May the grace of God be exhausted

Fully hope in grace - and experience victorious Christianity! (FMN)

06/05/2015 staff supplied

Bernhard Brockhaus

God gives grace in abundance so that we can live victorious Christian lives. We have "access to this grace in which we stand". It is entirely up to us whether we value this “access”, use it and hope for grace.
Follow me - issue 6/2015

What does God's Word say about grace and experiencing grace? The following thoughts are certainly not exhaustive, but may inspire further reflection and thanks to the "God of grace".

 

What is grace

The grace of God is very appropriately described as undeserved love, kindness, or favor of God turned to a sinner or a child of God. The "target group" of grace is thus established, and we want to think about its origin and its content and purpose.

 

origin

"But the God of all grace ... will make you perfect" (1 Pet 5:10). The origin of grace is to be found in God himself. He gives us his grace. And in Christ he even has it before eternity Times given (2. Tim 1,9)!

 

"Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (Jn 1:17). If God is the origin of grace, then Christ is the person through whom grace came to us. If we want to experience God's grace, then in and through Christ, and we only have practical experiences of his grace in communion with him.

 

This is why the apostle Paul, through the Holy Spirit, also describes his word, which testifies of him, as the "word of his grace" (Acts 20:32; cf. also chapter 14.3). From God's word we receive knowledge of his grace, because it introduces Himself.

 

Content and purpose

Christ is not only the mediator, but also the content of this grace. This is particularly evident in the first chapter of Ephesians. There the Holy Spirit speaks of the glory and riches of God's grace. Both are revealed and accessible to us in the person of the Lord Jesus. Through Him we are destined "to be sonship", we have forgiveness of sins, and are pardoned and redeemed.

 

In Titus 2:11 we read that the grace of God is saving: "For the grace of God has appeared, saving for all human beings." His grace is aimed at people who have fallen away from God, who would be hopelessly lost without grace. God's grace alone brings salvation to the lost man. "For by grace you are saved" (Eph 2: 8).

 

So grace is also in opposition to the law, which could not save us. This is made clear by the verse from John 1:17 already quoted: “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ ". Paul describes this contrast in his letter to the Galatians, who were in danger of placing themselves under the law again:" You are separated from Christ as many as you want to be justified in the law; you have fallen from grace "(Galatians 5: 4).

 

God could relate to man only on the basis of his grace, and she to him. Jesus Christ was "a little humbled among the angels because of the suffering of death ... so that by God's grace he tasted death for everything" (Heb 2.9). Through Christ, the "author of our salvation", God did "Brought many sons to glory".

 

Now through the death of the Lord Jesus sin no longer reigns in the believer, but grace through righteousness: “But where sin has abounded, grace has become even more abundant, so that just as sin reigned in death, so too Grace reigns through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord "(Rom. 5:20, 21). Grace reigns not at the expense of God's righteousness, but by virtue of the finished work of the Lord Jesus, on whom God's righteous judgment on our sins was performed has been.

 

Why does God give grace?

In the already mentioned passage in Titus 2 we read on: “The grace of God ... instructs us so that we, denying godlessness and worldly desires, may live prudently and justly and godly in the current course of time, while we await the blissful hope and appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify themselves a people of property who are zealous in good works. "

 

Saving grace turns a sinner into a born again child of God. But that is not the end of the work of God's grace. God wants to work and teach us daily through his grace.

 

The objectives of the instruction are:

  • Denial of godlessness and worldly desires;
  • Prudence;
  • practical justice;
  • Godliness;
  • the living, daily expectation of the Lord Jesus;
  • grasping and clinging to the truth that we are bought and cleansed;
  • good works.

His grace also enables us to hold on to good doctrine. "It is good that the heart is strengthened by grace", so that we are not carried away "by various and foreign doctrines" (Heb 13: 9), but "go out to him outside the camp, bearing his disgrace" (Heb 13: 9), 13).

 

Another aim of the instruction of God's grace according to Titus 2 is that we “are zealous in good works”. God not only wants to instruct us in them, but also equip us for his work: "But God is able to let every grace flow towards you so that you are satisfied in everything, at all times, abound in every good work"(2 Cor. 9: 8).

 

How do we experience His grace?

In Romans 5: 1.2 we read that we basically have access to grace, that is, in God's presence, to his mercy seat, through the Lord Jesus and faith in him. We are in grace, as the Holy Spirit puts it there. Regardless of the circumstances and our condition, we have received this grace and - as the footnote in the Elberfeld translation (CSV) says - we still have it.

 

Put yourself under grace

In chapters 5 and 6 of his letter to the Romans, Paul develops the instruction that we must consciously expose ourselves to grace and see ourselves, so to speak, from the perspective of God, who sees us as "dead to sin ... but God alive in Christ Jesus "(Rom. 6:11). This is not a matter of feeling, but a conscious rethinking, a conscious reorientation. The truth that grace is in opposition to the law is experienced in practice through the conscious focus on God and himself Complete abandonment of one's own ability and creativity. "Do not present your members of sin as instruments of injustice, but present yourselves to God as living from the dead and your members to God as instruments of righteousness, for sin will not rule over you for you are not under law but under grace" (Rom. 6:13, 14). Grace is experienced where trust in one's own strength has come to a standstill.

 

Receiving grace in vain

Because of the many shortcomings in their midst, Paul had to admonish the Corinthians not to have received grace in vain (2 Cor. 6: 1). They too had access to this grace, but the teachings of God's grace had not fallen on fertile ground with them. Hence, they needed to be reminded of what grace wanted to work in them. If we trust in our flesh and think highly of ourselves, we too are in danger of receiving grace in vain, so that it does not achieve the purpose and effect for which it was given.

 

humility

But those who have recognized that no victory can be achieved with their own strength will gladly submit to those who want to give victory and hope for his grace. "But he gives grace to the humble" (Jam 4: 6). Humility is the prerequisite for experiencing his grace. Paul was given "a thorn for the flesh so that he would not become overbearing". To Paul's prayer to take this thorn away, the Lord replied: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is worked out in weakness" (2 Cor 12: 9). God's grace enabled him to endure this thorn with endurance because he humbly submitted to the will of God.

 

Grow in grace!

This humility is also the prerequisite for growing in grace, as Peter writes in his second letter: "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." This expression is somewhat astonishing. How can one grow in grace? ? The answer is not difficult at all.

 

It is the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As Christ grows in importance in our hearts and minds, we will be aware day by day that we stand in grace (cf. Rom 5: 2) and so grow in it. This will lead us to the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ himself, from whose "fullness we all receive, and grace for grace" (Jn 1:16).

 

“But the God of grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ Jesus after you have suffered for a short time, he himself will make you perfect, strengthen, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever! Amen."

 

Follow me - issue 6/2015