Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Some More Reflections on Grace

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 1:2). 

Grace flows like an endless and eternal fountain from God our Father toward us as his children.  It is like the air we breath and an eternal fountain flowing from an endless ocean of grace in which we swim.  It is sovereign and endless and free.  As recipients, we do not deserve it and cannot do a single thing to earn it.  God gives it freely to whom he chooses.  It begins in His electing love and finds its culmination in our eternal glorification.  We will never be able to plummet the depths of His grace even in eternity and that it is so endless that we will never exhaust it in eternity (Eph 2:7).  Yet it is available to all who will receive him, who will trust in the work of his crucified Son!
What is so amazing is that I have experienced this grace.  It overwhelms me with praise and thanksgiving that I am a recipient of this priceless grace, that I breathe and swim in it, that this fountain of grace is always at my disposal, and that I will never be able to exhaust it.   It secures for me the promise of every spiritual blessing in Christ.  There has never been and will never be a blessing that is good for me that He will withhold from me.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Being Overwhelmed by Grace!

Whenever I prepare to preach a passage there are always great ideas I must cut out for the sake of time and focus.  Last  week I made the difficult decision to cut out a significant idea from Galatians 4:1-11, being known by God.  Most of who are Christ followers describe our relationship to God in terms of us at the center and move toward God so we use terms like my walk with God.  Paul does the same thing but he catches himself in mid sentence to clarify and make a clearer, more accurate statement, "now that you have come to know God, or rather be known by God (4:9)."  He points to a more important and fundamental truth to our experience of knowing God's saving love as a Father and that is His prior knowledge of us in setting His affection on us.  This knowing of us by God points to his choosing of us as an act of free grace.  It is almost synonomous to his choosing us.  That is why translators translate the word known as choosing in some instances.  For example,
"For I have chosen , that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him." (Gen 18:19 ESV) 
"You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. (Amo 3:2 ESV) 
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."  (Jer 1:5 ESV)  
It overwhelms me to know that before I existed, before I did anything good or bad, He set his saving love and affection on me then at just the right time called me to himself, caused me to be born again so that faith was a wakened and I said yes to Jesus!  Such grace leaves me speechless.