Friday Morning Manna                        

September 13, 2019

Nathaniel Fajardo                              

email: natfajardo777@yahoo.com

The Purpose and Source of Grace in the Gospel and the Two Adams

My King James Version Bible mentions grace 38 times in the Old Testament and 128 times in the New, a total of 166 times.  The untranslated Hebrew is chen, meaning, “graciousness, i.e., subj., kindness, favor or obj., pleasant, precious.” In the New Testament grace is the untranslated Greek charis, meaning, “the divine influence upon the heart, and its manifestation in the life.” Strong’s Greek Lexicon

Take note of the latter fuller meaning of grace that is so strangely missing in the still continuing contentious debates over the phrase, “By grace are you saved, not by works.” I’ve experienced a few in the past (as some of you have), and come away dismayed by those unpleasant encounters. There was no edification because the Spirit of grace wasn’t guiding the discussions. Rather, it was/is one another’s long-held traditional points of view and opinions, often self-serving, thus myopic, that sadly continues to drive such discussions.  

So, let’s repeat this. We accord grace its proper greater meaning and fuller application and relationship to the true gospel and its power “to save the sinner to the uttermost,” when understood as “the divine influence upon the heart, and its manifestation in the life.” Such  reveals the cause and effect that is in operation between the giver and the receiver of grace.

Magnifying its broader and fuller Biblical meaning and yet to the point, E. G. White wrote (emphasis mine):   

       “The gospel is a system of practical truths destined to work great changes in human character. If it does not work the transformation in life, in habits, and practice, it is no truth to those who claim to believe it. And said Jesus, ‘Thy word is truth’ (John 7: 17).Unless the truth of God shall lift up man out of his depravity, his intemperate, profligate habits, and make him reflect the image of God, he is [still] lost.”

This Day with God, p. 81/Letter 14, Mar. 13, 1885

Grace is a central part of the everlasting gospel. Paul calls it the power of God unto salvation. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes [this gospel].” Rom. 1: 16.  In one word, gospel summarizes, encapsulates and embodies the complete and perfect plan of redemption or salvation designed in love by divine wisdom and foreknowledge by the heavenly council (the Godhead) “before the foundations of the world were laid;” hence, it is described as “everlasting.”

The Consummate Passage of Scriptures of What Grace is for and Accomplishes

For me, after studying through as much of the passages of Scriptures and Testimonies as I could thus far on the topic of grace, I’ve found the following as the brief yet most concise and comprehensive meaning of grace—its purpose, to whom it is given and by whom, what it accomplishes here and now for the ultimate goal of preparing for the Christ’s second coming! 

      “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” Titus 2: 11-14, N.K.J.V. 

The Sanctuary Doctrine Explains the Gospel in Detail 

The gospel was exclusively designed for the fallen human race. Because of the immutability of God’s law, which is the transcript of His character and foundation of His throne, the nature of sin and its effects and consequences, even if it were only Adam who sinned, the same gospel would still have been implemented. However, the Bible tells us that “by one man’s disobedience sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread (passed) to all men.” Rom. 5: 12.  So the gospel is designed for every single individual as well as for “every nation, kindred, tongue and people.”  Its practical, working details were explained and implemented by God’s designated spokesman—faithful patriarchs, judges, priests, prophets, special messengers—together with His faithful people of every generation, based on the light of truth received. 

It was designed to address the demands and needs of each and every successive generation by applying to the specific times and conditions which they lived in, through the gradual yet progressive unfolding of the comprehensive sanctuary doctrine, in connection with the prophecies. 

The gospel in symbols began with the first lamb offered by Adam in Eden immediately after the fall which pointed forward to the coming of the last Adam, the promised Messiah and Savior. It was maintained and continued under the patriarchal system where the godly patriarchs also acted as the priest of the household, and on to the time of the Judges. It expanded and organized correspondingly with the establishment of ancient Israel as a sovereign nation in the typical, Mosaic/Levitical dispensation with its intricate ceremonial system. Then on to the New Testament Christian dispensation where and when type met antitype in the offering Christ Himself the Lamb of God, at Calvary. 

No Gospel Plan for Angels or any Other Creature

There is no plan of salvation for any other creature even for the most beautiful or allegedly “intelligent” animals, particularly your cherished pets. Some pet-lovers who don’t fully understand the gospel and the nature of death believe that their beloved pets go to their own heaven when they die and look forward to being reunited with them in the “afterlife.” This is an illusion. Sorry for saying this but such is the nature of truth. It does not compromise neither counterfeits nor provides ear-pleasing “alternate facts” or “parallel universes,” etc.    

And there is absolutely no plan of salvation for fallen angels, who were created before man was. They were made exclusively to be God’s “ministering spirits” (Heb. 1: 14) for and to His vast creation, especially for man, the crowning act of His creative work. Angels are spirits, not of flesh and blood. When a third of them sympathized with their commanding angel Lucifer, deceived by his envy-fueled craftiness and subtility, which ripened into open rebellion, they then waged “war against Michael (Jesus) His angels” (Rev. 12: 4, 7-9). 

Lucifer and his angels lost the war but remained alive. The Creator cast them out of heaven down to the earth whereupon they irreversibly turned into the fallen angels, evil spirits, demons and fiends. Since the fall, these have vexed, tempted and tried to destroy mankind, the lesser creatures, as well as His created work from the face of the earth in perverted obedience to and desperate confederacy with their master, Satan, “the enemy of God and man.” But, like their master, they know “their time is short” (Rev. 12: 12). This is why they are working frenziedly overtime to tempt, deceive, confuse, and destroy, while the churches and professed followers of God—described as the “five foolish virgins” in the parable—have fallen asleep in the midnight of earth’s six-thousand year history. Are we preparing for the close of human probation that precedes the second coming of Christ, the “second or last Adam”? Do we know what this special preparation calls for? The five foolish virgins apparently did not! 

Grace is for the eternal salvation of fallen man, Adam being the first. As to be expected, in the Old Testament it is first mentioned in Genesis, the book of beginnings but not immediately during Adam’s time, though the kingdom of grace began right there, not at Christ’s death as many believe. Adam had to be saved by the same Savior and the same grace that saves us today, for Jesus is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Heb. 13: 8. 

Genesis 6: 8 says: “Noah (whose name means “rest”) found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Gen. 6: 8, 1-7. Why? See verses 1-7. Unlike the wicked antediluvian generation whom he faithfully warned for 120 years of the coming judgment of the flood upon the old world, Noah remained righteous, thus “pleasing the Lord.” Grace is last mentioned in the Old Testament as “the Spirit of grace and supplication.” Zech. 12: 10. 

In the New Testament the first mention of grace unsurprisingly applies to Jesus, the last Adam, not to Mary. Notice: “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and grace of God was upon Him.” Luke 2: 40. If the Child was filled with divine wisdom, He had to be likewise filled with divine grace for this one Child was no less than God in the flesh!

The last mention of grace is given in the last book of the Bible. But of course, for it comes as the grand closing benediction of the whole Bible: “He who testifies to these things [from Genesis to Revelation] says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen.” And John’s response is: “Even so, come Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen.” Rev. 22: 20, 21. 

The One and Only Source of Saving Grace

Divinity imparts grace to fallen humanity in order that man can be saved by and through God. The first Adam did not need grace before the fall. But he desperately needed it after lest his mortality would have naturally ended in eternal death. The lost cannot save the lost. Grace comes to man from God, not from mortal to mortal but from the second or last Adam, the Word made flesh who was “filled with God’s wisdom grace, and truth” that the first Adam and all his children thereafter, fallen mankind itself might be eternally saved. 

Only the Savior who is God Himself incarnate can save the sinner. God in Christ, or the Father in His only-begotten Son alone is the source and power of saving grace which is imparted exclusively by the Holy Spirit to every humble, penitent believing sinner, beginning with the first Adam. 

God’s infallible word assures all that the Godhead has been fully involved in this Endeavor of endeavors from the beginning, in heaven, and all the way to the ends of the earth since then till its probation closes. 

There is no more need for grace after probation closes for by then the eternal rewards of eternal life or eternal death had already been determined by the pre-advent judgment that preceded it, starting in the year 1844. (Study the 2300-day prophecy of Daniel 8: 14). 

Again, it is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom God the Father calls “God,” not the “grace of Mary” or the “intercession  of saints” by which we are saved, abide in His love and remain in His graces.  So we read: “But to the Son He [the Father] says: Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. Therefore God, Your God {and Your Father] has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” Heb. 1:6-9, N.K.J.V.  

Of Him John declared thus: “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1: 14. He who from the beginning was with the Father and “by Him all things were created for Him,” is the only-begotten Son of the Father from the beginning, and Who, in the beginning was already “full of grace and truth.” 

And of Him, not “her,” who is truly “full of grace and truth,” apostle Paul further declares: “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fulness should dwell.” Col. 1: 19. As to what this “fulness” means, Paul continues: “For in Him dwells the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Col. 2: 9.  Read that again: “The fulness of the Godhead bodily.” He, the last Adam, in whose “body that was made for Him” dwells the fullness of divine wisdom, grace and truth is enough as the source of grace and truth, and needs no one else for no else can give these.

No wonder Paul penned these most sublime words regarding Christ, the last Adam, which are one of my most favorite passages in the whole Bible. Notice:

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,

 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 

may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—

to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fulness of God

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 

to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Eph. 6: 14-21, N.K.J.V.

(Continued next week)