Let us have Grace
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”
Today’s passage is another example of “data compression”; a huge amount of important information and instruction is conveyed in very few beautiful words. The passage begins with a reminder that we have been granted citizenship in Christ’s everlasting kingdom. The kingdom is a major theme in the Bible; all of human history is moving toward it. When it comes in its fullness, its citizens will be blessed beyond measure, enjoying peace, prosperity, health, and loving community in a perfect environment. Most of all, they will experience communion with Jesus, who will reign and rule visibly, personally and righteously. In light of such a precious promise, the writer urges us to “have grace.” The Greek phrase allows for at least three distinct meanings, all of which may be true. First, the phrase may be rendered, “Let us have gratitude,” that is, let us keep on having gratitude (continuous action). Elsewhere we are encouraged to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). The Christian can rejoice always because he always has something to rejoice about, namely, his right standing with God and citizenship in His kingdom (Luke 10:20). In whatever circumstances we find ourselves, we can still manage to give thanks for so great a display of grace and mercy towards us. A second possible meaning of the Hebrews passage is a call to maintain Gospel purity. “Let us have grace” may be an exhortation to cling to the doctrine of salvation by God’s grace. The entire salvation transaction is of God; we are passive recipients of His saving grace. Any suggestion that we must somehow earn our salvation by good works is a step away from Gospel truth. The writer, understanding the gravity of this, urges us to cling to the true Gospel of grace no matter the opposition. The third meaning of the passage has to do with our attitude towards one another. “Let us have grace” may be a moral imperative for us to extend grace to one other. Every one of us is still a work in progress. We all have bad days. Our attitudes are not always good, our words are not always wholesome. When we are offended by a brother or sister in the Lord, we are to forgive the way God for Christ’s sake forgave us (Ephesians 4:32). This will not only unify and bless our faith community, it will be a stunning witness to the world as well. Our love for one another is the sure sign that we are indeed Christ’s disciples (John 13:35). Let us remain grateful to the Lord who saved us, clinging tenaciously to His Gospel of grace, while extending grace to others in the household of faith.
God bless you all,