When mankind awakens to the factual truth that God is the Master Designer and that He only manifest that which is His nature, man’s thought patterns will know a radical change. In knowing that the universe is God’s creation and that He, in His creation plan, also supplied redemption for believers to become His new creation. Before man was enabled to believe and be converted, man’s lives had no rhyme or reason. But, by receiving His available conversion, God brings man balance, symmetry and order. Eph. 2:8-10 shouts out this truth, “for by grace you have been saved through [denotes any means of which an action passes to its accomplishment] faith [a living, divinely implanted principle], and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship [handiwork, refers to the new creation], created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them [the good works of Christ].
“Grace”, as used in the above scripture, is a noun meaning, free undeserved favor, a pleasure, acceptable, benefit, gift, gracious and joy. It also points to meaning beauty of form or appearance. In this, salvation, as it comes from God and as received by man, speaks of a free gift by God’s grace and does not come just by praying, believing, obeying and consecration only. This means, that God’s favor does not come to us by what we do, but is a free gift that results by receiving His grace. This means a need to understand, that man must come to the end of himself and his ability alone. Man must see that he cannot help himself. Man then, can see clearly that ending dependency upon self opens God’s grace to be received.
Grace, God’s purposed plan for forgiveness toward the fallen man, works, first of all when man recognizes that his unworthiness is the beginning of God’s forgiveness. Eph. 1:7 states, “In Him [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through the blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”. “Redemption” speaks of a release secured by the payment of a ransom, deliverance and being sitting free. This word designates deliverance through Christ from evil and the penalty of sin. The price paid to purchase that liberation was His shed blood. “Forgiveness” as used is also the word “remission”, which means to send away. A release from bondage or imprisonment, and a dismissal. This is the means of canceling out all judgment, punishment, obligation or debt. In this attribute of God, He stands in the place of forgetting every sin. Again, forgetting is an attribute of God’s Divine mind-set. It is this mind-set that is foreign to the carnal man. It is a defect that dwells within the human mind.
Psalms 103:11-12 declares, “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great [hath prevailed] is God’s mercy toward those who fear [revere] Him; As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions [rebellion] from us”. As grace is received, its ability to restore is based upon man’s willingness to have his self-life removed while living in obedience to the Father of grace. Isaiah 44:22, “I [God] have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you”. “Return” is from the Hebrew word “restorer”. This is a word meaning, to turn back, reverse. The usual sense of the word is to go back to the point of departure. Meanwhile, in a spiritual sense it’s meaning is to repent and turn away from one’s sin toward God’s available redemption.
“Forgiveness” from God concerning man’s committed sins means much more than just forgiving past sins committed. The forgiveness of past sins, while they are forgiven, this also points to a new relationship coming from God through Christ. In this sense, the one forgiven begins a new progressive walk of sanctification until the full measure of the stature of Christ is formed from within. Eph. 4:13-15, “till we all come to the unity of the faith [doctrines of Christ] and of knowledge [full or perfect knowledge] of the Son of God, to a perfect [full grown spiritual man], to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ”.
This word “craftiness” reveals clearly the measures the adversary uses to deceive the saints. A word meaning versatile cleverness, astute knavery, sophisticated cunning, unscrupulous conduct, evil treachery, deceptive scheming, arrogant shrewdness, and sly arrogance. This also refers to the time when Satan deceived Eve. This also points to the Pharisees trying to trick Jesus. It includes the deceptiveness of false teachers and the self-entrapment of the worldly wise. In all this, God desire for man is to, by the infilling of the Holy Spirit, impart proper methods in presenting the gospel to the world. That is, to become the word manifesting the nature of Christ to the world.
2 Cor. 9:8 assures God’s people concerning His grace, that is when received and appropriated, grace is able or mighty within the receiving saints to reveal Christ to the world, “And God is able [mighty] to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency [contentment] in all things, may have an abundance for every good work”. Note, that grace may “abound”, a word showing the generosity of God’s grace. This gives assurance that the faithful use of one’s talents and gifts, when spirit led, enables each vessel to mature into God’s purposed level of spiritual maturity. Abound means to move in excess, to greatly surpass and excel. This excellence does not point to man’s level of liberty from a fleshly stand-point. Note that “good” that is of God and from God is for the manifestation of His nature. This “good” includes both the physical and moral senses that each may manifest the benefits of Christ. This “good” is also used of persons, things, acts and conditions as they come from God.
Herein, a vessel by and in God’s grace can become a light for Christ within this world. Understand that Christ, the seed sent forth from God, a seed to be planted within each receiving person is to become that light. Remember the law of the seed as instituted by God in the beginning, “let every seed bring forth after its own kind”. It is this law of the seed that was planted within Jesus that He might bring forth after His kind. A people, a many member body, manifesting a nature even as God’s first born Son, Jesus Christ. Matt. 5:14-16, “You are the light [absolute] of the world [as created, ordered and arranged, also describes a system alienated from and opposed to God]. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”. Herein, God’s people, as the light God chooses and uses to light up the alienated world, are to receive His grace and allow it to mature them spiritually into the form of His light. Speaking, that we are to manifest the Christ nature within a darkened world that God’s kingdom might be established on earth.
Yes, a Christ-like people, receiving from God His light and life. Herein His grace matures this people into the supernatural realms of God. A people maturing in His grace which doesn’t have an end. Pointing to a people living humbly before their God. In this, God’s overflowing has no limits and we have been invited to grow increasingly in His grace. 2 Peter 3:14-15, “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent [eager, make haste, be zealous] to be found by Him in peace, without spot, and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; as also our beloved brother Paul according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you. “Be diligent” is a word meaning action. It includes thinking and acting, planning and producing. Diligent sees the need and does something about it. This word covers inception, action, and a follow through. In this, Jesus Christ was so willing to provide salvation for man by grace through longsuffering. Herein rest the fruit of the Spirit, which as a person excepts God’s grace, they stand as a person who has the power of restraint. One who allows God’s grace to work the work of sanctification until His fullness manifests.
2 Peter 3:16-18, in using the Apostle Paul and his writings to encourage the rest of the people of God. “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware [be on your guard] lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savor Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen”. In looking at the word “error” above, God would delight in imparting understanding of His grace and its powerful work to purify the receiving vessel. “Error”, a word originally meaning a wondering. It likewise denotes a going astray, living in rebellion. In straying, it is always used in respect to morals and doctrine. Yes, the greatest gift from God, except for Jesus dying on the cross for man’s salvation is God providing for man His grace. In this, man must allow the Holy Spirit His right to restrain a people in using “grace” as a license to promote loose morals and deceiving doctrines. In This, steadfastness encourages the lover of God’s ways to live a life separated from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Grace, when rightly appropriated, it brings deliverance from all things concerning the sin-nature. In this, God restores man back into His original intent for created man. That is, a creation birthed into His likeness and image. A creation manifesting a Christ nature liken unto Jesus Christ, the first born Son of God. In this, let us give thanks for God grace and appropriate all that grace enables us to receive. Grace, are you willing to become a receiver and know it’s fulfillment?