God the Son: Full of Grace and Truth
If love is a central characteristic of God the Father, as we have discussed in our previous posts, then Scripture is quite clear that grace is a central characteristic of God the Son. Both of those are shown clearly in this Pauline benediction, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14 ESV) and in his epistle to the church at Thessalonica, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all” (2 Thessalonians 3:18 NIV).
When we think of Jesus’ leaving heaven, coming to earth, living among humans, and dying on the cross for us, we begin to realize what a great sacrifice He made – for us. He did it all to pay the penalty for the sinfulness of our hearts. He died so we will not be condemned. And, thanks be to God, He was raised from the dead and is preparing a place so we can be with Him eternally. All by grace alone - we merit nothing, but we are the targets of His great grace.
And, there’s more. Jesus not only wants to take us to heaven, He wants to have this lifetime to work within us and show us what value He places on us and how He wants to use us in His Kingdom. Our relationship with God does not begin when we die. It begins when we accept the grace gift Jesus offers through the payment He made. We then begin to see ourselves as Jesus sees us – treasured, loved, and usable.
Once we realize how much God values us and how much Jesus was willing to do to open a way for us to relate to Him, we are able to respond to all the Triune God has done. Our response is met by a deep love from God and that draws us even closer. It becomes a never-ending journey of God’s love, our response, His continued love, our obedience, His grace, and our gratefulness.
The Bible is full of passages that tell us all that God will do for those who are willing to relate to Him in this way. Here’s a sampling:
"I will never stop doing good to them. . .” (Jeremiah 32:40b)
"I know the plans I have for you . . . plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
We are God’s dearly loved ones and that love is made accessible to us by the grace of Jesus Christ, His Son. Living in that knowledge, we grow into the persons He has planned for us to be and we share in the fellowship of the Trinity.
“Grace teaches us that God loves because of who God is, not because of who we are.” –Philip Yancey