Live in the reign of Grace
Let me tell you this:
We are bought into the kingdom by grace; we were chosen by grace; we are sanctified by grace; we receive temporal blessings and spiritual blessings in this life by grace; we are called to serve our Master by grace; we are enabled to serve Him by grace; we receive strength to endure trials and tribulation by grace; And finally we will be glorified by grace.
Therefore, while we are on earth, we should live in the reign of grace. The entire Christian life is not performance of good works’ in order for Christians to be called “goody, goody Christians”. But by grace and by grace alone. It is the work of God’s grace working within you. Your good works are evidence of God’s grace working in you. Even your faith is the work of God’s grace. Your obedience is the work of God’s grace.
In Christ’s ministry here on earth, did He use the term ‘grace’? Did you hear Him say ‘grace’? You may be surprised to know that Jesus never used the term. He never defined it. He just lived it. It was John the beloved who described Him as “full of grace and truth” That is an amazing and fascinating description.
Furthermore, the Bible does not give us one sentence definition. But it is found in the pages of the Bible, not only the word itself, but numerous demonstrations of it. To help us better understand, let us see the original meaning. In the old Hebrew, it means “to bend”, “to stoop”. Then later it includes the idea of ‘condescending favour.’
Sometimes you see it on TV, where a member of the royal family appears in public, you will notice the sophistication, aloofness, and distancing of oneself from the common people. Security guards are all around her. But on some occasions, when it is safe, e.g., the Queen, will make headline news because she will stop, bend, stoop, kneel down and touch children or bless them even though they are just a commoner. That is grace. That is why they sometimes address her as “your Grace”. There is nothing in the commoner that deserves being noticed or touched or blessed by the royal family. But because out of the goodness, out of the grace of her heart, there is that desire at that moment to pause, to stoop, to bend, to touch and even to bless a commoner. Donald Barnhouse who I often heard on the FEBC radio a long time ago, said: “Love that goes upward is worship; love that goes outward is affection; love that stoops is grace.”
You often hear/read from me: Grace is God’s free and unmerited favour shown to guilty sinners who deserve only judgment. It is the love of God to the unlovely. It is God reaching downward to people who are in rebellion against Him.
Grace rescued us from the penalty of our sins. But His grace also provides new spiritual insights and abilities for us to grow to maturity.
Phil. 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing (by grace), that He who has begun a good work in you (by grace) will complete it (by grace) until the day of Jesus Christ (by grace).