GRACE! A MIGHTY WORD!

RECENTLY I wrote a letter to an afflicted soul, rehearsing the mighty changes of providence in human affairs, and of our helplessness to reverse the almighty Hand that brings these changes to our knowledge, and that we in this respect are as helpless as infants, referring her to only one support in our sad bereavements: that of grace, emphasizing the importance of the word “grace” by saying: “What a mighty word.” After sending the letter away I have thought much about using the above words regarding the word “grace.” I am now trying to show that I was not far wrong in writing as I did. In the New Testament John has it recorded: “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Though grace seems to belong to the coming of Christ, the kingdom of grace existed before Christ entered into the flesh of his people. In a number of places grace is spoken of by the prophets. How wonderful and appropriate to the King of saints are the words in the forty-fifth Psalm, God speaking, as it were, to the Holy One of Israel, or the Anointed of the Father: “Grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.” To them who are sanctified by God the Father, preserved in Jesus Christ and called, the word grace is mighty, because it carries with it the thought of the great King of grace, who received the blessing into his lips, unbounded in fullness, as the word “poured” signifies a continuous flow of grace. Jesus, the Christ of God, had all fullness dwelling in him to accomplish the pleasure of the Father to redeem his people, make known that redemption to them and give them conquering grace to bear all their afflictions while in the flesh. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell. There was no limiting bounds set to the Holy One of Israel. The crown of his Father was his everlasting seal. Inspired Paul said, In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. The Father gave the Son power over all flesh, to give eternal life to as many as the Father gave him. In imparting eternal life, they, every one of them, receive of his fullness, life, faith, hope, charity, &c., and grace for grace. Grace is imparted to the creature man because of that grace given him in Christ before the world began. That grace given him in time is grace, and not something else. The apostles use the words often: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the grand center of grace; he is the giver of grace and glory. Without grace Christ would be a misnomer in all the work of redemption, without it he could not fill the office of Prophet, Priest and King. If grace were lacking, the poor and afflicted people to be redeemed could not approach unto the Mediator, hence in the pit of despair they would forever be left. The saints of old time, before the coming of the Lord Jesus, had knowledge of grace and the mercy to be revealed in the coming of the promised Heir of the world. Grace is spoken of in Genesis, Exodus, 2 Samuel, Esther, Psalms and Zechariah. In Zechariah the glimmer of morning light of the day of grace is prefigured with greater force than in any other of the Old Testament books. Here the Lord says that he will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplications, and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced. In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. The spirituality of his kingdom, and the invisibility of the power of his grace, are wonderfully portrayed in the fourth chapter of Zechariah: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain?” It seems that the great mountain of difficulty in the way of God accomplishing his purpose, as men view some of the mighty purposes of God, in the above question was: After Jesus is slain, how can he be raised up in three days and not see corruption? That Jesus was really slain, mortal men could testify to for a certainty, he being hanged on a rude cross for six hours, nailed there, through his hands and through his feet, dying in time to save all his bones, yet a cruel spear pierced his side, so that blood and water flowed out. So sure as Jesus was put to death in the flesh, so sure was he quickened by the Spirit. Before Zerubbabel (the architect, or rebuilder of the temple) the mountain shall be removed and a plain appear, illustrating in a figure the speedy and all-powerful work of the Spirit in raising up Jesus from the dead. In this great work that justifies every sinner that ever shall be saved from the power of the grave, grace is most prominently spoken of, as we hear the shoutings of angels and the heavenly host: “He shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace, unto it.” – Zech. iv. 7. Jesus, that headstone, chief corner-stone, tried stone, elect stone, precious stone, and though rejected by Babel builders, becomes the chief corner, in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy building in the Lord. As that stone appears in perfect beauty, without any defect whatever, grace is the crown of it forever, it is the great King of righteousness who is clothed with grace from his crown to his feet. Shall not grace be forever perpetuated unto the saints for Whom he died, and arose in triumph, as angels shouted: Grace, grace, unto him? O how lovely the song of saints as grace crowns and clothes them, and their lips breathe forth the praises of the King of grace. O how blessed are the saints in their new discovered love of God, no more under the law, but under sweet, soul-cheering grace. May they ever, while on earth, abide in grace and under the shadow of that great Rock, Christ Jesus.

In hope of immortality,
J. F. BEEMAN.
Tiawah, Okla., June 13, 1916.

Signs of the Times
Volume 84, No. 14.
July 15, 1916.