When I was young, I was taught that grace means that we do nothing and that God does everything for us. According to this teaching, anything we do is work, not grace, but whatever God does for us is grace. However, according to the New Testament, grace is actually what God is to us for our enjoyment (John 1:16-17; 2 Cor. 12:9).
Grace is actually God in Christ dispensed into our being for our enjoyment in our experience. Grace is mainly not the work God does for us; grace is the Triune God Himself dispensed into our being and experienced as our enjoyment. In brief, grace is the Triune God experienced and enjoyed by us. The New Testament reveals that grace is nothing less than God in Christ dispensed into our being for our enjoyment.
John 1:17 says that grace came through Jesus Christ. This indicates that grace is somewhat like a person. The personification of grace is God Himself. Paul realized this when he said, “Not I, but the grace of God with me” (1 Cor. 15:10). For Paul, grace was a living person. In Paul this person became the very grace by which he labored. Therefore, grace is God Himself; it is what God is to us for our enjoyment. (The Conclusion of the New Testament, msgs. 1-20, p. 102)
Peter…charges us to set our hope completely on the grace [1 Pet. 1:13]. This hope is the living hope which has issued from regeneration (v. 3). We need to set our living hope completely on the grace that is being brought to us at the unveiling of Jesus Christ…This grace…refers to the salvation of the soul (vv. 5, 9-10), which will be the consummation of God’s full salvation. The grace has been brought to us by the Lord’s first coming (John 1:17). It will be consummated by His second coming. On such grace we should set our hope.
You must realize that you are no longer living alone, but Christ is living with you and in you. When you have this sensation, it will revolutionize your entire life.
Toward the end of 1 Peter 1:13 Peter speaks of the revelation, the unveiling, of Jesus Christ…At present, we are enjoying the Lord Jesus as a foretaste under the veil. But the time is coming when the veil will be taken away.
Because we are under a veil with the Lord, others may not be able to understand what we are doing. We may try to tell them that we are enjoying Christ. However, they may say that this is nonsense. Our enjoyment is concealed, and others who do not share the same experience cannot know anything about it. But one day the Lord Jesus will be unveiled. Then others will be able to understand that we have been enjoying the Lord Jesus. This unveiling will be the coming grace as the consummation of the full salvation of the Triune God.
If we are not enjoying the Lord Jesus as the foretaste, we shall not have the hope that He will be unveiled as our full taste…When we enjoy the foretaste, we have such a hope. We need to set our hope completely on the grace being brought to us at the unveiling of Jesus Christ. (Life-study of 1 Peter, pp. 89-90)
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