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October 3, 2010
Riches of His Grace
“In Him we have redemptionthrough His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
“So that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7).
“Grace” is an often talked about concept in the religious world. It is also probably one of the most misused, misapplied, and misunderstood terms people use. “The free and unmerited favor of God” is the basic definition. Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17). The text from Ephesians (see above) is clear in expressing the location of grace — in Christ. Many want to think of salvation as coming through grace alone. This approach does disservice the beauty of God’s plan. The interaction of grace with the Savior, with Scripture, with faith with righteousness is so rich and amazing!
Grace — A Savior
One of the riches of His grace is a Savior. “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ” (John 1:14-17). All need him (Romans 3:23-28). How poor we would be without him. Without him there would be no atonement (1Peter 2:24) .Without him there would be no prepared place (John 14:1-4).
Grace — The Word
The word is another of the riches of His grace. “Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands” (Acts 14:3). “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). His grace, which came by Jesus, came in teaching (Titus 2:11,12). Think what it would be like with no word to save us or to furnish us unto every good work (John 8:32; 2Timothy 3:16,17).
Grace — Faith
Faithis another of the partners in the riches of His grace. Grace makes faith possible (Acts 18:27). There would be nothing to provide faith had not the word of his grace been given. Thus by faith we have access to grace: “through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2). Thus, whatever good comes from faith, comes from grace.
Grace — Justification
Justificationis another compeer of the riches of His grace. We are “made right” or justified, by grace through redemption in Christ Jesus (Titus 3:5-7). Notice that this only occurs when one is in Christ: “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). It must be remembered that this is not by grace only. Justification takes place only when one is in Christ because of faith and righteousness (Galatians 3:8-11).
Grace — Righteousness
Righteousnessis another of the riches of His grace. “The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:20-21). Indeed, we would not know right from wrong had not the word of his grace been given to show us the way.
Grace — Election
Electionis another of the riches of His grace. “In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice” (Romans 11:5). We don’t deserve to be his chosen people, for we have all sinned (Romans 3:23); yet, by his grace this is possible.
Grace — Salvation
Salvationis another of the riches of His grace: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-7). 1Timothy 1:9 states so plainly that laws apply when we break them. It took the gift of Christ to bring salvation.
Grace — Inheritance
Being made heirsof God is another of the riches of His grace. While speaking of how we ought to treat one another, Peter reminds us: “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered” (1Peter 3:7). That inheritance is a rich one (1Peter 1:3-5).
Grace is so important that we are admonished to “stand firm in it!” (1Peter 5:12). This grace is so important that we are to grow in it (2Peter 3:18). This grace is so important that we must not fall from it (Galatians 5:1-4). Grace results in eternal life — the final gift from God. We are taught to hope for the grace which is to come: “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1Peter 1:13).
These are the riches of his grace. Will you avail yourself of them? They are available, but we must meet the conditions which are required of us. Meeting the conditions required by God doesn’t negate His grace — in fact, it shows the wisdom of God’s grace. We couldn’t come up with a plan, much less implement it or provide for it. How gracious and loving is our God!
— S. Scott Richardson Sr.