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Grace

Grace is Sovereign

Ephesians 4:7
But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
NRSV

This sovereign application of grace is part of the mystery of the entire process of salvation.

1 Timothy 3:16
16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

This mystery is one of the marvels of God’s dealing with mankind and is summed up in the concept of grace. God has been several thousands of years being patience as he deals with us. The mystery started when He pronounced the coming gospel to those present in the Garden of Eden:

Genesis 3:15
15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

Grace was present as He made clothes for Adam and Eve.

Genesis 3:21
21 Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.

Grace was present as He dealt with Noah and those at the Tower of Babel and Abraham. That salvation has always been founded upon grace is found in the manner of Abraham’s salvation:

Genesis 15:6
6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

Then, grace is found in God’s dealing with Pharaoh and bringing the descendants of Abraham, the nation of Israel out of Egypt. And, grace is found in God’s dealing with the nation over the next 1,000-1,500 years. Without citing a specific instance, the entire pattern of the nation’s history is a cycle of the people walking with God, becoming complacent and prideful in the walk, falling into sin and bondage as a result of this pride and self-centeredness, falling deeper into bondage, and finally, calling out to God, a God who remains faithful to His promises, a God who reaches out to the nation to deliver them once again. This is a picture of grace in action.

The cycle points to man’s shortfall. Walking continually with God is difficult because the self-centeredness and prideful nature of man gets in the way. Man, generally speaking, is so full of himself, that he must take credit for, at least, part of his actions, if not all of them. The modern scientist moves science and its discoveries to the center of all things. God falls by the wayside.  The modern Christian moves his own actions and “spirituality” to the center, moving God to the sidelines. Neither position acknowledges that all of creation, all discoveries, all gifts, all ministries are completely dependant upon God’s grace, kindness, love, and benevolence. Man by his natural makeup does not want to give God any credit. So, we fail to appreciate the full richness of grace.

John 15:5
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

Perhaps, at this point we should discuss the differences in Law and Grace.

 

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