THE SUFFICIENCY OF GRACE
We have a new brother in Christ. Donnie Patterson was baptized this past Tuesday (February 26th) at the Grayson County Detention Center. Through the teaching of God's word Donnie came to realize his lost state due to sin, and in obedience to the gospel decided to put on Christ through baptism.
Thinking of this wonderful event and given the privilege of performing this baptism, my thoughts were captivated by the wonderful grace of God. But what does this grace that God supplies really mean? If we truly want to be thankful for receiving God's grace, we should seek to understand as much as possible about grace.
As we discussed last week concerning our good works, Paul
writes about grace to the Ephesians (2:8) and the fact that it is a gift
from God. No one denies this. But a close reading of the context of this passage
will reveal to us that the recipients of God's grace are those who are
His workmanship (2:10). What this means is that while we can't perform a
work to earn salvation, for it is God's gift to us, we are recreated through the working of God who creates the new man free from sin by removing the old man of sin through spiritual circumcision (Col. 2:11,12). Man has obeyed God's command regarding salvation but the work here is performed by God and not man. The Ephesians had done this as well (1:13,14).
Grace is then made even more sufficient in that it
helps to provide strength to us for our daily walk. When Paul is
praying for the thorn in his flesh to be removed, he is told that God's
grace is sufficient, for God's power is made perfect through
weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). The grace mentioned here is, "The favor of
Christ, assisting and strengthening his followers and ministers to bear their troubles (Joseph
Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of The New Testament, pg. 666). Grace
then serves to help strengthen us through our Lord and His promises as
we contend with earthly struggles until our victory is complete.
Then there is the element of grace concerning instruction.
Titus was told by Paul that grace "appeared bringing salvation to all
men, instructing us to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly and righteously and godly in this present world (Titus
2:11,12; ASV). Grace then acts as a teacher helping us to understand
we can't live in sin and think that grace is going to cover ungodly
behavior (Ro. 6:1). God's love to us demands our love in return through obedient living as covenant children.
God's grace is truly sufficient for it serves many
functions in the life of God's children. Let us then walk in God's
light and live as recipients of His grace as we await the return of our blessed Savior and Lord. Rodger