When We Need It (1)
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
Divine disposition, communication, and power
We’re cruising along the backstretch of our series on “Grace for Your Time of Need”, but before pressing on to look more specifically at those times we need the grace of God, let’s review our progress to this point.
We began this study of grace by describing it in relation to God, rather than to ourselves. While grace is something we experience, grace comes to us from God. Its origins are in God, in His being kindly and lovingly disposed toward us. God looks on all His creatures with favor. He loves the world which He made, and He even loves those who deny and despise Him.
But He especially loves those whom He has set apart for Himself to be the people through whom He will fill the earth with the knowledge of His glory. Grace begins in God, in the attitude of His heart – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – by which He is disposed with favor, generosity, kindness, patience, and love toward everything He has made, but especially toward His chosen people.
To them God communicates His grace. He explains to them His love for them, by enabling them to see His glory in created things, and by speaking to them through His Word, to tell them of His great love. God explains the bounty and beauty of the world, and the many blessings His people know, as tokens of His great love for them. He does this to provoke His people to love Him in return, and to live for Him so that the world will be compelled to see the goodness and glory of God; and every knee will bow to Him and confess Him as Lord. Humankind’s fullest joy and satisfaction come in knowing, loving, and serving the God Who made them. God’s people have come to know this eternal life, and God sends them to the world as agents of His grace, that others might know, love, and serve Him as well.
By His grace, God empowers His people to be agents of grace to the world. We bring the Good News of God’s special and saving grace to people who all their lives have taken God’s grace for granted. In proclaiming the grace of God to lost men and women, we long for the Spirit of God to strike a spark of saving grace in their hearts, so that thanks and praise to God may increase on the earth.
Grace abounding within the framework of grace
This grace agenda is a sure bet. God has set up the world so that His grace cannot fail, and the ends He seeks in showing grace to the world must be fulfilled.
He has entered a covenant of grace with His people, taking an oath and swearing upon Himself that His promises to them will not fail, and the wrath they deserve, He will bear Himself. We are in league with God in an eternal pact of grace and glory, and He calls us to live each day with increasing vision and vigor toward the precious and very great promises of the Lord.
To implement that covenant and secure the fulfillment of those promises, God has sent His Kingdom to the world, in the Person of His Holy Spirit. He has turned loose the power of grace unto righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit; and He calls His people – as agents of grace – to seek that Kingdom as their first and highest priority in all things.
And God is building His Church as the temporal embodiment of His grace, a community of people saved by grace and unto grace in the world, that the grace of His Kingdom and covenant might become visible to all.
Within this strong framework of covenant, Kingdom, and Church, the grace of God cannot fail to accomplish His eternal purpose of filling the earth with His goodness and glory.
Grace above all in Jesus
To secure the promises of grace for His people, to show them the way into His covenant and Kingdom, and to engage them in the work of building His Church, God sent His own Son, the Word of God, even our Lord Jesus Christ, as the true and faithful embodiment of His grace. In Him we see grace lived, fulfilled, enlarged, and set down before us. By Him we increase in grace and are restored to His very image. By Him the Church grows in grace to become the true Body of Christ on earth. In the contemplation of Jesus – in all phases of His Being, life, ministry, exaltation, rule, and return – we see the fullest picture of grace, and engage the rich potential of grace for making all things new.
By the grace of God through Jesus Christ, the faithful people of God cannot fail to realize His promises, achieve His Kingdom, build His Church, and glorify our Lord Jesus Christ in all their words and works. Grace abounds to us daily, grace sufficient for all our times of need (Heb. 13.20, 21). But we must diligently seek the grace we need, lest we rely on our own strength or the strength of others to achieve the ends we seek.
And we must be alert to those times when we need the grace of God, so that we might cast ourselves entirely on the Lord Jesus, pleading with the Father that He might increase in us and we might decrease, that grace may abound through us unto the praise of the glory of our Father’s great grace and love.
We turn, therefore, to consider those times when we need to have the grace of God at work in our lives, so that we might know to seek that grace, and so that grace might abound to us and through us in all our times of need.
1. How would you explain the grace of God to an unbelieving friend?
2. Why is it important that we understand the framework of grace God has established for His grace agenda?
3. Why is Jesus the Centerpiece and Cornerstone of the grace of God?
Next Steps – Transformation: Share what you have been learning about the grace of God with a couple of your Christian friends. Encourage them to download the previous studies in this series.
Grace flows from our relationship with Jesus Christ. The better we know Him, the more His grace will do its work in us. Our book, To Know Him, can help you in drawing closer to Jesus and increasing in Him. Order your copy by clicking here.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.