When we enter the Kingdom of God, however, we are in another kind of world. It is altogether other than the old world from which we came; always it is different from and mostly it is contrary to the old. Where the two appear to be alike it is only in appearance, for the first is of the earth earthy, the second is from heaven. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” The first will perish; the last abides forever.
Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
Man will have it understood that this is his world; he will make its laws and decide how it shall be run. God is permitted to decide nothing.
Father, we long to born of Your Spirit, to live forever in Your presence.
One and Inseparable
We benefit eternally by God’s being just what He is. Because He is what He is, He lifts up our heads out of the prison house, changes our prison garments for royal robes, and makes us to eat bread continually before Him all the days of our lives.
Grace takes its rise far back in the heart of God, in the awful and incomprehensible abyss of His holy being; but the channel through which it flows out to men is Jesus Christ, crucified and risen. The Apostle Paul, who beyond all others is the exponent of grace in redemption, never disassociates God’s grace from God’s crucified Son. Always in his teachings the two are found together, organically one and inseparable.
A full and fair summation of Paul’s teaching on this subject is found in his Epistle to the Ephesians: “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
Grace takes its rise far back in the heart of God, in the awful and incomprehensible abyss of His holy being; but the channel through which it flows out to men is Jesus Christ, crucified and risen.
Thank You, Lord, for the gift of grace that comes through Your Son, Jesus Christ!
In God mercy and grace are one; but as they reach us they are seen as two, related but not identical.
As mercy is God’s goodness confronting human misery and guilt, so grace is His goodness directed toward human debt and demerit. It is by His grace that God imputes merit where none previously existed and declares no debt to be where one bad been before.
Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines Him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving. It is a self-existent principle inherent in the divine nature and appears to us as a self-caused propensity to pity the wretched, spare the guilty, welcome the outcast, and bring into favor those who were before under just disapprobation. Its use to us sinful men is to save us and make us sit together in heavenly places to demonstrate to the ages the exceeding riches of God’s kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms.
Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines Him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving.
We are the undeserving, Father, but we thank You for Your grace that You have richly bestowed on us.