Chapter 28

And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
(John 1:16-17)

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
(2Corinthians 8:9)

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
(Titus 2:11 NIV)

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!” (John Newton).  Oh, the wonder of God’s grace!!

God’s grace is evident throughout the New Testament, yet it is not spoken of in detail anywhere.  Grace is usually mentioned in the context of other important truths, so the importance of grace tends to be obscured.  “Love” is spoken of in detail in 1st Corinthians 13; and “faith” in Hebrews 11, but “grace” has no such focus anywhere.  So, it is easy to miss the importance of God’s grace.

What is grace?  Grace is often defined as “unmerited favor” or “unmerited blessing.”  “Unmerited” means we don’t deserve it; we haven’t earned it.  God’s grace is involved in all of the many blessings God gives us; all of which we don’t deserve.  When we say that “God is love” (1John 4:16) we are primarily speaking of God’s character.  When we speak of God’s grace, we are primarily speaking of God’s provision for us: things God gives us, or things God does for us.  Grace may be thought of as outward actions resulting from love.

Salvation is primarily a matter of God’s grace:

For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

The following six chapters will look at various aspects of God’s grace given to those who are saved, to those who turn to God in repentance and have faith in Jesus (per chapter 16):

-  Because Jesus shed his blood, our sins are forgiven.

-  Because Jesus died, we are set free from sin.

-  Because Jesus rose from the dead, we have new life.

-  Because Jesus is exalted, the Holy Spirit is poured out.

-  We are members of one body, the body of Christ.

-  God has given us every spiritual blessing in Christ. 

Similarly, the next section is about “Things God and We Do.”  All of the things discussed in those chapters also involve God’s grace toward us:  faith, hope, love, walking by the Spirit, the fruit of the spirit, different gifts, and laying on of hands.  The grace of God can be understood to include every good thing God gives us or does for us.  It’s not surprising that Paul summarized the ministry that he received from the Lord Jesus as this:  “to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”  (Acts 20:24).

Thank you, God, for your grace that is ours through Jesus!

For Further Reflection

Luke 15:11-32:  A father’s example of grace.

Romans 5:1-2:  Gaining access to grace through faith.

Romans 5:15-21:  Abundant grace.

Romans 12:6-8:  Gifts that differ according to grace given.

2Corinthians 9:8:  God is able to make all grace abound.

Galatians 5:4:  Fallen from grace.

Titus 2:11-15:  The grace of God teaches us.

Hebrews 4:15-16:  Find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 12:15-16:  Don’t fail to obtain the grace of God.

James 4:6, 1Peter 5:5:  God gives grace to the humble.

1Peter 4:10-11:  Be good stewards of God’s grace.

Jude 1:4:  Perverting the grace of God.

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