This is the last of this series on “The Enabling Power of Grace” and I thought it would be the easiest to conclude as I had most of this written before part 3. However, I have truly had to draw on His grace, His enabling power to bring this to conclusion. My hope is that this will not conclude your exploration of grace, but will incite you to explore more, but not just more on grace, but more on the Person of Grace. In our endeavors to understand more of who God is and His character, the greatest danger is that we learn about certain truths and miss the Person of those truths.
We concluded last time as I proposed that His grace is much more that simply a cover up for our weakness, but rather is the very power of God to live an overcoming lifestyle and one of victory.
Let’s look at a few scriptures that shed some light on this.
Ro 5:20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rom 6:6 …our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
We see here in the above verses that “grace abounded much more” than sin, not to cover it up or mask it, but so that “sin might be done away with.” Use of words such as “reigning” carry a much weightier connotation than merely “a cover up.”
2Co 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
In 2 Corinthians 12 , Paul speaks of a thorn in his flesh, a messenger of Satan sent to buffet him. Paul says he pleaded with the Lord three times to remove this thorn. The Lord’s response is amazing.
It’s similar to His response to Moses as the Israelites stood with the Red Sea before them and the armies of Egypt behind. The Lord said to Moses, "Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.”
The Lord say to Paul: "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Paul Responds,” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities (or better translated ‘weaknesses’), that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Eph 2:7 …I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.
Act 20:24 So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Nowhere in these passages (or anywhere in the Bible for that matter) is there evidence that grace covers anything. We know that love covers a multitude of sins and that His blood covers us, that we are covered in a robe of righteousness, but we are not covered by grace.
I would also have to conclude that if we serve a God who has to cover our weakness and does not have the power and ability to deliver us and lift us up in our weakness, than He is a weak God.
But this is not the case!
We know that we are saved by grace through faith by the mighty working of His power! And we know that His arm is not too short to deliver, nor is He too weak (Is 50:2).
HIS GRACE IS NOT A COVER UP, BUT THE POWER TO GO HIGHER UP!
Paul says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
In conclusion, as we’ve looked at various aspects of grace, we have contrasted the law and grace, and examined how things changed as the Old Covenant passed away and the New Covenant came into being, and have looked at grace not simply as “God’s unmerited favor” but also His enabling power, we must also not forget that we now live by the law of love. Jesus says 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind' and 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' While this is all that Jesus ‘requires’ He stated that "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
Jesus says, "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."
If our desire is to know and love Him more, this will undoubtedly keep us on the right path in our pursuit of Him and understanding His ways and His character because He is love!
As we look back to our original text in 2 Cor 6:1 where Paul pleads with the church at Corinth “not to receive the grace of God in vain,” let’s endeavor to allow the fullness of His power to work in us and enable us to live the life that He has called us to.