When you think about the grace of God in your life as a believer, how far do you think it goes? I had a conversation recently with someone who has a Christian friend who they believed had possibly gone to far, and wasn’t sure if God’s grace could extend past this sin. Now, my question is if this person who has gone to far is truly a believer, then is God’s grace limited in their life? Does it stretch past all this persons sins, or does it stop at a certain point?
I want to be candid here because of how important this is and just share the facts: If we limit the grace of God in his forgiveness to the believer, and think that there are certain sins which God’s grace doesn’t extend to, we are saying that Jesus is not enough. We are looking at Jesus on the cross and saying, “Yes, this is good but it’s not enough, more must be done”. Dear Christian, if you’re worried that you can undo the grace of God somehow by sinning to much after being saved or you have committed a sin too great, you’re forgetting what grace is. Grace by definition is a free gift given to someone who does not deserve it. Grace is actually impossible to earn, if you try to earn it, you can’t have it. But then some people will say, “Well, if God’s grace is a free gift that I don’t earn and doesn’t run out, then why not just sin it up?” People said this in Paul’s day (Romans 6). The answer to this is that since we’ve been born again, who we truly are hates sin now. We can’t live in sin because we’ve died to it as Paul says in Romans 6. The new birth brings about a new person. The old desires begin to fade as new desires come forth from the nature of the new birth. But this is a process, and to have peace in it and grow in holiness, it is so necessary for a believer to be reminded of the riches of God’s grace toward us,
“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 in all wisdom and insight” Eph. 1:7-8
Last week we looked at redemption and how it is accomplished only through the blood of Christ. This week I want to ask the question: why did God do it? Why would he pour out the blood of his Son? My friend, this text teaches us that it was because of the riches of his grace. Do you see that in the verse? That is the reason. If you’ve ever wondered why God sacrificed his Son for you it’s because of his grace. And the grace given through his Son is not a grace that can run out, it’s like a spring that never runs dry. And do you see the word “lavished” in the verse? His grace was not merely sprinkled on you, it was poured out on you, “lavished” from the greek word περισσεύω (perisseuō) means to “provide in abundance; to be excessive” so a picture to understand this would be something like being crushed by a waterfall your entire life. Think about if the most powerful waterfall followed you around your whole life drenching you. What would happen? It would crush you constantly. You would be overwhelmed by it. It would bring you down to your face, literally. That is something like how God gives his grace to us. Wether you understand it or not, if you have believed in Christ, the waterfall of God’s grace has crushed you in the best way and you lay prostrate. God the Father poured out the waterfall of his wrath on his Son so that he could pour out the waterfall of his grace on you. And this grace justified you once and for all, it’s sanctifying you now, and it will glorify you upon Christ’s return.
Now, what is the wisdom and insight speaking of in this verse? At one time in your life you cared nothing for Christ, the cross was foolishness to you. But a time came when you saw it as wisdom rather than foolishness, as salvation rather than stupidity. Why? It’s not due to your sharp intellect my friend. It is because the Spirit of God moved in your mind and heart through the truth. And as this text reads, the gospel became “wisdom and insight” to you. The Spirit lavished you with God’s grace and the gospel became wisdom from God to you. Paul tells of this elsewhere in 1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”. And this has been taught to us by the Spirit (1 Cor. 1:10), it is not a conclusion we have arrived at on our own. Human reason cannot comprehend the things of God, only the Spirit can graciously reveal the truth of the gospel to man. This is a beautiful thing because it helps us to see that it is God who saves through and through. God’s grace in Christ has become wisdom and insight to us and that due to the Spirit’s movement overcoming our hardness of heart and dullness of mind; what mercy and love for God to not just die for our sin, but to show us that his sacrifice on the cross is wisdom when we looked at it and said, “foolishness”.
My prayer for you and I is this, that we would through Ephesians 1:7-8 realize that God’s grace is not something we can out sin, and it is not something that runs dry. Nor is it something we can lose. It is not just according to his grace that we have been forgiven, it is according to the riches of his grace. And the riches of his grace will forever be ours. God will not take it away. To do so would be saying that Jesus’ sacrifice was not enough, and more must be done. This is not what Scripture teaches as the writer of Hebrews says, “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God” (Heb. 10:12). Christ sat down after his sacrifice on the cross. The work was done. And was it for some time? No. It says, for all time! For all time, all our sins are atoned for, nailed to the Son. As far as the east is from the west, he has removed our transgressions from us (Ps. 103:12), and the east will never meet the west. This should cause us to join with John Newton,
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see. ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved; how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.