Sunday, February 17, 2013

G.R.A.C.E - God's Riches At Christ's Expense

grace and works
* Post updated September 2014

Reading: Ephesians 2:1-22

GRACESalvation from commencement to consummation; service from start to finish, and sanctification from beginning to end, are all associated with the grace of God. 

Grace has been described as “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”. Unmerited, undeserved favour! Unlimited favour to the undeserving; all who by reason of transgression have forfeited every claim to divine favour, and have lost all capacity for meritorious action. Let us look at the Scriptural definition of grace in Titus 3:4-5. God’s grace is infinite, boundless, immense, unspeakable, inconceivable and unsearchable. Grace is the spring and source of all benefits received from God (Romans 11:6).

The Law vs Grace

do you love the law?

Under the Old Testament dispensation, law blessed the good but grace saves the bad (Compare Exodus 19:5 with Ephesians 2:1-9).

The law said; “Pay me what you owe, even to the last farthing” Grace says; “You have nothing to pay your debt with, I therefore freely forgive you all”

The law curses; grace blesses.

The law evicts as a landlord/landlady evicts a tenant who cannot or will not pay rent – grace steps in, cancels the bond and relieves the debtor.

The law reveals a sinful condition and condemns the sinner to death; grace provides a righteousness the sinner could never attain (John 1:17; Romans 6:14)

The law shows man’s inability to live-up to the standard of God. It flows from our nature. Grace flows from the glorious and transcendent nature of God. Grace reveals what God is as well as what He does. Grace comes to us through Christ (John 1:17; First Timothy 1:14) through His death, grace for all mankind became possible (Hebrews 2:9). 

Grace is the characteristic of the Christian Gospel (Acts 20:24, 32) through the Gospel of grace manifold blessings are brought to the soul. Law teaches “Try to reach these blessings” but grace comes down to the lost one with God’s best. The Gospel of grace declares to all unbelievers that grace is free, the gift of God. Grace is applied to the believing sinner by the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of grace. (Zechariah 12:10)

The riches of His Grace

God's grace is sufficient

Here are some riches of His grace:

1. Under grace, God freely gives to the sinner eternal life (Romans 6:23) and accounts to him a perfect righteousness (Romans 3:21-22) and accords him a perfect position (Ephesians 2:19-22; compare with Romans 3:20)

2. Grace embraces Christ’s meritorious undertaking whereby all true believers become righteous in the sight of a righteous God. (Romans 5:19 compare with Romans 3:28)

3. Grace offers to all believing sinners the excellent and blessed state of reconciliation and fellowship. (Romans 5:2) We are at peace with God (Law drives us away from God- Isaiah 1)

4. The grace of God makes the Holy Spirit to work in us renewing us who are saved after the image of God, and continually guiding and empowering them to know and obey the divine will. The Spirit also enables the believer to resist, mortify and overcome sin. (Romans 6:14) Grace also qualifies the believer to receive Spiritual instruction and edification (Ephesians 4:11-13) and qualifies the believer to exercise the gifts of the Spirit (Ephesians 3:8; Philippians 1:7) 

5. Grace is associated with the development of faith, and patience enabling us to bear up under suffering until we receive the final installment of our salvation at the return of Christ (First Peter 1:13)

6. Grace makes spiritual things a relish to the child of God. God ceaselessly works through grace to impact to and perfect in the believer, corresponding graces (Galatians 5:22-23). This is why the throne of grace is sweet to the believer, but has no savour to the graceless person.

7. The law shouts and thunders – “stand afar off”; but grace invites us to draw near. Grace provides the access to God (Romans 5:1-2).

Grace keeps the believer in victory (Second Thessalonians 1:11-12) and makes him more than a conqueror.

In the Epistle to the Ephesians Paul lists seven things about grace
  •  1:6 – Acceptance
  • 1:7 – Forgiveness
  • 2:5-8 – Salvation
  • 2:7 – Display as trophies
  • 2:10 - Witness
  • 4:29 – Avenue of service
  • 6:24 – Benediction of love.

Grace does not imply the thought that God passes by the sin of any person. Grace supposes sin to be so horribly base and bad a thing that God in His holiness cannot tolerate it. If any man in his unrighteousness and evil condition could patch up his ways and stand before God, there would be no need of grace. But God sees the sinner utterly ruined, hopeless and helpless, and the triumph of grace is seen at Calvary, where Heaven’s love and Heaven’s justice meet. Christ bore the load and curse of human sin, and with God’s hatred against sin vindicated on the basis of His grace. He can now forgive the sinner.

While it is possible for a believer to fall from grace (Galatians 5:1); he can never fall out of grace. Christ is our Rock and has promised our eternal security (John 10:28-29).

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

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