We started a series in our Sunday morning services about the grace of God. In the book "The Knowledge of the Holy," A.W. Tozer writes, “Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving.”
We see grace contrasted with debt in Romans 4:6. Grace is credited where there is debt. The idea here is that the person who works for a paycheck is owed that check from his employer. Their employer is, in a sense, in debt to the employee for his wages and benefits. Contrast that example of working for a paycheck with the person who doesn't work for grace. The person who doesn't work to gain favor or salvation (Abraham's salvation is in reference here) is credited with grace. Grace is credited where there is debt, and work is not done to attain grace.
Grace is also contrasted with works in Romans 11:6. The context is the current remnant of Israelites. The election of grace in Romans 11:5 was according to grace. If the election was of grace, it is no more of works and vice versa; if the election was of works, then it is no more of grace. Grace is contrasted with works.
Lastly, grace is contrasted with the law (John 1:14-18). John says the law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Moses was the great man in the Old Testament God used to introduce the law to Israel. The law represented the holiness of God. It pointed out men's sin and inability to live up to God's standard. The law could do nothing to bring men into a right standing with God, but Jesus' coming gave us grace and truth. Grace was able to do something about men being out of tune with God. 2 Corinthians 8:9 says, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” Hebrews 2:9 says, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.”
The law raised the bar high for men to live up to but couldn't lift men up to the bar. Grace, on the other hand, lifted men up to the bar because of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
The law pointed out man's failure, but we have redemption and forgiveness of sins by the riches of God's (Ephesians 1:7). The law condemned man, but Romans 8:3 says, “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,” Jesus came and condemned sin in the flesh.
The law was our schoolmaster (Galatians 3:24) and pointed out our sin and was incapable of lifting a finger to do anything about it (Galatians 4:9). But glory to God that his grace, his unmerited favor towards man did something about man's problem of sin! In Romans 5:20 we see abounding grace, grace abounding where the offence and sin abounds. The next verse (Romans 5:21) we see grace reigning over death. Because of grace the believer is now standing in grace in Romans 5:2.
The first chorus of the hymn "Wonderful Grace of Jesus" says:
Wonderful grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it, where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden, setting my spirit free;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.
“Amen and Amen and praise to the God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10)
Until next time,
Pastor Allen Wayne