“.. to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”
God’s grace is praiseworthy.
We can praise God’s grace because it is part of His personality or nature. This grace has redeemed us and set us free from sin and death. This grace grants us eternal life, vanquishing the power of sin and raising a whole race of humanity to be sons and daughter of God.
We were once far off but God’s grace has overcome the chasm that separated us from Him. It is grace that adopts us into the divine family granting us an inheritance fay beyond our wildest dreams.
God’s grace is glorious.
Glory is one of those terms that is hard to pin down.
Sports teams and individuals are said to win glory when they achieve a great victory. The sporting prowess or athleticism causes spectators to stand in awe of their ability.
Glory can be won on a battle field when the extreme stresses of being under fire or in other imminent danger bring out super-human courage or gallantry. If the favoured side wins the victory then that helps, but it isn’t necessary to be the victor. We can be awed at the ability of people to sacrifice themselves to save others or to be seemingly oblivious of bombs and bullets.
The glory of a monarch may be seen in ceremonial occasions where wealth, grand institutions and traditions captivate the dreams and aspirations of a culture.
In all of these cases, glory is seen in the awe that human endeavours inspire in the hearts of other people.
God’s glory is of a different magnitude. The glorious grace of God is glorious regardless of our response. God’s grace is glorious even if nobody accepts it. His glory flows from His nature.
We are right to be awed by God’s grace. Our awe is not necessary for it to be considered to be glorious.
God’s grace is freely bestowed.
He pours it out on us freely. Grace would not be grace if it came at a price. God’s grace is free of cost, but He bestows it liberally, overwhelmingly, pressed down and running over.
God’s grace is like a mighty waterfall such as Niagara or Victoria Falls. Enormous quantities of water flow over these falls every second. You can’t see where the water comes from. You can't imagine how much water is contained there.
God’s grace is like that. It is as liberal as the greatest waterfall. It is bestowed whether we receive it or not. God is not moved by our reaction; He will overflow us with grace regardless.
So the sun shines on the just and the unjust alike, and the rain waters the fields of the godly farmer as much as the ungodly farmer. To the atheist raging against Him or the artist who mocks Him, God gives air to breathe, food to eat and water to drink.
This unstoppable river of praiseworthy and glorious grace is poured out in us “in the Beloved.”
It is Christ who releases and bestows this grace into us. The sacrifice on the cross releases grace to the world. Because Christ is beloved by the Father, God is pleased to pour this liberal overflowing stream of grace to the planet.
Although the grace is bestowed to us “in the Beloved”, we don’t have to be in the Beloved to receive it. Jesus’ death is available to every person, but only some will receive the promise of eternity. He died for all so that some will receive life.
He doesn’t stop loving or bestowing grace on those who reject Him. He is determined to love even if we don’t recognise His love. His grace is greater than our rejection of it.
The grace that is bestowed on everyone will eventually stop for those who are not “in the Beloved.” Judgement awaits those who refuse His grace. The waterfall will turn off, the flow dry up, and those who reject Him will be asked “Why?”
Often we think of grace as pertaining to salvation. But it has a far wider application than that. It speaks of all blessings that God gives to people.
John Wimber used to speak of “gracelets,” the little blessings or signs of God’s presence and love which encourage us to keep on going, to persevere through trials, or just to give us joy in a surprising experience. It might be a dream or a vision, an unexpected gift, a rainbow, a rush of faith to trust Him.
Grace can also relate to supernatural ability to serve God’s purposes. This might be in the form of the spiritual gifts of 1 Corinthians 12. In fac the word of gift in Greek is derived from the word for grace. It might also be the ability to fulfil a spiritual commitment that would normally be impossible for us, yet we find though constant prayer and dependence on the Holy Spirit that we find a grace for this task.
Key points from this verse:
God’s grace is worthy of our praise
God’s grace is glorious and inspires awe in our heart
God’s grace is freely bestowed
God’s grace brings limitless blessing