The Greatest Kindness
Yes, He said He has raised us up together, made us sit together in the heavenlies that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace. So then what are the riches of His grace?
Alright thank you very much. And hello again my dear radio friend. How in the world are you? You’re doin’ Alright? Well I trust so, bless your heart. I’m glad to be back with you. This is your good friend Bob Cook, as if you didn’t know. (Laughs) I guess there must be something about my buzzsaw voice that distinguishes it. People hear my voice in a restaurant and someone will come over and say, “Aren’t you Mr. Cook?” (Laughs) In any case I hope there’s love in it, and a smile in it; what I say, the truth of God in it. Oh I trust so. That’s what I’ve been praying anyway.
You and I are looking at the Ephesians and we’re in chapter 2. It says that God raised us up to him when we were dead in sins, he made us alive in Christ, and raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus. Everything you have that is of any value in access to Almighty God comes through the Lord Jesus Christ—you’re in Christ Jesus. There isn’t any other way. If you’re ever tempted to tinker with the occult or with various types of cults and isms, remember that they all end up as dead end streets because the only way to get to God and to know God, and to love God and to have yourself feel comfortable with God and God comfortable in your life. God says, “He’ll come and make Himself at home in your – in your life,” in 2 Corinthians 6, The only way is through the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s in Christ Jesus.
Now why? He says in verse 7 of Ephesians Chapter 2 in order that, in order that – well, you people who read your Greek New Testament, look out for the little Greek word “hina” because that’s the purpose, it’s the purpose word in order that – look up, look up some of the precious verses that have this, this little word in it. And you’ll, you’ll be just blessed to death with the, with the richness of Gods purpose.
Well, here’s one, “In order that in the ages to come”, what is God’s purpose for you? “In the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Now you’re in Christ Jesus Verse 6, but it’s through Christ Jesus in verse 7. That in the, that he might show, I’m reading from my Greek New Testament, in the ages that are to come, they home run (Laughs) — “huperballo” is the Greek verb that means “over the fence,” “way out beyond,” it’s translated exceeding riches of His grace to us in Christ Jesus. “That in the ages to come He might show the, the exceeding riches, the over the fence homerun riches (Laughs) “Huperballo”—throw it way over the fence, way out far.
Oh when God does something for you, he doesn’t do it in a miniscule little, the one teaspoon measurement, but he says, “He want to show the exceeding riches of His grace”. Now, how does He do that? Well He says, “By grace are ye saved”, verse 8, and that’s through faith. If you want to show off the riches of God’s grace, realize that that is the only way you’ve been saved , by His grace, Gods Riches At Christ’s Expense, is the little acronym we use there with the spelling of grace—G-R-A-C-E—Gods Riches At Christ’s Expense.
God has given all that he is including his precious son. Paul says, “All things are yours and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God.” You’re wrapped up in the very possessions, and art and purpose of Almighty God and that – that holds for all eternity, that He might show the exceeding riches of his grace. Now how does He do that? First of all to His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. “Herein is love,” says John, “not that we loved God but that He, He loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins”. Paul says that, “While we were still enemies by wicked works, God loved us and Christ died for us”. Even when we were without strength, Christ died for us.
For if when we were enemies by wicked works we were reconciled much more and he says, “We’ll be saved by his life.” So here you are without strength, and sinners, and enemies, and without any resources whatsoever and God loves you and chooses to save you by his sovereign grace; “by grace are you saved through faith”. And that that faith is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. God himself makes it possible for you to trust Him for salvation.
There is a strange chemistry that works in the human soul and I don’t profess to understand it but I’m going to ask the Lord about it when I get to heaven. There are people who understand the Gospel but who don’t seem to—don’t seem to be able to close with it, to really to believe it. Have you experienced that as you met different people?
Now why? What he says, “Faith is the gift of God.” How does God bestow faith on people? “If I—if he doesn’t give me faith then is it my fault if I am lost?” Oh wait! “It is the goodness of God” Paul says that “leadeth thee to repentance”. Repentance, repentance. It is impossible for you to place your faith in the savior unless you repent from that for which you need to be saved. You show me a person who understands the Gospel but who is seemingly unable to close with it by believing and committing himself to it and I’ll show you a person who still has some area of his heart that is not willing to give up to God.
Here’s a student in Tokyo many years ago and one is talking with the men says, “You realized that that we’ve been talking about the living God who loves you and who sent His son to die in your place?” “Oh yes, I understand all that”. “You know you’re a sinner and you need to repent of your sins?” “Oh yes”. “Well then if you know that Christ died for your sins and that all you need to do to be saved is to believe on him and confess Him as your Lord, well are you ready to do that?” He says “Oh no!” Well, with some surprise you say, “Why not?” He says, “Oh, if I did that,” he said “my family would cut off my support, they’re supporting me as I go through Meiji University here in Tokyo.” And he said, “They would cut off my support and my education then would stop and I wouldn’t be able to follow my career. I’d end up being a day laborer somewhere. I can’t do that”.
Now that’s almost word for word for something that happened a number of years ago on a Tokyo street but it’s duplicated all over the world. “By grace you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Yes, salvation is God’s gift. And His grace is God’s gift. But also the faith to believe Him is God’s gift and that comes to you when your heart opens up in real repentance, Alright?
What did Peter say to those who – what did Peter say to those who asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” As he preached there on the day of Pentecost, he said, “Repent”, didn’t he? God waits for you to be done with your own efforts so that you can really trust him. I read again just today that passage that says, “Therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious onto you”. God waits for you to get ready so that you are really ready to receive His grace so that means you have to hit bottom so far as your own efforts and your own goodness is concerned.
Yes, he said he has raised us up together, made us sit together in the heavenlies that in the ages to come he might show the, the exceeding riches of His grace. So then what are the riches of his grace? Well, it’s riches, as Paul says in Philippians 4:19, “Is riches in Christ Jesus wrapped up in a wonderful person.” That is for sure, isn’t it? What are the riches of his grace? The riches of forgiveness, the riches of cleansing, the riches of a new life, the riches of being adapted into the family of God; all of that riches of his grace.
Now, have you thought about how that applies, huh, let’s look at the couple of the scriptures that are applicable here, shall we? Romans 2, verse 4, “Despiseth thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.” Now how – what is the riches of His grace involved there? His goodness that he has – that he’s going to do good for you, not evil. He says, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of good, not of evil, to give you a desired end.” Forbearance, He’s so patient with you, he’s been waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Long suffering, that’s Greek word, “makrothumia” means “large-heartedness,” He’s got room in His heart for you, works and all riches of His grace.
Then in Ephesians 1:7, we saw that a while back when we were looking at, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Since forgiven is part of the riches of God’s grace, and when God forgives you he forgets. That is wonderful, isn’t it? The old holiness preachers used to say, “God took all of my sins and put them in the deepest sea and posted a ‘No Fishing Sign.’” (Laughs) That’s one of the songs that the Speer Family and some of the other families sing. Posted a “No Fishing Sign”, God forgets when He forgives you. Forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace.
And then in the future, Ephesians 2:7, that’s the verse were looking at, “In the ages to come you have a future when you deal with the God of all grace.” He might show the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Has it ever struck you that God has been kind to you? I mean, we come with our little laundry list and say, “Oh, God, bless me and help me.” Have you taken time recently to thank God for being so kind to you? It would do us all good I think to think about that.
And then Philippians 4:19 “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches and glory by Christ Jesus.” All your need is provided for because of the riches of His grace in the Lord Jesus Christ. And then 1 Timothy 1:14, “The grace of Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” The grace of our, of our Lord and exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. The riches of His grace shows up in enriching your own life and character. Your ability to believe God, we call that faith; your ability to reflect to God’s wonderful nature we call that love, the riches of His grace. Now, we’ll talk about that the next time we get together.
Father God today, oh we thank you for Thy grace so rich, so full, so free. Make us worthy in Christ. Amen
Till I met you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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