Today as we continue on with our series on the Grace of God we return to Ephesians Chapter 2. I would like for us to notice that God is rich in three things, and two of them are in this passage. Okay…God’s rich in a lot more than 3 areas, but for the purpose of today’s message I see three.
The first thing that God is rich in…is love. God is love. (1 John 4:8)…I know that one of the most important foundations that I can set as a minister is to really make sure that this in not understated. God loves you with a love that is unmatched by anything in this world, and I believe that this is going to probably wind up being the next study that we get into. We are going to endeavor to really set a foundation on the God side of everything before we get into what how we are to respond…and the very first thing that needs to be established in our hearts & minds is that God loves us, that we are valuable to God, and the love of God is where everything in the Christian walk begins.
The second thing the God is rich in…Mercy. Right away in verse 4 we read “But God, who is rich in mercy”. In order to understand this…I was instantly lead to look up the definition for mercy. So let’s take a look, and see what mercy is…and then come back to talk about why it’s significant that God’s rich in it.
“Mercy(Middle English, fromAnglo-Frenchmerci, fromMedieval Latinmerced-,merces, fromLatin, “price paid, wages”, frommerc-,merxi“merchandise”) is broad term that refers to benevolence, forgiveness and kindness in a variety of ethical, religious, social and legal contexts”- this definition is from Wikipedia.
I like the part that says that it is a “broad term that refers to benevolence, forgiveness, and kindness”. I just said a moment ago that if we look at these three areas of God’s riches that more areas would be revealed…and here are three more areas in which God is rich in…(4) benevolence (acts or inclinations towards charity), (5) kindness (the act or state of being kind, being marked by good, charitable behavior, pleasant disposition, and concern for others), and (6) forgiveness (the process of concluding that resentment, indignation or anger as a perceived offense, difference or mistake or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution…to grant FREE pardon and to give up all claim on account or debt).
I think if you asked any Pastor, Preacher or Evangelist…they could spend an entire year preaching on what I just listed on forgiveness.
Man…I haven’t even been able to get to grace yet.
What awesome definitions to get a glimpse into a few of the areas that our God is rich in…and that’s just from looking at mercy. I could write all day just on mercy…and maybe one of these days…should the Lord lead me…I will…but that will be for another day.
The final thing we read in verse 7 is the “exceeding riches of His GRACE in KINDNESS toward us in Christ.”
Praise God! So…I thought that since I looked up Mercy on Wikipedia…I would look up Grace…and what I found just makes me realize that there is so much that encompasses God’s grace. Let’s just take a look…shall we.
The first thing I see on Grace as a noun is that it is a form of beauty or elegance…I could write a whole message just on this…the beauty & elegance of God…what an interesting thing to have as the first definition of Grace.
The next thing I see on Grace is a pleasing and attractive quality or endowment…good stuff.
Next…Grace is favor or goodwill…God is rich in favor & goodwill…another subject for another day.
Grace is a “manifestation of favor especially by a superior”…oh…you mean The Superior? I like this one.
Finally, we get to what we think of as Grace when it comes to God. Grace is mercy, clemency, and pardon…and this is where we talk about God’s grace in the context of sin…and our forgiveness of it.
I don’t know about you, but I was blessed just by writing this message. This is one of those I may have to read over & over again.
You know, it never hurts to take a closer look at the attributes of God, and getting into some of the aspects of His character. The more you know of God…the easier it is to really KNOW God…and that’s really at the heart of what I wish to do…make Him known.
I don’t want to give you all just head knowledge…I want to teach you stuff that will invade your heart. I want to give you things that will cause you to think, meditate, and get an intimate understanding of God. I truly hope & pray that today’s message blesses you.
I know this is long, but I hope that you’ve read through the entire message. I certainly understand more about what the Grace of God is, and that it’s not just about sin…it’s about who God really is…and anytime I have the opportunity to make Him known…it’s always worth reading and writing a little longer than what was intended…I believe the Holy Spirit still inspires people to write today…and that’s exactly what happened here.
Have a blessed day…I hope that you have an amazing encounter with God, and that this is a blessing to you.
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.” (1 Corinthians 16:23-24)
Blessing & Grace to you
Bryan J. Kizer