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In Jesus, Grace Upon Grace

Each month, we will be highlighting a particular theological topic here at the BLB blog. This month, we are highlighting the topic of soteriology—the doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ. The following is adapted from the Blue Letter Bible Institute’s soteriology class.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul, in Ephesians 1:2

The first thing that we notice almost consistently throughout Paul’s Epistles is that when he refers to either a greeting or a salutation that mentions the Lord, he almost always mentions another word: Grace. Isn’t that interesting?

“Grace to you and peace from God…”

So let’s call this God “The Person of Grace.” It’s used ten times in the New Testament and often at the end of the epistle. John uses it also in Revelation 22:21, “the grace of our Lord.” He also uses it in John 1:14: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

I like what one person told me one time. He said, “You don’t understand grace until you understand Jesus.” At the time I thought it was a simplistic remark. Everybody can come up with those trite little sayings. But, in my life, I have come to know the truth of that statement. When you know the Lord, you know grace. Actually, to try to understand the doctrine of grace apart from Jesus is an impossibility. You can’t do it.

Jesus is all grace. He’s what grace is all about.

That is why John 1:14-17 is so beautiful in this regard:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

He keeps piling it grace, and that’s a great thing because He has daily loaded us with benefits. He is a gracious God. He blesses us all the time.

Another way to look at it is that when the grace that He gave you for any particular event, circumstance, work, or whatever…however He sustained you in whatever moment, that grace has behind it an inexhaustible supply. So you say, “Yeah, the Lord touched me with His grace in a wonderful way. He just gave me what I didn’t really deserve.”  He’s got a gigantic, infinite, inexhaustible supply of grace behind it. There’s more coming because of who He is.

Do you know our God wants to give you grace more than you want to receive it?

Grace gives you what you don’t deserve. He’s constantly giving you what you don’t deserve. And you don’t even see it. And that grace upon grace, to me, carries the idea that God’s inexhaustible supply is always there and whatever grace I just received isn’t all there is.

Match that with Ephesians 2:7, “so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” We haven’t yet begun to see the riches of his grace. I saw it when I got saved and the longer I study it, the more it thrills my heart. But I haven’t begun, neither have you, to see the riches of the grace of our Lord. He’s going to keep showing it to you all the way through eternity. Imagine knowing a God like that!