God’s Inexhaustible Grace
As can be expected, the gift of grace, God’s infinite mercy, “hath appeared to all men” to accomplish many things for us. Limited understanding keeps believers spiritually poor and impoverished. Proper, scriptural understanding of the many-sided or “the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10) makes us spiritually strong, maintaining vital spiritual energy. Trusting in God to be saved by grace and relying on ourselves to live righteously merely by self-effort, without recourse to God’s grace is like being brought into the Kingdom of God by the effectual power of the Spirit of God and striving to remain in the kingdom in the energy of the flesh. How can we be so unwise and foolish? (Galatians 3:3).
No sinner could have paid the infinite penalty of sinning against the Almighty God and still live. Only God could have conceived the plan of salvation for sinful humanity. Every sin committed against God is a great debt owed. Innumerable sins have been committed against the eternal God (Psalm 40:12). How can man pay his debt and become free? Was he to stop sinning and start living righteously and perfectly (which is not possible in his own strength), that would not pay his past debts. It would only mean that the great past debts are not increasing but still must be paid. The only solution is for God to forgive, but a righteous and holy God cannot forgive without the satisfaction of His just demand! Someone has to pay the penalty. No man can pay for another because each man has his own debts to pay. Christ, God’s own Son, had to become Man, take our place, pay the penalty and releases us from our debts. That is love undeserved, mercy unmerited, favour which none of us qualifies for. That is grace – the free gift of salvation – bestowed at the incalculable, immeasurable price of the blood and life of Christ.
Salvation, full salvation, is by grace – the grace of God. Salvation from the penalty of sin, salvation from the pollution of sin, salvation from presumptuous sins, salvation from the power of sin, salvation from propensity to sin, salvation from the presence of sin, salvation from the prince of sinners, is all by grace, God’s incredible, incalculable grace. God saves and He sanctifies by His grace.
For a sinful man, who has struggled with many sins in his life without any victory, he thinks it is impossible to be saved from sin. Then “the grace of God that bringeth salvation” appears and says “thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). For the believer who is conscious of inward depravity and the propensity to sin, he wonders whether entire sanctification, unblemished holiness and transparent purity will ever be possible until the Spirit of God comes forth “crying, grace, grace” (Zechariah 4:6,7). And the angel assures him, “for with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). Then God in His infinite love, mercy and grace reminds him, “behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh, and there is nothing too hard for me” (Jeremiah 32:27,17). Then does he pray: ‘Purge me from every evil blot; my idols all be cast aside; cleanse me from every sinful thought, from all the filth of self and pride. Give me a new, a perfect heart, from doubt, and fear, and sorrow free; the mind which was in Christ impart, and let my spirit cleave to thee’. Faith pleads and asks. Grace says it is done.
Great things are spoken of God’s grace – strengthening grace, sustaining grace, surpassing grace, superlative grace, supernatural grace, super-abounding grace, sufficient grace. “As thy days, so shall thy strength be” (Deuteronomy 33:25,27). As the challenges and demands of the ministry increase, so the grace to serve and minister will increase. God gives sufficient grace to accomplish whatever task or duty He has assigned for each of us. Paul the Apostle did much, following through the divine appointment in ministry. He laboured more abundantly than all the other apostles; he laboured under the most oppressive, most difficult, most dangerous, most challenging conditions, all by God’s grace. Grace, grace; so deep, so high, so broad, so wide, infinite and inexhaustible, wonderful grace!
Further Reading: Titus 2:11; 1 Timothy 1:12-16; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:23,24; 5:6-21; Ephesians 2:1-10; 1:7,12; Titus 3:5-7; Acts 13:43; Hebrews 2:9-11; Ephesians 5:25-27; Hebrews 8:6,10; 10:10-14; 13:9,12-14; 10:19-23,29; 12:1,2,14,15; Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 3:10; 15:10; 2 Corinthians 12:9,1-10; 1 Peter 4:10-16; Acts 4:29-33; 20:19-24; Hebrews 12:28; 4:16.
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