Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Inconceivable, Incomprehensible Grace

Gordon Crook

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy , because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” 1 Timothy 1:12-15

Inconceivable – not capable of being imagined or grasped mentally; unbelievable.

Incomprehensible – not able to be understood.

Paul was the minister of God’s grace to the Gentiles. He had experienced God’s grace. He recognizes his state as the foremost (chief) of sinners. God’s grace is truly understood in the recognition of our terrible state and unworthiness.

God’s grace has been exhibited through all the ages, spoken of by the Psalmist and the prophets. Beginning with Adam and Eve, we find God’s grace shown in the coverings He made for them, and giving them the prophecy of the Savior. No merit on their part, simply the grace of a merciful and loving God.

In Noah’s day, we find God’s grace again on display. One hundred and twenty years God allowed Noah to preach before the flood came. One of the longest ministries ever, and certainly longer than any modern day ministry. Certainly not based on the merit of the people. This is what God has to say about them, “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

David found God’s grace incomprehensible. He could not understand how or why God would make such amazing promises to him when he knew he had no merit for them. “Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said , Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?” 2 Samuel 7:18.

David clearly knew he did nothing to deserve God’s promise. He was overwhelmed by God’s undeserved generosity. It is not possible to truly appreciate God’s grace unless we have clearly understood our utter lack of worth in ourselves. We are completely unable to help ourselves, to provide for ourselves any kind of standing before God. We cannot offer anything to God to deserve some benefit from Him. Even worse, we were God’s enemies. Incomprehensible grace that would seek us out.

Paul understood God’s grace so well, because he recognized his part in persecuting the church of Jesus Christ. Talk about an enemy of God: doing everything he could to destroy God’s work. Then, inconceivable grace as God arrests Paul on the road to Damascus and makes him the apostle to the Gentiles.

As I consider God’s grace, I think that sometimes, we lose the awe of what it really means. The world in which we live bombards us with the idea of self esteem. We are good and we can do anything we put our minds to. That idea permeates our thinking, and lessens the awesomeness of God’s grace.

The remedy for this is to get into God’s Word, and let the Holy Spirit remind us where God found us. We need to consider the extremes of where we were and where we were headed without Christ, and the amazing place to where God has brought us. (I was going to insert a verse from Ephesians chapter 1, but I think that you should just read the whole chapter).

We get comfortable in this world and forget just how lacking it really is. We also fail to understand the reality of the place God gave us in Christ. Who can truly understand it? Incomprehensible.

I hope we do not take God’s grace for granted. Our hearts should overflow with gratitude and amazement every moment of our lives. The consideration of God’s grace should continually move us to be looking for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. God’s grace should keep our hearts from being contented with the things of this world that are only passing.

I encourage you to take time to consider God’s Inconceivable, Incomprehensible grace in your life. It is in action every day in all aspects of your life. Thank God for His unspeakable gift. 2 Corinthians 9:15.