THE GRACE OF GOD
Revealed in Salvation
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Thanks to God’s foreknowledge of our need, and His determined kindness to us who believe, our prayers for help are met with His provisions. Grace (intended and unmerited favor) sets in motion a
real life changing salvation. It is a Great Salvation!
“Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected.”
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which god prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh –who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:1-13
OUR SITUATION; DEAD: No other word describes it better. In death there is a loss of senses and a great onslaught of corruption. Spiritual we were rotting carcasses insensitive and offensive to God. That’s as bad as it gets. Since the word ‘deader’ has no significant meaning, we were all equally dead. Nothing short of a miracle could save us.
HIS GRACE: He raised us by His Word. We have been resurrected with Christ! Salvation is the greatest miracle ever.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly , I say to you, the hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. John 5:24, 25 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63
OUR SITUATION; BOUND BY SATAN. We were following a predetermined course orchestrated by Satan. We were disobedient to the law of God and following our own fallen desires and inclinations.
HIS GRACE: He lifted us up and caused us to sit with Christ in heavenly places. We are out of Satan’s reach even as the Christ, symbolized as a child in Revelation 12, was carried away into heaven. Spiritually we have been raptured and empowered to do His will and not our own.
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” II Peter 1:2-4 “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20,21 _____________________________________________________________________________________
OUR SITUATION: CHILDREN OF WRATH, WITHOUT CHRIST, ALIENS TO THE PROMISED BLESSING, WITHOUT HOPE AND WITHOUT GOD, AND NOT EVEN CLOSE TO SECURING SALVATION.
HIS GRACE: WE HAVE BEEN BROUGHT NEAR BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.
Grace reveals God’s love described in Ephesians 2:4 as ‘great love.’ How much love does it take to save a soul? Only God can love that much. We now have a great calling.
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”
OUR BOAST IS IN THE LORD.
Since the dead have no power to bring themselves out of the grave, neither could we have done anything to improve our spiritual state. Our works were useless. Salvation is entirely the work of God. There is no room for anyone to boast but in the Lord’s mercy and grace. He is the author and finisher of our faith. Let us all declare that we have been saved by grace.
AMAZING GRACE HOW SWEET THE SOUND, THAT SAVED A WRETCH LIKE ME.
I ONCE WAS LOST, BUT NOW I’M FOUND. WAS BLIND BUT NOW I SEE!
GRACE THROUGH THE NAME OF JESUS
“Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen” Galatians 6:18
Paul, the apostle, would usually begin and end his epistles by invoking the grace of Jesus Christ upon his intended audience. Please notice that it is not just a generic grace Paul refers to, but the grace that comes from the Lord Himself. He is the great fountainhead of all spiritual blessings. His life was full of grace or Divine favor. Particularly this was manifest at His baptism and transfiguration.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.” John 1:14-16
“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold the heavens were opened to Him and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’”
“And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “this is My beloved Son, Hear Him!” Mark 9:7
The name of God has great significance. It is never to be used flippantly. It represents His character and authority. The name given to the Only Begotten of the Father expressed His greatest empathy and power toward His people; JESUS: Jehovah is Salvation! Our Lord Jesus Christ was the anointed One to bear that happy name on our behalf.
“Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed you from the house of the Lord, God is the Lord, And He has given us light; Bind the sacrifice with cords to the altar. You are my God, and I will praise You: You are my God, I will exalt You. Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”
“I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; If another comes in his own name, him you will receive.” John 5:43
The name Jesus is not a magic word to be used as an incantation. It becomes a powerful tool only for those who know the Lord and have trusted Him as Lord and Savior. He gives the name its significance. People of the early church were known as those who called upon the name of the Lord. Great grace is solicited as we use that name in confident faith.
“And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Joel 2:32
“And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name, Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father, In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.”
“He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” I John 5:12-15
“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10 “Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” John 17:11,12
“And these signs will follow those who believe; In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:17,18
“but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, that Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:31 “and whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17
“GRACE WITHOUT TRUTH IS SENTIMENTALITY. TRUTH WITHOUT GRACE IS HARSHNESS.” W.P Mackay
THE GRACE OF GIVING
The intent and culmination of grace is to impart a gift to another. Therefore for divine grace to even exist, it necessitates extravagant giving. Salvation is God’s free gift. He is the Great Benefactor. One of the most rehearsed scriptures in the Bible says: “For God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son….” Grace requires sacrifice. Jesus exemplified this as no other has ever done.
“for you know the GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” II Corinthians 8:9
The willingness and ability to give are gifts from God. We are naturally selfish. God’s grace is often manifest among His people who are quite impoverished and yet very willing to share what they have with others. Such was the case with the Macedonian church. When they heard of the need in Judea among the Jews, they wanted to help. They were the recipients of the gospel which had originate from Jerusalem and they considered themselves debtors to the Jewish believers. Their generosity was extraordinary. What made it even more gracious was the fact that they were helping a people who had a tendency to look down on them. Love overcame the reasons why they should not help, and enabled them to do the Christ like thing.
“Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the GRACE of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this GRACE in you as well. But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us –see that you abound in this GRACE also.” II Corinthians 8:1-7
PRINCIPLES OF CHRIST-LIKE GIVING:
1. It should come from premeditated thought and planning. (a willing mind)
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity..”
2. Your giving should reflect what you have. It is possible to under give and to over give.
“it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not
3. Giving should be done cheerfully.
BENEFITS OF A LIFESTYLE OF GIVING
1. You have a promise that you will reap bountifully.
“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows
2. It will create a flow of good things coming into your life and keep material things in perspective.
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all
sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” II Cor. 9:8
3. It has eternal righteous consequences.
“As it is written; ‘He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor, His righteousness
4. It brings God’s blessing of multiplication into play.
“Now may He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, supply and multiply
the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.” II Cor. 9:10 5. It supplies the needs of other of God’s children. “For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saint..” 6. It causes the recipients to give God thanks for supplying their need.
“and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding GRACE of
With all these examples, principles and promises, let us see that we cry out for this most gracious spirit of giving.
“It is more blessed to give, than to receive.” Acts 20:35
“Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down shaken together shall men give unto you.”
GRACE AND BEAUTY
Sin results in various forms ugliness. Abel's battered body would be a harbinger of the repugnant carnage that would follow in time. Cain's altered countenance and malignant attitude still characterize our species. We have fallen and glory has been lost. Instinctively we desire and strive for beauty by some definition. God's chosen have longed to be restored to the intended beauty His created us for. God also wills it to be done.
"And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us." Psalms 90:17 "For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation." Psalms 149:4
Since the word 'grace' means to be favored, endowed, or gifted, then it stands to reason that upon whom grace was imparted there would be an admirable spiritual qualities. In the natural sense the term is used to describe someone's extraordinary demeanor or skill.
Jesus was known for His grace in words and in deeds. The Christian life in every facet is beautiful to behold.
THE BEAUTY OF WORSHIP
"Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." Psalm 29:2 "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." I Peter 2:9
THE BEAUTY OF GOOD WORKS:
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16
THE BEAUTY OF GODLINESS:
"Do not let your adornment be merely outward arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting
on fine apparel rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty
of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." I Peter 3:3,4 "Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom you shine as lights in the world." Philippians 2:14,15
"Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day
THE BEAUTY OF WELL SPOKEN WORDS:
"Your are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God
"Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one." Colossians 4:6
THE BEAUTY OF THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT:
"Therefore by their fruits you will know them. " Matthew 7:20
"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
"By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples."
THE BEAUTY OF THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
"But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced
by all, he is convicted by all. And the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship god and report that God is truly among you."Let all things be
THE BEAUTY OF THE BRIDE
Ephesians 5:25-27 describes God's church as a bride that is holy and without spot or wrinkle or any such a thing. The bride of Christ is sheltered and cared for in a very special way. She is further described as beauty city built foursquare and endowed with every imaginable precious jewels and stones. She has the exquisite beauty of the glory of God.
BY GOD'S GRACE, LET'S BE BEAUTIFUL
GRACE AND STRENGTH
"You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."
The name of God 'Elohim' designates Him as the 'Strong One' or the very source and epitome of strength. Power belongs to Him and it is His to give. Therefore His grace has
a strengthening factor. Strength by definition means; 'power to resist or endure, power to
act in a desired manner physically, spiritually, or mentally.' There is a mutual admiration
and desire for strength in its many forms. Our heroes are those who demonstrate strength and steadfastness in the time of difficulty. Jesus is the greatest of all examples. He demonstrated grace in human form. He was the 'Strong One.'
Strengthening grace began to unfold in the Old Testament era,. but it was partial and imperfect. Moments of great exploits were contrasted with gross weaknesses among
God's people. Abraham believed God against great odds, but couldn't tell the truth about
his wife Sarah. Samson could defeat an army single handed but couldn't resist a woman's arms. Solomon could give great advice to youth but couldn't live up to it himself. Mercy presided until perfect grace could come through Jesus.
"For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."
"And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart
The grace of Jesus empowers believers to virtuous character and acceptable service to God. This is imparted by the Holy Spirit which is given as a result of Jesus' victorious life
over the world, the flesh, and the devil.
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right (power) to become children of
God, to those who believe in His name." John 1:12 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:8
"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is
POWER FOR VIRTUE
God wants us to, first of all, be Christ-like in our hearts and minds. When it comes
to virtue we are naturally long on intention and short on supply. One of the most difficult virtues for us is patience. Grace supplies the ability not only to be extraordinarily patient
but to be joyful about it. Every virtue finds its fulfillment in grace.
"that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him being fruitful in every good work
and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." Galatians 5:22,23
POWER FOR SERVICE
It seems we are more conscious of our doing right than our being right. The feeling
that we are inadequate in our service to God often brings us to our knees. The scriptures describe a place called 'the throne of grace." It is the place where we can find mercy for
our weaknesses and obtain grace to enable us to do better as the opportunity arises. We can serve God with the grace He provides us with and really there is no other acceptable
way to serve Him.
"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find
"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
"Therefore since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace,
by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear."
"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."
STENGTH OF MIND
Even our mind needs strength that come from God to give us the ability to believe,
hope, and to contemplate the wonders of His grace toward us.
STRENGTH OF BODY
"I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME"
"Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines, For it is good that the heart be established by GRACE, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them." Hebrews 13:9
God is so infinitely good! What He has predestined about us from eternity past will yet unfold into a glorious future. New graces are compounded upon former graces. We have nothing here on earth to really compare to what is in store for God's people. It is our great hope to not only be with Jesus, but to be like Him.
"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be,
but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." I John 3:1-3
The catching away of the saints will usher us into a beautiful state of bliss. Instantly we will be freed from the grasp of death and given glorified bodies. With our new senses we will be enabled to search the unsearchable riches of God's grace as never before. Even the whole creation is awaiting that appointed day so that they may participate in the liberty from corruption that will be given to us. The Holy Ghost within us causes us to yearn fervently for that day. What a Day that will be!
"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written; "Death is swallowed up in Victory."
"For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body." Romans 8:19-23
To miss heaven would be to miss everything. Its glories will quickly erase all the sorrows of the past. They won't even come to mind in the new atmosphere of God's presence. Then we will understand that no one has ever paid too dear a price to serve God. We will all stand in gratitude to Him for His marvelous grace He has shown us in Christ Jesus. Consider what that day will bring for us; to be able to be with Jesus, His saints and all the angels. To live in a new heaven and a new earth where only good exists will be our eternal delight. It will be worth it all.
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18 "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." II Corinthians 4:17,18
Look at what God has promised His overcoming people:
2. They will be crowned with life and protected from the second death. Rev. 2:10,11 3. They can eat hidden manna, possess a white stone that has their new name. Rev. 2:17 4. They will have power over the nations in the new earth. Rev. 2:26 5. They shall wear white garments and be made known throughout the heavens. 6. They will have position in God's kingdom and bear His name. 7. They will sit with Jesus on His throne. Rev. 3:21
LET'S BE OVERCOMERS AND LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
"that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:7
THE GRACE OF GOD
an introductory study
that ‘the eyes of your understanding being enlightened that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.”
The above passage was Paul’s prayer for the church of Ephesus. He knew that a revelation of God’s grace would be the greatest deterrent against sliding back into their old lifestyle. God’s love when understood in all its dimensions will foster the utmost devotion in the hearts of the believers. Grace and knowledge are complimentary. When grace is not comprehended, it is easy to become like Esau who carelessly traded his birthright to satisfy his immediate carnal desire. The only real tragedy that can happen to a believer is to lose one’s faith in God.
“Now Jacob cooked a stew: and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary,” Therefore his name was called Edom. And Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.” And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?” Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils: then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.” Genesis 25:29-34 “For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: ‘A dog returns to his own vomit, and a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
In this study we will attempt to trace God’s love and grace from eternity past, to our present standing with Him, and then look through the glass into the glorious future prepared for God’s people.
GRACE: It is translated from the Greek word, ‘charis.’ It indicates the divine influence upon the human heart, and its reflection in the life of the believer. It implies unmerited favor, a divine gratuity, endowment, or a miraculous faculty that is imparted. Grace always distinguishes the graced one as being favored or blessed spiritually. To further develop the definition, let’s look at the words; influence and reflection.
INFLUENCE: the power to produce an effect without using force.
REFLECTION: a likeness or image.
Grace then is a work of God’s premeditated love to bring about a godly effect upon the life of the believer. The Christian is God’s own workmanship.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
THE OLD TESTAMENT: A REVELATION OF GOD’S MERCY
The Old Testament is a contrast between God’s holiness and man’s depravity. Man with all his good intentions does not have the innate ability to be righteous. The history of Israel is one of repeated spiritual and political apostasies. The only redeeming factor of these two diametrically opposed natures was God’s longsuffering and mercy. Notice the words of the prophet Jeremiah.
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22,23
THE NEW TESTAMENT: A REVELATION OF GOD’S GRACE
The same holy God of the Old Testament made a new covenant that enabled us, through the blood atonement of Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s inward work, to walk in holiness before Him. The manifestation of His favor only becomes greater with the passing of time. We, the recipients of this grace, are on display before principalities and powers demonstrating just how good God is. Through Jesus we are more than conquerors. We are the sons of God. The church is in contrast to the great disappointments of natural Israel. She is spiritual Israel and well pleasing to the Lord.
“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17 “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that , not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven- things which angels desire to look into.” I Peter 1:10-12 “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:7 “to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 3:10 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.” Galatians 6:15,16
from the beginning
God is eternal. He is before all things and knows all things. It is therefore in His power to predetermine the course of His own creation. It is evident from scriptures that He has established a plan by His infinite wisdom. He has determined to reveal His great kindness both now and in the ages to come.
Whether God has predestined the fate of every individual is a controversial matter that has no real merit. It would be easy to ignorantly blame our failures on Him for predestinating us to do so. We cannot shirk our moral responsibility. It should be understood that grace has been predetermined before the foundation of the earth upon a people God knew beforehand in Christ that would respond in faith to the Gospel. His foreknowledge does not forfeit our accountability to Him.
“For whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29 “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ, grace to you and peace be multiplied.” I Peter 1:3
A predetermined grace would be bestowed upon a fore known people. These intended blessing would be spiritual in nature. They would include 1) a holy standing before God without any blame, 2) the rights as sons of God, 3) complete acceptance in the heavenlies through Christ, 4) redemption from all evil and loss, 5) access to forgiveness through the blood of Jesus, 6) wisdom of the ages, 7) a wonderful inheritance, 8) the Holy Spirit as a down payment of more to come.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth-- in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. “ Ephesians 1:3-14
Every grace would have Jesus as its source and center. He is the sole means by which grace and not just mercy could be imparted from a holy God to sinners. Truly grace came by Jesus. It is so complimentary to know that we have been thought of and planned for before we even existed. Let us continue on to know this most loving God.
Christ Church, Pocatello
Bringing people together in Christ who are worlds apart.
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