I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge…you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us. (1 Corinthians 1:4-5; 2 Corinthians 8:7)
As we have seen, the new covenant of grace is essentially about developing a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Our God desires to impart His grace into our lives through this acquaintanceship with His Son: “the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus.” This phrase (“by Christ Jesus“) points once again to the intimate relational aspect of living in Christ by grace. God’s grace flows into our lives “by Christ Jesus.” It might be helpful to restate this truth. God’s grace comes into our experience by means of another person, the Lord Jesus. The limitless grace of our great God available to us on the basis of who Jesus is and all that He has done for us. It is accessed whenever we humbly, dependently relate to Him.
The resources that continually await us are so rich. The believers at Corinth found this to be true. “You were enriched in everything by Him.” Two areas of God’s rich grace are mentioned here: “enriched…in all utterance and all knowledge.” God’s grace had enriched them with a great capacity to know the things of God and to put the wonder of those things into appropriate words.
When Paul wrote these saints on a later occasion, he elaborated upon the richness of grace that had become their personal experience. “You abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us.” Three aspects are added to the previous list here: “faith, diligence, love.” By the grace of God at work in them, their capacity to trust in Him had been enlarged. By the grace of God at work in them, their attentive perseverance had grown. By the grace of God at work in them, their loving concern for Paul and his missionary team had developed further.
When Paul prayed for other disciples of the Lord Jesus, he prayed in a manner that fits this picture. He prayed that their lives might be “filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:11). Righteous fruit, such as the Corinthians were enjoying, comes from Jesus Christ imparting His grace into our lives.
Heavenly Father, I again see that Your grace enriches my life by means of Your beloved Son. Lord Jesus, I humbly depend upon You to fill my life with Your righteous fruit, in Your holy name, Amen.