WHAT IS GRACE IN CHRIST JESUS?
We saw yesterday that Paul commanded Timothy to be “strengthened” because his job was to pass on what Paul taught him to “faithful men” (2 Timothy 2:1-7). It would require hard work like a soldier, athlete and farmer. What is the means or way we are going to be strengthened?
It is by “grace that is in Christ Jesus.” What is this grace? Going back to chapter one, we see in verses 8-9 that we are to “share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purpose and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus.” This is the same truth Paul presented in Galatians 1:15 and Ephesians 2:4-9.
To make sure that Timothy understood this grace cannot come through works of any kind, he says in 2 Timothy 1:9-10, “He called us to a holy calling, not because of our works, but because of His own purpose and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.” Not only did God call us to Himself by grace, but He is going to “strengthen” us by that same grace IN CHRIST!
This grace is the limitless supply of God’s goodness toward us who deserved nothing. It was the perfection of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection that provided a basis for God to give us this supply. The proof of this is in the fact that Jesus has ascended to the right hand of God and sent us the Holy Spirit as a witness and guarantee that He will give us this grace. All we need to do is receive it. How?
Paul goes on to say, “By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you” (1:14). We have the deposit of grace in the Spirit who dwells in us. Now be strengthened by it. Let it work in you because that was God’s plan before creation.
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