Good Stewards of the Grace of God

The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1 Peter 4:7-10

The apostle Peter begins by saying in 1 Peter 4: 7-10 that the end of all things is near. And verily the second coming of our Lord and the judgment of the nations are coming ever closer. But we will also be believers before the judgment seat of Christ where we will be evaluated as stewards of the grace of God. We must keep in mind that we are going to render an account of what we did with the gift received, if we have shared the grace, the gift of salvation with others, and we have been obedient to His words.

The second that Peter warns us is to be of sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Currently, we spend much more time using our smartphones than kneeling before the Lord. Generally we only remember that God exists when some catastrophe touches us closely. Many are more concerned about being connected to social networks or playing Pokémon Go than being in continuous tuning with the heavens. And if you are told that the end is near, then your greatest concern for prayer is for God to give us extra time.

The following that Peter says is becoming less and less common: Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. The Lord had already said that it would happen in the last times. According to Matthew 24:12, And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Today the love of many has cooled and very few are hospitable or try to help the brothers in need. It is more common to hear of Christians saying, “I will pray for you.” Having in their hands the way to help, they hide themselves in religious hypocrisy.

The final part of 1 Peter 4: 7-10 tells us, As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Not all of us have received the same gift, nor has God given the same revelation of His truth to all His servants. Pretending that the grace that God has placed individually in us is the only important thing for Him is, at the same time, to minimize human size to an infinite God and to raise our own value to the utmost.

The apostle Paul speaks very clearly in 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all. There are a diversity of gifts, ministries and operations within the body of Christ. They all come from God and all of them are equally important and have been given for the benefit of the church.

We are good stewards of the manifold grace of God when we use our gifts to minister to our brethren in the faith. In the same way, we must show meekness and humility, allowing us to minister for our fellows who have gifts different from ours. Otherwise, we would lose much of the multiform grace. God bless you.

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God Gives Grace to the Humble

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

James 4:6

We are living in very difficult times. Every day, the news is not pleasant. In many parts of the world, terrorist acts, natural disasters and politico-social conflicts are increasingly common. Before such news many people say that God has left us and that is why such things happen. The truth is that what happens in the world is not the fault of God but of ourselves. And our attitude to these tragic events must be to humble ourselves before God and ask for forgiveness for our sins. No doubt God will give grace to the humble.

There are two characteristics of the time in which we live, both sin and pride have increased to a high degree. Today, humanity considers acceptable behaviors that are in clear contradiction to what God condemns in His Word. There are even those who claim that the Bible should be “updated” to modern times to exclude from the list of sins all that is now lawful in the world. And if some brave preacher tries to confront sin, they consider him an anachronistic and outdated being, a legalist who does not fit the present time.

On the other hand, when some catastrophe touches them closely, there are those who vaguely remember God and ask for help, prayer for God to have mercy; but at no time do they humble themselves and acknowledge that they have failed Him. On the contrary, once the crisis is over, everyone returns to their old practice and forgets that God exists. And I’m not just talking about ungodly people who do not know God, many who call themselves Christians act in the same way.

What is the answer that God expects of us when He confronts us with our sin? The very Word of God gives us the key in 2 Chronicles 7:14, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Although it sounds uncomfortable to many, we have sinned, we are at fault with God and the warnings He sends us is not to pray for mercy but for repentance.

Will there be someone who does not need to bow their heads before God? Of course not! Even we who are made children of God cannot do it. On the contrary, Christians themselves should be the first to pray, seeking the face of God, leaving behind the evil path of false doctrines, face to face, humbled before Him. And our prayer must continue to intercede for the repentance of those who do not know God, that the Holy Spirit may convince them of their own sins and turn to Him.

To arrive before God with a prayer full of pride, decreeing, declaring and ordering as if we were the bosses of God, is not the right attitude to reach the favor of our Father. This is not biblical prayer. Neither Moses, nor David, nor Paul, nor even Jesus prayed that way. In Psalm 51:17 the Scripture says, The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, these, O God, You will not despise. Let us humble ourselves before God and we will not only reach His favor, His forgiveness and His mercy, but He will give grace in us to those who reject Him so that we may intercede for His salvation. God bless you.

Grace Was Given to Us

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”

Ephesians 4:7-8

The word grace means undeserved favor. When Ephesians 4:7-8 says that grace was given to us, it means that we have received an undeserved favor from God. Our merits are not enough to come out of the captivity of sin and attain salvation. So God offers us a gift through Christ. Gifts are received free of charge and do not depend on what we do but on the will of the one who has given it. Thus, the grace given to us comes from the will of God.

From where or from whom does the grace given us come? The answer to this question is in John 1:14-17, And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Contrary to what religious traditions say, the only person that the Bible mentions that is full of grace is Jesus Christ, the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us, that same Word that was in the beginning with God and was God, of No one else can be said to be full of grace, only of Him. Therefore, we take the grace of Him who is full of grace, of Jesus Christ and the grace that has been given to us only comes from Him.

What does grace do for us? Acts 15:11 says, But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ[a] we shall be saved in the same manner as they. And to reaffirm that grace saves us, Ephesians 2:8-9 says, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. The abundant grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is what gives us salvation. Our works are useless to achieve it.

Our salvation has a very broad meaning. Romans 3:24 says, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. The grace that comes from our Lord saves us through our justification. Being justified means being made righteous and being redeemed means that the Lord paid the price so that we would be acquitted in the judgment of God. For our sins, the verdict of judgment is one of guilt; but grace comes to us and Jesus Christ paid with his blood for our sins.

Receiving grace is a good reason to live grateful to those who have done us this undeserved favor. And if we have been saved by grace, it is not to keep grace treasured in us selfishly but to share it with others. Matthew 10:8 says, Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Let us share the good news of salvation and the filling of the Spirit with others.

To receive grace we must leave our past behind; but above all, leave our pride. James 4:6 says: But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Humbled before Him, let us take the grace. God bless you.

Justified by Grace

Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,  to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Romans 3:24-26

We have all sinned according to Romans 3:23, therefore, anybody cannot plead innocent before the judgment of God. There is too much evidence against us, which guarantees a safe conviction. And the sentence is duly established in Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death. Therefore, just something that comes out of us save us from the death penalty. That’s where the grace that Paul shows us in Romans 3:24-26 comes. Grace is what justifies us; there is no other way to do it.

The first to Romans 3:24-26 is: Being justified freely by His grace. What is free is a gift. The seventeenth century English preacher William Secker said: “He who does not take the sky as a gift; he will have hell as debt.” Another English preacher of that century, William Jenkyn (1613-1685) said: “Grace is not a native but a donation.” Both agree that grace is a gift, a donation from God.

Then Romans 3:24-26 says: through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Grace was only possible because Jesus Christ was put in the place which should be every sinner. The English preacher Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) said: “The true grace will enable a man to pass over the crown of the world to take up the cross of Christ; to prefer the Cross of Christ above the glory of this world.”

Let’s see how we can express what grace means in simple terms. Every man and woman has sinned enough to deserve the death penalty as a punishment in the judgment of God. Let’s imagine that our judgment day arrived and we are in the dock in the court of God. The prosecutor read us each and every one of our transgressions of God’s law. According to Romans 6:23, our conviction is death and just judge, God, should dictate the sentence.

In applying justice, the death penalty is the appropriate sentence for our sins. When the angel court clerk will read the death sentence against us, Jesus comes and says that He will take our place. The Lord says that He is willing to die rather than each of the sinners of this world. He said he understood that the wages of sin is death and that for anyone should die for their sins, He is going to die in the name of all.

To hear from the Lord their willingness to die for each of us, our mind should go into the time He was crucified. All that Jesus suffered on the cross was for the sole purpose of preventing any repentant sinner was executed to pay for his or her sins. That is grace! For us it is free; but the price of our salvation was very high: all the blood of Jesus!

The American pastor Jerry Cross said: “The more we learn to see the depth of our sin, we see the depth of God’s grace.” Our justification by grace is undeserved, only the love of God has been able to design a salvation plan like this. Give your heart to Christ is nothing compared to what He has done for you already. God bless you.