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Read Introduction to 2 Thessalonians

 

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace…”
 
by grace
 
Grace is what God provides for us without strings attached. It is what God gives without our merit or desert. God gives to us because of the work of Christ. God saves us by grace (Romans 3:24; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:7), not by good works or by belonging to a church denomination.
 
Grace depends on who Christ is and what He did for us on the cross. It is all of His works, not ours. All we merit under God’s standards is eternal hell. The only thing we contribute to our salvation is our sin so we can take no acclaim for our salvation.
Principle:
God provides for us because of who Jesus is and what He did on the cross.
Application:
Everything that the Christian is and has is by grace. We do not earn or deserve anything from God. We cannot merit eternal salvation. We do not receive God’s consolation in time because of what we do. The Christian can have confidence in God because our consolation and hope do not depend upon us but upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
The greatest resource for the believer is God Himself and what He did in Christ. When Christians are under duress, they know God superintends and providentially manages everything in their life. Christians have power to do what they have to do. There is no excuse for plunging into addictions. Addictions imply that we are trying to control our situation. When we turn our problems over to God, we trust in His providential care.
There is a persistent problem with man: we believe that we accomplish salvation by “Christ plus me.” God’s system of salvation is Christ plus nothing. He gives eternal life to us because of Christ’s death on the cross. Our built-in desire is to take the credit for salvation (Ephesians 2:8,9).
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