The God of All Grace

Tom Burke

January 2007
© 2007 Scriptural Study Groups.  All Rights Reserved.

Many students of God’s Word expend great effort in unearthing, enumerating, and compiling lists of God’s many promises and of the benefits available to those who trust in Him. And this indeed is a worthy endeavor, in that far too many Christians, though well-versed in dogma and time-worn ritual, are virtually ignorant of the blessings which are theirs in Christ and the further benefits that God is fully willing to impart to them.

But it is equally beneficial for the believer to spend time studying and considering the nature of the One who has made the promises. God gave His Word not only to instruct us regarding what He does, but also to enlighten us as to whom He is. Indeed, many otherwise mature Christians fail to fully appropriate what is rightfully theirs because, though intimately familiar with the gifts, they are not equally acquainted with the Giver.

For the man or woman questing to know God, the Scriptures offer help. Within the pages of His Word, God reveals Himself in a multitude of ways. For example, He gives Himself a variety of names, each one illuminating an attribute of His nature, and each one well worth exploring.

Let’s spend some time examining just one.

I Peter 5:10
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Here, God boldly proclaims Himself to be not just a God of grace, or even THE God of grace, but the God of ALL grace. If any true grace is to be found, it is to be found in Him; if any seek grace, they will find it in Him.

Grace is a term so magnificent it can scarcely be fully defined. It has been called “undeserved divine favor,” but truly this only begins to describe the unearned, un-dreamed of, and unqualified supernatural help that is summed up in this one small word.

Grace does not simply describe God’s actions, but His very nature. It is not just in what He does, it is integral to who He is.

Ephesians 3:2
If ye have heard of the dispensation [administration] of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

The very age in which we live is referred to as the administration of grace. Small souls suggest that this means it is an age in which God has somehow become apathetic concerning sin. How far from the truth. God hates sin, and God does not change. But He is also the God of all grace. And He always has been. Record after record in the Old Testament bear witness to this grace to man, from His dealings with Adam (before and after the Fall) to His dealings with the pitiful remnants of once-great Israel. But in our age, due to the completed work of Jesus Christ, He is able to show forth His grace in ways that would have been impossible previously.

John 1:14 — 17
And the Word was made 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 bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

This wonderful quotation from John might at first appear to say that grace did not exist until Christ came. However, the phrase “grace and truth” is an example of the figure of speech hendiadys, in which two words are used to lend power to a single concept.

The thought conveyed here is that true grace, full grace, grace as God truly intended it, came by Jesus Christ. Due to Christ’s work we now have not only grace, but “grace for grace” which literally means “grace against grace,” as a room full of people would be jammed in “against” each other. We truly enjoy a “full house” of grace!

Ephesians describes it beautifully.

Ephesians 1:7
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Believers of other ages did indeed experience God’s grace, but you and I are privileged to enjoy the riches of His grace. Why? Due to our greater merit? Certainly not. But we are blessed to have been born in a time, following the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, when so much that former believers looked forward to has finally been poured out. And it became ours simply by believing.

Aren’t you thankful to be one of those to whom God’s grace so abounds?

Romans 5:20, 21
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Let us continue to treasure this amazing grace which cost God so much and was given so freely. Let us acknowledge its worth by appropriating it for ourselves, encouraging it in others, and proclaiming it to the world.