WHAT ABOUT GRACE IN OTHER AGES AND DISPENSATIONS
In the 39 Books from Genesis to Malachi, God’s Grace for the human race is mentioned in about twelve chapters; in most of them once only.
God certainly manifested His Grace toward Abel and Enoch and Noah and Shem. In several chapters of Genesis, beginning with Genesis 12:1 we learn that God’s Grace did wonders for Abraham. God manifested His Grace to Israel under the law, in His provision for their blessings received at the blood sprinkled mercy seat.
In a very limited sense in the Old Testament God’s Grace was shown toward the Gentiles, who were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. According to the Divine Record, a few Gentiles, a very few, received blessings from the LORD Jesus while He was on earth, sent only unto Israel. (Matthew 15:21-28 ). Certainly the LORD Jesus manifested His Grace to Israel, both before and after His death and resurrection, especially in Acts 3:12-21 and Luke 23:34 and Acts 3:26 .
However it is of interest and significance to note that there are about 2900 verses in Matthew, Mark and Luke and the word ‘GRACE’ in the sinner’s salvation is not once mentioned.
GRACE CAME BY JESUS CHRIST
In the Gospel of John the word ‘Grace’ is found four times. But when we read in John 1:17 , that Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, or in John 1:14 , that Christ was full of Grace and truth, or in John 1:16 , “of His fullness have all we received, and Grace upon Grace,” we are not to understand that “the Dispensation of the Grace of God for Gentiles,” mentioned in Ephesians 3:1-3 , began with the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth in the land of the Jews. (Acts 2:22 , Acts 10:36-39 , Matthew 15:24 ).
The LORD Jesus on earth was God’s Minister of Israel. (Acts 13:23 , Romans 15:8 ). He was made under the law. (Galatians 4:4 ). But though the Son of God was born and lived and ministered under the LAW COVENANT, He proclaimed much truth pertaining to the New Covenant, and He certainly manifested the abounding Grace of God in dealing with transgressors of the law.
As we have no one English word giving us the full meaning of the word ‘Grace’, we cannot explain in one short sentence, or even in two long sentences, the full meaning of ‘the Gospel of Grace’. Blessed indeed is the person who knows that the Gospel (good news) by which any kind of a believing sinner can be saved is the truth that Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, and that He rose the third day, and, knowing this wonderful truth, he has believed unto the saving of his soul. However, there is something more to ‘the Mystery of the Gospel’ of Ephesians 6:19-20 than the saving Gospel recorded in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 .
THE ‘ALL’ GRACE MESSAGE IN PAUL’S LAST EPISTLES
If you will read and study the thirteen chapters of 2 Corinthians and note the word ‘GRACE’ thirteen times in that Epistle, you will say that the members of the assembly in Corinth certainly needed abounding Grace, and you will understand why the Apostle Paul exhorted them in 2 Cor. 6:1 , “that ye receive not the Grace of God in vain.” In Ephesians, counting the verb form of the word ‘Grace’ in Ephesians 1:7 , the word ‘Grace’ likewise is found thirteen times. Ephesians is very much a ‘GRACE’ Epistle. To be prepared for the ‘ALL’ ‘GRACE’ message in Ephesians and 2 Timothy, the saints of God should read the Epistles to the Romans and to the Galatians several hundred times and then diligently study the Epistles under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, marking the word ‘Grace’ found 24 times in Romans; “this ‘Grace wherein we stand.’ (Romans 5:2 ). ‘Grace’ in Galatians seven times.
It is most interesting to note that in the Apostle Paul’s oral ministry recorded in the Book of Acts, and in His Epistles, we find the word ‘GRACE’ 105 times. Compare this with the ABSENSE of the word in the gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), and with ‘Grace’, in about only twelve chapters in all 39 Books from Genesis to Malachi. Most interesting is Moses’ conversation with the LORD concerning ‘GRACE’ in Exodus 33:12-23 . Read this chapter.
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 . BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20 )
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