Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of September 9, 2001


THE EXCEEDING RICHES OF GOD’S GRACE

… God … made us alive together with Christ … and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus    Ephesians 2:4-7.

Paul’s “the exceeding riches of God’s grace”—used only here in the New Testament—indicates unusual portions of grace beyond the ordinary.

 

The passage we have just read states that one experiences “the exceeding riches of God’s grace” “in the heavenly places.”

 

The timing of these bountiful portions of grace is “in the ages to come.” One can begin at conversion to receive these plentiful portions of God’s grace and continue to receive them throughout his lifetime on earth. They will then be received throughout eternity.

 

Experiencing these unusual portions of grace in this lifetime then, means that daily we can have a foretaste of the blessedness of eternity.

 

One might say, “I can believe that I am seated with Christ in the heavenlies, but how do I experience being there?”

 

First, we must understand that when we received Jesus as Lord and Savior, we were crucified, buried, and resurrected. Being seated with Christ in heaven is the third feature of our resurrection mentioned in the passage quoted above.

 

Beyond understanding, we must do two other things to experience our crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. We must believe that these facts are true of us and we must choose to experience them.

 

We are guided in our believing and choosing by the five commands of Romans 6:11-13. Each is a specific command to believe or choose.

 

By the time he wrote Ephesians, Paul must have daily received “the exceeding riches of God’s grace.” He desired that all believers have the same foretaste of heaven that was his.