The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ

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. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

God wants us to know His grace. He wants us to learn about it, and then experience it at work in our lives. Grace has rightly been described as “unmerited favor.” The acronym, “God’s Riches AChrist’s Expense” catches more of its majesty. Grace is God freely providing for us (as we trust in the work of His Son) all that we will ever need, all that we will ever yearn for, all that He has commanded us to walk in and become-realities that we could never produce on our own, could never earn, and could never deserve. Grace offers what every human desperately needs, but what God alone can provide.

This grace is found only in a person, the Lord Jesus. It is the “grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Thus, it is accessible only through an ongoing personal relationship with Him.

Grace was made available to us by Jesus’ willingness to take our spiritual bankruptcy upon Himself, that we might partake of His spiritual richness. Before coming to earth below, Jesus enjoyed heavenly riches above (“that though He was rich“). He knew the infinitely rich fellowship of the Father and the Spirit. He received the rich worship of angelic beings. He enjoyed the limitless rights and privileges of deity.

Then, for our benefit, Jesus voluntarily became poor (“for your sakes He became poor“). He humbled Himself to walk as a man among sinful humanity. He who was adored above became despised below. He who shined forth in glorious divinity in heaven was clothed in humble humanity on earth. He who created all things was slain by those He created. He who existed in eternity past died in time. He who was holy took our sin upon Himself.

Through these workings of His grace, all who believed in Him would become spiritually rich (“that you through His poverty might become rich”). Now, we whose “righteousnesses were as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) have become “the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). We “who once were not a people…are now the people of God” (1 Peter 2:10). Now, we have been “blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).

Dear Lord, I thank You and praise You for Your great grace toward me. May I increasingly know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ through a growing relationship with Him. May I become an instrument of Your grace in the lives of others, all for Your glory and honor, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Morning Reading

“They did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.” — Joshua 5:12

Israel’s weary wanderings were all over, and the promised rest was attained. No more moving tents, fiery serpents, fierce Amalekites, and howling wildernesses: they came to the land which flowed with milk and honey, and they ate the old corn of the land. Perhaps this year, beloved Christian reader, this may be thy case or mine. Joyful is the prospect, and if faith is in active exercise, it will yield unalloyed delight. To be with Jesus in the rest which remaineth for the people of God is a cheering hope indeed, and to expect this glory so soon is a double bliss. Unbelief shudders at the Jordan which still rolls between us and the goodly land, but let us rest assured that we have already experienced more ills than death at its worst can cause us. Let us banish every fearful thought, and rejoice with exceeding great joy, in the prospect that this year we shall begin to be “forever with the Lord.”

A part of the host will this year tarry on earth, to do service for their Lord. If this should fall to our lot, there is no reason why the New Year’s text should not still be true. “We who have believed do enter into rest.” The Holy Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance; He gives us “glory begun below.” In heaven they are secure, and so are we preserved in Christ Jesus; there they triumph over their enemies, and we have victories too. Celestial spirits enjoy communion with their Lord, and this is not denied to us; they rest in His love, and we have perfect peace in Him: they hymn His praise, and it is our privilege to bless Him too. We will this year gather celestial fruits on earthly ground, where faith and hope have made the desert like the garden of the Lord. Man did eat angels’ food of old, and why not now? O for grace to feed on Jesus, and so to eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan this year!

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law. But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:51-58)

Reflection

In an instant, the saints of the Christian faith will be caught up in the air to meet their Lord in wonderful glory. What an incredible picture of the church ascending to their glorious home at the long anticipated trumpet trill! Indeed, the victory over death and sin is evident through the return of Christ and we shall reign with Him forevermore. This promise of hope and everlasting life only brings us to a place of great thanksgiving to our beautiful Saviour.