As established in the last post, the posts for this week will focus on the ministry of the Trinity; each member of the trinity and their unique manifestations to us. To enjoy God and fully maximize our relationship with Him, we ought to have accurate perspectives on God’s ministry to Christians. I occasionally reason about God and His nature and every time, I am able to leave that reasoning session stronger in faith about God’s attributes and most dominantly His trueness. I am very comfortable with the God I serve having subjected my faith to some thought.
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” – 2 Corinthians 13:14 (NLT)
The last verse of Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth and one of the most quoted verses of the Bible helped me see the unique ministries of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The grace or benediction has been a staple of church service for many generations but therein lies a key which is vital to our maximal understanding of God.
While God the Father is more dominantly known for His love, God the son is known for His grace. Just as it is impossible to separate love from God, Jesus cannot be separated from the idea of grace – His grace.
Grace to me means a couple of things. First it means access and a right bestowed to benefits one could never deserve or earn himself. It also means enablement to achieve and produce more than one’s ability. Grace also simply means undeserved favor and goodness.
The grace of Jesus Christ not only gives us access to a diversity of blessings and benefits, it gives us legal right to these entitlements which we never earned. We often approach the benefits of Jesus’ sacrifice as a privilege we ought to beg for and understandably so because we know quite well that we never earned them. However, grace is so powerful that it doesn’t require us to beg for these but to boldly claim them as if we had earned them. It gives us a right to a privilege; if that makes sense. What an amazing grace.
Jesus earned our health, prosperity, glory, resurrection, deliverance, forgiveness, among others and after earning these, He handed it all over to us never to reclaim it for Himself again. He wants nothing to do with health because He cannot be sick neither does he need deliverance because He cannot be oppressed. He has relinquished control and interest in these intangible assets to us as Christians and we must act on these as a right and not as beggars. That is the working of grace and it is only made possible through Jesus. We have forgiveness of sins by Him because He paid the price and credited to our account.
Using a modern analogy, we can liken the scenario to a man who was born into a wealthy family and was the sole heir of his father’s riches. Through thoroughness, hard work and necessary sacrifice, he took the wealth he inherited and multiplied it several times into an inexhaustible fortune. He ends up becoming stupendously wealthy after much industry and uphill struggle and just before he dies, he takes a wife from the lowest strata of society – an orphaned woman who has had a very rough life. She has lived on the streets her entire life and is in drowning in debt. When he passes on, he leaves the entire fortune to his newly wedded wife.
Though the wife is now in control of all, she must be properly conditioned to accept this act of benevolence and live on the level of her inheritance. She need not beg for funds from the accounts. It is all hers you see and she can do as she decides with it all. It was a privilege but is now a right. Such is the working of grace. Jesus earned it all and handed everything over to His bride, the Church.
Jesus is the epitome of grace. Everything He did on the earth and actually the reason He came to earth was to put certain things in place for our benefit. His life, His death, His resurrection and His ascension into heaven were all for you and I. He basically lived for us. His victory over the devil has become ours just as His victory over death has become ours too. His resurrection is our resurrection and His death was our death. He transferred all equity he had accrued to our accounts to enjoy.
“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time–to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.” – 2 Timothy 1:9 (NLT)
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” – Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT)
His grace makes us confident yet humble at the same time. If the only response we possess to the grace of Jesus is humility, as some religious folks do, we shall fail to enforce the workings of grace as a right. The devil then is able to cheat us of our inheritance. Therefore, the confidence born out of knowledge of our rights in Jesus must be applied coupled with the humility of knowing it was received and not earned. With the grace of Jesus, the inheritance covers much more than money; so much was earned and paid for by Jesus on our behalf.
I am at a point in my walk with God that I am persuaded to say if God never does anything else for me at all, I am fine with that as He has done the most significant of all. He paid a price for a debt that I could never have paid and gave me eternal life. While I desire everything else for comfort and fulfillment on earth, I am most grateful for the work of redemption.
When we pray in Jesus Name, we are basically laying claim to what He willed to us and is now our right. For instance, a prayer for healing in Jesus Name basically puts the heavens, the earth and the world beneath on notice that it has been paid for and you must now make a withdrawal. That must be respected.
It is impossible to live a fulfilled Christian life without understanding and embracing the grace of Jesus. It humbles us because accepting that grace is an acknowledgment of our insufficiencies and the fact that we owe our freedom to the work of Jesus. A Christian that understands grace cannot be proud and cannot be cheated. It is a good balance.
The right to the riches of His inheritance transfers to us when we believe in Jesus and accept His sacrifice. It is only right that we submit to the Lordship of One who paid such a price for us. Shalom.