1 August 2019

Full of Grace

Grace is the brilliant theme of the gospel message. We receive God’s amazing blessings from His gracious, merciful and generous heart, and not because we deserve them.

Mary was bewildered when the angel greeted her with the words, “Hail, favoured one! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). Why was she so favoured? What was the special grace that God was pleased to give her? Gabriel explained that she found grace before God because she was to give birth to a child, who is God’s Son, the Messiah.

We encounter the same word translated “favoured” only once more in the New Testament (Ephesians 1:6). The Apostle Paul reminds believers how God has blessed them with every spiritual blessing in Christ, not least that God the Father had adopted them into His family through Jesus Christ. The ultimate purpose of God’s salvation is “to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved” (1:6). God imparts grace on unworthy sinners, adopting them as His children, and this favour is given in Christ. Consequently they never cease praising the Father for showing them such goodness in Christ.

Indeed, every grace comes to us through the sole Mediator, Jesus Christ, the Beloved Son of God. It was for this very purpose that He was sent into the world and was born of Mary, the virgin of Nazareth. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” With His heart overflowing with grace, He pours it abundantly on God’s redeemed children. “From His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace” (John 1:14,16).

So whether it is the unique blessing bestowed upon Mary, that she became the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, or whether it is the infinitely greater blessing that Mary and all Christians enjoy, the gift of eternal life, all graces come from God through the One who is full of grace, Jesus.

May all his people sing with everlasting joy, “Praise be to God the Father for his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in His Beloved!”