WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 5TH, 2021
TOPIC: THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE
BY T. O. BANSO
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7 New King James Version).
The Bible talks about different “riches.” Philippians 4:19 talks about “riches in glory.” “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (New King James Version). The Greek word for “riches” is ploutos, which means “wealth (as fullness), i.e. (literally) money, possessions, or (figuratively) abundance, richness, (specifically) valuable bestowment” (New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary).
There is another phrase closely related to “riches in glory” used in Ephesians 3:16. “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:14-16 New King James Version). As used in the Bible in Basic English, the “riches of His glory” means the “wealth of his glory.”
Also in Romans 9:22-23, the apostle Paul refers to the “riches of His glory.” “What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory” (New King James Version). Again, the Bible in Basic English refers to “riches of His glory” as the “wealth of his glory.”
Furthermore, the Bible talks about the unsearchable riches of Christ. Paul said, “To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8 New King James Version). Again, the Greek word for riches here is ploutos. The New Living Translation uses the phrase “endless treasures” instead of “unsearchable riches”
In Romans 2:4, the apostle Paul used the word riches again. He said, “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (New King James Version). The phrase to note here is the “riches of His goodness” which the Twentieth Century New Testament refers to as “abundant kindness.”
There is yet another mention of riches which is the focus of this message. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7 New King James Version). The Twentieth Century New Testament calls “the riches of His grace”, “the boundless wealth of his loving-kindness.” The Bible in Basic English refers to it as “the full wealth of his grace.”
The Bible also mentions the riches of His grace in Ephesians 2:7. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 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 New King James Version). God is rich in mercy and the riches of His grace are exceeding.
The exceeding riches of His grace, as the New King James Version puts it, is referred to as the “incredible wealth of his favor” in the New Living Translation. The Bible in Basic English refers to it as the “full wealth of his grace.” God’s grace is abundant towards human beings. We’ve been saved by grace, not by our works lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Romans 3:23-24 says for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. As we have seen in Ephesians 1:7, we have redemption through the blood of Jesus, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. Hebrews 9:12 says not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His blood, He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
Also, 1 Peter 1:17-19 says, “And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (New King James Version).
No sinner is saved by any good deed he has done. As it is commonly defined, grace is unmerited favour. Grace is “Favor or kindness shown without regard to the worth or merit of the one who receives it and in spite of what that same person deserves” (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary).
Because of grace, Jesus shed His blood to save humanity. He purchased us with His blood (Acts 20:28). He delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13-14).
The riches of his Grace! The full weight of His grace! The abundance of His grace! We are saved by grace. Nevertheless, grace is not a license to continue in sin. He that has received forgiveness has been given another opportunity to live right, not by his strength but by depending on the power of the Person by whom he has received forgiveness, Jesus Christ.
It will be an abuse of grace to continue to sin just because Jesus has died for our sins. Paul asked this question: “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1 New King James Version). He answered the question clearly. “Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (verses 2-4 New King James Version).
Whoever is truly born again does not continue to play with sin. Salvation brings about a change of life. It’s a new life in Christ Jesus. The salvation of whoever enjoys the pleasure of sin is doubtful. John the Baptist said, “Prove by the way you live that you have really turned from your sins and turned to God” (Matthew 3:8 New Living Translation). Luke 3:8 says a similar thing.
Therefore, it is not enough to receive forgiveness of sin. The forgiven sinner must get live a new life, as old things have passed away, and all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). He must get rid of sin in his life. He cannot continue to live in sin that grace may abound.
The apostle John says, “No one who is a child of God is habitually guilty of sin. A God-given germ of life remains in him, and he cannot habitually sin–because he is a child of God” (1 John 3:9 Weymouth’s New Testament). What this tells us is that true Christians don’t practise sin – they don’t make a habit of sinning. 1 John 5:18 says, “We know that those who have become part of God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot get his hands on them” (New Living Translation).
Someone who has been saved by grace does not willfully sin. If he sins, he quickly repents. He does not continue with his life as if nothing is wrong. Hebrews 10:26 says, “Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received a full knowledge of the truth, there is no other sacrifice that will cover these sins” (New Living Translation).
Have you been saved by grace, and you sin? Don’t let Satan convince you that God has rejected you. Repent and confess your sins. God will forgive you. Don’t run away from God; run to Him. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10 New King James Version).
The apostle John continues in 1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (New King James Version).
If you’ve given your life to Jesus, you have received the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. Nevertheless, this is not a licence to continue in sin. “What then? are we to go on in sin because we are not under law but under grace? Let it not be so” (Romans 6:15 Bible in Basic English). We have been made free from sin and made the servants of righteousness (Romans 6:18).
The riches of His grace! His grace is rich; it’s unlimited. Salvation is by grace, not by works. Therefore, there is nothing to boast about. But it must never be abused. “To what conclusion, then, shall we come? Are we to persist in sinning in order that the grace extended to us may be the greater? No, indeed; how shall we who have died to sin, live in it any longer” (Romans 6:1 Weymouth’s New Testament).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank You for the redemption I have through the blood of Jesus, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. Holy Spirit, help me not to abuse the grace I have obtained. I shall not continue in sin that grace may abound. I receive the power to live victoriously over sin. Father, let all sinners repent and give their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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