GRACE

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Our God lavishes us with His Grace.

Grace is a Gift from God
Ephesians 2:8
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.

True grace overwhelms us with a sense of God’s love for us – thus our heart resonates with the things God desires; as such, His purposes become our purposes. Our soul delights to obey and serve Him because of our love for Him (1 Jn 4:19), and our thanksgiving for “His mercy” makes us long to honor Him.

The Heart, stirred by Faith received in Grace grows in degrees of joyful and rapturous Love of God. Desiring to become what is lovingly gazed upon in the walk with His Spirit, each is spurred towards ongoing redemption, healing, altruistic love and the desire to become like the Eternal God that so lovingly beheld.

Holy Rain

The Spirit of The Lord becomes like sweetened water poured into the chalice in the heart. We receive love, mercy, peace. Grace instills a binding relational love that inspires all of life. The Heart walks in a desire for sanctification; we long to draw close to God, the wonder that we see. We come, givers of a Holy Rain, as we have been given to.

We become cupped, like vessels prepared to be filled to the brim and more by the blessings of God’s abundant love and mercy, forever united by faith- recipients of an inheritance bestowed by His Grace.

Galatians 2:19-21
For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

We need to turn to The Lord with our hearts and lives so that we live in the Fullness of Grace.

We need to surrender and unburden our hearts before Him and allow His Grace to be released into us like a holy rain from His Altar in Heaven. It is our only salvation, hope, and everlasting peace. This is the resting place that can keep us in a relationship with His Love, now, here and forevermore. I witnessed God’s Grace directly during a sermon in Church. Though I had attended many churches and roamed for years even a decade, it was on the first day and the first sermon that I heart Pastor Tom give at this church that I experienced the presence of Christ Jesus directly. I did experience the glory of God that day.

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“We long to taste the glory of God in such an astonishing way that the city of Alexandria will be drawn to the majesty and mercy of our great God. It is our desire that our worship will serve as an authentic model to our city of the possibilities for transformation of individuals, families, and a city encountering the glory and grace of God.” Pastor Tom Holliday of Alexandria Presbyterian Church

This eloquent description of Grace was given by R.C. Sproul

What Is Grace?

by R.C. Sproul

A number of decades ago at the Ligonier Valley Study Center, we sent out a Thanksgiving card with this simple statement: “The essence of theology is grace; the essence of Christian ethics is gratitude.” In all the debates about our role versus God’s role in sanctification—our growth in holiness—we’d stay on the right track if we’d remember this grace-gratitude dynamic. The more we understand how kind God has been to us and the more we are overcome by His mercy, the more we are inclined to love Him and to serve Him.

Yet we can’t get the grace-gratitude dynamic right if we aren’t clear on what grace means. What is grace? The catechisms many of us learned as children give us the answer: “Grace is the unmerited favor of God.” The first thing that we understand about grace is what it’s not—it’s not something we merit. In fact, if that is all we ever understand about grace, I’m sure God will rejoice that we know His grace is unmerited. So, here’s our working definition of grace—it is unmerit.

Paul’s epistle to the Romans sheds light on what we mean when we say that grace is unmerit. In 1:18–3:20, the Apostle explains that on the final day, for the first time in our lives, we will be judged in total perfection, in total fairness, in absolute righteousness. Thus, every mouth will be stopped when we stand before the tribunal of God. This should provoke fear in the hearts of fallen people, as condemnation is the only possible sentence for sinful men and women: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (3:23).

But those who trust in Christ Jesus have hope, for if we are in Him by faith, we have been “justified freely by His grace.” Note that justification is accomplished not by obligation, but freely through grace on account of the redemption purchased by Jesus alone. There’s no room for boasting, for we are justified not by our works but by grace alone through faith alone. Paul goes on to cite Abraham as the preeminent example of one who was justified by faith alone and therefore free from God’s sentence of condemnation. If the basis for Abraham’s salvation, his justification, was something that Abraham did—some good deed, some meritorious service that he performed, some obligation that he performed—if it were on the basis of works, Paul says, he would have had something about which to boast. But Abraham had no such merit. All he had was faith, and that faith itself was a gift: “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness” (4:3; see Eph 2:8-10).

Romans 4:4 is a key passage here:

Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

That’s grace. Paul couldn’t say it any other way. To him who works, it’s debt; if you merit something, it means that someone is obligated to pay you. If I hire you as an employee and promise to pay you one hundred dollars if you work eight hours, I must pay you for working the eight hours. I’m not doing you a favor or giving you grace. You’ve earned your pay. You’ve fulfilled the contract, and I’m morally obliged to give you your wages.

With respect to the Lord, we are debtors who cannot pay. That’s why the Bible speaks of redemption in economic language—we were bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20). Only someone else—Christ—can pay our debt. That’s grace. It’s not our good works that secure our rescue but only the works of Christ. It’s His merit, not ours. We don’t merit anything. He grants us His merit by grace, and we receive it only by faith. The essence of grace is its voluntary free bestowal. As soon as it’s a requirement, it’s no longer grace.

Grace should never cease to amaze us. God has an absolute, pure, holy standard of justice. That’s why we cling with all our might to the merit of Jesus Christ. He alone has the merit to satisfy the demands of God’s justice, and He gives it freely to us. We haven’t merited it. There’s nothing in us that elicits the Lord’s favor that leads to our justification. It’s pure grace.

Quotes on Grace

Martin Luther said, “I have been preaching and cultivating the message of grace now for almost twenty years, and I still feel the old clinging dirt of wanting to deal so with God that I may contribute something so that He will have to give me His grace in exchange for my holiness. And still I cannot get it into my head that I should surrender myself completely to sheer grace; yet I know that this is what I should and must do.”

J. I. Packer said, “the true driving force in authentic Christian living is a heart of gratitude.” The “conditional nature” of many human relationships causes us to think of God’s love as that which is subject to the vagaries and degrees of our obedience. The consequences of sin reinforces this misconception. It is wrong to think, however, that because there is a divine discipline or temporal consequence resulting from personal sin, God’s love is altered.

J. D Greear
In Christ, there is nothing I can do that would make You love me more and nothing I have done that makes You love me less.

C.S. Lewis
When I have learned to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. Insofar as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased.

A.W. Tozer
Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines Him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving. It is a self-existent principle inherent in the divine nature and appears to us as a self-caused propensity to pity the wretched, spare the guilty, welcome the outcast, and bring into favor those who were before under just disapprobation. Its use to us sinful men is to save us and make us sit together in heavenly places to demonstrate to the ages the exceeding riches of God’s kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

A.W. Tozer
Jesus is not one of many ways to approach God, nor is He the best of several ways; He is the only way.

John Piper
Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon. Therefore the effort we make to obey God is not an effort done in our own strength, but in the strength which God supplies.

George Whitefield
What! Get to heaven on your own strength? Why, you might as well try to climb to the moon on a rope of sand!

Elisabeth Elliot
In space, astronauts experience the misery of having no reference point, no force that draws them to the center. Where there is no “moral gravity” – that is, no force that draws us to the center – there is spiritual weightlessness. We float on feelings that will carry us where we were never meant to go; we bubble with emotional experiences that we often take for spiritual ones; and we are puffed up with pride. Instead of seriousness, there is foolishness. Instead of gravity, flippancy. Sentimentality takes the place of theology. Our reference point will never serve to keep our feet on solid rock. Our reference point, until we answer God’s call, is merely ourselves. We cannot possibly tell which end is up.

And then,
2 Corinthians 3:18
“We, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord.”

Read the Holy Bible with online resources for study and commentary

Blue Letter Bible

Bible.org

Reformation Study Bible

Mongerism ~ Tim Keller

Enduring Word Bible Commentary

Ligonier Ministries ~ R.C Sproul

Bible in One Year

C.S. Lewis Institute

John F. Walvoord

Studylight Resources

And Enjoy these Posts on Grace from The Beloved:

“Living by Grace; The Lord is our Strength” from Bob Hoekstra

“Propitiation in the Bible”, from Knowing God by J. I. Packer

Irresistible Grace by John Murray, Theologian trustee of “The Banner of Truth”

Martin Luther on Grace

Grace; it embraces all heart and soul with the Divine…words and quotes to soak in!

“Christianity is a Love Story”, Richard Sibbes describes God’s relationship to His people; Mark Dever on Sibbes ‘Centrality of the Heart’

“The Method of Grace” by George Whitefield (1714-1770)

“Christ in you, the hope of glory”, magnificent commentary of life sanctified

“God’s Grace Received Must Be Bestowed”, Titus 3:4-8, Sermon by Martin Luther (1522)

“Christian Life is more than just ‘Jesus and me.’ But not less.” from David Mathis

“I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever” Psalm 89, a study with David Guzik on The Incomparable God and His Covenant to David

“Abraham’s Patient, Heavenly Pilgrimage by Faith” from B. Hoekstra’s Day by Day Grace

“Living by Grace; The Lord is our Strength” from Bob Hoekstra

The Original Puritan Work Ethic by Leland Ryken…”Drops of Glory fall upon us”

“Walking by Faith, Not by Sight” from Bob Hoekstra’s Day by Day Grace

Irresistible Grace by John Murray, Theologian, trustee of “The Banner of Truth”

 

 

 

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