The Overcomer Trust

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By Marcus Rainsford

All God’s ways, in government, in judgement and in providence are the partners of His ways in grace, “so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5 v21).  Grace reigns enthroned among all the other attributes of God.  God’s justice and holiness, faithfulness and power all cast their crowns before that throne of grace in which Jehovah sits to dispense salvation to us.  Yet, God’s ways in grace are about the least understood and believed of all His wondrous ways. 

Moses was astonished by the amazing grace of God, who in answer to his prayer, had promised that His presence would go with Israel.  He was determined to look into God’s heart and said, “show me Your glory.” The Lord answered, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you”.  In Exodus 33 verse 13 we see God’s ways, in verse 17 God’s grace, in verse 18 God’s glory and in verse 19 God’s goodness.  He had seen it at the bush, and in ransoming Israel out of Egypt and carrying them through the Red Sea and through the wilderness to the place where He had promised He would one day gather them around Him.  But Moses still felt there was more to see. 

“Show me Your glory” (v18).   God promised to show him His glory (v21-23).  In the fifth and following verses of the next chapter we read, “then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed His name, the Lord.  And He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, the Lord, The Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.  Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished”.  And Moses fell in worship.  His face shone when he came down from that encounter with God.

In Colossians 1 verse 19 we read, “for God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him”.  And in chapter 2 verse 9, “for in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form”.  In John 1 verse 16 we read “from the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another”.  Grace upon grace is the fullness of the Godhead in Christ.  This grace will be communicated in time and throughout eternity to sinners saved by His blood, inhabited by the Spirit, and raised in His likeness.  They will enjoy fellowship with Him forever.  Grace is not given without Him but in fellowship with Him.  “God, who has called us into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful” (1 Corinthians 1 v9).

Grace seeks our need.

God’s grace seeks our need, not our works.  God’s grace seeks our death with Christ to revive us and our emptiness to fill us.  The difficulty of grace is not our sin and unworthiness, the difficulty of grace is our self-righteousness and our unbelief.  Grace is God’s strength made perfect in human weakness.  Grace is God’s salvation given to the lost, and His life imparted to the dead.  Grace is God’s fullness supplying our emptiness, and is God’s heaven instead of our hell.  Grace is God’s righteousness instead of our guilt.  Grace is God’s free gift, our inheritance forever.  God was not inactive in eternity, “My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working” (John 5 v17).  How little we grasp His ways, but whatever were His ways in government, in judgement or in providence, His ways in grace are the crown of everything.  His ways in grace were unseen by any human until Adam fell and lost his relationship with God.  Whatever may have been God’s ways before time we cannot tell, but the peak of all His ways was Christ's death.  He gave Himself for us, died to save poor, guilty, lost, unworthy and helpless sinners.

God is Love.

When God created our world He gave the water to the fish, He gave the earth to the animals, He gave the air to the birds and He gave His heaven to the angels, and when all was done God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1 v26).  “What is mankind that You are mindful of them?” (Psalm 8 v4).  Adam was created in the image of God, in the image of Him who is the “radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being” (Hebrews 1 v3).  We were not only created in His image, but were chosen in Christ and blessed in Christ with all spiritual blessings, and given to Christ as a gift from His Father, to be filled with His fullness and kept by His power.  Seeing what it cost God to redeem us, we can only wonder at the boundless grace that inspired Him to create us.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ was great when He decided to be the head of His Church, and then He carried it to the throne on which He sits.  His grace was great in Eden when He watched humankind overcome by Satan.  His grace was great when in the fullness of time He left His throne in heaven to come down into this wilderness of sin and sorrow to save us.  He descended from the Father into the womb of a young woman and He took on the same nature as those He loved.  He was born, lived and served in grace.  He fulfilled all righteousness and was baptised in it.  He brought it to the wilderness and was tempted in it.  He prayed and suffered in it.  He brought it to Gethsemane and sweated drops of blood through it.  He took it to Calvary where the Roman spear went into His side, and the fountain was opened for sin and all uncleanness (Zechariah 13 v1). 

Great was His grace when He brought our humanity out of the tomb in resurrection life, and to heaven from where He had descended, and having made it His own nature forever in resurrection life, sat down in it at the right hand of God.  When John saw Him there was a rainbow that circled His throne.  Surely the crowning of His grace will be when Emmanuel returns the second time to take us to Himself forever and give us a body like the body of His own glory, “by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control” (Philippians 3 v21). 

We do not think enough about grace.  Some people think that God became distant because of our sin.  I believe that when He saw us fall, His compassion for us increased because of His love.  It was our sinfulness, and His divine knowledge that He alone was able to deliver us, which caused Him to empty Himself of His glory.  Christ then took our place so that grace could be extended to us.  It was “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5 v8).  It was “when we were still powerless” (Romans 5 v6).  It was not when we were innocent, there was no need then.  It was in our condemnation, guilt and rebellion, that “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3 v16).  I believe that God never loved this world more than when He lived among us, was tempted and then became the victim for our sins.

Paul writes to the Ephesians, “saved by grace”, “chosen in Him”, “blessed in Him”, “accepted in Him”, “to the praise of the glory of His grace”.  Having “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1 v7).  Loved “when we were dead in sin”, “made us alive with Christ”, “raised up together with Him”, and made to sit together at God’s right hand in Him, to the praise of His grace.  The God of all grace has called us to His eternal glory by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  “Where sin increased grace increased all the more” (Romans 5 v20).  Here is an invitation for us all, more grace than sin.  “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9 v8).

Some Attributes of Grace.

Grace and God’s ways in it do not begin with our repentance nor with our redemption.  They do not even begin with the atonement, they provided them all.  God’s ways in grace do not begin with our reconciliation, they accomplished it.  God’s grace is given freely, without any motive or any other reward than the delight God Himself has in giving it.  God’s grace is not only grace for us, it is grace overflowing in us.  Think of the gifts of the Spirit and the Fruit of the Spirit, they are all of grace.  Remember the list in Galatians. Love is grace abundant, and peace is grace in rest.  Gentleness is grace in its strength, and goodness is grace in action.  Faith is grace at war, and meekness is grace in its beauty.

The Pleadings of Grace.

Listen to the pleadings of God’s grace, “come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11 v28). “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters”, and “give ear and come to Me, listen, that you may live” (Isaiah 55 v1, 3).  “This cup is the New Covenant in My blood” (Luke 22 v20).  People make a mistake when they overlook that it is the cup, and not the blood.  The cup is full of mercy, grace, salvation and pardon, purchased and given because of the blood it contains.  He took my cup, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup far from Me” (Luke 22 v42).  He gives me His cup, "this cup is the New Covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22 v20).  “I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord” (Psalms 116 v13). 

It is the New Covenant cup full of blessings, which is all of grace.  So come just as you are, and come for everything.  Listen to New Covenant grace, it does not require you to give anything, but it asks you to receive everything.  It does not require you to understand, but only to trust.  It does not say that your prayers are enough to get you into heaven.  It does not say that you have to defeat Hell yourself.  No, in fact He rose without your power and beyond your expectation.

Grace does not wait for your call, it is God Himself who calls, “Here I am.  I stand at the door and knock” (Revelation 3 v20).  He has been calling us to Himself from the beginning as our Creator.  When He created Adam, He said to him “Rule” (Genesis 1 v28).  Yet, very soon Adam listened to Satan’s lie instead of believing in his generous Provider.  Then God showed Himself as a new Deliverer, promising a descendant from a woman to bruise the serpent’s head.  Our unbelief denies the relationship, saying "God does not love me. God has not saved me.  God will not have me.”  This shows that we do not believe in the Father, although we call Him Father. 

We must believe He is our Father. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?” (Luke 11 v11).  Again He came into our nature, to be our brother, the first-born among many brethren, the first-born from the dead, and He brought us up again, raised up together, in resurrection life and resurrection glory. 

We need to believe and talk about His life, resurrection and triumph over death and hell.  We must run into His arms, rejoicing in His truth, and drinking from the river of the water of life which He has given us.