From Amazing Grace to Astonishing Grace

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March 6, 2018

Ephesians 3:1-6

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

CONSIDER THIS

What a phrase: the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you.

If I’m honest, and you know I try to be, I typically think of “the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me—for me. Isn’t that the point of amazing grace—”I once was lost but now I’m found; was blind but now I see.” This, of course, is true as it comes to the first half of the gospel.

But this phrase, the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you,” is all about the second half of the gospel. While I’m on the topic, let me flesh this first half, second half distinction out a bit more.

First Half: Justification. Second Half: Sanctification

First Half: John 3:16. Second Half: 1 John 3:16

First Half: The New Birth. Second Half: Fully Mature

First Half: Lord you took me out of Egypt. Second Half: Now take Egypt out of me.

First Half: Baptism by water. Second Half: Baptism by fire.

First Half: I am loved by God. Second Half: I am becoming the Love of God.

First Half: God gives us grace for the sake of ourselves. Second Half: God gives us grace for the sake of others.

You see the point don’t you? It’s those brothers and sisters who press on into the second half of the gospel who steward the grace of God for the sake of those who haven’t yet entered into the first half. This is precisely Paul’s point with respect to the Gentiles.

All of this brings me to the overarching and underlying reason for the stewardship we are attempting exercise with Seedbed and the New Room. The world will awaken to the first half of the gospel when our churches awaken to the second half of the gospel. The so-called unbelievers will believe when the so-called believers wake up.

Have you considered what might be the stewardship of God’s grace given to you for others? If amazing grace is God’s grace to me for my own sake, then the grace given to me for the sake of others must be astonishing grace.

THE PRAYER

Abba Father, we thank you for your son, Jesus, who reveals to us the fullness of grace as both a gift to receive and a gift to give. Would you teach me this way of stewarding the grace given to me for the sake of others? We pray in Jesus name, amen.

THE QUESTIONS

  1. How are you grasping the grace of God for the sake of your own repentance and transformation?
  2. How are you stewarding the grace of God given to you for the sake of others?
  3. How do you reflect on this journey into the second half of the gospel? How does it challenge you?

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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

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