. For there is no means to take away sin, but grace alone. Therefore Paul, in all the greetings of his Epistle, sets grace and peace against sin and an evil conscience.
Parallel VersesKJV: Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,