Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first so that you might have a second experience of grace. (2 Corinthians 1:15, ESV)
Paul’s longing to return to the Corinthian Church stemmed from his desire for them to experience grace anew. This raises questions about the nature of grace as an experience and the Corinthians’ initial encounter with it.
Grace is the experience of God’s favor in Christ, allowing us to receive and benefit from His abundant kindness. When discussing the Corinthians’ encounter with grace, Paul refers to the practical blessings resulting from Jesus’ work. This concept is echoed in the Psalmist’s words: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases” (Psalm 103:2–3, ESV).
The Psalmist emphasizes two significant benefits: forgiveness of sins and healing diseases. The freedom that forgiveness brings and the joy of healing are tangible examples of the blessings we experience in Christ.
Paul implies that the Corinthians’ first experience of grace took place during his initial visit. His preaching led them to believe in Jesus, receive forgiveness of sins, and become children of God. They were filled with the Spirit and enjoyed gifts such as prophecy and tongues. These benefits, among others, constituted their initial encounter with grace. Paul hoped to facilitate a subsequent experience upon his return.
God desires us to continuously experience His kindness in Christ, encompassing all aspects of our lives, from spiritual to physical blessings. His grace is not solely His good heart or disposition towards us; it also includes the benefits we reap as the ones He has chosen to bestow His kindness upon.
May you enjoy ongoing, enriching experiences of divine favor every day!
Ponder your life when you first received Christ and the blessings you enjoyed.
Apply the Word
Embrace and cherish God’s grace in your life. Seek to unlock the floodgates of grace through the increasing revelation of Christ and unwavering faith in His work.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you fully receive and enjoy the eternal life Christ has granted you.
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