From the Word of God, shared in Christ’s love, by Eliza at Holding Forth His Word. (Reposted with kind permission).
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Psalm 19:1 The glory of God is evident in Creation all around us if we have eyes to see. Though the glory of God expressed in His Creation is awesome, it pales in comparison to the glory of God revealed in His grace given to us in and through His Son Jesus Christ. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me.’” And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. John 1:14-16 Our glorious Lord of glory became flesh and dwelt among us (Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:25). The Gospels bear witness of His glory, His grace and His truth.
Although the testimony of Jesus Christ in the Gospels is precious and glorious, we receive even greater blessing and realize the wonder of God’s glorious grace found in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior to an even greater degree as the Epistles exposit His person and His work. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth-in Him. Ephesians 1:3-10 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. From these verses flows the treasure house of God’s glorious grace blessing us through His Son Jesus Christ. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Those blessings can never be diminished or damaged because they reside with God Almighty, our Father and are preserved for us by Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our intercessor and our life so those blessings are guaranteed.
Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Romans 8:34 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set you mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4 We are chosen in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world, how can we then lose our salvation or our glorious standing with God? God’s choosing us guarantees that we are holy and blameless in His sight because of what He has accomplished for us through His Son Jesus Christ. We are His children, beloved, through the adoption granted to us in the Son of His Love because He has predestined us to this. The glory of His grace pours forth as we consider how wonderful and marvelous His love toward us truly is! We are beloved because we are accepted in the Beloved, the Father’s Son of glory. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, shed on that despicable cross made dear and sweet by His sacrifice, we are redeemed and forgiven, how precious and dear the love of our Savior. Believing the gospel of our salvation we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, the guarantee of our inheritance, our Guide, and precious Counselor.
What did we do to merit such marvelous glorious grace? Was there anything that our beloved God beheld that caused Him to decide we were worthy of His saving grace as He looked upon us? What did He see when He beheld us? All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way;… Isaiah 53:6 …who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. Ephesians 2:1-3 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 1 Timothy 1:15 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. Titus 3:3
The grace of our God expressed to us through His Son Jesus Christ is unmerited favor that rests completely and utterly upon His goodness and loving pleasure. He has done all because of the good pleasure of His will. If any part of salvation were left to us, we would be utterly damned and without hope in this world, bound for an eternity in hell; but our salvation depends on God and His marvelous working on our behalf. What a glorious Savior! But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7 Even the faith that we receive as a gift from Him, to believe in the gracious gospel of His Son Jesus Christ, who died on our behalf and arose from the dead guaranteeing our eternity with Him, is by His doing; the works that please Him we walk in because He has prepared them beforehand for us. To God be all the glory for His glorious grace!
How can we adequately express our thankfulness for God’s glorious grace given to us through His marvelous Son Jesus Christ? I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. & For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 4:1-6 & 5:8-17
Our expression of thankfulness is not only the fruit of our lips as we praise our Lord and Savior, but it is also the love that we bear towards our brothers and sisters in Christ and the commitment we make, by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, to hold fast the truth of God, rebuking those who go astray, not following their evil behavior, sharing the truth of the Word of God so they will repent and turn to Jesus Christ the Savior. The glorious grace of God leads us to love and obey for His glory, praise and honor. Thanks be to God for His glorious gospel of grace!