“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
“But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” (Acts 15:11)
“And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (1Tim 1:14).
“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2Tim 2:1).
As we study more about GRACE, the more we’ll realize that Grace is IN CHRIST. He and His sacrifice is the gift of Grace.
Grace appeared IN CHRIST. How does Grace come through CHRIST?
CHRIST was CRUCIFIED fulfilling the prophecy of the manner of His death for the sins of the world. Jesus said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14; cf. Deut 21:23; Gal 3:10-13). In the first sermon at Pentecost, Peter said, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). It is the included in the preaching of Jesus. “But we preach Christ crucified” (1Cor 1:23).
As we follow CHRIST, being crucified is something we also do in a figure. “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Gal 5:24; cf. Rom 6:3-6).
It is only by HIS BLOOD that the church is made possible. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate” (Heb 13:12; cf Heb 9:12).
We who follow Christ are washed IN HIS blood in baptism. “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Rev 1:5).
After His death and burial, He ROSE FROM THE DEAD. “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole” (Acts 4:10). It wasn’t enough that He died, but that He also ROSE AGAIN!
We also RISE to walk in newness of life. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Rom 6:3-5). Because He ROSE from the dead, we have hope in our own RESURRECTION into eternal life.
It’s a fact that man cannot provide his own salvation (Rom 3:12, 23), but Jesus could provide for salvation because He is the very IMAGE OF GOD. “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature” (Col 1:15; 2Co 4:4; Heb 1:3). As God in the flesh, He is able to be the perfect remedy for the sins of man. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28; cf 4:15).
Man was originally made in the IMAGE of God, but we are not deity. We can become more like Christ the more we IMITATE Him. “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Col 3:10). “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).
What we’re learning is that grace is Christ as God’s SACRIFICE for man’s sin. “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Heb 10:12). “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:3).
As followers of Christ, we also SACRIFICE our lives to Him. “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour” (Eph 5:2). “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
GRACE is IN CHRIST because He TASTED DEATH FOR US. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb 2:9). “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom 5:6). “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2Cor 5:15).
We also TASTE DEATH IN WATER BAPTISM. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” (Rom 6:3; cf. Rom 6:11-12; 14:7-8; 1Co 6:19; Ga 2:20; 1Th 5:10). And we mortify (put to death) the deeds of the flesh. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col 3:4-9).
While GRACE is IN CHRIST, we have none of these blessings until we are IN CHRIST. “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal 3:27; Eph 1:3).