Do you believe and live out the truth of the sweetness of the grace of God? Often times I find myself whether I am working on homework, reading a stack of books or walking around my neighborhood thinking about the sweetness of the grace of God. As I do this I often think back to previous mistakes and circumstances in my life and also to the present about what the Lord is doing in my life.
In Ephesians 1:18 Paul says this, “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.” Paul teaches this in the context of Ephesians 1:15-23 a section in which Paul is giving a prayer of thanksgiving. Paul is praying that the church will gain deep insight into the Lord’s powerful working and rich gifts in Christ.
When I think of the sweetness of the grace of God I cannot help but turn to Ephesians 3:16-19. In Ephesians 3:16 the Spirit applies to believers the presence and power of God. The inner man refers to one’s inner self as a human being. Christ already dwells in Christian but Paul prays here for his indwelling with power. In v.16 Paul speaks of the indwelling “Spirit” and here of the indwelling Christ teaching about the deity of the Spirit as well as the Son. Love is the natural and necessary outcome of a living faith that is the fruit of Christ’s work in the Christian. Godliness leads to greater understanding of God and his works. Breadth, length, height and depth express the immeasurable dimensions of god’s riches in Christ. To know what surpasses knowledge is the sublime privilege of the Christian. The purpose ultimately is to be filled with God’s fullness.
Thinking about the sweetness and richness of the grace of God often leads me to tears. It causes me to examine where I am in my walk with God and where I am being stubborn or apathetic. Thinking about the grace of God and its riches is beneficial for one’s spiritual growth. Paul prayed the prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21 and was struck in humble adoration of who God is and what He has done in and through the work of Jesus Christ. As you think about the grace of God you ought to be struck in humble adoration that because of all Christ has done you are saved, and secured through His bloody death and resurrection.
Do you think about the grace of God often? Do preach and mediate upon the grace of God? One of the greatest ways to combat apathy and to grow in the grace of God is to think of and mediate upon how God in Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit is working in one’s life. I know as I think through all that Christ has done for me whether I am studying for a sermon, a blog, reading a book or whatever I am doing- thinking about the grace of God always leads me back to the Cross.
The Cross is the place where you and I need to run to not only because it’s the foundational to our salvation but because it is also central to our growth in discipleship. Throughout the Gospels Jesus calls His disciples to come to the Cross. Jesus calls His disciples to the Cross to lay down our burdens and to lay down everything at His feet. The grace of God is extended through and by the Cross. Jesus not only calls us to come to the Cross but to look at the empty tomb and know He is a resurrected Lord.
I urge my brothers and sisters in Christ to come afresh to the Cross. Look there at the Cross as the Suffering Servant who died a bloody death for your sin. Look to the empty tomb and know that it is indeed empty. Whenever I do this, I am struck afresh by the sweetness of the grace of God. I am reminded afresh that I am both a sinner and a saint. Saint in that my sins are forgiven through Christ and I can come boldly before His throne on the basis of His death and resurrection. Sinner in that sin still dwells within me but that one day I will stand before Christ and He will remove my sin and clothe me in white robes.
As one thinks about the precious sweetness of the grace of God- one ought to be convicted of the truth that the believer is both saint and sinner. The believer has confidence—confidence to walk closely in intimacy with Jesus because he/she knows that Jesus covers over (atones) for their sin.
I appeal to you today my brothers and sisters in Christ to walk with confidence not in yourself but in Christ. Growing in confidence in Christ means that you appropriate what He has done for you in the Cross and resurrection. It means reading, thinking and mediating upon and about His work on your behalf in the death and resurrection of Christ. Grow in confidence in the work of Christ and as you do you will continue to discover the sweetness and richness of the grace of God.