It is to be noted that the terms saints and faithful brethren do not signify distinct groups. Moreover, grace and peace are not rewards for faithfulness. For of grace, we are told, “if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” And concerning peace, we are told: “Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The saints and faithful brethren, then, are those who are the recipients of God’s grace and peace. This is the substance of the Gospel: Justification by faith alone through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and the ensuing peace that fills the souls of believers so that they may joyously turn to Him in love and service. God is no longer Judge, no longer our enemy, no longer the object dread and terror — He is our Father.
Thus, it is only those who are in Christ, i.e. the saints and faithful brethren, who have received grace and peace; and it is only they who continue to receive grace and peace. And they receive this grace and peace by the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures. For it is Paul’s words to them in this verse that are the vehicle for communicating these truths to them: (a.)They are “in Christ,” (b.)they have become saints, (c.)God has become their Father, and (d.)they are now brethren. This is what the Word of God, given through Paul, was distributing to the Colossians, and it was only by the Word of God that these things were communicated to them. And if such was the case for the church at Colossae, then would it be any different for us? Not at all. Hence, Peter tells us elsewhere that “His Divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them we may become partakers of the divine nature…” And these promises are found only in Scripture.