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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Bob Hoekstra :: Growing in the Grace of God

Bob Hoekstra :: The Much More Grace of God

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Opening Prayer

Father, You are great. You are good. You are merciful and gracious. We love You and we are learning more and more it is based upon the fact that You loved us first. We thank You for Your grace that brought us into Your family. We love to learn and to grow in the grace that grows us up in Your family. So now in this final session together in this series, we ask that You would speak to us-clarify matters between You and us and Your great grace. Work in a deep and abounding way. Even in this moment, as we look at Your grace, may You pour out by Your Spirit of abounding grace upon out lives. We ask in Jesus' name. Amen.

Introduction

Study number six in our series, Growing in the Grace of God, is about the "much more" grace of God. The grace of God is much more than we yet know about it. And the grace of God is much more than we will ever need-not that our needs are not great, but His grace is that much greater.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. (2Pe 1:2)

Our last session dealt with the gift of grace for knowing God. God, by His grace, reveals Himself to us through His Word. Our primary and ultimate filter, by which everything else is measured, is the Word of God. And by His grace, He reveals Himself to us through His Word. God then brings His grace to bear upon our lives, in our lives, and throughout our lives, making the realities of His Word more and more our experience. That is growing in the grace of God by the grace of God.

Now getting to know God allows His multiplied grace to come to work upon our lives. "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God." Grace and peace in the Lord come via intimate acquaintance with God. God's grace is multiplied to us the more we get to know Him-not merely added to our lives, but multiplied to us.

This leads us into the matter of the "much more" grace of God. Though God has given much grace to us, if we will just press on to know the Lord, He will keep multiplying His grace to us. We will see there is so much more there than we had ever before imagined. This includes grace for victorious Christian living.

Grace for Victorious Christian Living

Christ leads us into victorious Christian living. This is a grace that works much more than merely upon our sin and death and defeat and inadequacy.

For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (Rom 5:17)

One man's offense, Adam's offense, allowed death and sin to enter into the entire family of man. That sin and death spread to all. That death immediately began to reign through the one, through Adam. And this fatal corruption is inherited through all of humanity's relationship to Adam by natural birth.

Earthly living is so fraught with destruction and tragedy because death is reigning over humanity. Death is a tyrant dictator. Behind death is the one who came only to rob and to kill and destroy, the enemy himself. Over the world of the unredeemed, over every life, over us before we came to Christ, death reigned. Death even gives evidence of its work in our fear and doubt and self-centeredness and brutality and cruelty and selfishness and alienation and viciousness and perversion and prejudice. And so it goes: death ruling over the lives and affairs of humanity, ruling over all those who are related by natural birth to Adam and his sin.

The magnitude of spiritual death that influences humanity is enormous. Just think of the world around us. Devastation and heartache reign for death is sovereign of the lives of mankind.

But here is the glorious truth. There is a "much more" grace of God available. Death reigns over humanity and Adam's seed because they only have natural birth. But for those who have new birth, for those who are in the family of God, there is a "much more" remedy, a "much more" solution. We will, for our purposes here, be calling this remedy, the "much more" grace of God. Romans 5:17 talks about this abundance of grace and says that it is much more than is needed to meet the problems of Adam, his race and their sin, and death.

For all of us born in the natural line of Adam, death reigned over us, bringing doubt and fear and self-centeredness. The corruption of Adam brought disobedience to God, sin, death, and alienation to the race. But we are now those who have begun to receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. That grace is what allows us to reign over life through the one, Jesus Christ. Those born only once and therefore related to Adam in natural birth are subject to the full weight of the Curse. Those born again with spiritual life, new life through Jesus Christ, stand free of Adam's weight and are at liberty to make use of the grace of God. One birth means death; a second birth means life. We who are related to Christ can learn to reign in life by the "much more" grace of God.

God's grace is for victorious Christian living. We speak here of the gift of righteousness and the abundance of grace that comes with that gift. This gift of righteousness is that which allows us to stand accepted before a holy God. God is righteous. Man is unrighteous. The only means to approaching His presence is the gift of righteousness that God offers through Jesus Christ. As we find ourselves in Christ, we find ourselves likewise made acceptable to the Father. The gift of righteousness that lets us come into His family allows us to stand before Him in fellowship without fear. Recall Ephesians 2:8-9, "By grace you are saved through faith."

So then, why are there not more victorious Christians in the family of God? Why are too many Christians living in defeat and without victory? Their lives still seem dominated by many of the influences that held them in bondage before they came to Christ. The reason is right here in Romans 5:17. They have neither appreciated nor appropriated the grace offered them. They have not thrown themselves upon the "much more" grace of God. Perhaps they know of the grace that forgives sins and admits one into the family of God. But they have not drawn on, lived by, or counted on the abundance of grace that grants believer to reign over life. They have eternal life. They have been born again. Yet there is no reigning in life! They are not victorious, Christlike overcomers. Because they lack knowledge of and trust in the abundance of grace God offers, they are made weak. It is those who receive the abundance of grace that are the ones who reign in powerfully in this life.

If we want to be victorious Christians, and God does call us to walk in victory, it is only by receiving the abundance of His grace that we shall be conquerors. Learning more and more how to count on the richness of His grace, we come to depend upon it, and so, live by it. The abundance of grace lets us reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ. Death reigned over us before Christ came into our lives. But now life can reign through us in Christ as we keep receiving the abundance of His grace. And according to this Romans 5:17, this abundance of His grace is much more than able to do the necessary transforming work; it is surpassingly able to take us from the death reigning over us to abundant life in Christ Jesus.

Romans 5:20 says, "Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound." We noted this early on in our study of the law. If the law cannot save you, then it cannot sanctify and mature you. The law serves to point out the abounding reality of the offenses of sin against God. "The law entered that the offense might abound." The law of God is revealed to man that sin might be known as sin and sinful hearts might be flushed out in open rebellion. The law illuminates the guilt of man.

"But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more." Again, we have the "much more" grace of God. However greatly sin had abounded in our lives, grace was able to abound much more. The word for "abound" utilized here is one used in the first century for waves rolling up on the seashore. How many times did waves of sin roll over our lives? No doubt, those waves have stacked up pretty high on the seashore of our lives. Fortunately, in Christ, the more waves of sin that rolled up before our salvation, the more grace abounded to us. If need be, a tidal wave of the forgiving grace of God swept over those sins. Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. God's grace is able to just keep rolling in, wave after wave. Comforting, cleansing, renewing, encouraging, strengthening, and liberating: the "much more" grace of God.

The more I look at the grace of God the more I marvel how much I overlooked it early on in the Christian life. The more I teach about the grace of God, the more I marvel how I missed the its significance in the early years that I taught the Word of God. One of my favorite topics in all of the Scripture is the subject of our last session of the series: the "much more" grace of God. It is much more than any of us ever thought. It is much more able than we ever imagined. And it is much more than we could ever need, tremendous though our needs might be.

57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1Cr 15:57-58)

Thanks be to God for many reasons. But in this case, the reason is that He gives us the victory. He gives grace for victorious Christian living. This is a victory verse-a victory chapter. And spiritual victory is God's gift of grace to our lives through faith. The just shall live by faith (Rom 1:17). We walk by faith, not by sight.

How do we know we have victory over sin and death? The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, proclaimed powerfully in 1 Corinthians 15 is our evidence. If we believe in the Lord Jesus, the risen, victorious Lord, we can thank God who gives us the victory. We have a resurrection-victory over sin and death. And it is more than enough grace for a steady, solid, overflowing effective ministry. "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." We can be those brethren who are steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.

Our labor is not in vain in the Lord. Do not forget that our labor of our own strength is in vain. "Apart from Me you can do nothing," Jesus said. Our labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Thematic to our studies have been humility and faith. God gives grace to the humble. The just shall live by faith. We have access through faith into this grace in which we stand (Romans 5:2). Again this comes to the fore in our present session. Of our own natural resources, death reigns undiminished. Only through Christ can we reign in life, humbly admitting that on our own, death will reign over us. By faith given to us through Christ, we can reign in life as we draw on, receive, and rely upon His abundant grace.

Grace for Changing and Drawing Lives

The "much more" grace of God is the Lord's grace for victorious Christian living. As well, the "much more" grace of God can be thought of and is spoken of in Scripture through two closely related terms. God's grace changes lives and God's grace draws lives. The grace of God is more than able to transform us and then knit others lives with us. The grace of God also draws other lives toward us that we might touch them and minister to them.

12And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. (1Ti 1:12-14)

Here the apostle Paul is giving thanks to Jesus Christ who enabled him. Those are words that infer the grace of God at work. God enabled Paul; and so, God counted him faithful. The only way we can ever be faithful is by God enabling us to walk in a faithful path. God put Paul into the ministry and He puts us into service.

And note this-God used Paul although he was formerly a blasphemer. He lived his life in opposition to the character and the work of God. He was a persecutor. And he was an insolent man, a petulant man, a scornful, and a scoffing man. In short, he was a proud man. To the eyes of the culture around him, he was a Hebrew of the Hebrews. As far as rising in the ranks of a religious culture, he was at the top. And yet in God's eyes, here is what he was: a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man. In Israel he was respected, having power, influence, and a host of responsibilities; yet how different is man's perspective from God's.

We might be tempted to see him as a man that could not be used of God. Paul even rejected God to the point of taking part in the murder of Stephen. He oversaw it. He held the cloaks and garments of those stoning this blessed, fruitful, Spirit-filled, servant of the Lord. But here is the amazing thing: God changed everything. And He can do the same for us.

So often we are tempted to disbelieve that God could use us because of the stain upon our souls. Yet this is fruit of the lies, the accusations, and the condemnations of the enemy. Never fall to these falsehoods. "And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant." Exceedingly abundant, the strength of God's grace, which produces faith and love in Christ Jesus, will never be taxed when cleansing us of our pasts.

When Paul had been humbled, knocked off his mount while riding to Damascus to take more Christians captive, he was humbled and threw himself on the grace of the Lord. And in that grace, he found faith and love, which are in Christ Jesus. And as he grew in faith and love, as he grew in dependence upon God, the grace of the Lord was proving exceedingly abundant. The "much more" grace of God, here called the exceedingly abundant grace of God-that is what turned the apostle Paul from a blasphemer, a persecutor, an insolent man, into a fruitful, faithful, humble, victorious servant of the living God. Bringing forth all of these resources that are in Christ Jesus, Paul's life was transformed-as will be our own lives.

The only reason any of us are enabled to serve in the Lord's name is the exceedingly abundant grace of God. It changes everything. Otherwise, we would be laboring under condemnation with death reigning over our lives. Instead, we have thrown ourselves on the mercy and grace of God. God draws us from a life of tragedy and futility into the life of a fruitful and abounding vessel in His hand. That is what the Scripture is talking about when we consider the "much more" grace of God.

Too many of us have thought the grace of God was equal to the forgiveness of God. No, the grace of God is far greater than simple synonym for the forgiveness of God. That does not diminish the forgiveness of God-which is of course majestic and priceless. It is just the first taste we get of the grace of God. And we are to receive of the abundance of that grace.

Paul received it so and look to the example of his life. Let us not live under letter of the law in self-striving. Let us not live under self-righteousness, lifting ourselves up and condemning others. Let us live as humble servants who throw ourselves, in faith, on the "much more" grace of God. It changes everything. It transforms death into life.

And by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. (2Cr 9:14)

Paul is here speaking of one group of Christians praying for another. And he says the reason they long for you, the reason they yearn for you and express it through prayer, is because of the exceeding grace of God in you. As we allow the "much more" grace of God to work in our lives in an ever-increasing manner, other lives are drawn to us by that same grace that is working in us and on us. And this allows us to minister to them by that same grace of God that is changing our lives.

I have seen this dynamic here in 2 Corinthians 9:14 work in my own heart toward other people. I think now of some Christians in whom the "much more" grace of God has been greatly received. Knowing such makes me yearn for them. I think about them. I pray for them. I crave their company. Let us let God make us vessels of His grace that others might desire our company for the Christ we radiate.

The "much more" grace of God changes lives and draws lives. We let the grace of God work greatly in us, fill us up more and more, flow out to others, people will want to be with us, hang out with us, pray with us, and talk with us. You know what is going to happen? That grace touches their lives. That is another great picture of ministry. Willingness to become vessels of the "much more" grace of God so that people will yearn to get close is a wonderful thing for the "much more" grace is certain to spills out on them. What a great way to minister. Grace changes lives and draws lives to those with changed lives.

Warnings Concerning Grace

Now a couple of warnings concerning grace would be appropriate. By God's grace He warns us about His grace because we do not want to wrongly relate to the grace of God.

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jud 1:3)

The Word of God is the content of truth called "the faith" in which we place our faith. The faith is that in which we place our faith. God has delivered this message of the faith into our lives; and now, we earnestly contend for it. "Once for all delivered to the saints." Put your faith in it and earnestly contend for it. Stand up for it. Keep it pure. Keep it true. Live it out. Do not compromise it. Exhort, warn, and even admonish and rebuke and reprove, if necessary, those who want to compromise it and change its message. Earnestly contend for the faith.

We have been doing some of that in this study. In fact we have been doing it on a very critical issue. We have been earnestly contending-for the grace of God, to the glory of God. Do not live by the letter of the law. Do not put others under the letter of the law. The heart of the faith, the heart of the message of the Word of God, is the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Just as we find justification, salvation, and new birth right at the heart of the entire counsel of God, so to must we see that the grace of God is essential to the context of Scripture. We must never sacrifice God's grace to the emphasis of the law. And it is for this that we have been earnestly contending throughout these sessions. Jude 1:4 tells us, why we must earnestly contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. "For certain men have crept in unnoticed."

One of the reasons we must earnestly, with our true heart, stand up for the truth and the message of the Word of God, is that people creep in to the family of God. They creep into the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. They creep in to positions of ministry and they want to change things and deny things. These are men who were long ago marked out for this condemnation. They are ungodly men who have their own agenda or their own message. And look what they do. They "turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ."

We do not want to be those who turn the grace of our God into lewdness. We do not want to cooperate with, assist, endorse, and further those who want to turn the grace of our God into lewdness. God's grace is there to forgive our stumblings into the most lewd of issues; but grace does not stand to validate lewdness as a way of life. God's grace is there to forgive every failing; but it is not intended to presumptively create a walk that feeds the flesh and ignores the character of God. That is turning the grace of God into something tragic. The grace of God is here to make us more and more like Jesus Christ. That grace exists to produce a fruitful life, good works and obedience.

What you are doing is you are taking the word of grace and letting your flesh make provision for lusts thereof. It is a deceit of the enemy. It is a deed of the flesh. It is not of the Spirit. So we need that warning. Lord, help us. Do not let us turn the grace of our God into lewdness or inot lasciviousness or into licentiousness. Romans 6 builds on this thought and warn us against licentious thinking.

1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (Rom 6:1-2)

When the grace of God is beginning to be heard and is so astounding and liberating, perversion of the flesh wants to destroy it. And the natural thinking of man reason that if sin abounded and then grace abounded where sin abounded, why do we not just continue in sin so that we can provoke more grace? Paul deals with this horrifying thought: "How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?"

By the grace of God we died with Jesus Christ on the cross. And as disinterested as He is in sin, He wants us to more and more, by His grace, become disinterested in it. That is what the grace of God is for-not for licentiousness. We are gained no license to go out and violate the character of God. Rather than a license to sin, the grace of God is a means to godliness. May God use us to help others to properly understand His grace.

Those who wish to take the grace of God and use it as a cover for lewdness or an excuse for more indulgence throw themselves right back under the law of God. And at that point, they do not need to hear more about the grace of God that they have abused and twisted; instead, they need to hear more about the law of God that brings them to accountability. Remember, 1 Timothy 1:8-9, the law is for the rebellious. It is for the insubordinate. God does not want us living under the law; His grace is there to redeem us from the law and to enable us to live more and more up to His holy standards. But if we abuse, reject, twist, and mistreat the grace of God, we are walking according to the flesh. And the inference from Galatians 5:18 is that we have put ourselves back under the law, practically speaking. This reintroduction to life under the law is neither concerning salvation nor concerning eternal life, but concerns our fellowship, our relationship, and our walk with the Lord. The law is for the rebellious.

1We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2For He says: "In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2Cr 6:1-2)

Verse 1 reminds us that the children of God are workers together with the Lord. As workers together with Him, many have only thought about being workers together with each other for God. Actually we are workers together with Him. It is a wonderful thing to want to work for God. It is a more glorious thing, though, to learn to work with God. Learning to work for God shows devotion, zeal, and desire. But learning to work with God shows wisdom and insight into the need for the grace of God to make one an effective worker. Christ lives in us. He walks with us. We are workers together with Him. We are partners with God! And as the Father did great works through the Son, so now the Son wants to do great works through us. We want to learn to be workers together with God. That is where the power is. That is where the fruit comes from. That is where there is victorious ministry. That is where lives are effective.

And as workers together with God, God pleads with us through the Apostle not to receive the grace of God in vain, for the grace of God is critical in working together with Him. It is what God uses to make our lives useful and fruitful. We must not receive His grace in vain. We must not acknowledge it and then accept it for less than it is intended. This is strict warning not to ignore the grace of God in growth, service, and sanctification.

If you and I think the grace of God is only for forgiveness, in a sense, we are receiving it in vain. Not that we will not find forgiveness, but we are not receiving His grace for all the reasons it was intended. If we think God's grace is only for justifying people and not for sanctifying people, we are still acknowledging it and it will work in our lives in those areas that we are counting on-but it is still partly in vain. We are lessening the grace by our limited belief in it. The grace of God is given not only to justify us, but to sanctify us as well. And if we receive the grace of God only to forgive us and cover our sin when we stumble as a Christian, but we do not receive that grace to transform us and make us less likely to stumble in the future, then we are receiving the grace of God partly in vain. We are workers together with God, so God pleads with us, "Do not receive My grace in vain."

These warnings about grace are necessary to our studies for to the extent we misunderstand the grace of God, we are missing out on the "much more" grace of God. We are fallen into something else. We begin trying to make the things of God feed the desires of our flesh. We do not want to miss the "much more" grace of God. Do not change the grace of God. Do not abuse the grace of God. Do not receive it in vain. Do not acknowledge it, but fail to let it have its full-orbed work in our lives.

The Dimensions of God's Grace

This brings us to a consideration of the dimensions of God's grace. The more we see how large and great His grace is, the more we will want to be clear in our understanding and full in our appropriation of it. God's grace is the "much more" grace of God. It is so much more than we have ever thought it could be. May God stimulate our thinking about His grace as we continue our study here. Let us realize that we have only begun to partake of the grace of God.

That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Eph 2:7)

God has so much grace that He is called exceedingly rich in His grace. He raised us up in Christ with this in mind: that in the ages to come God would show His people the exceeding riches of His grace. He does this "in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." We who are in Christ are now the objects of the kindness of God. And through that kindness exercised toward us, displayed toward us, and shown to us, He is expressing the exceeding riches of His grace. From the day we are saved through the ages on earth, the Lord wants to show His grace by being kind to you and me.

We often forget something simple: God is nice. He is very nice. He is nice beyond description. It is right and proper for Him to thunder from Mount Sinai, "Thou shalt" and "Thou shalt not," for rebellious men needed to know how holy God was and how unholy we are; but as the book of Hebrews tells us, we have not come to that mountain. We have come to Mount Zion, the New Jerusalem. We have come not to relate through law but through grace. We have come not to hear thunder and lightening, describing our ungodliness and His holiness. We have come broken, finding forgiveness in the blood of the Lamb. Now we have come to one who is a shepherd, who picks us up like a sheep. God is nice. He is kind. He is good!

The dimensions of His grace are exceedingly rich. The same God that we will live with forever is the God we know even now. The exceeding riches of His grace are ours in this very moment. May God build our appetite for His grace, our comprehension of His grace, our faith in His grace, and our humble sense of need for that kind of grace. "Grace upon grace." I love that phrase. Oh Lord, just lavish it upon us. For Your glory. For Your name's sake. For the changing of our lives. For the touching of other lives. For the building of Your church. That is the end of grace.

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. (Eph 3:8)

God gave grace to the apostle Paul and then sent him out to preach the grace of Jesus Christ. And here Paul calls that grace "the unsearchable riches of Christ." Some translations rightly translate this as "the unfathomable riches of Christ." This ocean of grace is unfathomable. You cannot measure it. You cannot divine the fathoms down to its bottom-for there is no bottom. There is no end to them because they flow out of the infinite heart of our infinite Lord God. The dimensions of His grace are exceedingly rich, are unsearchable, and are truly unfathomable

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (1Pe 4:10)

"The manifold grace of God" speaks of the dimensions of God's grace. God's grace is manifold, many-faceted. After you have seen one aspect of it and then another and then another and then another and then another, you wonder how much more there can be. You must wonder at how many different ways God's grace can be seen and known and understood and walked in.

Like a diamond, God's grace shines forth a new facet with every new perspective one takes, and so, further reveals a new and great, reflected beauty. But that is a meager comparison. It does not take one forever to see every facet on a diamond-even a very impressive diamond. But the many-faceted aspects of the grace of God, the manifold grace of God just goes on and on: Grace for forgiveness; grace to grow up; grace for service; grace for fruit; grace for obedience; grace for victory; grace for wisdom and insight; grace in relating to people; grace for ministering to the family; grace on the job; grace at church; grace applied to new problems we never ran into before. This is the manifold grace of God.

To Conclude

We are called to be good stewards of the grace of God. As each one has received the gift, that is the gifts of service by God's grace, let us serve it out to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

If you have been a Christian very long, you are probably aware of Christian stewardship. I do not know how many years I was growing in appreciation of being a steward and never realized that we have a stewardship of the grace of God. A steward is one who is accountable to use the resources of the master for the will of the master and for the glory of the master and for the work of the master. Our Lord God is a God of grace. We are stewards of the manifold grace of God. We are not just stewards of our resources, stewards of our time, or stewards of our gifts. We are stewards of all the grace of God.

In many ways you could say, one of the highest stewardships to which we are called is stewardship of the grace of God. We are accountable to God to use His grace for His glory, for His will, and for His work. And as we plunge into the grace of God, our focus is not the gifts that we can receive for our work in His grace. We are accountable to keep well and utilize well the manifold grace of God. We are accountable to walk in it. We are accountable to receive it and draw on it. We are accountable to contend for it. We are accountable to serve it out to others. We are answerable to God for its use or abuse.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hbr 4:16)

Everywhere I turn it seems like there is a time of need there. What are we to do with that? There is a throne that rules the universe and it is characterized here as the throne of grace. By the grace of God we may come boldly to that throne. We come not irreverently. We come not self-righteously, flippantly, or casually with God. But nonetheless, we come boldly. We come humbly. We come worshipfully. We come bowing down in the heart. But we come boldly as well. This is our Father sitting on that throne. Here we can obtain mercy-we do not seek that which we deserve, but we find grace.

At last, 2 Peter 3:18 says, "But grow in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ." By the grace of God, may we have a yearning and a passion to keep growing in the grace of God. And through the knowledge of that grace and the work of that grace, may we get to know our God better and better. And may we, in knowing better that grace, become better and better stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Closing Prayer

Father, we give You glory for Your great grace. We magnify Your name. You are a gracious God, abounding and exceedingly rich in grace. Thank You for Your saving grace, for Your justifying grace. Teach us more and more about Your sanctifying grace and serving grace. Grace for victory. Grace for being changed and for touching lives. Guard and protect us from abusing, misunderstanding, under using, or misusing the grace of God. Make us good stewards of it, Lord. May it bring honor to Your name, life to Your church, and salvation to the lost. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

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CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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