Vol. 7, No. 30 – July 31, 2022
By the grace of God, I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. –1 Corinthians 15:10
Thus, Paul contemplates grace. Have you done that? Last year I accumulated a number of biblical references regarding grace. I followed that by perusing a number of authors whose books on the subject of grace I found to be exceptional.
One must always be careful to be selective of the material chosen for study. One author is quite reliable—our Almighty God. His inclusion of grace in the Scriptures is of great value to the reader. Dependable. Honest. There are more descriptives of grace. Today’s blog will touch on some of them. The Bible ought to be our first stop in discovering what God says regarding grace.
Charles Spurgeon wrote about God’s grace. I would recommend his brief work for your reading: Grace: God’s Unmerited Favor. Only six chapters—the average reader can spend two weeks in the book and read it well.
Incline your ear, and come to Me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant –Isaiah 55:3. So, as God was speaking to David, He included this short passage to gain David’s hearing. It is not the only time God has mentioned the value of our ears, specifically our hearing. Jesus, Himself, speaks in the Book of the Revelation that he who has an ear, let him hear. Listen!
Spurgeon connects grace with mercy. Grace [is] what the blessings are that God promises to give to guilty [humans] when they come to Him when they accept His love and His mercy. Spurgeon continues with his standard approach to teaching and delivering a message. He refers the hearer to the Word. That is what a pastor/teacher does. I am privileged to sit under the ministry of a pastor who exemplifies Spurgeon’s methods in ministry. When our pastor finishes for the morning, he always gives a benediction and tells those meeting at the church and through live stream, you are sent!
I also read a book by David Mathis, Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines. You may find this an instructional read as well.
I noted that as I studied grace and mercy that love was not absent. You would do well to see the connection as you study God’s Word.
I have heard it said that if you do the same thing for a period of seven days, that what you are doing will possess you. Reading. Sharing the Gospel. Ministering to your neighbors. Singing praises to God. Worship. Attending Bible study.
I have a cute saying that I repeat. Often. You do not have habits; habits have you. I believe that is true; if you view your life honestly you will find this to be true as well. Why do I consistently share the Gospel in my blogs? Because, in seminary, we were expected to witness to two unsaved people each week—and then give a report in chapel (one day each week was set aside as Report Hour). It built a flow in my life of speaking the Gospel to others.
Spurgeon equates grace and saving knowledge. His resource for this is Jeremiah 31:31-34. He reasons that by nature man does not know God; and when he is aroused to think of God at all, God seems a great mystery, a being invisible and unreasonable. How does that man come to God? He comes as a response to God’s chasing grace. Salvation is connected to grace.
Secondly, Spurgeon asserts that God’s Law is written in the hearts of humans from God’s grace. The Law is a schoolmaster in God’s chasing grace. Humans do not naturally wake up one day and decide to change. It is a result of God’s work in their lives. It is available for all because God’s grace is intended for all (2 Peter 3:9).
A third biblical position that Spurgeon exposes is from Jeremiah 31:34, For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Of course, this is the result of mercy, but also of grace and love. Only our great powerful God has the love, grace, and mercy to enact forgiveness to those who accept His great gift of His Son to die (our just punishment), for all. All may come, but tragically not all will come.
Why? Why does God do this for us? That is what love, mercy, and grace do.
A fourth observation that Spurgeon makes is that God intends to change those who follow Him. Following includes (and expects) obedience. Jeremiah writes God’s declaration: I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them (32:39). Grace, as many of God’s words, is an action word. Action words are intentional. Here, the grace of God is intentional for the hearts of the human community.
In Jeremiah 32:40-41, God gives an indication as to the duration of His grace. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of Me in their hearts, that they may not turn from Me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.
Application includes taking in. One must take in the promises, expectations, and provisions of God into the heart. It is from the heart that humans function. From the heart comes thinking. Thinking is the outcome of the heart filter, based upon what is put there. We choose what to put there. If not the truth of God, it will be something else.
From the thinking and speaking comes the actions of life. That flows also from the heart.
How do you know what God expects? His Word makes clear His expectations. His will. His plan. The truth of His love, mercy, and grace.
Explore, this week, what God says about His grace and what it means for you.