GodReflection: Is Grace Still Amazing?
In the two previous posts, I initiated the exploration of eight high points of grace found across the pages of Scripture. They are the Grace Peaks of my Bible.
When I contemplate specific God acts found in Scripture designed to prepare me to receive his grace, I should stand in holy amazement. Grace so amazing that I’m covered with it now—and yet it is grace so grand—I will only know its complete fullness in the next reality.
Last time my Old Testament journey closed after the identification of four grace peaks of Promise, Nation, King, and Hope.
With this post we enter the story of God’s new covenant.
In the New Testament God’s grace is released full force in the person of Jesus Christ.
Four additional grand peaks rise in the distance. They are separated by sin’s Salt Flats. Each will reveal an insight to God’s grace. Each stand as a monument to God’s act of grace and its salvation offered as an eternal gift to me.
The New Testament opens with the Mount Everest of the Bible. In brilliant light stands Son Peak. Larger than the world’s tallest mountain this peak can be seen from all corners of the earth.
With the words: This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham grace is personified for mankind. The God of grace takes on flesh and blood, then walks among his people that they might see and touch grace in human form.
This son of David, son of God, son of Mary and Joseph is called Messiah (Matthew 1:16) because he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).
This, the highest of all, is Son Peak in honor of Jesus. Matthew, the tax collector who gave his heart and soul to Jesus gives this wonderful testimony to God’s grace, (I wonder if he was an eyewitness to the Baptism?):
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17).
From this point forward God’s grace moves toward a clearer vision in the eyes of humankind. As the New Testament story unfolds there are desert flats along the way but only in the hours of the crucifixion does a cloud seem to hide God’s grace. However, his corps fills with the Holy Spirit of God and grace sends forth the resurrected Son of God.
That Holy Spirit is about to play another key role in God’s gift of grace. The Holy Spirit does not wait until the New Testament to step onto the pages of history. He was first introduced in Genesis 1:2. He is traceable across the pages of the Old Testament.
However, through Mary, John the baptizer and Jesus, the New Testament slowly reveals the role of the Spirit. From the dessert floor of despair after the crucifixion Spirit Peak comes into view as the grave burst open and a Holy Spirit powered Jesus rises bodily to live an eternal life.
We then witness on the Day of Pentecost this Spirit provide grace access inside every believer who submits to Jesus and enters the baptismal covenant with the King.
Over two thousand years passed since that Day of Pentecost. From my twenty-first century viewpoint that was long ago. But a key ingredient to the Spirit’s DNA gives me great assurance. He provides me eternal grace here and now. I can trust Jesus’ promise he lives inside me daily to walk beside me in the floodlight of grace:
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you (John 14:16-17).
Spirit Peak stands tall as a beacon to guide the church from Jerusalem to Rome to every nation and tribe on God’s planet.
As good as it is now, one day perfect eternity will dawn, and the Spirit’s light of grace will shine from Jesus and we will stand in the presence of complete and perfect grace.
Can you see it? Are you filled with anticipation to be present in that light? Let’s be there.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: Grace Peaks Create Amazement