Summary: God has given us amazing grace through His Son Jesus Christ
February 18, 2007
William Wilberforce led the charge to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire. He battled with the British Parliament for over 45 years and one month after his death the tyranny of slavery came to an end.
One night in the early 1790’s Wilberforce had suffered one of his worst defeats and was ready to move to another issue. A minister heard of the decision that Wilberforce had made and wrote him these words in a letter.
"Unless the divine power has raised you up... I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that (abominable practice of slavery), which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? Oh, be not weary of well-doing. Go on in the name of God, and in the power of His might."
These words were written by John Wesley a few days before his death. Both Wesley and Wilberforce understood that the issue of slavery was an issue of grace. God had bestowed upon us freedom from the power of sin.
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—Romans 6:6
The issue of grace is one that we tend to wrestle with because we fail to understand it. Jesus loves us enough to bless us by rescuing us. This is the mission of grace and salvation, to rescue us from those things that would destroy us.
So let me ask an important question, what is so amazing about grace?
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
What is so amazing about grace?
The motivation behind grace is amazing
But because of his great love for us
It shouldn’t be a great surprise to you that everything that God does is because of His love for us. At the very center of grace must be love. All of the riches of God come to us because of His divine love. God loves us so much that he went to the ultimate extreme to bring us back to Him, He died for us. Paul’s desire was that the Ephesians understand just how much God loved them. Love becomes the motivating factor in the act of grace.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19
God laid his love on the line when Jesus came to this world and died on the cross. It is truly impossible to see just how much God loves us. But through Paul’s words we get a small glimpse of it. The truth Paul gave the Ephesians was simply this: without love there would be no grace.
God’s love is shown in the fact that He is rich in mercy. The word mercy literally means to compassion on another, a desire to help them. Compassion consists of two key actions: seeing a need and being able to meet that need.
The method of grace is amazing
5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
Compassion means to see a need and then meet that need. God has done both for us through his divine grace. It is through his grace that He meets the deepest needs of our hearts