The gospel is all about grace; grace that we need to understand and draw from so that it may constantly bear fruit and increase. (Colossians 1:6) I am drawn to explore the “riches of His grace”, as I am convinced that they hold the key to the gospel message for our generation. As Christians become more and more concerned and disturbed by sin abounding, we need to have confidence that grace “will much more abound”. (Romans 5:20)
Jesus said, “Everything that the Father has is Mine. That is what I meant when I said that He [the Spirit] will take the things that are Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you” (John 16:15). That transmission to us is the grace that radiates from His fullness of what Jesus received on mankind’s behalf.
Of course, since the Word is God, all that is and belongs to God is and always has been His. But when the Word became flesh, He “emptied Himself” (Philippians 2:7), waiting for that glory to be restored after the cross (john 17:5). Here is the wonderful implication from these facts. When He ascended to the right hand of majesty, He went as “man”, referred to in heaven thereafter as “the lamb slain”. As that man, He was the only One found worthy to receive from God acclaim that no one, and certainly no man, had ever received. Heaven and all creation in unison declaring, “Saying in a loud voice, Deserving is the Lamb, Who was sacrificed, to receive all the power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and majesty (glory, splendor) and blessing” (Revelation 5:12). Although we have a common understanding of what these accolades are, it is obvious that the quality conferred is totally unique, and above all that we can ask or think.
This sevenfold treasury of heaven’s resources was bestowed on the representative man, and is the fullness that the Holy Spirit draws from and transmits to “the saints”. The grace of God is parsed into this collection of seven, the perfect number of completion, the seven fold Spirit, the number of primary colours in the visible light spectrum, and the number of braches on the menorah. The glory of God is a rainbow of promises that meld into the white light brilliance of the glory of God that are all ours in Christ. His grace toward us who believe is sevenfold.
The Holy Spirit transmits the “power of God” to believers. “You will receive power from on high”. Power is a grace. It is not resident in us, but transmitted to and through us by the Holy Spirit. It remains God’s power, never ours. They had to wait until “the transmission line” was in place. When we are “in Christ”, in the anointing of the Anointed One, we will witness the power of God in action. The heaven originating power flows through our hands, our deeds, and our words.
There is richness in grace. The riches of heaven are totally unlike riches on earth. Here value is based on something being rare, or a scarce resource. In heaven, nothing is rare, and nothing is scarce because it is a place of abundance. When we set our affections, desires and ambitions on things above it is the riches of heaven that flow to us. When we are rich in God, the wealth on earth can safely be added to us as well, without the slavery of covetousness. When we live in that wealth mindset, we can afford to be generous, forgiving the emotional debts others owe us, honouring others with significance, and giving of ourselves without expectation of return. .
Treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden “in Christ”. They are ours to discover. (Proverbs 25:2). Wisdom was “granted” to Solomon and is essential to the administration of power and authority. In our time, like the sons of Issachar, we need to have courage and “understand our times and know what to do.” (1 Chronicles 7:5 and 1 Chronicles 12:32). Today’s social issues require this grace.
Paul faced a persistent thorn in his side by the sufficient grace to endure. Salvation from a crisis comes to those who endure to the end. We are most inclined to expect immediate outcomes to our prayers. Spiritual resistance very often requires the faith to hang in there. As Paul languished in a Roman prison, he redeemed the time by writing some letters, attacking his circumstances with the revelation that the gospel was not in prison, in everything give thanks, and rejoice, and again I say rejoice. That grace to endure has resulted in the blessing of billions of people through those letters, rather than the hundreds he could have reached had he been free. Amazing grace!
Being honoured by God is obviously a great grace gift. More than that, we are blessed with honour as an instrument of power, and a weapon to tear down the walls of insecurity and bitterness that wounded people are often imprisoned behind. We can transmit God’s loving kindness, gentleness and goodness in the form of honouring. In so doing we dispel the lies that have generated such low self-esteem and heal wounds of rejection.
The grace of glory is the light of heaven that dispels the darkness. God arises like the sun of righteousness with healing in his wings. His enemies flee from the blinding light. Glory also puts you in a new light. His glory on us is like a crown that distinguishes us with dignity and weightiness of significance. We stick out with an excellent spirit that can bring us before those of earthly influence as it did Daniel.
Bless and curse not. (Romans 12:14) Blessing others is a gracious antidote to evil that can convert enemies to friends. Cursing is a potent biological weapon whose toxins debilitate others, but also the one that engages in the practice. Sooner or later the curse rebounds according to spiritual laws. By the same rules, blessings rebound as well!
Grace is more than tolerance, forgiveness, looking the other way, or cutting slack for bad behaviour. Grace is a toolbox holding instruments of salvation and weapons of warfare that are out of this world. The practical process is to recognize that we have access to these tools and weapons to address whatever circumstances we are in. Remember we have to seek, knock and ask to activate. The password is “Jesus”!