In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. Recently we’ve been looking at how Christ is a king. We saw that Christ’s kingship is demonstrated by calling a people for him to rule over and by giving his people officers and laws. This week I want to show that Christ is a king because he gives his people grace.
What is grace? Grace is getting what you do not deserve. If you receive grace, you receive something good despite the fact you haven’t done anything for it.
Most people in most countries do recognise that the king or other political leaders give grace to their people. Grace is usually most evident in times of suffering, trouble and danger. Yet we also see grace in the entertainments and pleasures that a government bestows upon its people for their enjoyment.
Jesus also demonstrates his kingship by giving grace to his people. We do not deserve anything that Jesus gives us other than punishment. For we have all sinned and deserve to be punished. Paul says: ‘But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will give to each person according to what he has done’ (Romans 2:5-6).
But thankfully instead of receiving the wrath that we deserve for our sins, king Jesus dispenses grace toward us. So what do we get from Jesus as part of his grace? Peter says to the Jewish leaders: ‘The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead–whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel’ (Acts 5:30-31).
In the quote from Peter we see that part of the king Jesus’ grace to us is that we receive repentance and forgiveness of our sins. Thus we receive a pardon and ongoing blessing from Jesus because he is our prince.
So how do you receive such grace from the king? You can only beg. Remember grace is getting what you do not deserve. You cannot do anything to deserve the king’s grace, you can only come to him in sorrow for your sin and ask that he will forgive you through his grace. And thankfully Jesus promises: ‘whoever comes to me I will never drive away’ (John 6:37).
Have you received grace from king Jesus?
Joel Radford, Preaching Elder.