2007-10-04 - The Fountain of All Grace
Philippians 3:9, "and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith."
One of the aspects of salvation that is highly emphasized, is that it moves a person into God's favor, who was previously under His wrath. When the sinner repents of his/her sin and, by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8), becomes a child of God, they are moved from being under the wrath and judgment of God, into His family as children. It is common to speak of this as being moving from darkness to light, or escaping Hell into the blessedness of Heaven. This is all true, but it is not the complete picture of salvation. Salvation is more than a ticket out of Hell. It is also the imputing (giving) to the believer of the righteousness of Christ. It is only when we understand this aspect of deliverance from sin, that we begin to have the full picture of the wonder of the work of Christ, and application of Atonement on our behalf.
The righteousness of Christ is in many respects the all to often "unspoken jewel" in salvation. Nobody wants to go to Hell, so it is a natural focus of our thoughts upon our rescue from the pit, as the greatest result of our coming to faith in Christ. I don't wish to de-emphasize that for a moment, but I do wish to plead that there is more. There is a glory beyond this. The infinite, spotless, gleaming, glorious righteousness of Christ is also ours. This is our comfort and happiness. It is the giving of Himself to us and all He possesses, hich is all holiness. We have all of Christ; we have all His graces, because we have Christ Himself. In Him "are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," (Col. 2:3) We often speak of the grace of Christ, and we do receive grace through and in Christ, but we have more than grace; we are given Christ Himself.
We thus cannot inflate our virtue, or swell our Christian graces, beyond declaring that they are all gifts. They all stem from Christ. They are not our graces. They are not our gifts. If there be anything lovely, anything blessed, anything holy, right, pleasing, virtuous, exalted, or beautiful in us: It must all stem from Christ in us, flourishing and thriving. When we look upon our graces, let us remember that they are all gifts of the Lord Jesus Christ - and give Him all the glory. Seeing His work in our lives should only lead us to fix ourselves more and more upon the fountain of all grace, Jesus Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,