The All-Sufficient Much More Over-Abounding Grace of the God of All Grace
by Pastor J. C. O'Hair
According to I Peter 5:10, the God of the Bible is called “THE GOD OF ALL GRACE.” According to II Corinthians 9:8, “God is able to make ‘ALL GRACE’ abound toward you (saints), that ye always having ‘ALL SUFFICIENCY’ in all things, may abound to every good work.” God’s saints are expected to do good works, to be steadfast, unmovable, ‘ALWAYS ABOUNDING’ in the work of the Lord. (I Corinthians 15:58). The apostle Paul, who was directed by the Holy Spirit to say so much about the ‘all sufficient’, ‘abounding’ grace of the God of all grace, said something that no living saint will say at this time: “The ‘GRACE’ which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (I Corinthians 15:10).
Well might we ask, “how much grace is all grace?” God is the God of all grace; and all grace is available for each and every saint. Every person, who is a saint, is a saint by God’s grace. This means that every saved person on this earth is “saved by grace through faith, and that not of yourselves; the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8 and 9). No unsaved person is required by God to work for His grace or for eternal salvation during this present age and dispensation of grace. “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” (Titus 2:11).
Note when the eternal omniscient God of all grace purposed this universal grace (but not universal salvation), and just how it appeared: “God, Who hath saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began; but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (II Timothy 1:9 and 10).
ABOUNDING SIN ABOUNDING GRACE
Concerning LAW and GRACE, we read in John 1:17 and Romans 5:20 and 21: “The LAW was given by Moses; GRACE and truth came by Jesus Christ”. “Moreover the LAW entered that sin might abound: But where sin abounded GRACE did ‘much more’ ‘overabound’; that as sin hath reigned unto death, so might ‘GRACE’ reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” With John 1:17 we should read also John 1:16: “Of His (Christ’s) fulness have all we received and ‘GRACE UPON GRACE’.” Grace upon grace is grace a plenty.
If you were given supernatural power for a short while to behold and perceive all of the wicked thoughts, words and deeds of the more than two billion people living now in so-called Christendom and in all the heathen countries, you would know more of the meaning of ‘abounding sin’. But where sin abounded grace did, and doth, ‘much more’ ‘over-abound’.
This means that the vilest of the vile, the most wicked person on is earth, and all other members of the human race, ranging from he most moral, benevolent, sincere, conscientious, zealous, religious person to the most wicked, can find God’s saving grace altogether sufficient to transform either the self-righteous, respectable sinner or the wicked unrighteous criminal into a saint, without any good works or religious doings on the part of any of them. Salvation is the gift of God. “The free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). Righteousness is the gift of God’s grace.
GOD’S ANSWER TO JOB’S QUESTION
Inasmuch as the Infallible Word of the Infallible God plainly states that no unrighteous person can enter the kingdom of God or get into heaven (I Corinthians 6:9), and further states in no uncertain language, “there is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10) , every sane, rational person on this earth should join with Job in not only asking with him the question of Job 25:4, but he should never, never let a day or an hour go by without searching diligently until the question is answered. Then he should not lose one moment in deciding to receive the cleansing and the justification which concerned Job when he asked this question: “How then can man be justified with God?, or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?”
How can a child of Adam be cleansed of his sins? How can he become a righteous person? The religions of the world have offered thousands of substitute speculations and false hopes; have been led by Satan, the god of this age, to invent a multitude of futile religious schemes to atone for sin and make the sinner fit for some kind of existence after death.
It is ever and always true, as written in Proverbs 16:25 and in Luke 16:15 (the words of the Lord Jesus), “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death” . . . “that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”
Satan delights to corrupt the minds of even the church-members in so-called Christian lands from the simplicity that is in Christ. (II Corinthians 11:1 to 3). Satan, transformed into an angel of light, has thousands upon thousands of deluded religious men and women, to help him succeed in bringing in the damnable heresy, and removing religious church-members from the grace of God. He causes them to trust in another gospel. (II Corinthians 11:1 to 3 and II Corinthians 11:13 to 15 . . . II Peter 2:1 and 2 and Galatians 1:6 to 9). We are told in Acts 15:24 that the souls of the victims of the religious messengers, who pervert the gospel of grace and frustrate the grace of God, are subvert
JOB’S QUESTION ANSWERED IN GALATIANS
As we read Galatians 2:11 to 15 and see how Peter was caused by religious brethren to compromise, we should listen attentively to Paul’s words to Peter in Galatians 2:16, which is indeed the answer to a part of Job’s question, “How can a man be just with God?” Until we know the truth of Galatians 2:16, we cannot expect to understand the truth about ‘all’ grace in Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians.
Hear Galatians 2:16:
“Knowing that a man is not ‘justified’ by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Surely Peter had known this great truth. Had he forgotten it? Did religious brethren put so much pressure on him that he forgot the truth which once he knew? This is wonderful news, good news for the human race. Accept it at full face value. Believe it with all your heart. The foolish Galatians turned against Paul when he tried to keep them from falling from grace. (Galatians 5:1 to 4). If you proclaim God’s ‘all grace’ message today, you may get into trouble with religious church-members, but you will stand well with the Lord.
The Epistle to the Galatians should have been addressed, “To the FOOLISH GALATIANS.” (Galatians 3:1). ‘TROUBLERS’ had made them ‘foolish’. (Galatians 5:12 . . . Acts 15:24). They troubled them by perverting the grace message which Paul received by revelation from Christ. (Galatians 1:11 to 13). The God of all grace will judge every religious messenger who frustrates the grace of God and perverts the gospel of grace by bringing over Israel’s Old Testament sacraments and religious doings into this present age and dispensation of grace. Paul was directed to write: “I would that they were even cut off who trouble you.” (Galatians 5:12). Christians are not under the law, but under grace. (Galatians 3:25 . . . Romans 6:14).
The religious, self-righteous, law-keepers of Paul’s day hated him for preaching Acts 13:39: “by Jesus Christ all who believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” When he said, “Lo, we turn to the Gentiles” (Acts 13:46), and preached to them justification by grace through faith in the perfect redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the religious law-keepers stoned him until they thought he was dead. (Acts 14:19 to 21).
Several years later the Lord directed Paul to write concerning the ‘elect’ and the ‘rest’ of the religious self-righteous law-keepers. The ‘elect’ found the righteousness they sought; but the rest were blinded. Thus God divided Israel in Paul’s day into two groups.
“The Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, the righteousness which is of faith.” “Israel did not attain; because they sought it not by faith.” “They stumbled.” (Romans 9:29 to 33).
Then Paul added, about 60 A. D.:
“There is a remnant according to the election of grace. If it is by grace, it is no more of works.” (Romans 11:5 and 6).
ACCEPTING GOD’S GRACE BY FAITH
The God of all grace will most gladly bestow His infinite, saving grace upon any child of Adam who is willing to receive that grace from God. It is abounding grace, allsufficient grace. But it is grace that no human being can earn by good works or religious deeds. The very best news that all of Adam’s race can hear is recorded in the first eight verses of the fourth chapter of Romans. One of these verses reads, “happy is the man to whom the Lord imputeth righteousness without works.”
For about fifteen centuries God kept His religious nation under the LAW, shut up unto the faith that should afterward be revealed. (Galatians 3:23). At Sinai Israel received a yoke which no Israelite was able to bear. (Acts 15:10). They could not endure that which was spoken when God said, “Thou shalt, and thou shalt not.” (Hebrews 12:20).
We are told in Psalm 14:2 and 3 that, during the reign of LAW, God looked down from heaven to see if there was on earth a just man who did not sin. (Ecclesiastes 7:20). He found not one. Some years later He looked down from heaven upon His holy, sinless, Son, saying, “this is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 17:5). This Beloved Son truly said, “I do always the things which please My Father.” (John 8:29). “Which one of you convinceth Me of sin?” (John 8:46).
This Son, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners. (Hebrews 7:26).
On the cross of Calvary this sinless Son was made sin, that believing sinners might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (II Corinthians 5:21).
THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST
What does an unrighteous sinner have to do to be ‘in Christ’ and receive the righteousness of God? Receive Christ and God’s righteousness and eternal life by faith.
Salvation, righteousness, and eternal life are all the gifts of God; “not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8 and 9 and Romans 6:23 and Romans 5:17 to 21). Only the ‘righteousness of God’ will admit a human being into heaven. Any and every human being may have the ‘righteousness of God’, by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His perfect work of redemption.
Let us prayerfully and seriously consider Romans 4:4 and 5, and then Romans 3:24 to 28 and Ephesians 1:6 and 7:
“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth in Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
“Being justified freely (with. out a cause) by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare God’s righteousness for the remission of sins that are past . . . that God might be just and the ‘JUSTIFIER’ of him which believeth in Jesus.” . . . “Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
“To the praise of the glory of God’s grace, wherein He hath ‘GRACED’ us in the ‘BELOVED’, in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of God’s grace.”
As we consider and prayerfully analyze these wonderful statements, let us consider with them Romans 5:17:
“For if by one man’s sin death reigned by one, ‘much more’ they which receive ‘abundance of grace’ and ‘the gift of righteousness’ shall reign in life by one Jesus Christ.”
In these ‘grace’ and ‘justification’ (‘righteousness’) Scriptures, which we have quoted, the Holy Spirit has presented the most wonderful truth that has ever been proclaimed to condemned, ruined, lost sinners, all of whom are absolutely helpless and hopeless without justification by grace through faith in God’s beloved Son and His perfect redemptive work.
GOD DESIRES, ACCEPTS, SANCTIONS AND REWARDS THE GOOD WORKS OF JUSTIFIED BELIEVERS
God kept His religious Nation (Israel) shut up under the law for about fifteen centuries to teach them and the rest of the human race that the Law was added that sin might abound (Romans 5:20); that the Law was Israel’s schoolmaster to bring Israel to Christ that they might be justified by faith in Christ (Galatians 3:24); that Christ died on the cross to deliver Israel from the curse of the Law. (Galatians 3:13 ).
It behooves every person, who really desires to please God, to reach the conclusion recorded in Romans 3:28: “therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” In Romans 4:4 we have learned that no person, however religious or conscientious and sincere, can work his way into God’s grace or attain unto righteousness by good works. We are told in Romans 10:10, “with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” . . . “It is God that justifieth” . . . “It Christ that died, yea that is rise again.” (Romans 8:33 and 34) We read in Romans 4:6 of the blessedness (happiness) of the man to whom the Lord imputeth righteousness without works.
“To him that worketh not, but believeth in Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:5). In Romans 5:6 and 9 we read that Christ died for the ungodly; that the ungodly, who believe, are justified by Christ’s blood.
In Ephesians 1:6 and 7 we learned that the ungodly, who believe are ‘graced’ in Christ, in Whom they have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of God’ grace. In Romans 3:24 to 28 we learned that believers are justifies freely by God’s grace through faith in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus, Who, on the cross, became the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2:2 ).
The justified believer is God’s; workmanship, created in Chris Jesus. (Ephesians 2:10). “Whom God called, them He also justified And whom He justified them He also glorified.” (Romans 8:30). The justified believer, who is justified by God’s grace and by faith it the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s workmanship, is created in Christ Jesus ‘UNTO GOOD WORKS’. (Ephesians 2:10).
We are told in I Corinthian 3:13 and 14, “the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is, If any man’s work abide, which he hath built thereupon (Christ the foundation), he shall receive a reward.”
But keep in mind Galatians 2:21: “if righteousness come by the law, Christ has died in vain.”
We are told in Titus 2:11; “the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” By the grace of God the Lord Jesus tasted death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9). When the Lord Jesus, on the cross, gave Himself a ransom for all (I Timothy 2:4 to 6), He was made sin that believing sinners might be made the righteousness of God in Christ. (II Corinthians 5:21). “The righteousness of God in Christ.”
The believer’s faith is counted for righteousness. The righteousness of God is imputed to the believing sinner who meets God at Calvary and by faith receives Christ as his Saviour and his righteousness. Christ is the believer’s righteousness. (I Corinthians 1:30). The sinner, who does not receive the righteousness of God before he leaves this world, will not be rewarded for his good deeds, but will be eternally lost because of his evil deeds and his unbelief. (Ezekiel 33:13, Revelation 20:13 to 15, John 3:36, John 3:16 to 19). (Romans 2:3 to 11). Read Revelation 21:8.
JUSTIFIED BELIEVERS ARE ALIVE FROM THE DEAD
In the fifth chapter of Romans, the alienated, unrighteous, dead children of Adam, are told that they can be reconciled and justified by God’s grace, and receive life: “they which receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by Jesus Christ.” Justified, reconciled believers are instructed, in Romans 6:13; “yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
“Sin hath reigned unto death.” “Even so grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:21).
God does not approve or reward the good works of any person who is not alive from the dead. The self-righteous, moral, conscientious religious, Christ-rejecting, unbeliever, abounding in good works, is just as dead in God’s sight as is the wicked unbeliever who abounds in evil works. There is a great difference between being moral and religious, and being righteous and spiritual. Apart from God’s grace and Christ’s work on the cross, “there is none righteous; not one” and no child of Adam is alive from the dead.
To believers, who are alive from the dead, reconciled by the death of Christ (Romans 5:9 to 11), justified freely by God’s grace (Romans 3:24), this is God’s instruction concerning good works: “Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always ‘ABOUNDING’ in the work of the Lord; for as much as you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 15:58).
In this same fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians the apostle Paul testified; “the grace of God was not bestowed upon me in vain. I laboured more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (I Corinthians 15:10).
GOD’S ABOUNDING GRACE FOR ABOUNDING SIN AND FOR ABOUNDING WORKS
Surely every rational, thinking person knows that sin is abounding. To be ever conscious of this truth, God would have every member of the human race think of Romans 5:20, and measure the faults and failures of the children of Adam by the commands of God in the ten commandments, knowing that sin is the transgression of the law. The law was given at Sinai, that the sin that entered by Adam in Eden might abound. “By the law is the knowledge of sin” and all the world is guilty before God. (Romans 3:19 and 20).
But again hear the good news in the last part of Romans 5:20: “Where sin abounded, grace did ‘MUCH MORE’ ‘OVERABOUND’. The guiltiest, vilest sinner can find God’s saving, redeeming, abounding grace altogether sufficient to save him, to justify him and to keep him. The moral, upright, sincere, religious unsaved Church-member needs this same grace.
While the redeemed, justified sinner is being kept by the grace and power of God, he should be careful to maintain good works (Titus 3:8), he should always abound in the work of the Lord, by the grace of God. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency, in all things, may abound to every good work.” (II Corinthians 9:8).
As the best works of the most moral, religious, conscientious, sincere ‘Christ-rejecting’ person are not acceptable to God, even so with most of these respectable unbelievers God’s Divine grace is not acceptable. Like Israel in Romans 10:1 to 4, they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, go about trying to establish their own righteousness, refusing to submit themselves unto the righteousness of God which is by faith in Christ Jesus.
As we again ask the question concerning the ‘all grace’ of II Corinthians 9:8, which God is able to make abound, so that believers saved by that all-sufficient grace, might abound in good works, “how much grace is all grace,” let us try earnestly to comprehend the full meaning of Ephesians 1:3, that believers are blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. There is no lack of grace and no lack of spiritual blessings. The lack is on the believer’s part; lack of appropriating faith; lack of a real desire and willingness to claim the grace and blessings. Of course there might be a lack of spiritual ‘know-how’.
Then who can measure or calculate or even estimate the mighty power that God wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and placed Him far above all principality and power in the heavenlies? We are told in Ephesians 1:19 to 23 that this same mighty Divine power is available for all believers who have been ‘graced’ in Christ and have received redemption and forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of God’s grace. (Ephesians 1:6 and 7). Who can measure or calculate or estimate ‘the riches of God’s grace’? Read Ephesians 2:7 before you attempt to answer this question. While we are measuring and calculating and estimating, we might ask, “what about Ephesians 3:20?” . . “now unto Him Who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us?”
Thus we have learned that almighty God has made available for those who are His children by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ His unlimited power and His unlimited grace, and that He has blessed them with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies.
Surely God, Who will have all men to be saved by faith in His Son Who gave Himself a ransom for all (I Timothy 2:4 to 6), will have all of His saved children to take full advantage of His unlimited grace, His unlimited power and His unlimited spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. Moreover He would not have them, for one moment, forget the requirement of Colossians 3:17, “whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by Him.”
THE DISPENSATION OF GRACE FOR GENTILES
As we think of Romans 5:20, studied with Ephesians 3:1 to 3, very special grace for Gentiles, let us prayerfully and carefully consider some other Scriptures describing the awful spiritual condition, the terrible, sinful state of the Gentiles from the time that Paul said, in Acts 13:46, “lo, we turn to the Gentiles,” until he wrote in his farewell message concerning God’s eternal ‘GRACE’ purpose, and then added, “whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.” (II Timothy 1:9 to 11). In this study and consideration, we shall certainly learn why those ruined Gentiles needed the ‘all-sufficient’ grace, the ‘over-abounding’ grace, the ‘much more’, ‘over-abounding’ grace of the God of all grace. This is likewise the greatest need of every member of the human race in this year 1955 A.D.
Note again Romans 5:20: “where sin abounded grace did much more over-abound.” Now Ephesians 3:1 to 3. “I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles; if ye have heard of the ‘DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD’, which is given me to youward . . . by revelation.” Note in Galatians 1:11 and 12 that the ‘GRACE’ gospel was given to Paul by the revelation of Jesus Christ; not in the great commissions of Matthew 28:19 and 20 and Mark 16:14 to 16.
“FOR YOU GENTILES.” According to I Corinthians 12:2, “ye were Gentiles carried away unto dumb idols, even as ye were led.” According to I Thessalonians 1:10, “how ye turned to God from idols.” According to I Corinthians 6:9 to 11, “fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, covetous, drunkards, extortioners”: “such were some of you; but ye are washed, sanctified and justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus.” According to Ephesians 2:1 to 6, Ephesians 2:11 and 12 and Ephesians 4:18, the Gentiles had been “dead in sins; by nature the children of wrath; atheists, without hope, afar off, alienated from the life of God.” According to Colossians 1:21 and Colossians 2:13, “alienated and enemies by wicked works” . . . “now reconciled.” “Dead in your sins, hath He made alive.”
Surely we see that those first century Gentiles needed the ‘much more’ ‘overabounding’ grace of the God of all grace. How about you? I needed it as much as they did. My testimony is Ephesians 1:6 and 7 and Galatians 6:14.
THE MYSTERY DISPENSATION BY REVELATION
Perhaps every saved person really needs to receive the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, to have the eyes of his understanding so enlightened (Ephesians 1:15 to 17) that he can understand the meaning of “the dispensation of grace” of Ephesians 3:1 to 3, called “the dispensation of the mystery” in Ephesians 3:9.
The Greek word translated ‘dispensation’ is, in Luke 16:2, ‘stewardship’. The apostle Paul was the Lord’s steward. He was Christ’s faithful steward of the mysteries of God. (I Corinthians 4:1 to 4). Every minister of Christ should be. Paul testified, in I Corinthians 9:17, “a stewardship is committed unto me.” As we read Paul’s testimony in I Corinthians 3:10, we must surely believe that, so far as the grace gospel and dispensation for Gentiles is concerned, Paul was Christ’s ‘chief steward’. He magnified his office as the apostle to the Gentiles. (Romans 11:13 . . . I Timothy 2:7 . . . II Timothy 1:11). God called Paul, by His grace, to reveal His Son in Paul, that Paul might preach Him among the Gentiles. (Galatians 1:15 and 16). In II Timothy 1:12, the apostle Paul spoke of his ‘deposit’. Paul suffered as an evil-doer in jail, for Christ and the Gentiles. (Ephesians 3:1 6:19 and 20 . . . II Timothy 2:8 and 9 and Colossians 4:3 and 4).
Why was the ‘dispensation’ or ‘stewardship’ or ‘administration’ of the grace of God for Gentiles called “the dispensation of the mystery’ from the beginning of the world ‘hid in God’? (Ephesians 3:9). Why did the omniscient God wait so long before He revealed the two great mysteries of Romans 11:25 and Ephesians 3:1 and Colossians 1:24 to 26 . . . “a blindness in part to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles come in” . . “the dispensation of the grace of God for Gentiles” . . . “the secret hid from ages and from generation.”
Note why, in II Corinthians 12:4 to 11, God permitted Paul to suffer with a thorn in the flesh . . . “lest I should be exalted above measure, through the abundance of revelations.” Little wonder that Paul testified that he was less than the least of all saints, so that he might by the grace given to him preach the unsearchable riches of Christ among the Gentiles. (Ephesians 3 :8).
By the pen of Paul justified saints are instructed, in Romans 16:25, how to be established . . . “by Paul’s Gospel, the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery from the beginning of the world kept secret.”
THE GRACE OF GOD HATH APPEARED
In Titus 2:11 we read that the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. When did the grace of God appear to all men? Did not the grace of God appear to men years, even centuries, before the apostle Paul testified (some twenty-five years after the death of Christ), “that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify, ‘the gospel of the grace of God’?” (Acts 20:24). It was by a special revelation from the risen, glorified Christ that the apostle Paul received the ‘grace’ gospel and ‘the dispensation of the grace of God’. Galatians 1:11 and 12 and Ephesians 3:1 to 3.
In I Timothy 1:11 to 14 we have another testimony from the pen and heart of Paul, “according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust” “ Christ Jesus counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” . . . “and the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant.” Also in II Corinthians 4:4 the gospel, which Paul called ‘MY GOSPEL’ (Romans 2:16) , is called the gospel of glory. (Romans 16:25).
Thus we see that the risen, glorified Christ, by very special revelations, sent Paul forth with ‘the gospel of grace’, ‘the gospel of glory’.
As we compare the ministry of Peter and the Eleven in the Book of Acts with that of Paul, we find some real differences between the gospel which the Twelve preached and the gospel of grace which Paul preached to the Gentiles. However some years later it was the apostle Peter who called God, “THE GOD OF ALL GRACE.” (I Peter 5:10). It was the apostle Peter who wrote that Christ’s servants are stewards of the manifold grace of God, who wrote of the ‘TRUE GRACE’ wherein ye stand. (I Peter 4:10 and I Peter 5:12). “Heirs together of ‘the grace of life’.” (I Peter 3 :7).
DIVINE GRACE DID NOT BEGIN WITH PETER AND PAUL
In Psalm 84:11 we read, “the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” In Proverbs 3:34 we read that the Lord giveth grace unto the lowly. This is confirmed in James 4:6 and in I Peter 5:5.
In referring to God’s chosen nation, Israel, their past and future, we read, in Jeremiah 31:2, “the people, which were left of the sword, ‘found grace in the wilderness’.” Surely Divine grace was needed, and will again be needed ‘in the wilderness’. What about the present day wilderness? With the very large majority of human beings today, God’s grace is not only unused, but it is unwanted. Thousands upon thousands of religious church-members prefer their religious doings to the ‘much more’, ‘overabounding’ grace of the God of all grace. Lost religious sinners and other lost sinners obviously are not counting the cost, the folly and tragedy of despising or rejecting God’s saving grace. Here is God’s word to these foolish, condemned children of Adam: “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God: for we know Him that hath said,” “Vengeance belongeth unto Me . . . I will recompense, saith the Lord.” (Hebrews 10:28 to 33).
HOW MUCH GRACE WAS NEEDED IN THE DAYS OF NOAH?
In Genesis 6:8, we read, “BUT Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” If you will read the verses immediately preceding Genesis 6:8, you will catch more of the significance of the word ‘BUT’. “The wickedness of man was great on the earth” . . . “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” “The Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created.” God gave those who lived in the days of Noah fair warning of the awful judgment that was awaiting them. His warning went unheeded. Saving grace was available. Noah found that grace. This present age and dispensation of grace will end very suddenly. Then, according to the declaration of the Lord Jesus Christ, “as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man.” (Luke 17:26).
The human heart is desperately wicked and deceitful, as God has stated in His Book. (Jeremiah 17:9.) In this age of rationalism and materialism and satanic counterfeit religions the spirit of apathetic indifference, with respect to salvation from the wrath of God, seems to be in control of the great majority of the children of Adam. This age is rightly described, in Galatians 1:4, as “this present evil age.” Satan, the great deceiver, is truly ‘the god of this age’. Surely the great majority of the people in the so-called Christian lands, the lands of Bible and so-called Christian religion, are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, if indeed God is in their thoughts.
In the midst of the present-day disgraceful ‘sectarianism’, ‘ritual. ism’, ‘modernism’ and ‘fanaticism’, many religious church members, and millions of sinners not in the churches, willfully and intentionally reject God’s ‘grace’ salvation. Other sincere, zealous, religious people, in large numbers, seem to be either ignorant or afraid of the grace of God. Many of them are willing to receive a limited amount of Divine grace mixed in with their religious sacraments, carnal ordinances, water salvation, signs and visions; but they fear and tremble when asked to believe II Timothy 1:9, Ephesians 2:8 and 9 and Romans 3:24 to 28: “God Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling; not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” “By grace were ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.” “Being justified ‘freely’ (without a cause) by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Again we ask the question:
HOW MUCH GRACE IS TOO MUCH GRACE?
The willful, intentional enemies of the grace of God, as well as the confused, ignorant, zealous, religious out people, who cherish a perverted gospel, charge the messenger of the Lord, who preach the unmixed gospel of grace, with preaching too much grace. Rather than go forward to the ‘all-grace’ message and program, which the risen glorified Christ gave to the human race through the apostle Paul, their slogan is “back to Pentecost” or “back to Jesus and the Synoptic Gospels.”
The Modernists much prefer the moral and law and religious teachings of Jesus of Nazareth in the Sermon on the Mount and the Golden Rule to the message of Act 13:39 and Romans 3:24 to 26 justification by God’s grace through faith in the crucified, resurrected and glorified, eternal, sinless, omnipotent Christ. They are more interested in a program of religion education to educate sinners into salvation than in teaching the virgin birth and eternal Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, His vicarious suffering on the cross, His bodily resurrection, His ascension and His present work for saints as Advocate in the presence of our Heavenly Father. (Hebrews 7:25 – Hebrews 9:24)
The religious people, who want the Jesus they preach to be a Helper instead of a Saviour, want to feel that they really deserve and earn God’s favor by practicing the ethics of Jesus. They belong to the “DO IT YOURSELF” Society. They of course must think that Paul taught error when he taught “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according, to God’s mercy He saved us by the washing of regeneration . . . being justified by God’s grace.” (Titus 3:5 to 8). They prefer to earn forgiveness of sins, by their work of forgiving others, according to Matthew 6:14 and 15 and Matthew 18:34 and 35, rather than to believe and accept the truth of Colossians 2:13 and Ephesians 4:32, and know that by the gospel of grace the believer has all of His sins forgiven, for Christ’s sake.
The ritualists and ‘back to Pentecost’ religious church-members prefer the message of John the Baptist and the message of Peter to Israel on the day of Pentecost, “baptism unto repentance for the remission of sins,” to the grace gospel which we quoted from Titus 3:5 to 8. When Peter and the Eleven preached the kingdom gospel to Israel on the day of Pentecost the risen Lord had not yet revealed His grace gospel for Gentiles when and because of the FALL of Israel. (Romans 11:11). Peter’s Pentecost message was not ‘the gospel of the grace of God’ for Gentiles.
GRACE IN OTHER AGES AND DISPENSATIONS
In the thirty-nine Books from Genesis to Malachi God’s grace for the human race is mentioned in about twelve chapters; in most of them once only. God certainly manifested His grace toward Abel and Enoch and Noah and Shem. In several chapters of Genesis, beginning with Genesis 12:1 we learn that God’s grace did wonders for Abraham. God manifested His grace to Israel under the law, in His provision for their blessings received at the bloodsprinkled mercyseat. In a very limited sense in the Old Testament God’s grace was shown toward the Gentiles, who were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. According to the Divine Record, a few Gentiles, a very few, received blessings from the Lord Jesus while He was on earth, sent only unto Israel. (Matthew 15:21 to 28). Certainly the Lord Jesus manifested His grace to Israel, both before and after His death and resurrection, especially in Acts 3:12 to 21 and Luke 23:34 and Acts 3:26. However it is of interest and significance to note that there are about 2900 verses in Matthew, Mark and Luke and the word ‘GRACE’ in the sinner’s salvation is not once mentioned.
GRACE CAME BY JESUS CHRIST
In the Gospel of John the word ‘grace’ is found four times. But when we read in John 1:17, that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, or in John 1:14, that Christ was full of grace and truth, or in John 1:16, “of His fulness have all we received, and grace upon grace,” we are not to understand that “the dispensation of the grace of God for Gentiles,” mentioned in Ephesians 3:1 to 3, began with the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth in the land of the Jews. (Acts 2:22 . . . 10:36 to 39 . . . Matthew 15:24).
The Lord Jesus on earth was God’s Minister of Israel. (Acts 13:23 . . . Romans 15:8). He was made under the law. (Galatians 4:4). But though the Son of God was born and lived and ministered under the LAW COVENANT, He proclaimed much truth pertaining to the New Covenant, and He certainly manifested the abounding grace of God in dealing with transgressors of the law.
As we have no one English word giving us the full meaning of the word ‘grace’, we cannot explain in one short sentence, or even in two long sentences, the full meaning of ‘the gospel of grace’. Blessed indeed is the person who knows that the gospel (good news) by which any kind of a believing sinner can be saved is the truth that Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, and that He rose the third day, and, knowing this wonderful truth, he has believed unto the saving of his soul. However, there is something more to ‘the mystery of the gospel’ of Ephesians 6:19 and 20 than the saving gospel recorded in I Corinthians 15:1 to 4.
THE ‘ALL’ GRACE MESSAGE IN PAUL’S LAST EPISTLES
If you will read and study the thirteen chapters of II Corinthians and note the word ‘GRACE’ thirteen times in that Epistle, you will say that the members of the assembly in Corinth certainly needed abounding grace, and you will understand why Paul exhorted them in II Corinthians 6:1; “that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” In Ephesians, counting the verb form of the word ‘grace’ in Ephesians 1:7, the word ‘grace’ likewise is found thirteen times. Ephesians is very much a ‘GRACE’ Epistle. To be prepared for the ‘ALL’ ‘GRACE’ message in Ephesians and II Timothy, the saints of God should read the Epistles to the Romans and to the Galatians several hundred times and then diligently study the Epistles under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, marking the word ‘grace’ found twenty-four times in Romans; “this ‘grace wherein we stand.’ (Romans 5:2). ‘Grace’ in Galatians seven times.
It is most interesting to note that in Paul’s oral ministry recorded in the Book of Acts, and in His Epistles, we find the word ‘GRACE’ one hundred and five times. Compare this with the absence of the word in the synoptics (Matthew, Mark and Luke), and with ‘grace’ in about twelve chapters in the thirty-nine Books from Genesis to Malachi. Most interesting is Moses’s conversation with the Lord concerning ‘GRACE’ in Exodus 33:12 to 23. Read this chapter.
TRAVEL WITH US WITH THIS GRACE
In II Corinthians 8:19 Paul mentions those who were chosen to travel with us with this grace. Have you ever traveled from Matthew 1:1 through the Four Gospels and from Pentecost to Paul’s final statement concerning grace in II Timothy 1:9? It is next to impossible to get religious church members to travel with grace and to sail with Paul.
It is true that Abel and Noah and Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Moses and the children of Israel found grace in the sight of the Lord, before the law was given at Sinai, that Israel found great grace during the reign of law, including the several years of the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus. Surely that penitent thief on the cross found grace in the sight of the Lord. At the time the Son of God, by the grace of God, was tasting death for every man (Hebrews 2:9), He prayed for His murderers, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34). That was grace. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” (II Corinthians 8:9).
When God was willing to forgive Israel’s great sin, the killing of the Prince of Life (Acts 3:12 to 17), that was indeed great grace. The “why” is explained in Acts 3:18 and Acts 5:29 to 32.
GRACE BEFORE AND AFTER ISRAEL’S FALL
Note God’s work and Israel’s work in Acts 2:38: “repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ, ‘for the remission of sins’, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” As there was grace for the fathers, and for Israel before and during the reign of law, there was grace for Israel in the gospel of the kingdom proclaimed before the apostle Paul was sent forth with the gospel of grace to Gentiles. But grace for sinners under the law and during the years that Peter was using the keys of the kingdom was not “the dispensation of the grace of God for Gentiles.” (Ephesians 3:1 to 3).
THE FALL OF ISRAEL THE NEW DEAL FOR GENTILES
We should note with real interest and enthusiasm the statements in Romans 11:30, Romans 11:12 and Romans 11:15; the truth that the Gentiles obtained special Divine mercy because of Israel’s unbelief, the truth that because of the diminishing and fall of Israel God’s special riches were presented to Gentiles. When and because Israel was cast away, God sent the ministry and message of reconciliation to the Gentiles.
After the apostle Paul said, in Acts 13:46, “seeing that you (Israel) put the Word of God from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles,” after he said to Israel in Acts 18:5 and 6, “your blood be upon your own heads: I am clean: henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles,” after the terrible judgment of I Thessalonians 2:14 to 16 pronounced upon Israel, God ushered in a new dispensation, and gradually changed His spiritual program. This program is to be carried on until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, until the realization of the blessed hope of Titus 2:13. With this change the apostle Paul was directed to proclaim the truth of II Corinthians 5:16 to 21, and then to make known the Divine truth concerning God’s eternal ‘GRACE’ purpose concerning the ‘JOINT-BODY’ of Ephesians 3:6. Paul was then instructed to write God’s will concerning ‘the dispensation of the mystery’; “make all see what is the dispensation of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world, hath been hid in God.” (Ephesians 3:9).
Every minister of Christ is expected to be, and should be, a faithful steward of the mysteries of God. (I Corinthians 4:1 to 4). Such a faithful steward should see at a glance the great difference between Peter’s ‘Acts 10:34 to 38’ message to Gentiles, ‘BEFORE THE FALL OF ISRAEL’, and Paul’s ‘Romans 4:4 and 5 message to Gentiles ‘AFTER THE FALL’. such a minister of Christ should know why the apostle Paul never preached Peter’s ‘Acts 2:38’ message to Gentiles in the Lord’s ‘grace’ program. If you will compare Acts 2:38, preached to Israel on the day of Pentecost ‘BEFORE ISRAEL’S FALL’, with Titus 3:5 to 8, ‘AFTER THE FALL’, you should see that there is almost as much difference as there is between law and grace.
THE GRACE OF GOD TEACHES AND ENABLES CHRISTIANS
Surely we have learned by now why it has been truly said that the full meaning of Divine grace cannot be expressed in any one English word, and why we have no way of computing, measuring or estimating “the riches of God’s grace.”
However it is difficult to understand why unsaved and saved religious church-members are determined to ignore or to limit the grace of God. In their religious lives many of them have adopted the slogan and program of “do it yourself.” They care not to join with the ‘number-one’ Christian of all times in his testimony, “by the grace of God I am what I am.” (I Corinthians 15:10). Then there are some splendid saved religious church-members who seem to be afraid of the grace of God. Moreover the deplorable fact is, that more than ninety-five percent of even the saints of God do not understand the meaning of “the dispensation of the grace of God.” (Ephesians 3:1 to 3). Test yourself by writing your definition of “the gospel of grace.”
The grace of God enabled the apostle Paul to labour more abundantly than other saints (I Corinthians 15:10); to be the wise ‘masterbuilder’ or ‘head-carpenter’ (I Corinthians 3:10), and to preach to Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. (Ephesians 3:8). This was the apostle of Christ, who used the word ‘grace’, one hundred and five times, who found that grace all-sufficient for every task, every test and every trial. Can you join with Paul, saying, “I do not frustrate the grace of God?” It was Paul who referred to God’s grace for saints and for sinners as the ‘much more’, ‘over-abounding’ grace. (Romans 5:20 . . . II Corinthians 9:8).
Perhaps after reading Romans 5:21 one thousand times prayerfully, in the Spirit, we should begin to comprehend its meaning: “that as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Understanding Romans 5:17, first, helps us to understand 5:21. Note 5:17: “MUCH MORE they which receive ‘ABUNDANCE OF GRACE’, and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by ONE JESUS CHRIST.”
The God of all grace wants to bestow His ‘ABUNDANCE OF GRACE’, His ‘ALL SUFFICIENT’, ‘MUCH MORE’, ‘OVERABOUNDING’ grace upon every person on this earth. The great majority of Adam’s race do not have the willingness or desire to receive this marvelous, matchless, Divine grace. We wonder how many pastors, evangelists and Bible-teachers are responsible, at least in part, for the nationwide ignorance of the grace of God, which Peter defines as the “true grace of God wherein ye stand.” (I Peter 5:12). Thousands of preachers, in pulpits and over the radio, occasionally call the message which they are proclaiming ‘the gospel of grace’, when the truth is they are preaching a perverted gospel, which subverts the soul. (Acts 15:24).
How few Christians really experience and rejoice in the truth of Ephesians 4:7, “unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”
What a tragedy that thousands upon thousands of religious church-members fall from grace by adding their religious doings to the grace of God to keep from falling from grace! (Galatians 5:4).Think of the spiritual crime of bringing over front Leviticus and Exodus and Numbers into this present age and dispensation and program of grace some of the religious sacraments and ceremonies to make the grace of God and the perfect redemptive work of the Lord Jesus more efficacious and effective! When the omnipotent, omniscient, eternal, Divine, sinless Christ cried ‘Finished’ on the cross, and then entered heaven and by His own precious shed blood He obtained eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:12) , God blotted out the handwriting of ordinances, nailing them to the cross of Christ, the Christ Who then became the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Colossians 2:13 to 16 and Romans 10:4).
God is a jealous God. Be very, very careful about perverting His ‘GRACE’ gospel or frustrating His ‘GRACE’. It is indeed a spiritual crime, for which every one who claims to be the Lord’s steward will surely give account. Read Paul’s testimony in Galatians 6:14, Philippians 3:7 and 8 and Philippians 1:21, and make it your testimony and experience. Do not be afraid of the grace of God. Read, believe and carefully and prayerfully consider the truth of Romans 11:6: “If by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace; otherwise work is no more work.”
REPEATING ISRAEL’S GREAT BLUNDER
Millions of religious Gentiles are today making the serious, fatal blunder that God’s religious nation, Israel, made in the first Christian century, the blunder that brought their downfall: “Israel hath not attained unto the law of righteousness. Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. They stumbled at that stumblingstone.” (Romans 9:31 and 32 ). Why is it that the religious Gentiles of 1955 do not profit by the great blunder of religious Israel? Why do they not believe and receive at full face value the glorious truth of II Corinthians 5:21 and 8:9, the truth that the sinless Lord Jesus Christ was made sin in our behalf when He yielded up the ghost on the cross, that believers might be made ‘THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD’ in HIM. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.”
Then concerning the riches of Christ and the riches of God’s grace for all the human race note the truth of Romans 11:12, which tells of the diminishing and fall of religious Israel, because they refused to be saved by the infinite grace of the God of all grace: “Now if the FALL of them (Israel) be the ‘RICHES’ of the world, and the DIMINISHING of them the ‘RICHES OF THE GENTILES’.” The blinded Israelites in this age and dispensation and reign of grace are spiritually very poor. Many of them are rich in worldly possessions. Together with many Gentiles they are but little influenced by the words of their own Messiah in Luke 12:15 and Luke 16:15: “a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” . . . “God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”
Self-righteousness can be a sin far more deadly than murder and adultery. The greatest blunder that any person on earth can make is to reject the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, the Saviour from the awful, terrible wrath of God.
Although Satan, the god of this age, is responsible for the unbelief of lost, condemned sinners (II Corinthians 4:4 and 5 and John 3:17 to 19), to every rational man or woman in this land of Bibles God is today repeating the charge of Romans 2:1; “thou art inexcusable, O man.” In Romans 1:20 we learn that before the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit came down from heaven, long before the risen Christ gave to Paul the gospel of grace and the dispensation of grace, the human race was without excuse.
Remember the great truths of John 3:17, I Timothy 2:4 to 6 and Ephesians 2:8 to 10: “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved” . . . “God will have all men to be saved; ONE GOD, ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself a ransom for all” . . . “by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; the gift of God . . . not of works, lest any man should boast . . . for we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Only people who have been redeemed in God’s way, “justified without a cause by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 3:24 to 26), can ‘walk in the Spirit’ and thus fulfill the righteousness of the law. (Galatians 5:25 and Romans 8:4). Unless and until a person is in. dwelt by the Holy Spirit, that person cannot please God. (Romans 8:8 and 9). When the believing sinner meets God at Calvary and receives Christ, that believer receives freely God’s righteousness and the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 3:14 . . . Ephesians 1:13 and 14). There are no other requirements: no ordinances, no religious ceremonies, no worthiness, no merits, no good deeds on the part of the believing sinner. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” . . . “God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” . . . “being now justified by His blood.” (Romans 5:6 to 10). Justified believers are saints and are temples of the Holy Spirit. They are exhorted to “walk as becometh saints” (Ephesians 5:l to 4); to “abstain from all appearance of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:22); to be shining lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, holding forth the Word of Life. (Philippians 2:14 to 16).
NO UNPARDONABLE SIN IN THIS AGE AND DISPENSATION OF GRACE
In the Epistle to the Ephesians we learn how dead sinners became living saints; “by grace through faith.” (Ephesians 2:8 to 10). Those living saints indeed had been dead sinners, alienated from the life of God, by nature the children of wrath. (Ephesians 2:1 to 3 . . . Ephesians 4:18). Before they received God’s grace and God’s Son all of their sins were unpardoned; but not one of them unpardonable. When they believed the gospel of grace, by which they were saved forever and seated in the heavenlies, all of their sins were pardoned, and by grace they stood in the presence of God as though they had never committed one sin. None of them had to obey Acts 2:38, the message which Peter reached on the day of Pentecost. hey believed the gospel of grace. he dispensation of the grace of God for Gentiles did not begin with Peter and Pentecost; but with Paul after the ‘FALL’ of Israel.
If this message should reach a guilty criminal in the prison, or a nice, respectable, moral, upright, sincere, benevolent, active unsaved religious church-member, in good standing with the pastor and the official board, it might prove profit. able to read Luke 7:36 to 50, and learn what Christ, in the house of the religious Pharisee, said to that self-righteous man and what He said to the sinful woman who was most unwelcome visitor in the Pharisee’s home. Christ referred to both of them when He said concerning the two, “when they had nothing to pay, He frankly forgave them both.” “Her sins which are many are forgiven.” (Luke 7:47). “And Christ said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.” (Luke 7:48). The sins of that guilty woman were not unpardonable; but if that Pharisee did not receive Christ as Saviour, he will spend eternity with the unbelievers, murderers, whoremongers, drunkards and thieves and the rest of the self-righteous Christ-rejecting nice, religious people. (Revelation 21:8).
We learn, in Acts 3:12 to 26, that the murder of the eternal Son of God was not an unpardonable sin; for those guilty murderers, who obeyed Acts 2:38, were saved. That one sin outweighs all of the other sins that the human race has committed. Come with all your sins and crimes, or with your self-righteousness, to Christ and Calvary and learn that where sin abounded grace did, and doth, ‘much more’ ‘over-abound’.
THE GRACE OF GOD TEACHES AND ENABLES CHRISTIANS
In Titus 2:11 and 12 we read that the same grace of God, which has brought God’s salvation for all who will believe the gospel and receive Christ as Saviour, teaches Christians that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. In Titus 2:12 the word ‘teaching’ is translated in other verses, ‘discipline’, ‘chasten’. To live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world is a very large order. In the language of II Corinthians 2:16, “who is sufficient for these things?” The answer is in II Corinthians 3:5: “not that we are sufficient of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” God says, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” (II Corinthians 12:9).
What God’s grace teaches Christians to do that same all-sufficient, much more overabounding grace enables them to do. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” (II Corinthians 9:8).
When the Lord Jesus, by His Divine grace and power, was merciful to that guilty, sinful woman in John 8:1 to 11, saying “neither do I condemn thee,” He added, “go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11). As we think of Christ’s dealings with that sinful woman, we first think of Romans 5:20 and then of Romans 6:1 and 2 and Romans 6:15: “Where sin abounded grace did much more over-abound.” “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are ‘dead to sin’ live any longer therein?” “Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace?” “God forbid.”
God’s mighty power, exceeding abundant power, is available for every redeemed person (Ephesians 1:19 to 23 . . . Ephesians 3:20). The “all grace’ of the God of all grace is likewise available.
“Now unto Him Who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.” (Jude 24 and 25). “Unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:21). “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, be glory, and dominion forever and ever.” “Amen.” (Revelation 1:5).