In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us…
God’s Grace is…
What’s God’s grace to you? What are some words that you think about when you hear the word “grace”? In this passage, Paul describes God’s grace in these four words: redeeming grace, costly grace, rich grace, and lavishing grace.
1. Redeeming grace – God’s grace, first and foremost, redeems sinners. His grace redeems because He offers forgiveness for our trespasses. Just as God redeemed Israel from Egypt through his servant Moses, so does Christ redeem us from our sin. That’s what it means when we say God is our Redeemer – He pulls us away from our own sin and destruction, and saves us.
2. Costly grace – Notice, however, that this redeeming grace was not free. No, a payment had to be made. We have redemption “through his blood.” And not just some kind of weak, powerless blood but the blood of a perfect God-man. Hebrews 9 tells us, “for if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God”? (9:13-14)
3. Rich grace – All of this, redeeming and costly grace, is given “according to the riches” of God’s grace. God’s grace is rich, so much more than we can ever imagine. Spurgeon once said this about the mercy of God: “God’s mercy is so great that you may sooner drain the sea of its water, or deprive the sun of its light, or make space too narrow, than diminish the great mercy of God.” And so it is with God’s rich grace.
4. Lavishing grace – What good is God’s redeeming, costly and rich grace if it’s not given? We know that God grants grace to His people. But God is not petty. He gives grace lavishly. More than what Bill Gates gives as charity. More than what Ellen gives during her shows. God’s lavishing grace can’t even be compared to anything. We can’t imagine how lavish our God is when it comes to His grace.
What does it mean for us?
Does this sound familiar to you? – “I messed up again. I told God and myself that I wouldn’t do it but I fell again. I’m so guilty and so ashamed. Will God even hear me out? Does God even love me anymore?” What this passage means to us, who think this way, is that yes, God does grant grace. His redeeming grace was meant for an unredeemable person like you. His costly grace was necessary because your sin’s wages was death. His rich grace lasts for a lifetime and never runs out. His lavishing grace is perfect news for you and me because we need to be lavished with grace every day of our lives.
If you find yourself to be a person who isn’t fit to receive grace, praise God because His grace is meant for people like you and me.
What is our response?
Our response to this passage is very simple but very hard. Ready? Be still and accept. John Flavel writes that when we try to “earn” instead of simply accept God’s grace, we “diminish the evil of sin… slight the blood of Christ.” He concludes, “to expect pardon from absolute mercy, or our own duties, is to knock the at the wrong door, which God has shut up to all the world”
So today, try this – every time you catch yourself messing up, remind yourself this and believe this fact:
“In Christ alone, God freely grants me grace”