Posted by ITWMinistries

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.

Ephesians 1:7- 8 (NKJ)

Grace was a song we often heard as children at Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church.  I can still hear in my mind the Senior Choir, led by Mrs. Olivia Gentry, bellowing out the chorus which highlighted the richness and indescribable power of God’s grace.

Grace, Grace, God’s grace

His grace is sufficient for me.

Grace, Grace, God’s grace

His grace will give you

The victory.

As we continue our series on victorious living, we would be remiss if we did not take time to examine the source of our salvation and “crown jewel” of God’s blessings—God’s grace—without which, victorious living would be impossible.  For it was the grace of God that would finally resolve man’s issue with sin—his personal sin that thwarted his relationship with His Heavenly Father.  It would take extraordinary, boundless grace to reverse the downward spiral of fallen man.

In the Old Testament, grace (hen) generally referred to one finding favor and acceptance with God (Gen. 6:8; Exo. 34:9; Ps. 84:11).  In the New Testament, while grace still infers the favor of God, grace (charis) is extended to include God’s good will and loving-kindness.  This boundless gift of grace was and is extended to us through Jesus Christ (Titus 2:11, 14).

Jesus Christ made it possible for God to complete His plan of salvation, created before the foundations of the world (1 John 3:5, 8; 4:9).  This “glorious grace” (Ep. 1:6), which actually characterizes the nature of God  has resulted in God’s choosing us, adopting us as sons, and making us ”acceptable in the Beloved” or one with Christ (Ep. 1:3-6).

In Christ, man finds redemption and forgiveness of sin.  Jesus satisfies the holy and “legal” requirements of God by paying the price for sin with “the shedding of blood” (Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22).  When God’s people chose to continue in their sin, unable to keep His laws, God made actual the eternal blessing uttered in eternity.  God sent His Son (John 3:16).

In Ephesians 1:8, Paul states that the riches of God’s grace abound toward us.  The RSV translation builds on that thought, using instead, “lavished upon us.”  Such extraordinary covering by God’s grace flows from the depth of His love (1 John 4:9-10) and includes with it the recipient’s understanding (wisdom and prudence) of “Christ’s purpose, to feel His heart of mercy, to approve and to concur with His redeeming plans, as men ‘made wise unto salvation’” [1]

One thing all men (and women) have in common regardless of time, space, or geography is sin.  We see sin’s effects everyday—crime, civil strife, social injustice—all these find their root in sin.  And there are “subtle sins” that are hidden from the visible eye yet still affect the behavior of individuals, churches, and society, in general—greed, jealousy, envy and hate.   But “in Christ”, the believer’s identity with Christ and his position before God the Father, men now have access to the only thing that can reverse sin’s grip on hearts.

The issues of the 21st century are in actuality “heart issues”.  Hearts hardened and determined to live self-centered and disobedient lives.  Neither money nor power can resolve humanity’s woes.  Narcissistic or charismatic leaders cannot end political impasse.  Better schools or larger jails won’t end generations of economic inequality.  There is only one thing that can reverse the cycle of death set forth by sin in the Garden of Eden—it’s God’s boundless gift of grace.

Alec Motyer in this classic book, Look to the Rock, gives insight into the impact of God’s boundless gift of grace:  “When God’s people could not rise to the height of His standard, God didn’t lower His standard to match their abilities, He transformed them.”  This transformation is possible only through acceptance of God’s boundless gift of grace.

Grace, Grace, God’s grace

His grace will give you

The victory.

SELAH:  Write down your thoughts on how the boundless gift of God’s grace has changed, is changing, or can change your life.

[1]  Ephesians Studies, H.C.G. Moule

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