We’ve read the Bible, the New Testament and the epistles and the greetings and closing farewell blessings many of them have. They are encouraging to read, but we often buzz over them like they are filler and polite expressions. If we read them thoughtfully though, there is power to be found in those words.
Romans 1:7, Romans 16:20-27, 2 Corinthians, Ephesians 1:2, 1 Timothy – May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. These greetings and closing farewells aren’t just the common “hello, how are you, sincerely, yours,” type of greetings. They are blessings that are intentionally given by Paul and these other authors.
What is God’s Grace?
Ephesians 2 – What is grace? A simple definition is, the unmerited favor of God. The grace of God is a kindly and generously offered, free gift.
Grace is a kind and merciful and voluntary divine intervention of deliverance and rescue and restoration. All because of, and motivated by God’s love. It is for our benefit, not because we’ve earned it or deserve it in any way.
God’s grace is so broad. From his comfort to his work in our hearts, the whole redemption thing of cleansing and healing and recreating us, the restoration, the new man, the life of the believer and the Spirit of God in the life of a believer. All of this is part of God’s great and marvelous grace.
John 1:14-17 – Jesus came in the flesh, and he was full of grace and truth. Filled completely! An inexhaustible supply of grace and truth.
God’s Grace Includes Blessings and Gifts
Everyone has received gifts from God. But for those who believe in Jesus Christ and follow Him in faith, we can recognize his grace in our life, grace upon grace. Spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing. We get the picture of an outpouring of abundance from God.
As grace is given and grace is used, the supply is replenished from a fresh supply! Not everyone experiences the abundant grace upon grace that is offered.
James 4:6 – Scripture is clear that there are conditions to this grace, God resists the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.
Paul says that he was who he was because of the grace of God. He worked hard, but God’s grace was the difference in him becoming a very different person than he was in his earlier “persecuting the followers of Christ” days.
Romans 5 – We can stand because of grace. When we stand on something we are present in it, and we continually can stand because of the grace of God.
Titus 2:11-12 – Because of the grace of God we can learn. It’s God’s grace and Spirit that is leading us and teaching us how to live in our daily walk. God is teaching us.
Hebrews 4:14-16 – God invites us to come boldly before the throne… because of grace.
The disciples received and accepted Christ, and they experienced a “great grace.”
Paul Experienced God’s Grace
Paul, when he was converted, was met by a guy named Ananias who was told by God to “go, he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name. I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” We know how Paul responded to this call. He was sent “into the fray.”
Paul, by the grace of God, found joy in the suffering that came. He was able to handle all of these things by God’s incredible grace. Even the thorn in his flesh, God said, “my strength is made perfect in your weakness.”
Romans 5:30 – Paul had learned to rejoice in his suffering. Not through his strength, but through and because of the grace of God to him.
To the God of all grace be glory, both now and forever, amen.