Thankful for God's Grace!
"I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus,"
(1 Cor. 1:4)
Richland ARP hosted an evening Community Reformation Service on the last Sunday of October; 2020. Several churches were represented. One goal of the night was to have 5 preachers each present a 5 minute message on one of the "5 Solas" of the Reformation (Scripture… Faith… Grace… Christ… & Glory to God… ALONE!)
[YOU CAN WATCH THE PRESENTATION ON YOUTUBE BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK]
Let's just say that the strict time limit was loosely kept! But all the messages were well received and it was an enjoyable time of fellowship afterward!
My presentation was on "Grace Alone." One nagging thought after most sermons preached is, "I wish I could do that over again!" So here is another lesson about why we should be thankful for God's grace.
Firstly, God's grace is Amazing! Anyone who has sung the hymn, "Amazing Grace," should be able to identify with extended descriptions of God's grace. The hymn takes on even more significance when we realize that it was written by a former slave trader who stood amazed that God "could save a wretch" like him.
Secondly, God's love is Sovereign! A "sovereign" is the absolute ruler of all things holding absolute rights to judge or save all who are under his authority. When we speak of the "grace of God" being "given" to us, we must realize that something about God's will and disposition has changed toward us. How did this happen? Did we do something special to earn this favor? Did God lack something in His nature that would require Him to act mercifully with us?
The answer is, "No." From all eternity, and merely because it pleased Him, God determined that He would save a particular people who were actually actively rebelling against His truth and glory, by intervening and sending them a redeemer. This is why we read that God's grace is "in Christ." Everything about Jesus Christ is pleasing to God the Father! All those who are united to Christ, by faith, receive God's gracious favor so that they, too, are considered the very "Sons of God" -- inheritors of all of the blessings and benefits of the Sovereign God.
Thirdly, God's grace is Elective! This does not mean that a Christian gets to choose one way or another -- which sadly, many people believe -- that they were saved by exercising some option, or by meeting a stipulation, or enacting a clause… No; the scriptures say that we were "dead in our sins and trespasses." Dead people can't choose, exercise, or enact anything! "Electing Grace" is what we recognize as the eternal and hidden decrees of God. All of this to confirm that we have nothing to boast about in our salvation; furthermore, we cannot point to any conditions being met on our part; and finally, affirming that what God has started, He alone is able to complete! THAT IS GREAT GRACE!
Fourthly, God's grace is Irresistible! Remember that when we speak of a Christian's salvation, we must recall all of the Trinity being active in that work (rather than us doing something to "earn the grace!" (?) ). If God the Father planned for our salvation; and God the Son provided for that salvation; then certainly, God the Holy Spirit must apply that salvation to us! Can we resist the Truine God and His eternal plans? No way! Furthermore, the Spirit seals us for the day of redemption. From God's call, to the Son's sacrifice, to the Spirit's regeneration, we have been graciously set-apart as a vessel, minister, instrument, and child of God's grace!
Lastly, God's grace is Sufficient! In all that we have discussed, we have all that we need for assurance, sanctification, good works, spiritual gifts, eternal life, etc. etc. etc.
Praise God for His glorious grace! -km
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