I began to notice other Scripture passages that spoke of the many amazing things God has done for us in His grace. From my studies in seminary, I recalled a reference to 33 riches, so I titled the sermon “The Riches of Grace—a 33-Point Sermon.” To help my audience remember such a long list, I placed a printout in the bulletin.
I only had time in the sermon to highlight a few of the riches, but the response of our people was unforgettable. If there had just been letters, emails and a few short conversations in the halls for a few weeks afterward, that would have been enough for me to know that people were blessed. However, the letters, emails, calls and conversations continued for months and even years. One man stopped me three years later and said that he kept the list in his Bible and reviewed it regularly.
This reaction caused me to pursue more study. I came to see that these riches fall nicely into six categories. I call these the “Treasure Rooms of Heaven.”
These 33 treasures, or riches, of grace represent all that God needed to do to satisfy His own infinite love for sinners. God’s primary motive in the salvation of the lost is the satisfying of His own love. One writer put it this way: “To the end that infinite love may be gratified, He accomplishes infinite transformations for us. … The truth is that the salvation of men affords an opportunity for God to gratify His infinite love for His creatures.” God could do no less in order to accomplish all He wanted for us. The very fact that we are destined to become so completely conformed to the image of God is why God had to spend from His infinite treasures all that was needed.
The Apostle Paul says that he joyfully gives thanks “to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints of light” (Colossians 1:12). Paul further adds that God who is rich in mercy has made us alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:4-5). It is only by the treasures from Heaven that we are made alive. They qualify us to be a part of God’s plan, His Kingdom and His family.
Notice the way these riches were distributed. Paul makes it clear that they begin with the Father, are made possible by His Son, and are enacted by His Holy Spirit. The entire Trinity is involved (Ephesians 1:3-14). The riches are described as being immeasurable and unsearchable.
Yet, perhaps the most exciting part of their distribution is the measure with which they are lavished upon us. God lavishes us simply because He can do no less. He has given with extravagance.
As I have pondered these truths, the Lord has continued to make me aware of them individually. For example, from the “Treasure Room of Restoration,” we see that when we come to God in repentance, we are forgiven and given a clear conscience. David confirms this truth in Psalm 103:10-12: “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” We are free to live for Him without fear, guilt or condemnation. We still sin, but He has provided a way of escape so that we can live in His love. He legally clears us, cleanses our conscience and gives us a new right standing as His children.
Consider also the treasure of nearness, found in Ephesians 2. God has brought us near to Himself. This treasure enables the Holy Spirit to make us continually aware of God’s presence, that we are never alone. He is therefore in every conversation, problem, crisis, and whatever need you are facing. This can give us incredible confidence in our prayers and quiet times.
Eugene Peterson said in a recent interview: “Our struggle in spiritual growth deals in large part with the difficulty we have staying alert to the magnificence of salvation. How do we make the great truth of the Gospel workable in ordinary day-by-day living? … Most of us live our Christian lives badly undercapitalized.”
How true, but when you search out the “Treasures of Heaven”—the riches of His grace—your capital, your resources, will cause your joy and Kingdom activity to soar. D ©2012 Peter V. Deison
Peter V. Deison is an associate pastor at Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas and an adjunct professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is the author of “The Priority of Knowing God” and the upcoming book “The Riches of God’s Grace.”
Scripture quotations are taken by permission from the New American Standard Bible, ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977 The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif.
THE TREASURE ROOMS OF HEAVEN
The Treasure Room of Inclusion
We are foreknown.
We are predestined.
We are called.
We are justified.
We are glorified.
The Treasure Room of Restoration
—Romans 5:10-21; Romans 8:1-5; Colossians 1:13-14
We are reconciled by God and to God.
We are saved from the wrath of God.
We are redeemed from slavery to sin.
We are free from the law as master.
We are free from the dominion of our sin nature.
We are free from all condemnation.
We are justified and made legally right with God.
We are made acceptable to God because of Christ’s righteousness.
We are forgiven of all sins and given a clean conscience.
We are rescued from the kingdom of darkness and Satan’s power.
The Treasure Room of Relationship
—Romans 8:15-17, 23; Ephesians 2:13
We have been made a child of God.
We have been adopted into God’s family.
We have been made a part of God’s household.
We have been united to Christ to gain His victory.
We have been united to the Spirit and the Father.
We have been brought near.
We have been made objects of God’s love.
The Treasure Room of Appointment
—Ephesians 2:17-22; Philippians 3:20-21; Titus 3:4-7
We have been made a gift from God the Father to the Son.
We have been made an inheritance.
We have been made citizens of Heaven.
We have been given access to God.
The Treasure Room of Service
—I Peter 2:9-10
We have been given a high and holy priesthood.
We have been set apart as a chosen people.
We have been made partners with Christ.
We have been called into God’s light to proclaim His excellencies.
The Treasure Room of Completion
—Ephesians 1:13, 3:19
We have been sealed by the Holy Spirit.
We have been given the fullness of God.
We have been glorified.