5. God’s Grace

By John Thiel, Audio: God’s Grace

God has pledged the facility of the Godhead for the benefit of our salvation. We are to worship God, give him the glory and worship him in spirit and in truth. Our understanding of his will assists us to worship him in spirit and in truth. When we are true to our vowels he says I will receive you. The Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, these three dignitaries of heaven pledge themselves that every facility shall be given to us.

When we have accepted Christ, and in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit have pledged ourselves to serve God, the Father, Christ, and the holy Spirit–the three dignitaries and powers of heaven–pledge themselves that every facility shall be given to us if we carry out our baptismal vows to “come out from among them, and be . . . separate, . . . and touch not the unclean thing.” When we are true to our vows, he says, “I will receive you” (MS 85, 1901). {6BC 1075.8}

Keep yourselves where the three great powers of heaven–the Father, the Son, and the holy Spirit–can be your efficiency. These powers work with the one who gives himself unreservedly to God. The strength of heaven is at the command of God’s believing ones. The man who makes God his trust is barricaded by an impregnable wall. {HP 176.5}

What a wonderful thing when we submit ourselves to the heavenly Father. He is Abba Father the one in whom I can be comforted and protected by. An impregnable wall with such a God as our creator being our Father, the one who pities and cares for us. We have nothing to fear. We have seen the degree of holiness that we are to inherit because he is our Father and we are to be heirs of God. We are actually able to inherit God’s holiness. We want to enlarge and explore this grace in the heart of the Godhead in the very heart of the Father this grace and God’s activity to make us inheritors of his holiness. The word grace is qualified in the Crudens concordance as “the free mercy of God, or the “enjoyment of his unmerited favour”. Merriam-Websters Dictionary: “Unmerited Divine assistance provided for the regeneration and sanctification of the human race.” It is a favour that he extends to us – his holiness.

Exodus 34:6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

The Manifold Grace of God

One of the ingredients of God’s glory is his goodness, mercy and grace. God is full of grace and mercy toward the sinner and has an expression of unmerited favour. It is a grace of God to adopt us as heirs for him to be our Father. We want to go into greater depths of this privilege of the Father in that we can be heirs of God. We see this grace expressed as something very vast and multiple;

1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, [even so] minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

An interesting word is used to describe God’s grace as an adjective – the MANIFOLD grace of God. What is a manifold? If you know anything about mechanics there is a manifold that comes out of the engine into the exhaust pipe and there is a split up of many exhausts coming out and that is a manifold, it is more than one, and here this word is exactly that – there is more than one grace. We are to be stewards of the manifold grace of God. Many kinds of manifestations of his grace and we ask the question as we study into God’s grace, is this still the first angels message? Let’s make contact here in regards to grace and what the first angel’s message is. The first angels message of Revelation 14:6 contains the everlasting gospel to preach to the earth. What is this everlasting gospel?

Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

When the everlasting gospel was preached by the first angel it is actually the gospel of the grace of God. The gospel is the manifestation of God’s grace and we are seeking to understand or comprehend this manifestation of God’s grace in the gospel, the very message of salvation and it’s interesting how the word “grace” is the integral part of the very gospel as we read;

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

2:6 And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:

2:7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

This passage introduces to us that the gospel of Jesus Christ is really the exercise of God’s grace. God has looked upon us dead in sins and with his wonderful mercy and great love wherewith he loved us when we were dead in sins he brought Jesus down into our very death and then raised us together with Christ – by grace are ye saved. Grace is an active part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has raised us up together to make us sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. God wants to actually display this grace before our mind that he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. There is something in Christ Jesus through whom he is able to show us this grace. By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. If it were by works you could be proud about it. No. it is his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which he hath before ordained that we should walk in them. That we should become like God in his holiness. We become the workmanship of God that we should be created in Christ Jesus unto good works to do the works of God, to be holy as he is holy. This is all part of this wonderful exercise of God’s grace. It’s an exercise of his mercy, of his unmerited favour to produce an inheritance of God’s nature in us. We identify the grace by which we are saved is his workmanship and is providing for us the facility of the Father that the Godhead pledged for us to produce the results in our life. There are works that are to be produced yet not any quality inherent in man. It is an unmerited favour and the works we are to do by the unmerited favour of God. It is nothing of any content of man’s works. It is the workmanship of God which then works within us that we will actually have the quality of those works because he by his grace has brought it about.

Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath [whereof] to glory; but not before God.

4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

The apostle Paul reveals very clearly that the merit of our works is not to be commended to ourselves. It is the merit of God’s grace that works within us, that we trust him like Abraham did and it is the believing in God not our own works that we are able to have righteousness, an inheritance to the very nature of the holiness of God. This is the wonderful act of God’s grace and a favour is bestowed upon us where there is nothing but sinfulness and if we will believe this wonderful study of the gospel, then it will indeed be a manifestation of righteousness in us as with Abraham. We are to discover this activity of grace that we can understand that it is not of works of our own, but the workmanship of God, an action that takes place because of faith and not because of our own self-motivation. We will carefully examine the operation and the exhibition of this kind of grace.

Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

The active component of God’s holiness is a component that that comes into operation inside and in a person who is incapable of doing the works required of him.

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God [is] able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all [things], may abound to every good work:

God is able to make all grace abound towards you as he actively involves his grace through Jesus Christ. You will have sufficiency and be given a sufficient activity in all things that you may abound in every good work. This is the profound action of grace – it causes us to abound and to be active in works but these works are as a result of the abounding grace of God providing sufficiency for us to achieve that.

2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

The sufficiency comes from God inside a vessel of humanity that is totally weak, helpless and hopeless. It cannot achieve anything. The weak person feels but believes and trusts like Abraham did and then God’s sufficiency comes into action. It is an active component of God’s character, God’s holiness that comes into operation in and on behalf of a person who is incapable of doing the work required of him. It provides a sufficiency to help him to do these works that are required of him. The works of righteousness that are called forth in the first angels message in the hour of God’s judgement is come.

There is going to be a judgement to investigate whether the works that God has given you sufficiency to perform are actually there. This is not to intimidate us. We are simply to take by faith that we are God’s workmanship and if we are God’s workmanship then in the judgement the sufficiency that he has provided for us in this grace is going to be manifested. We will follow a quick example of our entire series of studies now to actually comprehend what the three angels messages are all about in reference to God’s grace. We will look at the objects of God’s grace, the exercise of his grace, and the product of his grace. It is an active component of his holiness and it is exercised upon an object which of course is God’s children. It is an exercise. What is that exercise and what is the result of that exercise of that grace? First we look at the object of God’s grace, the human being. He is the object of God’s grace.

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

The result of the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is manifest in every man’s experience. There is in his nature a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist. To withstand this force, to attain that ideal which in his inmost soul he accepts as alone worthy, he can find help in but one power. That power is Christ. [Ed. 29.1]

By one man’s sin many were made sinners by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There is manifest in every mans experience in his nature a bent to evil, a force which unaided he cannot resist. This is the result of one man’s sinning. We have a bent to evil. The human race has a bent to evil, a force within them which unaided he cannot succeed in doing the good that he wants to do. He needs help and there is the person that God’s grace is offered to as the object of God’s grace.

Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? [then] may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

A people who have a bent to evil which if unaided they cannot overcome. It is like the Ethiopian that cannot change his skin or the leopard that cannot change his spots. It is impossibility. The inherent condition needs God’s grace to be exercised upon it. The Ethiopian or leopards spots that have been made through ones man’s sin, this condition is impossible to alter. The Ethiopian can’t change his skin neither can we who are accustomed to do evil.

Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not.

7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Here is someone that is crying, helpless, completely broken and contrite. I can’t help myself I just keep on doing the opposite to what my genuine hearts desires. There is a force, a power inside of me which unaided I cannot resist. Oh wretched man that I am who shall deliver me? Such is the cry coming from the heart of a truly sorrowing person grace is a characteristic of God that can’t help itself, it must come to answer that question positively. Someone who cries like that is the object of God’s grace. God’s grace cannot help but come to the assistance of such a helpless being.

Psalms 51:17 The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

God’s grace cannot despise a sinner who keeps on failing and sinning but feels terrible it that he keeps on doing that, he cries oh wretched man, I can’t help myself, who will help me? Grace stands up. God’s grace will not disdain or despise such a person. This is the characteristic of God the Father. He has such a response to his child.

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

The humble contrite spirit is the object of God’s grace. The spirit that cries oh wretched man that I am and really senses it from deep inside and cries who will save me. That humble contrite spirit God gives grace to but he resists the proud. This the object of God’s grace. Someone who is broken and contrite and yearns for help. What exercise does God now employ towards such a person?

Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Here is the exercise of the lamb slain from the foundation of the earth. Let us observe this wonderful grace that God had already pre-empted. The assistance available before we even came to our senses of how weak we really were.

Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Romans 7:10 And the commandment, which [was ordained] to life, I found [to be] unto death.

Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Here we see God had already been prepared to respond to a broken and contrite heart. He had already laid out before that soul when he came to the sense of his condition. A wonderful sacrifice of love. he said while you were still yet in your sinful proud happy condition, I had already died for you. He sent Jesus to die for us. Now that we have come to our senses, much more now being now justified by his blood believing as Abraham did, we will certainly be saved from wrath through him for if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God, through the death of his Son we are reconciled, but we are saved by his life. God has given us the life of Jesus. We are saved by his life, his life was as much grace as his death, the grace for a soul who was dead in sin was the death of Jesus Christ. The grace for a soul who has become alive to his sinfulness is the life of Christ, saved by grace. Saved by the life of Jesus is the grace by which God changes a helpless sinner into the works of God.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

While we were yet sinners he had ordained that Jesus die for us and now that we have woken up and have been reconciled to God by faith in him, we are saved by his life, we are his workmanship.Hhe works within us created in Christ Jesus unto good works. The sinner in Christ is the one who can actually be saved because of the life of Jesus Christ for that sinner. Watch Jesus and see the sinner in Christ being helped by God’s grace.

The Sinner in Christ

Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

We are saved by his life. What was his life like? In the days of his flesh he offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him who was able to save him from death. He was heard because he feared, he learned by the things which he suffered. In his life he suffered and learned obedience by the things which he suffered, here is the sinner in Christ, learning, and being made perfect. Christ therefore became to author of eternal salvation that anyone who is in Christ would learn of the authorship of Christ and thus be saved by his life, we are saved. He became the author of eternal salvation unto them that by him, if we will look to Jesus and walk with him and we will obey his workmanship, God’s workmanship in Christ Jesus, who in the days of his flesh showed what needed to be done in the sinner and what the sinner could do in Christ.

2 Corinthians 13:4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.

Observe how we are saved by the life of Christ. It was the power of God by whom Jesus lived. We also are weak with him, but we shall live with him by the power of God. We will sit together in heavenly places through his wonderful combination with us – to sit together in heavenly places we are weak with him, we shall live with him by the power of God.

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

We can only be saved by the faith of Jesus Christ. We are not justified by the works of the law and not by any motivation of our own to keep the law – it is the faith of Jesus. Jesus in his life on earth exercised faith and cried unto the Father who could save him from death and all who have believed in Jesus Christ are thus justified by the faith of Christ not by the works of the law for by the works of the law shall no man be justified. The faith OF Jesus – the faith when he cried with strong crying and tears. It is the believer who actually combines himself in living relationship with Jesus, this person whom God with his grace has sent to us that by his life we might be able to comprehend the power and grace of God in the sinner that can be exercised. This believer avidly engages in this activity of grace.

Romans 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

They avidly engage in that faith of Jesus Christ, they will do the deeds that will cause God to render to them eternal life and those deeds that they are doing is the action of God’s grace through Jesus Christ. We have a product of God’s grace – the product of eternal life. As by God’s grace they have been affected to do those works, those works of righteousness, to exercise themselves by God’s grace in works of righteousness that God can actually give them eternal life.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Motivated by what? By the very life of Jesus. He gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity. Hence grace is the active demonstration of Jesus Christ’s the living experience of every believer. That’s the product – the living active demonstration of Jesus Christ as the living experience of every believer – the reward of all that is as we saw already – eternal life. That’s what we’re striving for through the active experience of Jesus Christ in their life. The eternal reward:

Colossians 1:26 [Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

1:27 To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

1 John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

Eternal life is ours if we will be in Christ and exercise the activity of the faith of Jesus Christ. Then we have eternal life because we have Jesus in us and this is the hope of glory. We will appear with him in glory. If we have been with him in weakness and with him in life, we will then have the full product of that beautiful life in eternity because we will appear with him.

Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

3:4 When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

This comprehension of being in Christ, the hope of glory means we set our affections above through Christ where Christ sitteth on the right hand of the Father. We are dead and our life is head with Christ in God when Christ who is our life shall appear. Then shall we also appear with him in glory. It is all in the gift of Jesus Christ. It is what God the Father has given to us, his children, in Jesus Christ. The second person of the Godhead who has been sent by the Father to enact his description of the object of God’s grace, the exercise of God’s grace and the result of God’s grace in the one whom he has sent for the benefit of man. This is a very valuable study to have a look at the second facility of the Godhead to assist us in our actions of learning how to become holy as God is holy. In summary contemplate the precious benefits;

All heaven is interested in men and women whom God has valued much as to give his beloved Son to die to redeem them. No other creature that God has made is capable of such improvement, such refinement, such nobility as man. Then when men become blunted by their own debasing passions, sunken in vice, what a specimen for God to look upon! Man cannot conceive what he may be and what he may become. Through the grace of Christ he is capable of constant mental progress. Let the light of truth shine into his mind and the love of God be shed abroad in his heart and he may, through the grace Christ has died to impart to him, be a man of power–a child of earth but an heir of immortality. {HP 195.5}

This we need to comprehend. We need to understand that light that sheds abroad in our hearts and may our continued study reveal this powerful activity that is available to us through God’s grace.

Amen.

Posted on September 3, 2009, in 1st Angels Message and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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