The Simple Things: Grace
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
In 1948 A.W. Tozer (1897-1963) wrote in his classic, The Pursuit of God: “Every age has its own characteristics. Right now we are in an age of religious complexity. The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us.” Imagine how Tozer would feel if he were alive today. Nothing is simple--our schedules are loaded, our deadlines frantic, and the world distracts, not to mention the complexities of the “religious”.
But it is not too late ladies. The year is young and the simplicity of Christ calls. The first simple thing that comes to mind is God’s grace.
Oh I know, grace is not a simple concept for me either. The Greek word for grace, charis, speaks of unmerited favor (mercy) shown to us by God. It is a gift, totally undeserved yet gladly given. Think of where we were: dead in transgressions (Ephesians 2:5). Yet, in his kindness God extended His grace to us in Christ—despite all our sins, both unintentional and willful.
Original grace, God’s grace, is abundantly rich in mercy and compassion and tenderness and love, to the point of overflowing. Yes, love and grace are intertwined; but as much as God loved us, His holy nature could not reconcile our sin. And mercy? Mercy merely forgives. Grace enabled God to bridge the gap with Christ. As Charles Swindoll (The Grace Awakening Guide, Page 3) says, “It is on this great theological word that our eternal destiny hangs, for the undeserved favor of God is our only hope of being accepted by Him.”
So what is simple about grace? It is not of our doing: God raised us up…(God) seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (emphasis mine). We just need to grab ahold of Jesus; He did the hard part. The incomparable riches of his grace are simply ours for believing. A little child is best at it: “Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in” (Luke 18:17, MSG).