Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected – Jonathan Edwards
In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul speaks of our light afflictions as we minister for the Lord. Even though ministry is difficult, it’s God’s grace that allows us to participate. And how is affliction an “opportunity” and what’s the connection to grace and glory?
We gladly join the Apostle Paul in wanting to know the power of Jesus’ resurrection (see Philippians 3). Few hang with him as he also asks to participate in the fellowship of Christ’s suffering. But we are perfected in suffering. Our future glory (2 Corinthians 4). is birthed in our afflictions. Grace connects them both.
Grace is a certain beginning of glory in us – Thomas Aquinas
God’s grace is an incredibly encouraging thought. It is beyond our comprehension. Grace is communicated by several definitions. Here is a great one: Love that looks up is adoration; Love on its own level is affection; Love that descends is grace. God is Love and He descended to us. That he didn’t have to do that is just reason His loving grace is so incredible. But there’s more.
Our relationship with Almighty God, our Abba Father, is begun by grace. Most of us get that. However, our continued growth, provision, gifting, ministry, and future glory is all rooted in His grace. Such amazing, undeserved favor is humbling and exciting. And it prompts my attempt at definition:
Grace: The point where Divine Provision meets human need
We have no need that grace cannot, or has not, met. For your edification and encouragement please ponder the following proofs of God’s love for you!
- We have freedom from the law of sin & death – Romans 8:1-2
- Believers become sons of God – Romans 8:14
- Grace allows believers to receive a future glory – Romans 8:23
- God works in all things for our good – Romans 8:28
- God gives us all things in Himself – Romans 8:32
- We are declared righteous – accusations of guilt won’t stick – Romans 8:33
- Separating us from God’s grace/love is impossible – Romans 8:35
- Grace depends on God not man – Romans 9:16
- God’s glory displayed in mercy to sinful men – Romans 9:22-23
- Believers are the remnant chosen by grace – Romans 11:5
- We can employ the gifts (prophecy) in proportion to our faith – Romans 12:6
- Believers serve in proportion to their faith (serve one another) – Romans 12:7
- We teach in proportion to our faith (instruction in righteousness) – Romans 12:7
- We encourage in proportion our faith (encourage one another) – Romans 12:8
- Believers give with generosity (imitating God – see Ephesians 5:1) – Romans 12:8
- Christians leaders are to lead with zeal (eagerness) – Romans 12:8
- We are to show mercy with cheerfulness – Romans 12:8