Nicodemus, a pious Jewish leader, struggled with the idea of grace rather than human merit to gain God’s acceptance. Self-righteous pride may be the most difficult obstacle to overcome when free grace is offered, for one relies on the merits of man while the other rests on the grace of God. The constant strivings of the religious man to become acceptable to God by works is a far cry from the submitted heart of a broken sinner, who is thirsting for salvation.
Gospel of Truth
We must rightly divide the GOSPEL of truth – the good news from God:- the gospel of the kingdom points to both a heavenly and earthly rule.. the gospel of the grace of God points to Christ’s perfect sacrifice.. the gospel of the glory of Christ points to His coming Kingdom – the everlasting gospel points to grace before judgment, justice, and mercy.
Grace of God
Transgressions big and small must be confessed daily to maintain sweet fellowship:- that thoughtless word; that selfish thought; that mean streak; that proud attitude; that faithless action.
Faith and Faithfulness
Remember, it all depends on faith and faithfulness. Do not fall short of the grace of God by refusing to listen to Him. Take heed of Israel’s shortcomings and loss – and be warned. Remember – He will change your heart if you just change your mind. But you must first be prepared to change your mind, and if you are… just let Him know.
We only come there by the way of discipline - discipline which takes the form of bringing us to an utter dependence, but which is yet not an emptying and a breaking down as an end in itself, but one which is accompanied by that grace of God - that graciousness of God - which, when we are empty, makes His fullness to abound.
Paul builds up his case by showing that the Law’s perfection caused sins to increase. Men’s inability to keep the Law demonstrated the amazing grace of our justification, showing that where sin increased, the grace of God abounded all the more.
Gift of Salvation
Having demonstrated God’s amazing gift of salvation by grace through trusting Christ, Paul paraphrases a question he knows must be lingering in the minds of his listeners, “Shall we keep on sinning so that God’s grace may abound more and more?” Imagine that! Shall we revel in sin so that the grace of God can increase even more!
Character of God
Doctrinal breaches explode into estrangements in the body of Christ. Legalistic thinking is adopted, which causes a gross distortion of the grace of God, but worst of all God’s character is distorted and twisted perceptions of Him abound – even the word 'dispensation' has itself fragmented into various conflicting meanings.
Grace of God
When we see sin as it truly is we begin to understand what God’s grace is., for now, in union with the Christ Jesus, we who once were far away have been brought near, by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
At first, we were called out of darkness into His glorious light. We were called out from the bondage of sin and death into the freedom of God’s Son, and throughout this life, we are witnesses to the amazing grace of God – and throughout this life we are being trained to carry out our part in God’s eternal plan.
Just as sin ruled over all people and brought them death – so the marvellous grace of God now rules instead, giving us right-standing with God and resulting in eternal life – through Jesus Christ our Lord. The Law requires works, which could never reach the perfection required of God.
Too often we limit the grace of God to salvation from the penalty of sin – alone. We often forget that salvation was the start of our eternal journey and not the end, for grace is poured out throughout life and grace continues into the ages to come.
“By the grace of God I am what I am; and His grace, which was bestowed upon me, was not in vain, but I labored more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Cor. 15:10).
Grace of God
God in His grace has given us a little part in planting and watering the seed, but it is the Spirit of the Lord that draws all men unto Himself: so then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but it is God who gives the increase. 1Cor.3:7.
Wrath of God
John knew these children were sinners, both in practice and by nature. He knew the blessings of forgiveness and grace of God were freely open to all, but he also knew the only sacrifice for sin rested on the spilt blood of the Lord Jesus. John knew He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities – for the wrath of God was poured out on Christ to pay that price for all sin.
Grace not Works
But the grace is God is made of non-effect when WORKS are substituted for grace. The grace is God is made of non-effect when the LAW is substituted for grace. The grace of God is made void – for when we live under law we are not under grace.
If there were true apprehension of the work of the Lord Jesus on the Cross - that He so bore the judgment on man that all the man who had offended against God has been judicially removed to His infinite satisfaction, and that He who saved us from death is now our Life - there would be a wonderful testimony to the grace of God.
And His gift to all who trust on His name is a justifying righteousness:- regeneration; sanctification; glorification; a new creation in Christ, and the grace of God and peace with God, and faith and hope and love and joy, and the indwelling Spirit and a heavenly inheritance – and eternal life: for He washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.
Yet here too we see the wonderful grace of God.... It does seem that even Paul, surrounded though he was by all the other apostles, had to go a lonely way, because this revelation was to him something so personal.
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain, but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was in me. 1Corinthians 15:10.
There is a time when we must sweep our books aside, when we must shut ourselves up from the voices of men, when we must get quiet with the Lord and listen, and more, we must seek to cultivate, by the grace of God, the ear that is always open to the Lord even when all the other sounds are around us.
But this does not increase the grace of God – for His grace is infinite to start with. It cannot add to the glory of His Name – for His Name is already infinitely glorious. All that is connected with this mortal life has gross and distressing limitations. The limits and boundaries that are forced on the human creature are frustrating. Limitations that flood in from without and limitations that well up from within.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.
Titus is a man that understands that the grace of God touches every aspect of our lives – for it is the grace of God that offers us the gift of salvation, we so richly enjoy,
Expanse of Grace
It is God’s grace that warns of the dangers of unrighteous living and worldly lusts. It is the grace of God that trains us into righteous living and worthy, godly conduct. It is His grace that bestowed upon us our Blessed Hope and the riches of His glory, as we wait for the glorious appearance of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Grace of God
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people, It trains us to renounce ungodly living and worldly lusts so that we might live sensible, honest, and godly lives in this present age-Titus 2:12
The law of God is a schoolmaster to bring the unsaved man and woman to Christ, but once we are saved it is the grace of God that becomes our teacher and instructor.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people, It trains us to renounce ungodly living and worldly lusts so that we might live sensible, honest, and godly lives in this present age.
All this can be if we will go the way of this man, and say, es, this has gone on long enough and it has to end, and to end, so far as my giving diligence is concerned, at once, and I do most truly by the grace of God take a deliberate and definite faith attitude toward the Lord Jesus for my complete deliverance and the setting of me upon my feet for His glory, for His praise!I think there will be an issue, and I think it will be e, leaping up, stood upon his feet, praising and glorifying God.May it be so with every one of us.
John, whose name means: God is gracious, bore witness of Jesus: God is salvation. John was to point to the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world. John was a witness to the grace of God – that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. John was sent as a moon to reflect the Son – the only true Light of the world.
Gospel of John
But the Baptist was not the only man called ‘John’ that witnessed of the grace of God.
Witness to Grace
The Baptist’s message in John had its focus on the fullness of the grace of God.
Paul reminded them that they were called to be holy and enriched by the grace of God - and he also reminds us that our God is a God of comfort, especially in those times of trials and difficulty - for God is always in control and His grace is always sufficient ..
His words were not designed to exalt his person, position, or status, for his collective writings emphasise that our great salvation is only because of the amazing grace of God and His unfathomable mercy that saved us through faith in the sacrificial death and glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Is it possible that Jesus might have been ready to return and consummate all things... but that Stephen prayed - and his prayer caused the Lord to withhold His wrath for a season - to postpone Christ's return for a further two thousand years as the grace of God began to flood the Gentile world?
Hebrews 7 systematically sets out the need for God's former administration through Israel, (the Dispensation of the Law), to be superseded with the next dispensation through the Church (the Dispensation of the Grace of God). For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness, for the Law made nothing perfect. With the advent of Christ, the Law was fulfilled on behalf of all who believe, bringing us a better hope and a better High Priest, through Whom we draw near to God.
The Lord Jesus is the perfect manifestation of the grace of God, and on one specific day in the little synagogue at Nazareth He stood up to proclaim His revolutionary mission: that He was the promised Messiah of Israel and that He had come from God to address the enormous humanitarian problems on earth.
The grace of God spills over the pages of Peter's epistles like so many sparkling jewels, and in the final words of his letter, we are encouraged to grow in the grace of God that has been so freely bestowed on all who believe in His free gift of salvation.
Access to the same grace of God and intimate knowledge of Christ is also what Peter, in the closing days of his life, is urging all who have a saving faith in Christ to strive for earnestly, in this closing verse of his second epistle, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
But in between those two mountain peaks, nestles the dispensation of the grace of God, which includes 1) The Church age in which we live, which was hidden from the prophets in time past, but also 2) A time of great judgement (the time of Jacob's Trouble - the coming Tribulation Period) about which the prophets of old wrote.
The faithfulness, mercy, goodness, and grace of God, are no less true today than during that time when David discovered the Lord was his Shepherd, Who gently leads him beside the still waters, faithfully guides him into the way of peace, guards him in the valley of the shadow, and prepares a plentiful table of good things in the midst of all his enemies.
The dispensation of the Law was for pre-Cross Israel, while the dispensation of the grace of God is for post-Cross Christians - which is made up of both Jews and Gentiles.
However, that which was given to Paul for us in 'the dispensation of the grace of God' gives us a perspective on salvation that was kept hidden in earlier times - but how we praise God for the ministry of His chosen servant, Paul, who became a minister to the Church to make God's message fully known - which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
The grace of God, which brings peace with God, is the most important element in the whole of Scripture, for it is only through the grace of God that all His other characteristics can be manifested.
It is only through the grace of God that He formulated His plan of Salvation.
It is by the amazing grace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ that we are not eternally condemned and bound for the lake of fire.
The peace that flows from the grace of God embraces a multiplicity of meanings including peace with God, as a free gift of salvation to all that believe, as well as the peace of God which imparts a tranquillity of soul, which is beautifully bestowed through His Spirit of peace, into the heart of a believer who is walking in spirit and truth.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, has become a familiar and well-loved greeting, through the letters of Paul, but I doubt that in time or in eternity we will gain a full depth of understanding of what the all-embracing grace of God and the supernatural peace of God truly means.
Paul cared for all the churches where he taught the glorious gospel of the grace of God, desiring that they would hold fast to the truth and stand firm in the teachings passed on to them by Paul himself.
It is because He was willing to suffer the death of the cross on behalf of the fallen human race, that God has crowed Him with glory and honour - so that by the grace of God He tasted death for every man, woman and child who ever has lived..
It was God Who planned the redemption of mankind before the foundation of the world, and by the grace of God, through faith in Christ, we have become the children of God and joint heirs with the beloved Son of His love.
Through time and into eternity, we must never forget the grace of God that has been extended to all who trust in Christ for salvation, for by His blood he reconciled both Jew and Gentile into one Body, which is the Church.
However, it was during the final few weeks before His crucifixion that Jesus started preparing His disciples for His death, Resurrection, Ascension, and Day of Pentecost together with the coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell the Church during a new dispensation - the dispensation of the Grace of God.
The mission of these ungodly men was to turn the grace of God and the glorious gospel of Christ into licentiousness and promiscuous wantonness, through their uncontrollable lust
These men by nature are ungodly men, who reject God's offer of salvation, wilfully distort the grace of God and choose to deny the deity of the Lord Jesus - they are ordained to condemnation by their own free-will - for they chose not to believe in the only begotten Son of God.
Titus was to appoint godly elders who were equipped to maintain doctrinal purity and support those in their care.We discover that wherever Paul founded a Christian Church, false teachers quickly infiltrated the congregation and false doctrines were rapidly introduced, to undermine the true gospel of the grace of God.Titus was chosen by Paul and assigned oversight of the church congregations in Crete.
Instead of the Church proclaiming the gospel of the grace of God to a lost world, 144 thousand Jewish evangelists will start to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom – and then Christ will return as their anointed King.Although this is a time of Great Tribulation, it is not God's will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance through faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sin.
They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.Having rejected salvation during the Church dispensation, they are not members of Christ's Body but, like the Church, will participate in the Millennial Kingdom – and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.Unlike the Church who are destined to be kings and priest of God who will rule and reign with Christ on His throne, this multitude of saints will serve the Lord as priests in the Temple of the Lord, day and night.Today, we in the Church teach the gospel of the grace of God, but in the Tribulation, Israel will declare the gospel of the coming kingdom of Christ... and in the Millennial Kingdom, Old Testament saints, Church-age saints, and Tribulation saints will unite their voices in praise and thanksgiving for Christ – the Lamb of God and King of Israel Who takes away the sin of the world.
It is here in the early verses of chapter 4, that Paul makes an appeal for Christian harmony and the fellowship of all believers, as well as outlining the primary elements of unity in the Sprit which underpins the Christian faith in this 'dispensation of the grace of God'.
As sinners saved by grace, we understand that the lavish liberality of the grace of God has been poured out on all those that trust in His name, for though we were dead in our trespasses and sins with no hope in the world, God sent His Son to die for us on the Cross and gave us a gift at enormous cost to Himself - a free gift of grace to all who believe, a gift which has eternal consequences.
God is no respecter of persons and throughout Scripture, we discover verse after verse that reminds us that it was the love of God that caused Him to send His only begotten Son to die on the Cross for our redemption, and it was by the grace of God that His free gift of eternal life is given to whosoever will believe on Jesus Christ as Saviour.
God has always worked through a little remnant, and the apostle Paul was one of a small group of believing Jews who first trusted Christ as Saviour, and through whom the grace of God was made manifest to a world of lost sinners, to the praise of His holy name.
When Christ was rejected by the leaders of Israel and condemned to die at the hands of their cruel Roman overlords, it was through this tiny company of godly Jews that the glorious gospel of the grace of God was first delivered to a world that was dead in trespasses and sins.
This divine revelation is as relevant today as it was centuries ago for we must all come to an understanding that the Lord Himself will carry out His plans, which He alone has purposed, not by might nor by power, but by the grace of God's Spirit alone.
There is probably no higher pinnacle of praise to the glorious grace of God than the first few chapters of Ephesians, and there is possibly no more staggering truth for believers than to be accepted in the Beloved: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.
Some Christians say that our great salvation and God's gracious acceptance of us is too easy, and encourages believers into licentious living and a careless attitude, but I suggest to you that as a believer grows and matures in the faith and starts to see the incredible, glorious grace of God and the staggering truth that is outlined in the first few chapters of Ephesians, it will open your eyes to that amazing love of the Father and compel you to glorify His holy name.
But as a good steward of the manifold grace of God... through faith in Christ, Peter urges us to live a God-honouring life, reminding us that as a soldier of Christ we should not be surprised when we suffer for His sake, but consider it both a privilege and an honour.
Today, the Church is proclaiming the 'gospel of the grace of God' to unsaved Jew and Gentile alike, until the WHOLE nation of Israel repents of their sin and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ – and THEN the 'gospel of the kingdom' will be preached throughout the world, and Christ will return to set up His kingdom, as King of kings and Lord of lords.
In 2 Chronicles, we read that humbling oneself before God is linked with earnest prayer, seeking God's face, and turning from every wicked way... for humbling oneself before the Lord, enables the grace of God to flow freely into our hearts and breathes spiritual revival into our soul.
Paul did not want these brothers and sisters to fall short in any area of their ministry and so he urged them, by the grace of God, to prepare a bountiful gift for the believers in Jerusalem who were facing such hardship.
The mystery of the Church was in God's heart and mind from the beginning, but there was a special reason why the Lord kept the 'dispensation of the grace of God' a secret during his earthly ministry.
For if they had understood God's purpose and plan, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory - but in so doing, they unleashed the grace of God upon humankind and across the farthest corners of the universe.
Legalism is a works based gospel where man's merit supersedes the grace of God, requiring adherence to imposed rules, rituals, and regulations, and Paul sought to make it crystal clear that the purity of the true gospel of grace, can never, ever be changed.
The grace of God is not a formula to be discovered through scientific means, nor is it a mechanism to be made, or a code of practice to be adopted.
The grace of God is not an invention to be created out of man's intellectual skill, technological expertise, creative ability, or artistic imagination.
The grace of God appeared on earth in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, for He is the power of God and the wisdom of God, and through Him alone was salvation brought to all men (for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God - and the wages of sin is death but the gift of God's grace is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord Who appeared in Person, bringing salvation to ALL men).
The grace of God was revealed through the incarnate Son of God Who is the Word of God made flesh.
Yes, the grace of God was made manifest in the unique God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ Who brought salvation to all men so that all who believe on His name will not perish but have everlasting life.
It was even by the grace of God that the leprosy that caused him such distress, was used by the Lord to bring Naaman and many others souls in the kingdom of Syria, to hear about the God in Israel Who could heal him of this terrible disease.
May we remember that none of us stands still in our Christian walk - we either grow in the grace of God and mature in the faith as we submit to God, humble ourselves before Him, seek His face and are led by the Spirit of truth - or we can regress into spiritual infancy through our arrogant behaviour and puffed up boastings.
Like Mary, there is an unfolding of our understanding as we study the Word of God and pay heed to all that has been revealed to us through the apostles and prophets of old, and like Mary, we will go on learning more and more of the amazing grace of God that has been poured out upon all who have trusted in Christ as Saviour.
This dispensation of the grace of God, as Paul called it, was to be a season during which the Lord would carry out His plans and purposes for the redemption of mankind, through a different group of people.
Peter warned of damnable heresies from teachers who even denied the truth of the gospel of God and the Lord Jesus Who bought them, while Jude, like James, denounced the various heresies that were brought into the Church by false teachers who turned the grace of God into wantonness and ungodly liberality.
He argues that in the light of the amazing grace of God that has been showered upon us all, and the manifold mercies He has poured upon all His children (including our past justification, our ongoing sanctification, and our future glorification), we should live a life that is worthy of our calling.
Paul's grave challenge to Peter's behaviour was that he was acting as a hypocrite and that Peter's behavior declared Christ's sacrificial offering of Himself as null and void! I do not nullify the grace of God, Paul cried, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly. If we can add ANYTHING to Christ's finished work then there was no need for Christ to die. If ANYTHING is added to God's grace in order to make our salvation sufficient, then it is no longer grace.
However much the Lord unveiled His attributes, character, holiness, and plan of salvation in days gone by, we who live in this dispensation of the grace of God have been given the fullest and most complete revelation of the Triune God through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son.
When the good news of the gospel of the grace of God is distorted and twisted with false, legalistic, works-based, meritorious teachings, it is denounced by the apostle Paul in the strongest language possible: But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached, let him be ACCURSED!
Also in those early days of the Church, Peter, John, and the other apostles had to transition from teaching the pre-cross Gospel of the Kingdom, to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, to proclaiming the post-cross, Gospel of the Grace of God, to everyone.
the dispensation of the grace of God, and the precious mystery that had been hidden for ages and generations, but had now been revealed to him - that Gentiles should be brought into God's family and be made fellow heirs with Christ - that Jew and Gentile alike might become part of the same body and be made partakers of God's promise in Christ - through believing the glorious gospel of God.
The Galatians heresy was of deep concern to Paul because Judaisers had entered the region, infiltrated the church community, and discredited the true gospel of the grace of God, by substituting a false one which demanded a works-based salvation centred on the Mosaic Law and not the true grace-based teachings of the Bible.
There are many New Testament mysteries that were hidden from Old Testament saints - truths that were to be revealed to the people of God, through Paul, and the other New Testament writers, during the 'Dispensation of the Grace of God' - the Church Age.
On that first day of Pentecost, when there was a sudden noise from heaven like a violent rushing wind, which filled the whole house where the disciples were sitting, marked the day of transition... from the times of Israel to the birth of the Church and the dispensation of the grace of God.
Jesus came to fulfil the Law, and the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus of Nazareth, was the historical marker that changed the priesthood and displaced the Law of Moses by ending the Dispensation of Law, and beginning the Dispensation of the Grace of God.
This second letter to Timothy, was the last of Paul's epistles to be written... and as he penned the words, grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord, I am sure that Paul's heart was filled with a mixture of joy and concern for this young man to whom the gospel of the grace of God was to be entrusted, after his death.
May we continue to grow in grace, day by day, and be ready and willing to share the good news of the glorious gospel of the grace of God in spirit and in truth - in our little corner of God's vineyard - to the glory of God.
But Paul, Christ's chosen apostle to the Gentiles, disclosed certain additional truths regarding the important ministry and work of believers, in this 'Dispensation of the Grace of God'.
Angels and heavenly bodies, whether holy messengers or fallen beings, have never personally experienced the wonderful, saving grace of God, because mankind alone was made in God's image and formed in His likeness.
When Peter quoted these words from the Psalmist, however, he excluded that final, sombre sentence from his epistle... for today we live in the dispensation of the grace of God, when guilty sinners can be cleansed from all sin - by grace through faith in Christ's redemptive work on Calvary's Cross.
May we who have received the over-abounding mercy and grace of God in our lives, demonstrate a Christ-like character in our daily living - through purity of heart, the pursuit of peace, the compassion of Christ, the mercy of God, and a life that is walking in spirit and truth... even during these increasingly difficult days of severe suffering and increasingly intense Christian persecution.
Similarly, the apostle Peter also rejoiced in God and gave glory to His name when he considered the amazing and over-abounding grace of God, and instructed believers to, grow in the grace and in a knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who is worthy of all honour and glory, both now and to the day of eternity.
By returning back to the Law, they ruined the grace of God in the lives of these believers, forcing them to become a debtor to the Law and placing them back under its curse – for those who follow the Law are obligated by the Law to obey the WHOLE of the Law, with its 613 separate regulations.
We read that Paul thanked God for the grace of God which had been given to each one, and for their testimony of Christ - so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, and are eagerly awaiting the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, but he did have to address some problems within the congregation.
Since that pivotal point in the history of man, believers today look back to the Cross, in humble thanksgiving, at Christ's sacrificial death and glorious resurrection, for we are no longer living under the Law of Moses but in the dispensation of the grace of God.
James also wants us to recognise ourselves for what we truly are - guilty, undeserving sinners that are saved by the amazing grace of God rather than pretty people that deserve blessings because we see ourselves as somewhat better-behaved or more deserving than others.
May we meditate on the Word of God, day and night, and systematically study the Scriptures and apply it in our lives - to show ourselves approved unto the Lord so that we may prosper in our spiritual walk, grow in the grace of God, mature in our Christian faith, and become instruments that the Lord may be willing to use for His greater glory.
Today we are called of Jesus Christ to sanctification - to grow spiritually in the grace of God and to become mature believers who are rooted and grounded in Christ. This cannot be done in our own might or power, but only as we willingly submit to the guiding hand of the indwelling Spirit of God.
But although Paul's hunger to be with the Lord caused him to view death as a welcome gift, the stark reality of a lost world, in desperate need of a preacher to bring the good news of the glorious gospel of the grace of God to a fallen race..
The gospel of God's grace was made known to the Gentiles through the grace and apostleship that Paul himself received, and it was through his ministry that this good news of the grace of God and peace with Him has continued to be poured out upon all people on earth, during this Church dispensation.
Sadly, in Paul's day... as today, there are those that cannot accept that we are no longer under the Law of Moses and living in 'the dispensation of the grace of God'.
Sadly, these legalists seek to return believers to pre-Cross slavery under the Law, instead of living in the post-Cross freedom under grace - which is why Paul quoted Isaiah in his epistle to the Corinthians when he wrote: We also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain - for He says, 'at the acceptable time I listened to you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.'
He had been taught the gospel of the grace of God directly from the risen, ascended, glorified Lord Jesus, and was, no doubt, thrilled when the good news began to spread throughout the region, as men and women came to believe that Christ's sacrificial offering of Himself, was sufficient for their salvation.
It was difficult for Jews to discover that the Law of Moses had been superseded by the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, and many refused to accept that the dispensation of Law ended at the Cross and had given way to the dispensation of the grace of God.
The grace of God is beautifully demonstrated in the life and witness of Paul - for this blasphemous, murderous, pharisaical Jew was arrested in his forward march of spiritual blindness and eternal damnation into a position where he was commissioned by God to be His personal representative on earth, so that many might be saved from the wrath of God - by grace through faith.
He was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God and spiritual blessing rested upon Him.
And this verse gives a little of the limited information we have about Christ's early life, for we read, The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom... and the grace of God was upon Him.
Developmentally, He increased in wisdom and understanding, while spiritually, we read that the grace of God was upon Him.
Wherever Paul went, there were those who opposed the gospel of the grace of God and sought to discredit his teaching. In the book of Galatians, Paul was so angry with the legalists who had crept in, and were twisting the gospel of Christ, that he cried out, Let them be accursed.
The administration of the mystery has a number of different labels, including, 'the dispensation of the grace of God', 'the Church Age' and 'the Age of Grace'.
Here in Ephesians, we see it entitled 'the dispensation of the grace of God' and also 'the dispensation of the fullness of times'.
As Christians, we are privileged to be part of the outworking of God's eternal plans and purposes in the dispensation of the grace of God... and as believers who are living during the Church dispensation, our daily testing is to live by faith and not by sight.
God, Who created the material universe and made man in his own image and likeness, chose to withhold information about 'the dispensation of the grace of God', until such a time as He deemed it necessary to reveal it to the world, through Paul.
What a privilege to be part of the Body of Christ in the dispensation of the grace of God.
The faith of this little congregation was anchored upon the message of truth, the good news of Christ, the gospel of the grace of God that Christ died for our sins and rose again to secure for who believe in Him, an eternal home reserved for us in heaven.
This hope is not only reserved in heaven for these faithful, loving Colossian believers, but for all who have heard and believed God's Word of truth, the gospel of the grace of God.
As believers in the dispensation of the grace of God, every Christian both Jew and Gentile alike, are reminded that we are holy brethren who by faith in Christ, have a heavenly calling to honour the Lord Jesus Who is both Apostle and High Priest of our professed faith in Him – for He died for our sin and was buried and rose again to break the power of sin and death in the life of all who would believe in Him.
However, veiling knowledge of the truth to unbelievers, through parabolic teachings, demonstrates the incredible grace of God - so that mans' sin will not be exacerbated, through their spiritual understanding.
This is indeed a terrible indictment upon humanity, and were it not for the grace of God, every member of the human race who were originally made in God's own perfect image with an eternal soul, a mind to think, and a will to choose, would remain under His eternal condemnation and be damned forever.
It is only as one considers the shocking depths of depravity to which man has sunk, through sin, that the inestimable unfathomable grace of God begins to be recognised.
Simon Peter understood that there are no 'superior' Christians, for we are all one in Christ, saved by the grace of God, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and a new creation in Christ Who is our Head.
The book of Acts in general is a history book that bridges the pre-Cross Scriptures of the Old Testament and Gospels (when the gospel of the kingdom was the main focus of teaching), and the post-Cross period when God's full revelation to man had been given through Christ Jesus (when the gospel of the grace of God became the main focus of God's good news to all men).
Many found it difficult to accept that Christians were no longer under 'The Dispensation of the Law', but were living in a new dispensation - 'The Dispensation of the Grace of God', that came through Christ.
This grace of God is so abounding and precious that there are neither words sufficient to describe, nor songs sufficient to sing of His amazing love and the gracious gift that has been poured into our hearts, through the finished work of our Saviour, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Today it is the gospel of the grace of God that the Church has been called to preach - a message that has been faithfully proclaimed for 2000 years.
The gospel of the grace of God will continue to be proclaimed until the time of the end about which the Lord Jesus told His disciples on that day when He departed from the Temple and started to tell them what would be the sign of His coming at the end of the age.
The dispensation of the grace of God is reaching its fullness and we must not allow ourselves to drift into some form of narcotic slumber or get sucked into the increasing deception that is flooding both the corridors of government and many church congregations.
that He will take what is Mine and will disclose it to you. At this time however, they only saw through a glass darkly, but the day would come when they would be baptised by the Spirit of Truth into the Body of Christ and have the indwelling Holy Spirit of God unfold to them the mysteries of the kingdom... and the privileges of the dispensation of the grace of God.
But he chose to use the love and compassion of a caring and considerate human father towards his child, in order to convey the love, compassion, pity, and grace of God towards those who believe in Him.
Had it not been for the long-suffering mercy and grace of God, the entire nations would have disintegrated into a most perverse and immoral people: Unless the LORD of hosts had left us a few survivors, is the shocking conclusion, Israel would be like Sodom, and would have become like Gomorrah.
Following Christ's death, resurrection, ascension and glorification we discover the murderous Saul of Tarsus being selected for a unique ministry by the Lord Jesus Himself, which he describes as; the dispensation of the grace of God.
But their message was an affront to the Jewish rulers who attempted to silence their voices, for had they accepted the truth of the glorious gospel, their authority would have been challenged because the old order had been set aside and a new order had started - the dispensation of the grace of God.
It is when we arrive at the epilogue of this important letter, with its comprehensive warnings to live righteously in Christ Jesus, not to fall short of the grace of God, and to avoid the many pitfalls into which Israel fell... that we arrive at the final section which offers some very specific instructions on brotherly love, suffering in adversity, and holy living at home and in the wider community.
While Christ's Olivet discourse relates to Israel and His Second Coming there is so much that is relevant to the Church, for we have been given a great commission to preach the good news of the gospel of the GRACE of God.
We don't know when Christ will come for the Church, but in the time we have left, may we rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all things and tell out the good news of the gospel of the Grace of God to those that are lost - for the time is short.
The parable also demonstrates the goodness and grace of God in giving sinners sufficient time to turn from their sin and to come to a point of true repentance.
However, the grace of God is clearly seen in the response of the husbandman - JESUS, for he answered and said to him, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertiliser.'
For 2000 years, the grace of God has been given to the nation of Israel.
Like Philemon, we are all sinners, saved by grace, and it behoves each one of us to act towards those who do us wrong or cause us harm, with Christlike love, and demonstrate the grace of God by forgiving our adversaries when we are wronged.
Godly love for our brothers in Christ, is a demonstration of the grace of God, the love of Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, to whomsoever we come in contact.
May we, who have passed from death to life, love others as Christ loved us, and imitate the grace of God in our lives, knowing that the one who does good is of God, while the one who does evil has not seen God.
Paul understood that the more we comprehend the love and the grace of God - and recognise that the righteousness and justice of God is underpinned by His goodness and grace - the more we grow in understanding, mature in the faith, and are strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit in our inner man.
Paul recognised the grace of God that had been extended to him, despite his impassioned persecution of the Christian Church, and he laboured for the gospel more fervently than any of his fellow apostles.
Much of the content of the book of Hebrews draws parallels between the pre-Cross dispensation of Law and the post-Cross dispensation of the grace of God - and the lessons that the Church can learn today from studying Israel's past failure, are of paramount significance in these closing days of history.
May we never frustrate the grace of God by seeking to impose on ourselves or others an impossible, legalistic burden, knowing that Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us, once and for all.
As we reflect on the fact that one man (Adam) caused all men to be born in sin because of his one sin, we realise the depth of the riches of the goodness and grace of God which enables anyone who believes in the one Man (Christ) to be declared righteous.
you see the ONE and only Work that was carried out for the redemption of fallen mankind and you see the ONE and only gospel of the grace of God - the message of the Cross, which is foolishness to those that are perishing but to us who have been saved (i.e.
Let us purpose in our heart to glory in nothing - but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, for He is the the ONE and only Person that is able to save the lost sinners by the grace of God through the message of the Cross - for He is the power of God and the wisdom of God, and by faith we are ONE with HIM.
The man who is dead in trespasses and sins and at enmity with God, may be become His child, receive forgiveness of sin, and gain peace with God: For the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men.
But it is the all-encompassing grace of God that is so treasured by believers, for having made peace with God we are enabled to receive the peace of God in our hearts and the ability to grow in grace and in a knowledge of our Saviour, Jesus Christ: For the grace of God has appeared, instructing us, guiding us, teaching us, and conforming us, day by day, into the likeness of Christ.
We are saved by the grace of God, and that grace proceeds from the Father-heart of divine love.
We are God’s children and that is what we are, – sinners, saved by the grace of God through faith in His Son, and that grace proceeds from the Father-heart of a wonderful, perfect, unique, divine love.
Let us not only consider the sufferings of the man who lived in the land of Uz, who was blameless, upright, feared God, and eschewed evil, but let us also rejoice in the immeasurable grace of God - His never-ending goodness, His long-suffering mercy, His perfect justice, and His everlasting righteousness.
the offering of Christ on the Cross, (once and for ALL) Church age believers, in the dispensation of the grace of God, are under the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, and Paul tells us that, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
were 'baptised' into the Body of Christ) by the Spirit of God through faith, and were in-dwelt by the Holy Ghost - as the fledgling church transitioned from the closing days in the dispensation of the Law into the opening hours of the dispensation of the grace of God.
The household of God are those that have been entrusted with the gospel of the grace of God, and who have been commissioned, by Him, to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature - and to make disciples of all nations, to the glory of God.
In consideration of all the terror he struck into the hearts of Christians and the many men and women who were murdered at his bidding, Paul recognised the incredible grace of God and the incalculable mercy He had towards him.
Paul was given revelation about the dispensation of the grace of God, and to him was revealed the mystery of the Church and the one new man in Christ - which is made up of believing Jews and believing Gentiles; the one new man in Christ where we are all one in Christ Jesus our Lord, and equal members of His mystical Body.
It is not surprising that Paul could only refer to himself as the very least of all the saints... and dedicate the rest of his life by proclaiming the grace of God which was given to him and to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable, unsearchable, incalculable, boundless riches of Christ to all who are saved by grace through faith in Him.
Although the reach of redemption was to encompass the whole earth, for the grace of God is without measure and beyond our understanding, it was the little nation of Israel through whom the Seed was to be secretly transported so that He could fulfil God's promise and prophecies to unite the divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel into one glorious kingdom and to save that little nation from their sins.
They despised Paul's doctrine and attempted to undermine his teachings, and although they claimed to believe in Jesus, they did not understand the gospel of grace or accept that Israel had been set aside for a season during the Church age i.e. 'the dispensation of the grace of God'.
The grace of God has been extended to everyone in that Christ became the sin-sacrifice for the whole world, and the grace of God becomes our permanent possession the moment we trust in Christ for our salvation.
The gospel of the grace of God, where Christ was sent from heaven to become our Kinsman-Redeemer (and the sin-substitute for mankind), is the adhesive that binds believers together in the perfect bond of unity, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
In his customary introductions, which, as always, included the lovely salutation, grace and peace to you, Paul used himself as a role model, to show that the comfort and grace of God, brought him amazing consolation and strength, in the midst of his severe suffering and persecution - and Paul assured his listeners that the Lord is no respecter of persons and would provide the same comfort and strength for each one of them.
It is only through the grace of God that He sent His only begotten Son to pay the full price of our sins, so that simply by believing in Him we would be clothed in righteousness of God, based on faith in Christ.
There is no better example of God's own blood-bought children, continuing in devoted, persevering prayer and sustained supplication, than this beautiful picture of the little flock of God on the days leading up to the great day of Pentecost, when the Church was born, the Spirit was given, the dispensation of Israel was placed on 'hold' for a season, and the dispensation of the grace of God began.
The grace of God is never terminated because His compassion never fails, His tender mercy and loving-kindness are new every morning, and even though He may permit suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant and faithful love.
Unlike certain Church-age doctrines like the Rapture, the dispensation of the grace of God, or the new-man-in-Christ, which were hidden from past ages and generations, the Day-of-the-Lord is openly taught throughout the Word of God.
The grace of God is freely available to all who would live godly in Christ Jesus.
The wisdom of the world is lacking in every area, but by the grace of God, we can choose, like Paul, to walk in God's wisdom, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Today, let us actively put on Christ so that we may passively abide in Him so that with Paul, we may confidently know that the testimony of our conscience is that we are daily conducting ourselves towards men and God with sincerity and purity, not by the fleshly wisdom of the world, but by the grace of God.
It was by the grace of God that Paul laboured more abundantly than all the other apostles of Christ, to spread the good news with the lost - yet at the end of his life, he prayed fervently: That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings.
Satanic accusations against the goodness and grace of God are still being whispered into the ears of believers today as we, like Job, continue to be compassed about by many forms of suffering and misfortune, persecution and pain, destitution and danger, heart-aches and affliction, the sword and a martyrs death.
And yet, when he travelled to Jerusalem after three years, we discover in Acts, and elsewhere, that the message Paul was given for the Gentiles and the doctrine he taught to the churches in Galatia, was the same message of the grace of God that the apostles understood - where there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, colour nor nationality - for all are all, one in Christ and members of His mystic Body.
It must have been fairly difficult to begin to teach the gospel of the grace of God where we have such liberty in Christ.
Although the reach of redemption was to encompass the whole earth (for the grace of God is without measure and beyond our understanding), it was the little nation of Israel through whom the Seed was to be secretly transported so that He could fulfil God's promises and prophecies to unite the divided kingdom of Judah and Israel into one glorious kingdom, and to save that nation from their sins.
It was by the grace of God that Saul, the pathological Christian persecutor became Paul..
By the grace of God I am what I am, Paul wrote, and God's grace towards him did not prove in vain..
And he qualified it by adding YET NOT I but Christ in me... Paul was explaining that is was not actually ME that laboured in my own strength more than any on you .. but the grace of God working in and through me.
He was what he was by the grace of GOD, which worked in and through him for the benefit of others and for the glory of God.
The Word of God tells us that if we allow bitterness to creep into our hearts and if we become bound up in resentment, discontent, acrimony, and grudges against others, we come short of the grace of God and have allowed the ungodly characteristic of bitterness to sink its deadly root into our heart.