“By the grace of God, I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain.” 1st Corinthians 15:10
One of the fundamental and distinguishable truths of Christianity is the power of the life a true Christian. It begins with the grace of God, continues to develop and mature in the knowledge and understanding of it, and finally culminates and results in its great trophy of accomplishment.
The verse under meditation this week is the most fundamental statement ever made regarding the efficacious power of God’s grace operating in the life of a believer in Christ. An Apostle and preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who was a murderer and a persecutor of the Christian Church in its infancy, says, “But the grace of God has made me what I am, and His grace to me was not wasted (proved in vain). Who Paul is and what he does is the result of the totality of the unfathomable grace of God poured out on Him when he accepted Christ as his savior and Lord.
After He met Jesus on his way to Damascus, with the approval letters of the Jewish leaders, to arrest and eventually kill the followers of Jesus (Acts 9), Paul (who was called Saul before) became a champion and herald of the grace of God for the rest of his life. He came to the sense that he was going in the wrong direction with a final destination of destruction. He was humbled and became the defender of God’s grace, poured out in and through Christ Jesus. All his letters called the epistles proves this massive change in his life. He told Timothy that Christ Jesus had given him strength, considered him trustworthy, appointing him to His service. He said he was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man. However, He was shown mercy because he acted in ignorance and unbelief. He also testified the grace of the Lord Jesus was poured out on him abundantly. Paul penned the most trustworthy statement that is an entirely acceptable truth. That is Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of whom He is the worst. However, he was shown mercy so that God’s immense patience became an example for any who would believe in Jesus to receive forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life. Another translation says God’s patience without limit. Awestruck by the amazing grace of God available in the person and work of Jesus Christ, drove Paul to his knees to give all honor and glory to the great eternal king, immortal, invisible, the only God.
Paul said in his letter to the Ephesians, “I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.” How can a persecutor, murderer and blasphemer could become a minister of the grace and love of God? The answer is the boundless riches of the grace of God available to anyone who would accept God’s indescribable gift of Jesus for them.
The three-fold greatness of the grace of God, he explained in his letter to Titus. It says in Titus 2:11-14, the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people everywhere. Only by the grace of God revealed in person and work of the savior (the sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection of Christ on your behalf) can men be saved from the consequences and punishment of their sins. The grace of God grants forgiveness, salvation, eternal life, and it is freely available to all people regardless of the continents, nations, color, race, or any such things. In short, the saving grace appeared and open to all. The second fold of the grace of God is the powerful sustaining grace available to all who truly trusted and believed in Jesus Christ. It helps them to live a Godly life in the present age you and I are living. It teaches how to live upright, self-controlled, and avoiding wrongful passions. The sustaining grace of God is the power behind all believers in Christ. Paul wrote about what Lord Jesus said to him in 2nd Corinthians 12:9-10. Jesus promised, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.” This is day-to-day, sustaining wonder-working grace of the Lord a believer can tap into on an ongoing basis in the present age in which we live here on this face of the earth. Because the promise of the all-sufficient grace of God, Paul said, I can even boast about my weakness because Christ’s power of grace rests in me. He could delight even in his weakness, in insults, in hardship, in persecution, in difficulties. The reason is he understood when he is weak, he can be secure by this power of the grace of God available.
The third dimension of the grace of God is its future aspect of God’s wonderful grace. It says amid the present troubles, a believer wait for the blessed hope. What is that blessed hope? The blessed hope is the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself totally and completely to purify a people for his very own.
Paul elsewhere wrote in Ephesian 1 that in God’s grace, He chose you in Christ so that you would be holy and blameless before Him in the future. You see, we are not holy or blameless in any measure now. We have many unholy natures, and others can blame us in different ways. However, the power of God’s grace that appeared to save us, and sustains us in the present age, is the same agent of power that makes you holy and blameless in front of him in future when you reach his presence at the time of your death or the appearance of Christ, whichever comes first.
Colossians 1:22 says God reconciled you who were formerly alienated and hostile in mind toward Him, not by your works but by the physical body (death and resurrection of Jesus) on your behalf. Then it says why God reconciled? Why did He do it? Listen, it says there, God reconciled you to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach. The same idea is given in Ephesians 2:6-7. It says there God did this so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Have you received the grace of God yet? If not, God’s grace is His gift in the person and work of Jesus Christ on your behalf. God sent the gift of His one and only Son, Jesus, to this world as the fulfillment of hundreds of promises and prophecies He made in the Holy Scriptures. Jesus is the source of God’s grace. If you have Jesus, you have the fantastic and beautiful grace of God. You can receive the grace of God right now in a small prayer. The grace of God has the power to make you born again as a brand new creation. It grants new birth into God’s household as His adopted child. You will also enjoy the present power of the grace of God while you live here. You will become the trophy of God’s grace in the display for all ages to come.