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Posted on Nov 30, 2013 in Content |

Riches of Grace

Riches of Grace

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“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
Ephesians 1:7

Riches of Wealth

“Riches” is a term we usually think of more in connection to kings of old, rather than modern wealth. Mainly because back then everything was in cash and real property, instead of numbers residing in bank accounts.

Picture Solomon in all his glory. The Queen of Sheba, bringing “very much” gold and spices and jewels, saw his gilded house, the rich food, the clothing of the servants (let alone the officials), and the number of animals he could afford for burnt offerings. We read that “there was no more breath in her”. Even his tableware, cups, and dishes, were made not of silver, but of gold. Silver was considered as worthless in those days! This wasn’t just a king; this was a rich king.

Solomon’s riches represented how much he owned, how much sway he had in the kingdom and in the global economy. Who else had riches like him?

Not Just Grace

The grace God extended to us by Christ isn’t just grace. It’s rich grace. This grace is extravagant, opulent, and breathtaking, exceeding any other grace imaginable.

How Rich?

How far does God’s grace because of the cross of Christ go? Is grace only available to those who are good or are at least trying, or does God go so far as to give grace to wicked people who are helpless before Him? As Christians, agreeing with the latter answer comes easily to us.

A Traitor’s Sin Is Worse

But surely forgiveness is reluctant and conditional when it concerns the saved person who should know better than to deliberately walk into sin. Isn’t it?

Consider: Jesus sought you out long before you were born. He died on the cross for the sins that you may entertain even now. Yes, you do know better now, but all your sins were still in the future when Jesus gave up His life for you! He already died for all of them, no matter how more heinous they seem because of your level of knowledge.

That’s His Job

God still dispenses grace. That’s what He does. And He loves to do it. Psalm 50:15 records one of the things God wants most. “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

He delights to give grace to the repentant.

He delights to forgive all your sins.

…According to the riches of His grace.

-Ryan Farrington

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Posted on Nov 26, 2013 in Content |

Words of Grace

Words of Grace

 

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We learn in the book of Acts that believers earned the title of “Christian” because of how they were “like Christ”. The early church had believers who acted like Christ so often that people actually created a word to describe their actions. This idea should impact the way we learn from scripture, especially from the life of Christ.

Full of Truth and Grace

I love how John 1:14 reminds us of how Christ came from the Father “full of truth and grace”. As we read about all that Jesus began to do and teach, we see truth and grace modeled time and time again. Christ was gracious with disciples that may have spoken too quickly, and showed grace and mercy to people who, at any other time, would have been stoned, abandoned, ignored, or forgotten. As we read the life of Jesus, it is easy to see that He was so full of grace! The Word, that we read of early in the book of John, became flesh in Jesus, and He used that flesh to speak truth and grace.

Seasoned With Salt

Salt gives flavor to even the dullest of foods. In the same way, our speech should be full of grace. Grace should be the seasoning that makes all of our words sweet for other ears to hear. Colossians 4:6 pleads for our words to be full of grace so that we know how to answer everyone we come in contact with. We can be gracious with people who may have spoken too quickly, and we can show grace to someone who is abandoned, ignored, or forgotten (sound familiar?).

Sow Grace

After His baptism, Jesus spent forty days fasting in the wilderness. During this time, Satan came to tempt Him three times. Each time Satan tempted Him, Jesus always responded back, not with unkind words, but with scripture. If we are going to make our speech “full of grace” and “seasoned with salt”, we should follow Christ’s example, learning scriptures that will teach us how to answer everyone.

There’s an old saying that says that you reap what you sow. Why follow the example of Christ and plant good things instead of bad? Not long ago I heard a song that replied to this old saying in a beautiful way: “Sow mercy, sow grace, sow kindness, sow faith, words are like water, sprinkled with love, you will harvest all your heart’s been dreaming of.” Consider Christ, and use your lips to sow grace.

-Daniel Hayes

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Posted on Nov 23, 2013 in Content |

The Throne of Grace

The Throne of Grace
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“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

The New Reign

What is this throne of grace? Since Adam, sin reigned by the power of death. But God’s plan did not end with sin on the throne. God so loved the world that He sent His Grace. Grace came down from heaven in the form of a servant and seemed to be trampled under the foot of sin. But Christ seized sin, took sin on His shoulders, carried it to the cross, nailed it there, put it to death forever, and triumphed gloriously! Sin was conquered, and now Grace is enthroned, and it invites all to come. The wondrous love of God for the whole world, displayed in Christ on the cross, replaces death and judgment for sinners like us. We are so blessed to be living in the time of grace where law and judgment no longer run the show; grace reigns through Christ!

Help In Time Of Need

When we come to this throne of grace, we find Christ, our great High Priest. He is the one who can sympathize with our weaknesses and understands us. He knows the things that trouble our lives. He knows our needs and desires. He would gladly give abundantly above all we ask in faith. Simply come to the throne of grace, and He will give help for your every need.

-Chase Boone

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Posted on Nov 19, 2013 in Content |

Free Grace

freegrace
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But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.
Romans 5:15

No one is below the grace of God! Despite the seemingly hopeless condition that mankind is in, literally “dead in trespasses and sins”, the Lord is still at work. The love and mercy He shows for us is beyond anything we can possibly comprehend. He sent His own Son to die in our place, to pay the penalty for our sin. He made those who were dead in trespasses alive through Christ. Ephesians 2:8-9 emphasizes that there is nothing we could do, no work good enough to earn salvation. It was a gift, freely given by His grace. In His unmerited favor towards sinners, God gave a gift, a gift that He alone paid the price for.

No man can claim credit for his own salvation, nor can he win favor with God. God’s grace is not a prize to be won but a gift given to undeserving sinners, paid for by the death of Christ Jesus on the cross. This is what He offers freely by grace.

-Josh Wiley

 

 

 

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Posted on Nov 17, 2013 in Content |

Costly Grace

Costly Grace
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“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 through His poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9

Flipping our Perspective

Grace and mercy. Many have explained these terms as this: “grace is a gift we are given, but do not deserve,” and mercy is “punishment we deserve that is withheld.” These common phrases give a rough guideline for what grace and mercy are, but they only scratch the surface.

If you look closely, these descriptions of grace and mercy have something in common. They approach the topic from our perspective. But what about Christ? How does grace affect Him? This perspective shift is critical to uncovering why amazing grace is so amazing.

How is grace costly to Christ?

It says in the scriptures that Jesus is God. Totally equal in power, in love, in splendor. Before He came down from heaven, He reigned at God’s right hand. He was there for the creation of the universe, and He knows its future. This man, all-powerful and almighty, willingly left His heavenly throne to take on human flesh and live among us. Even if that were the end of the story and Jesus didn’t die for us, this epic act just shouts of the cost of grace.

However, that isn’t the end of the story, because Christ did die. Jesus wasn’t finished with giving His abundant graces. He chose to go to the cross, taking on the sin of humanity. All of the torture, pain, and death we should have received for our disobedience to God – Jesus took.

How much did it cost?

Grace cost everything. Christ had to leave His Father to be with us. He walked the dirt paths as a common man. He preached to people who hated Him. And then He died for them and for us, to free us from sin. Grace is certainly a free gift to us. To Christ, it was bought at a high price.

-Ben Eisman

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