Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Love of Grace, the Grace of Love

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen" (II Corinthians 13:14).

Grace and love are inextricably bound in God's attitude toward the human race. Were it not for His capacity for unmerited and unexpected favor (the Biblical definition of grace), our Creator could not love us. The Lord Jesus Christ made possible this benevolent affection of God by His direct involvement with the human race. Our Savior made us, He sustains our being, and He died and arose from dead for us to make possible His Father's lovingkindness. Were it not for the grace of the Lord Jesus, God could not righteously and justifiably love us. Because of such unexpected and unmerited favor in Christ, however, the love of God is bestowed upon us in such measure that it "passeth knowledge" (Ephesians 3:19).

We will never know a Divine love that is not the companion of Divine grace made possible by the cross of Calvary. Our blessedness came to us at a cost of pain, sorrow, forsakenness, and death far beyond our capacity to comprehend in this life or in eternity. Grace is free, but it was not cheap, costing our Savior His lifeblood, and for an agonizing time on the cross of Calvary, the presence of His Father and the Holy Spirit with whom He had been eternally united. "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46).

This bloody and soul-rending upheaval in the triune God made possible for us the love of grace, and the grace of love. Indeed, to the degree the Lord Jesus was forsaken on the cross of Calvary, we are "accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6). God's love for us in Christ is such that our sins are removed as far as the east is from the west," enabling a love whereby He can relate to us as if we had never sinned. We know the origin of such gracious acceptance, however, and for a long eternity we will join those around the throne of God who proclaim the holy basis of the grace of love and the love of grace...

"They sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation."
(Revelation 5:9)

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