Grace Abounding

“In Him we have deliverance through His blood — liberation from trespasses — according to the riches of His grace, which abounds to us in all wisdom and understanding,”

(Ephesians 1:7-8)

Grace is said to “abound to us in all wisdom and understanding.” Some Bible translations prefer the more poetic language of God “lavishing” his grace upon us. And, while that is not a wrong choice of words in translation, for many of us, the term “lavish” carries with it connotations of wastefulness and extravagance where the word “abound,” reflecting the abundance in God’s grace, is better suited to the text. And indeed, when we realize the depth of our depravity, grace in abundance is the only thing that can compensate for our sins.

Yet, God does not give his grace out in a scattered or thoughtless manner. It is distributed abundantly as guided by the wisdom and understanding of God. God wastes none of his grace. It is not poured out into the lives of the reprobate but is abundantly extended to His elect. How oftentimes people portray God’s grace as distributed indiscriminately, but Paul is making it abundantly clear that God’s grace is intentional and flows out of his wisdom and his understanding. Such language as this can only be understood in light of the Reformed doctrine of election and reprobation, not in light of the Wesleyan doctrine of prevenient grace.

And so, while grace may overflow to us as our cup does at God’s table, it is not given unwisely or without knowing to whom it is given. And, when we really begin to understand the doctrine of God’s intentional grace, given abundantly to his elect, it should instill in us a sense of humbleness that responds with gratitude and worship. No longer is worship seen as being about “meeting my needs” but it is an outpouring of love to God for He has already met those many needs that we have and he has done so in and through his Son, Jesus Christ.

Author: preacherwin

A pastor, teacher, and a theologian concerned about the confused state of the church in America and elsewhere...Writing because the Christian should think Biblically.

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