The Good News Of God's Grace
E. Russell King
What a wonderful working comes through the gospel (good news) of God’s grace! Paul considered it so great that he was determined that neither bonds, afflictions, or even death could “move” him from finishing his course and the ministry which he had “received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). This gospel informs us that God purposed before the foundation of the world “... that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ …” (Ephesians 1:10). This purpose was implemented by “... the working of His (God’s) mighty power which He worked in Christ when he raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places ...” (Ephesians 1:19-20). Having “summed up all things in Christ” (Ephesians 1:10 – ASV), God’s grace toward man reached its fulness – its perfection.
Now the question is, “Where does man obtain the full benefit of this grace?” It is obtainable where God “summed up all things”—in Christ. Notice what is obtained in Christ: 1) all spiritual blessings, 2) acceptance, 3) redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, 4) an inheritance (Ephesians 1:3-11), among other things.
Christians are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10), forming the “one body” of which Christ is the Head and the Savior (Ephesians 2:14-16; 5:23). Everything that pertains to God’s grace as it relates to man’s salvation is to be obtained only in Christ Jesus because “... it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell” (Colossians 1:19). God “appointed Him heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2), and set Him “forth as a propitiation by His blood” (Romans 3:25). Consequently, Jesus said, “No man comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
The next question, then, is, “How does one get into Christ?” If one comes to faith in God, believing what God has put in Christ, then that one will gladly hear (obey) what the Spirit said through Paul: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). The penitent believer is “... buried with Him (Christ) in baptism ...” and “... raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12). That is the point in conversion when “... the body of the sins of the flesh ...” is put off (“by the circumcision of Christ”) and, then, one is raised with Christ by the “working of God.” The next verse reads: “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses” (v. 13).
How great, indeed, is the good news of God’s grace obtained by all who through faith are baptized into Jesus Christ! -Rt 5 Box 310, Keyser, WV 26726.
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