[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Monday, February 20, 2006

GRACE

by Rose
God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense

About a decade ago, I had the priviledge of being present while a preacher named Dr. Paul Tassell delivered a sermon on GRACE. He skillfully made an acrostic from the word. (Oh, how I love acrostics.) I don’t remember everything about the sermon, for it was a long time ago, but acrostics have a way of sticking in my mind and I thought it might be appropriate to bring it up on the new blog with the word in its title.

G R
God’s Riches
We are talking about our creator, our heavenly father. All things are under his sovereign hand. Nothing happens that is outside the scope of His perfect plan. He holds it all together and is the ruler of all. He “is a righteous judge …” (Psalm 7:11) Yet, He says Himself, “I am merciful …” (Jeremiah 3:11) This is God; He is the "be-all" and "end-all" of the entire universe! That’s who we’re talking about.

I was thinking about the next part yesterday and talking to my husband, John about it. What are God’s riches? We pondered this question together. This subject is so broad it could fill volumes, and it has! I will just offer a couple of snippets, glimpses of God’s riches:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ … " (Eph 1:3)

“… the riches of His goodness and forbearance …” (Rom 2:4)

“… the riches of … Christ in you, the hope of glory ..." (Col 1:27)

“… justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus …” (Rom 3:24)

“ … the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:39)

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phl 4:19)

“… Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption …” (1Cor 1:30)

“He has made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus …” (Eph 2:6)

“… abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness …” (Rom 5:17)


" ... given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature ..." (2 Pet 1:4)

The most awesome “riches” is having the privilege of knowing Him. We have access into His very presence. But wait! There’s more … We receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. What does this mean? I have lately been contemplating the fact that we are “… partakers of the Divine Nature.” (2 Pet 1:4) It just doesn’t get any better than that!

A C E
At Christ’s Expense
Just thinking about who Christ is will bring you to your knees. He is very God, yet very man. His presence in Judea brought the fullness of the Godhead, bodily. He was sinless perfection. Forget the DaVinci code. This man was and is one-of-a-kind. He had no wicked desire, no jealousy, no flaw ... quite different from you and me, but one of us nontheless. How awesome. He was not just a partaker of the divine nature; he was the genuine article, through and through. This is the aspect of Grace that is so very humbling, when we grasp what God has done through His incarnate Self, Jesus Christ:

“God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh …” (Romans 8:3)

“ … Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” (1 John 3:16)

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21)


Grace is God bestowing his riches on us. He freely gives us all that goodness, justification, redemption, justification, love, wisdom, sanctification, knowledge of Him etc... So much is given to those who are in Christ Jesus. Most awesomely, we become a new creation that has the very nature of God within us. What did we do to deserve this? What work? We did nothing. Christ has done it all; He has purchased this for us.

We receive God's riches at Christ's expense. He paid the cost so that we could have these riches. Salvation is all of God in Christ! It is a gift; therefore, it is not of works. There is no work that can merit the righteousness of God. What could a person possibly do that could make them deserve to be a partaker of the Divine nature? This would almost be a funny question if it wasn't for the tragedy that so many people want to earn their way into Christ, into God's favor. There is nothing that we have to offer God in exchange for His perfection. By GRACE (God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense), He has lavished us with righteousness and eternal life. If we are born-again by GRACE through faith in Christ, we will never suffer the death and punishment that we actually do deserve. (Now there is something we have earned).

Throw it all away, whoever you are who is clinging to some righteousness of your own, and look to Him alone for salvation! You are not fit to enter His presence, no matter how many good works you do. (I don't really believe in lady preachers...) The only condition for eternal life is the righteousness that is gained through faith, apart from works, which no one can earn. It is the gift of God. There is no boasting, because you can do no work to deserve this gift that you receive. Most people don’t like the idea of something that they can’t boast about, even if it's just boasting to themselves. We need to pat ourselves on the back, just a little. We think it is ludicrous that righteousness could be received without some kind of work or effort on our part. Most people would be ashamed to admit that they were utterly helpless. But ... we who are believers (and I would imagine that most reading here are) are UNASHAMED, because the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation, of which nothing else is! Praise Him! We have received GRACE: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.

(Would this fall under the category of Dispensationalism, Free-Grace Theolgy or "Old School Non-Calvinism"? (I love that phrase!) You decide.)

28 Comments:

  • All three, Rose~. Any who proclaim the true Gospel would agree with this post.

    Personally, I dislike acrostics, but this is really an excellent post.

    I do not agree with lady preachers either. They make me feel physically revolted.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, February 20, 2006 5:59:00 AM  

  • Rose,
    I love acrostics! But I always absolutely avoid any alliterations. ;-)

    Its nice to see you posting on this blog. It is an interesting forum. I truly enjoy messages on Grace as long as they aren't too "restrictive." ;-)

    Matthew,
    I couldn't agree with you more!

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at Monday, February 20, 2006 6:38:00 AM  

  • Rose,
    Excellent post! What a bold proclamation of the truth.

    How would I catagorize that?...THE TRUTH!

    I love and respect your writing... Thank you for this post!

    Mark Pierson

    By Blogger bluecollar, at Monday, February 20, 2006 7:12:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    Awesome post! I second what Matthew, John, and Mark said!!!

    PEACE,

    NATE

    By Blogger Nate, at Monday, February 20, 2006 7:19:00 AM  

  • Amen Rose.

    Without Christ we can do nothing...but with Him we can do all things through Christ who strenghtens us.

    I think it just falls under Christian.

    By Blogger ambiance-five, at Monday, February 20, 2006 7:25:00 AM  

  • No lies in that one! However, I hate it when I hear anyone, especially people seeking grace, pointing at otehrs and talking about their bad behavior.

    Also, could you expand on the physical gifts that we have around us and how we should be enjoying them?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, February 20, 2006 8:46:00 AM  

  • Anonymous, hmmm... I wonder who you are.
    I think I may know you.

    We can all find something that counts as "bad behavior" in others, very easily ... else why would we need GRACE? Actually, pointing to others' bad behavior may be a way of trying to lift ourselves up (remember the Pharisees?) ... and lifting ourselves up is just another manifestation of pride. Pride is on the top of the list (Proverbs 6:17) of things that God hates (read: sin). Therefore, realizing my own inadequacy to shake off, completey, either the bad behavior ... or the pride, (both are sin) I must flee to the cross of Christ who cleanses me from every sin. He alone can present me (or you) blameless before His presence. (Jude 1:24) This is why we need GRACE. All of our faults should cause us to appreciate this beauty and to well up in our hearts with thanks, if we know this forgiveness and gift from Him ... if we are counting on Him alone for justification, and not looking to ourselves, where we are sorely lacking. I know I am sorely lacking in perfection of deeds and thoughts and attitudes. Christ alone is my righteousness.

    (Let me ponder your other thought separately ... this is getting kinda long)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, February 20, 2006 9:24:00 AM  

  • Physical gifts?
    General grace is there far all of humanity. The sun rises in the morning because od God's GRACE and food springs up from the ground for the same reason. Somehow, even hard times are a part of His grace, because they all have a purpose in His greater plan. As far as enjoying things that He has given ... we can enjoy food, but excess will harm us, we can enjoy other physical things, but if done in the wrong context, they can hinder our peace, because it is not as God intends. The Bible is the place to find the answers to how He would have us enjoy the physical gifts. The rules of society seem to change a lot as to how we can partake of God's creation, but society doesn't always deal in inner peace, does it? I hope I've understood your question. If you want specifics, ask a specific question, because it is a very broad topic. Thanks for visting! :~)

    Anyone else want to take a stab at it?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, February 20, 2006 9:35:00 AM  

  • Matthew,
    How is it you are always the first to comment? Do you have a special internet tool that tells you when blogs are updated? It is always so nice to see you.

    John,
    How can GRACE be restrictive?

    Bluecollar,
    Thank you for that. God bless you, and thanks for your respect.

    Nate,
    Are you sure your name isn't Luke? (look at your comment again). Thanks!

    Ambiance,
    We can - through Christ! Without Him - NO! Thanks for visiting here. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, February 20, 2006 9:46:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    Very encouraging post on GRACE! What a wonderful God we serve! Given the three choices, I would say your post would fall into the "non-Calvinist" (but I don't understand the old school designation :).

    Calvinists would probably agree with your discussion on works, BTW.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Monday, February 20, 2006 9:53:00 AM  

  • Good post, Rose. There is nothing quite so beautiful as the grace of God. The older I get, and the more of God's Word I learn, the more I come to appreciate the grace that makes me what I am today.

    By Blogger Gordon Cloud, at Monday, February 20, 2006 10:40:00 AM  

  • Great post, Rose!

    I suspect there's quite a number of moderate Calvinists who would say AMEN to your thoughts :)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Monday, February 20, 2006 10:49:00 AM  

  • Well my name isn't Luke but I think I'm in harmony with Matthew, Mark and John here. Excellent post for introducing yourself here. ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at Monday, February 20, 2006 3:26:00 PM  

  • Awesome post! I never thought of grace as an acrostic, but I can certainly see it now!

    By Blogger Jayne, at Monday, February 20, 2006 4:37:00 PM  

  • These are good and profound truths. Paul Tassell is a wonderful teacher.

    BTW, I have no idea who that anonymous person is and do not know how it would be possible to even know unless they were involved in psychic practice.

    If some feel others are hopelessly lost because they feel that sin should be taken seriously in the believers life and feel that we shouldn't help one another overcome our faults then please consider the woman of promise and her son.

    Sarah. She orchestrated an event that brought about sin and Ishmael was a result of it. Sarah cast out the bondwoman and it was part of Gods perfect plan but he also had compassion on Hagar and her plight. The result of Sarahs lack of trust in God and desire to orchestrate and help him out led to the deaths of many of her own children today as well as millions of souls pooring into hell.

    The lack of a believer demonstrating the grace they believe in is disasterous.

    It has taken me a long time to understand this. I literally had to be put through the furnace to understand a main reason why many are pouring into the furnace.

    But then again it is all part of the will of God so then we must simply accept this, but it doesn't mean he hasn't given us the power to change if we but believe it.

    I do think you know who this is though.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, February 20, 2006 6:01:00 PM  

  • Bobby,
    Coming from you, that is an especially sweet comment. I respect you a lot. The whole "old school non-calvinist" label is a hoot, IMHO. Your last sentence - that is what I would think.

    Gordon,
    Praise the Lord! Thanks for coming here and leaving a note. Grace is a beautiful thing.

    H.K.,
    That is what I thought, too. That's me - pandering to the Calvinists. ;~)

    KC,
    Thank you! I am glad you think so. Honesty in blogging.

    Hi Jayne,
    Welcome! Did you come via kc's place? Acrostics are good for helping the memory! Come back again.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, February 20, 2006 6:44:00 PM  

  • I assure you all that my wife is no psychic! However, when a family member says something to you on the weekend, and then you see it repeated on your blog, you can prit-near know it was from them, without psychic ability! (Site-meter helps, too.)

    Rose, I do love your post and all the kind comments that are here.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at Monday, February 20, 2006 6:51:00 PM  

  • I think acrostics are great tools to help people remember things.

    I have used the GRACE acrostic in my New Members' Class, but have not had as many supporting scriptures.

    I will now procedee to steal yours.

    Thank you!

    By Blogger Joe, at Tuesday, February 21, 2006 4:34:00 AM  

  • Hi All

    Great Post Rose
    Thats what Grace is

    ThanK You
    Doug

    By Blogger forgiven, at Tuesday, February 21, 2006 6:15:00 AM  

  • Joe,
    You don't have to steal it ...
    I will give it to you.
    There.
    Go ahead and take it.
    Thanks for coming over here.

    Forgiven,
    Thanks for your visit, too. I hope your mind will be set at ease about this blog. I think it will be a good thing. We will see how it goes. I hope you will continue to visit and make observations, positive or otherwise.
    God bless.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, February 21, 2006 11:38:00 AM  

  • I love this:

    Throw it all away, whoever you are who is clinging to some righteousness of your own, and look to Him alone for salvation! You are not fit to enter His presence, no matter how many good works you do.

    :) Isn't that exactly right?

    The only condition for eternal life is the righteousness that is gained through faith, apart from works, which no one can earn. It is the gift of God. There is no boasting, because you can do no work to deserve this gift that you receive.

    Ahhhh...
    I'm glad there is a place of sanity what truth and common sense are expressed

    :)

    Good job, Rose!



    And John,

    I love acrostics and hate alliteration too :)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Tuesday, February 21, 2006 4:20:00 PM  

  • Wonderful Post Rose! It is such an encouragement and reminder to me. I think it is so wonderful you guys doing this blog together. Keep it up!

    By Blogger Dorothy, at Tuesday, February 21, 2006 5:41:00 PM  

  • I enjoyed reading this post.

    I love this blog!!!

    By Blogger Redeemed, at Tuesday, February 21, 2006 6:10:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I love the way that appreciation for the Lord flows from you! It is of His fullness that all we have receieved and grace for grace -- everything we ever received, all of it -- came form His grace, which is His fulnness. For in our weakness His strength is made perfect.

    About women in the ministry. In the New Testament, women can serve as part of a team with their husbands. In this way they are not usurping authority when they minister.

    But in any case, if a woman (or anyone else for that matter) wants to be an evangelist and share the gospel with the unsaved, more power to them. The alternative - to forbid them - is unthinkable! (1 Thes 2:16)

    Loren

    By Blogger Cleopas, at Tuesday, February 21, 2006 7:05:00 PM  

  • H.K.,
    Thanks for your kind comment on my "preaching."

    Dorothy,
    Welcome! I am glad you came over here. You are a delightful encourager. Praise the Lord.

    Hi Redeemed Sarah,
    Welcome to you as well! I am glad that you enjoyed reading the post. I really enjoyed writing it. Our Lord is so good to us.

    Cleopas (Loren),
    Welcome to you! I am graced with your presence here. I have always understood that I am weak. Grace is good for me.
    I will look up the verse and ponder it. I think women can have many appropriate ministries, absolutley.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, February 21, 2006 8:40:00 PM  

  • The preaching of the Word is the authoritative use of it.

    If a woman preaches, she take upons herself the authority of God's Word that a preacher exercises. Whether she does this on her husband's authority is irrelevant.

    Women preaching is a great wickedness which has only lead the Church into greater apostasy.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, February 22, 2006 9:26:00 AM  

  • Matthew, you are so right.

    God's Word is CLEAR!!!! I'm at work right now (lunch break, but over soon), but I am so tempted to get my Bible out and dish out all the verses against this.

    Maybe I will when I get home tonight...afer the prayer meeting service...after I have supper...we'll just see when.

    By Blogger Redeemed, at Wednesday, February 22, 2006 9:40:00 AM  

  • Guys,

    What Loren said was this:

    But in any case, if a woman (or anyone else for that matter) wants to be an evangelist and share the gospel with the unsaved, more power to them. The alternative - to forbid them - is unthinkable! (1 Thes 2:16)

    I don't think he was saying "women preachers" or "pastors" is acceptable. Perhaps by "evangelist" he means something other than what you think he means. Maybe he can give some clarification.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ waves ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, February 22, 2006 9:50:00 AM  

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