Read Acts 20:28-32. Verse 32 says, “And now, brethren, I commend (commit, entrust) you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up (edify), and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” Last week we talked about the fact that by God’s grace (goodwill, loving kindness; and unmerited favor) - through faith - we are declared righteous (justified, in right standing with God). This week, we will look at three more aspects of grace: 1. We are to grow in it. 2. We are to be strong in it. 3. It is sufficient for us. Let’s get into God’s Word!
1. We are to grow in grace: 2Pe 3:18 encourages us to grow (increase, become greater) in grace, and in the knowledge (knowing) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Truly, one is the result of the other. Knowing Jesus is essential. As we grow and increase in the knowledge of Jesus, we will grow in God’s grace. Knowing Jesus is not just knowing about Him (though, that is a start), but it is coming to know Him personally. I know (about) the Governor, but I don’t really know the Governor. They are two different things.
In one sense, we already have the fullness of God’s grace in Christ, and grace upon grace (Jn 1:16). All the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus, and Jesus dwells in us. However, we must grow in our knowledge of it. The more we come to know & understand Jesus Christ, the more we will grow in the knowledge of His grace that is in us and upon us. Grace and peace are multiplied unto you through what? Through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord (2Pt 1:2-3). This knowledge is eternal life: Jn 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
2. We are to become strong in God’s grace: 2Ti 2:1 “Thou therefore, my son, be strong (strengthened, empowered, enabled, increased) in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” We are to act like men, and be strong - 1Cor 16:13. We are to be strong in faith - Rom 4:20. We are to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might - Eph 6:10. We become strong in grace, by growing in grace. We grow in grace, by growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. We grow in the knowledge of Jesus, by being students of His Word and through prayer.
We have no more relationship with God, than we do to His Word. We know no more of God, than we know through His Word. His words are spirit and life (Jn 6:63). God speaks to us by His Word, and we speak to Him in prayer. It is a relationship. We must be students of God’s Word, to really know Jesus. Of course, this does not mean we should only have an intellectual knowledge of Him; but through the renewing of our minds, our lives are transformed. Through first the intellect, we can come to know Jesus intimately. This is the purpose.
If God says to be strong in grace, that means it is not a secondary issue. It is of utmost importance. If someone says, “Be strong in this… ”, it means focus more attention on this and really get it down pat. Everything in God’s Word is of value, but some things are more important than others. When He says be strong in something, we need to be strong in it! Do not be weak in grace. Get strong in God’s goodwill, loving-kindness, and unmerited favor!
3. God’s grace is sufficient: 2Co 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient (to be possessed of unfailing strength; to be strong; to be enough) for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” What does this mean? Quite simply, God’s grace is more than enough to carry you through and give you the victory in any and every circumstance in life. Even when you are mentally weak; physically weak; or spiritually weak - His grace is more than strong enough to put you over. We can glorify God in every circumstance, because we know we have the victory!
When we acknowledge our complete weakness, lack, and inability in ourselves to live the Christian life, God’s strength can then be showcased in our lives. We must acknowledge our weakness, but not exalt it. We must exalt Jesus’ strength, and all He is in us and through us. Eyes on us - failure. Eyes on Jesus - victory. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!