The Gospel of Grace

Larry Ray Hafley
Plano, Illinois

The apostle Paul spoke to the Ephesian elders about "the gospel of the grace of God" and of "God . . . and the word of his grace" (Acts 20:24, 32). The gospel of Christ so exudes the grace of God that it is truly the gospel of grace. We see how closely entwined is the grace of God in the gospel:

(1) In I Cor. 4:15, Paul reminds the Corinthians that he had fathered them "through the gospel." The gospel is that which the Devil fears that men will "believe and be saved" U. 8:11, 12). Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom.' 10: 17). But Luke says the saints at Corinth had "believed through grace" (Acts 18:27). Are there, then, two systems of salvation -- one "through the gospel" and the other "through grace"? God forbid! They had believed and been saved through the grace presented in the gospel.

(2) Paul declared that the Corinthians had received the gospel. "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received" (I Cor. 15: 1). He said they had "receive(d) ... the grace of God" (2 Cor. 6: 1). Had they received the gospel as item one, and then the grace of God as item two? No, they had received the grace of God in obeying the gospel of his dear Son.

(3) The saints at Rom ' e stood in the grace of God. "By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand" (Rom. 5:2). The Corinthian Christians stood in the gospel. "I declare unto you the gospel... wherein ye stand"(1 Cor. 15: 1). Did the saints at Rome stand in one thing called grace, and the redeemed ones in Corinth in another termed the gospel? Of course not! All who stood in God's grace did so by walking uprightly "according to the word of the truth of the gospel" of grace.

(4) "God ... hath given us an everlasting consolation and good hope through grace" (2 Thess. 2:16), and "our Savior Jesus Christ ... hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the .gospel" (2 Tim. 1: 10). Again, by the grace of God in the gospel the finality and uncertainty of death vanishes and immortality blooms with the fragrance of eternal bliss.


Paul affirms and the Spirit confirms that the knowledge of "the grace 5f God in truth" comes by hearing the gospel (Col. 1: 6). Salvation by grace is impossible without the preaching of the word of grace and truth.

July 29, 1971