Lesson for the Lord’s Day

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Philippians 4:23

If this text looks familiar, it should; all of Paul’s epistles end with either these exact words, or words very similar. In fact, if you look at all of Paul’s epistles, you will see that he also invokes a prayer for peace at the introduction and closing of each. In every epistle to an Assembly, he spoke of grace and peace, and in every epistle to an individual, he spoke of grace, mercy, and peace. Because not one word of Scripture is unimportant, there must be a good reason why the Holy Spirit instructed Paul to speak so much about grace. This is a good day to consider the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and its significance to us as both individuals and Assemblies.

Several of our hymns make the precious point that grace is free. We who deserve eternal condemnation rejoice that, as 500-pence debtors, we have been freely forgiven. Not only have we been delivered from wrath, but we have been given eternal life. We have all the blessings of being heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. For us, this is all free. But for God to provide it, He paid the great price of giving His Son. The free grace that we rejoice in today came at infinite cost.

As we rejoice today at the position into which grace has brought us, we must consider the position that the Lord Jesus had to take to provide this grace. To remember the Lord Jesus today, God has seated us together in heavenly places. But the Lord Jesus must leave those heavenly places for a time, that He might redeem us. We read of His mighty stoop, His laying aside the visible evidence of His glory to take on humanity, and to be clad in human flesh, that He might suffer for us. If it were but the taking upon Himself humanity, that would be a great price to pay. But He did not only take on humanity, He also entered into judgment for sin. Fully exhausting the wrath of God that you and I deserve, He paid the infinite price that was required for grace to be available.

The amazing grace of the Lord Jesus is surely a sweet sound, as John Newton’s wonderful hymn reminds us. May we speak much of such amazing grace today. -Jim MacIntosh

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