The riches of grace are granted to members of Christ’s body according to the purpose that God purposed in Himself to converge all things in Christ (Eph 1:10; Eph 3:11). By establishing Christ as the head of the body, which is the church, all things converge to Christ because of the children of God like Him, Christ is prominent: the head.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11)
When we understand the real meaning and all the nuance there in the redemption of man, we find that define God’s grace only as ‘unmerited favor’ it constitutes a reductionism. Only emphasize that salvation is unmerited favor does not show the elements that make up the amazing grace of God that is revealed in Christ.
The reductionism occurs when we helped him only the meaning of the Greek word ‘charis’, which by itself does not show the greatness of salvation in Christ. There is some significance in the fact that it appears that, at the time of Homer, the term ‘charis’ meant’ sweetheart ‘or’ attractive ‘, and over time, the term has evolved to’ please ‘,’ good will ‘,’ goodness’, but that’s not all.
Only enumerate the number of times the word ‘charis’ appears in the New Testament also does not show the theme idea, before the primary is to consider the term in context, especially when used in connection with the idea of redemption.
It is understood that the term free is used to describe God’s willingness to be favorable to men, although they are not worthy, as we read, “Do not treat us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities” (Ps 103 : 10), however, as the grace of God shall be without blemish the righteousness of God, few know how this ‘transaction’ occurs.
As God has shown favor to sinners without compromising judgment and justice? How can He be just and the justifier?
“To show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Rom 3:26)
To measure how is the amazing grace of God is necessary to remember that all men have fallen out of favor because of one man who has sinned – Adam. Because of the offense of Adam all his descendants were made sinners, that is, born alienated from God, apart from God, unfit for His glory (Romans 5:12, 19; 1 Cor 15:21).
The misfortune that befell mankind did not take moral issues before the trespass of the one man who sinned. This means that men have become sinners (in other words, children of wrath, children of disobedience) to be descendants of the flesh of Adam, not by their drawbacks conduct in everyday social relations.
Because of Adam’s membership, all men are trained in sin and conceived in iniquity (Psalm 51: 5), so that, from the womb are separated from God, hence the name ‘wicked’.
When the Bible says that men are ‘sinners’ shows that all the children of Adam are ‘wandering’ from birth (Ps 58: 3).
In a single event (the offense of Adam), all mankind together strayed and became filthy “They have turned aside all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one “(Psalm 53: 3). Now, the interpreter needs to find good, have very clear that men do not ‘do’ unclean because they are robbers, murderers, detractors, homosexuals, liars, jealous, etc., because before all ‘together’ are heirs of the penalty imposed on Adam .
than just show up through the following statement: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). Now, the wrath of God abides on men in not believing function in Christ, and not according to behave inconveniently.
The wrath of God abides on those who do not believe, because who does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God remains son of Adam, therefore heir of wrath, a consequence of disobedience (Ephesians 2: 2 -3).
The term ‘anger’ should not be understood as an emotion or feeling angry from God. Just as Adam’s descendants are called ‘children of wrath’ to point them to the condition of subjection to sin, which does not mean that they are children of an angry feeling or an emotion, the wrath of God does not refer to a feeling before the fair compensation established for the children of Adam’s disobedience.
It is significant that, in the Bible, men are not called ‘sons of sin’, but are designated “children of disobedience ‘or’ children of wrath ‘. This is because the ‘membership’ involves two issues: a) nature, and; b) inheritance. The children are partakers of the nature and status of their parents and therefore is entitled to an inheritance.
When the Bible says that men are ‘slaves of sin’, and not ‘children of sin’ means that, despite being ‘stuck’ to the landlord of sin, there is the possibility of being free. But if the Bible said that men are ‘children of sin’, would mean that there would be no possibility of release of the children condition and, concomitantly, there would be like not receive the ‘heritage’ of this membership: anger.
Hence the maxim: ‘The son remains forever home, the slave does not’ that we abstract the answer Jesus gave to his interlocutors: “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. Now the servant abideth not in the house forever; the Son abideth for ever “(John 8:34 -35), and speech Sara,” she said unto Abraham, Cast out this handmaid and her son: for the son of this handmaid will not inherit with Isaac, my son “(Gen. 21:10).
This is a sad description of how was the slave systems, since the slaves was not assigned any good or homestead, before what was liquid and certain slaves was death. Only death freed the slaves of their masters, as well as her husband’s death becomes free the woman (Rom 6: 7; Romans 7: 2).
When it is said that men are ‘children of wrath’ means that there is no escaping the condition that it is relevant and not the ‘heritage’ that fateful receive. When it is said that men are ‘slaves of sin’, the story changes, because there is still hope: the possibility to get rid of the slave condition.
Adam was not generated from sin before God created. When he sinned, Adam ceased to be free and went to the slave condition of sin. One can not say that Adam is the son of sin because, in fact, it was created by God forbid. The form of a servant came only when the offense, and therefore death.
Regarding the existence, Adam was created by God. About sin Adam became servant. Regarding the anger has become child because according to the offense would not pass him the established penalty: death. As death is certain, the man is taken by children of wrath, for it can not get rid of the penalty established as a result of disobedience.
But as the man no longer is possible ‘sinner’?
As slavery is a picture of subjection of man to the landlord of sin, the answer to the man leave the bondage of sin is dying!
In antiquity, the slaves who did not reach freedom during the course of its existence only would be free from the yoke of bondage when they died, because they were trapped for life to their owners because of the law. Only the death of the slave bondage cut the link established by law, and only the death of a spouse interrupts the wedding bond “Know ye not, brethren (for I speak to them that know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives “(Rom 7: 1).
The fear of death was what kept the slaves subject to servitude for life, since the preservation instinct of self existence spoke louder. It was enough to give out of their lives to get rid of serfdom, however, the fear of death which prevented “And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb 2:15) .
Death is different from down to dust
The man is dead for disobeying what was established in Eden: “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat; for in the day you eat thereof, you shall surely die “(Genesis 2:16 -17).
When Adam ate the fruit of the knowledge of good tree and died immediately of evil, that is, communion with God was cut and became subject to a new master: sin. The man (male and female) died to God, the one person who had communion.
After the man had died to God, God established the pain in the woman’s conception and that man would eat the sweat of his brow until he returned to the dust of the ground, being established physical death, when men lose communion with your loved ones .
While in Eden before the offense, Adam was alive to God and sin had not yet entered the world. After sinning, Adam died to God, and went to live in sin. Those who live to sin are dead to God, and vice versa. If the man go down to the dust without Christ, will forever be separated from God.
When the Bible says that God is just, to say that God is the absolute measure of righteousness and equity. This attribute is observed by several factors such as:
- a) God does not lie;
- b) God does not change;
- c) The culprit is not held guiltless;
- d) The penalty is merely the offender’s person;
- d) Do not accept bribes;
- e) His laws are expressions of His nature;
- f) No one oppresses.
The righteousness and justice of God was found in the Eden when God gives a commandment to the first man in a perfect place, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of good and evil knowledge, you shall not eat ; for in the day you eat thereof, you shall surely die “(Genesis 1:16 -17).
The commandment in Eden is holy and just and good because it was implied freedom of man (Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat …), and the care of God (… but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat thereof, you shall surely die).
The order prohibits the man of the tree of knowledge of good and evil for the consequences (surely die), and not by oppression. The commandment was intended to preserve the freedom and the communion between the Creator and the creature, impart the necessary information so that the man could be guided.
The word of God is the true expression (of what is real, what is effective), so that when a man has exercised its freedom and ate from the tree of knowledge, the consequences been affected: the man has become alienated from God (dead) and, depending on what was intrinsic to the tree of knowledge of good and evil the man has become like God (knowledge of good and evil).
God is immutable, can not lie and His word will not return void “In hope of eternal life, which God, that can not lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 1: 2); “If we are faithless, he remains faithful: he can not deny himself” (2 Tim 2:13).
If God returned back on his word remaining in communion with the man after the offense, God would not be strong, faithful, just and immutable. First for failing to comply with his word being firm and faithful. Secondly, due to the first, would be overwhelming the man who, by eating of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil tree, clearly demonstrated that he did not trust in God and did not want to remain in communion with him.
Keep the man in communion after the offense would be arbitrary and oppressive from God. If the penalty was not applied the word of God would cease to be true, so it would be trustworthy. As trust who did not order his word
As the man disobeyed, the penalty could not pass the man, as if another suffer the penalty in place of the transgressor there would be justice because correct is the soul that sins suffer the consequences “And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, I will blot out of my book “(Ezekiel 32:33); “The soul that sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20).
It is for this reason that God says, “Keep thee far from words of falsehood, and not kill the innocent and righteous: for I will not justify the wicked” (Ex 23: 7). If God declared the just wicked, would never be fair.
Note that God never exterminate the righteous with the wicked when you run judgment: “far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked, that the righteous should be as the wicked, far from thee not the Judge of all. the earth? “(Genesis 18:25).
Now, before approaching the solution given to the condition of man in subjection to the gracious way of sin, first it is necessary to understand how you solved the problem of God declare righteous the wicked “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness “(Romans 4: 5).
Before God justify man first met His righteousness “To show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Rom 3:26). What justice was satisfied? The established by law granted in Eden that is holy, just and good, because it follows that the soul that sins shall die. Hence the maximum: the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and as all sinned by being in the thigh of Adam, all were subject to sin, because of death “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law “(1 Cor 15:56).
Since Adam sinned and sin entered the world, all are dead in trespasses and sins, because all sinned. All men are alienated from God, and if go down to the dust, following the judgment of the great white throne lost for all eternity (Eph 2: 1; Rom 3:23; Rom 5:12).
This reality was described by John the Baptist in this way: “And now also the ax is laid to the root of the trees: every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 3:10), one rereading the words announced by the prophet Isaiah: “A voice said, Cry; And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all its beauty as the flower of the field. Dried grass, and the flower falls, blowing it the Spirit of the Lord. Surely the people are grass. Dried grass, and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever “(Isaiah 40: 6-8).
Without exception, all the descendants of Adam are subject to the penalty established in Eden, alienated from God, so are torn: “But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Mt. 15:13).
The first action of God just to redeem man was to replace Adam’s disobedience by the obedience of the last Adam (Christ). Without the act of substitution: obedience for disobedience, there would never be justice and redemption, for a disobeyed and many have sinned, it follows that if one obeyed, many would be justified (Rom 5:15). If one brought death, only for it would be possible to abolish the death establishing life “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and brought to light life and immortality through the gospel” (2 Tim 1:10).
Without the act of substitution, obedience for disobedience, there would never be a means of salvation that does not rescind righteous nature of God “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Rom 5:19).
This replacement act, obedience for disobedience, could only be made by someone free of sin, as well as free was the first man. To be the act of substitution, the Eternal Word that was with God and that everything created was made flesh and dwelt among men. In all became like men, subject to the same afflictions and weaknesses (Heb 2:18).
Adam disobeyed in a perfect environment contradicting a single order: “… you shall not eat. ‘The eternal Word when in the flesh, despite the sufferings, weaknesses and temptations fulfilled all righteousness, ie abrogate anything the law or the prophets (Matthew 5:17). The obedience of Christ is demonstrated in the fact that he died in the order of the Father and of death cross “And being found in human form, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, death on a cross” (Phil 2: 8; Heb 5: 8).
By solving the problem of justice through the obedience of Christ (Heb 10: 9 -10), since Jesus was obedient in all, through the flesh of Christ, God opened a new and living way which the man had access to he “by a new and living way opened for us through the veil, that is, His flesh” (Heb 10:20).
The way was opened through obedience, and not because of a sacrifice, because of Christ God said, “So, coming into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body hast thou prepared me” (Hebrews 10: 5). It is a mistake to understand that salvation was due to Christ volunteer to offer his body in sacrifice for Christ body offer the actually took place in obedience to the command of the Father. Salvation is given by obedience of Christ, who according to the will of the Father poured out his soul unto death “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself;. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it This command I received from my father “(Jn 10:18).
When you hear the good news of salvation and believe that Jesus is the Christ, the sinner dies with Christ and is buried. The penalty established is but the offender’s person, as to believe took up his own cross and follow after Christ. By believing in the gospel the sinner becomes a partaker of flesh and blood of Christ, so that is in accordance with Christ in his death.
But the obedience of Christ replaces the disobedience of Adam, and the flesh of Christ has become a new and living way of free access to God, through the death and resurrection of Christ. What still needs to man’s redemption?
Missing man die in sin satisfying the provisions of law granted in Eden.
If the man falls to the dust without believing in Christ, goes to eternity lost, but if the man believes that Christ is the Son of God according to the Scriptures, dies with Christ and is buried with Him (Romans 6: 3 -8) .
In the death of the sinner to Christ’s righteousness commandment in Eden is satisfied, because the death of Christ is substitutionary only in relation to the cross of Calvary, however, all believers become partakers of flesh and blood of Christ, ie effectively crucify the body of sin and its lusts, die and are buried.
But as it is established that the man must die, that God is just and his word stand firm when man believes in Christ dies and is buried with Christ.
The man who was alive to sin and dead in trespasses and sins to God after dying with Christ, shall live unto God. The believer in Christ dies to sin, so the righteousness of God is established and the man is freed from his former master, sin.
The amazing grace
“To show in the coming ages the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2: 7)
The Christian must understand how significant is to have no contradiction between grace and justice of God. In our days are few Christians who can discern good that there is no contradiction in just God declare righteous the wicked.
It is the word of God that guarantees justification to those who believe in Christ, however, there would be some injustice in God if there were no redemption for man. Again, when a man dies with Christ, the righteousness of God is satisfied, because it fulfills the word that was established: “… surely die,” and there would be some injustice if only the community was established in eternity and not the man risen with Christ.
This is where the grace of God is wonderful evidence, as to believe in Christ the man alienated after death makes deserved to have fellowship with the Creator, that is, quickened and rises a new creature in Christ to be “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved), and raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus “(Eph 2: 5 -6).
When the believer dies with Christ, the body is dead, because the bond with sin is only broken by the death of those who served sin, however, although the body was crucified, is quickened by the Spirit of God “And, if Christ is in you, the body indeed is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him that raised up from the dead Jesus is in you, he who from the dead raised Christ also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you “(Romans 8:10 -11).
Hence the Pauline considerations: “For the love of Christ compels us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, therefore all died” (2 Cor 5:14). The body belonged to sin to have been generated corruptible seed of Adam to be crucified (by faith in Christ) is cause for abandoning the old man and the bond break with sin (Romans 6: 6). All who believe actually die with Christ, so that no one should refer to the second relevant issues flesh of sin (2 Corinthians 5:16).
It was common for Christians remember the man Christ, however, did not understand that the man who was crucified, God highly exalted him, gave him a name which is above every name, subjecting Him all things (Hebrews 2: 8).
It was common to early Christians make reference to questions of meat, such as: – “I am a Hebrew of Hebrews”; Other: – “I am Roman blood, not because I bought Roman citizenship”; And still those: – “I am aware because the philosophy has its birthplace in Greece”, etc.
Hence the imperative: to no one according to the flesh, for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ, a new time and a new life, so there were no more Jews, Greek, slave, free, male, female, etc. (Gal 3:26 -29).
The body belonged to sin is also called vessel unto dishonor, will the vessel prepared for destruction (Romans 9:21 -22). Now every man that cometh into the world go by Adam, the wide door, created out of clay by God’s power, however, because of Adam’s seed, the end product of clay (vessel) is dishonor, as in Adam vessels are to wrath fitted to destruction.
Note that when the apostle speaks of the creative power of God to bring man into existence emphasizes that God has power over the clay, not on the vessel. About clay God has power, and makes vessels to honor and dishonor, but what determines the honor and dishonor of the vessels are created: the first and the last Adam – Adam and Christ.
The amazing grace is that God, having power over the clay, using the same mass as the vessels to dishonor were created to make vessels unto honor. The body of sin that was to be ruled by the spirit of God that dwells in it, it becomes a vessel of mercy, created to honor “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? And What if God, willing to show his wrath and to make known his power, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And that he might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory “(Romans 9:21 -23).
To resurrect those who believe in Christ God creates (bara) fair, and then declares what is the condition of the new born: Fair. Therein lies the essence of justification: God only declares the righteous man when man is created anew in righteousness and true holiness (Eph 4:24).
The old man is never justified (declared righteous), because God never justifies the ungodly. However, when a man dies with Christ the righteousness of God is satisfied, and the power of His word, which is incorruptible seed, God makes his plantation that will never be uprooted, for the word of God abideth for ever, as well as that the word are generated (Mt 15:13; 1 Peter 1:25; 1 John 2:17).
The riches of grace
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men …” (Titus 1:11)
After emphasizing the need for Christians to have an acceptable behavior in society, that is, carrying up so as not to give scandal to Jews, Greeks nor the church of God, the apostle Paul gives the reason: the grace of God in Christ brought salvation to all men!
Christians should not be cause for scandal (shame) and should not be ashamed of the gospel, the testimony of Christ (2 Tim 1: 8), it is through the gospel, which is the power of God and the word of reconciliation, that man is saved “… by the power of God that saved us …” (2 Timothy 1: 9); “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth …” (Rom 1:16); “That is, God was in Christ reconciling the world, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
When we speak of redemption, salvation, justification, sanctification, forgiveness, new life, regeneration, we approach the amazing grace of God in Christ Jesus demonstrated, for graciously man is called (καλέσαντος / Kaleo) out of darkness into the marvelous light of God, and those who believe are transported out of darkness into the kingdom of the Son “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2: 9); “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of His Son love” (Col 1:13).
Many are called (κλητοί = cognate term derived from Kaleo) but few are chosen, ie, many hear the gospel invitation, but few are those who hear and believe. Many are asked to enter through the narrow door, but there are few who meet the call (Mt 7:13).
All that we address here refers to the amazing grace of God, announced from the Old Testament, which is participating all men at all times believe in God who announced redemption “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered “(Romans 4: 7).
But those who believe during the time called fullness of the Gentiles (Rom 11:25), or the fullness of time (Gal 4: 4; Eph 1:10), and the wonderful grace, there are the riches of grace, for it is given to believers an inheritance. In addition to the believers in Christ are saved by God’s mercy through the washing of regeneration and renewal in order that they were declared righteous, we were also heirs of God, coerdeiros with Christ (Titus 3: 7; Romans 8:17; Romans 8:32 ).
The call (κλητοί = cognate term derived from Kaleo) the gospel is an invitation to salvation, and saved in Christ by the power of God (Gospel) are ‘called to a holy life’ (καλέσαντος κλήσει). The call through the gospel was given the fullness of time, since the call to a holy life occurred in eternity (before the world began).
While the call for gospel seeks the salvation of man, the holy life has in view the very purpose that God purposed in Christ.
The wealth of grace is that all who believe in Christ, and are transported to the kingdom of the Son, no longer have another destination unless they are children of God so that Christ might be the firstborn among many brethren (Rom 8:29) .
According to the eternal purpose that God purposed in Christ to make Him firstborn among many brethren is that God established before the world began (predestined) that all who were partakers of flesh and blood of Christ through the church, would be conformed to the image of Jesus, that is, like Him (1 John 3: 1 -2).
God not only predestined members of Christ’s body, the church, as elected them also before the world began to be holy and blameless before God (Ephesians 1: 3). Of condemnation, God’s children are susceptible because they are partakers of the divine nature (1 Peter 1: 4).
Now, the riches of grace are granted to members of Christ’s body according to the purpose that God purposed in Himself to converge all things in Christ (Eph 1:10; Eph 3:11). By establishing Christ as the head of the body, which is the church, all things converge to Christ because of the children of God who are like Him, He is prominent: the head.