Monopolies are not highly regarded. A company or group that detains exclusive right or power to sell a product or service tends not to respect the client or buyer. They can charge the price they want. They are subject to few restraints. They are a law unto themselves.
God is a monopoly. He is one God with one product, so to speak, and to get it, everyone must go to him. He is the “God of all grace” 1 Peter 5.10.
And, after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5.10.
Rather than being a bad thing, this divine monopoly is for mankind a marvelous blessing, because the one God is a God of love, goodness, and benevolence. Human monopolies are bad because human nature sinful. The divine monopoly is good because God’s nature is good, Psalm 119.68.
God created us and therefore wants our best. When we were weak, sinful, and rebellious, he sent his Son Jesus Christ to die for us, Romans 5.6-11. The history of mankind is the story of God’s redemption. He proves himself time and again to be the God of all grace. We can be sure of it.
With the one God, then, we have one-stop shopping for all this grace. No other gods must be appeased. No multiple systems of religion must be evaluated, manipulated, or calibrated. We go directly to him.
We must find where this good deal of all grace is to be had: “in Christ.” We must know how to get into Christ, Galatians 3.26-29, how to remain in Christ. And we must know the process by which this grace is poured out upon us: by the suffering of Christ and through our own suffering for his name. This is the “true grace of God” 1 Peter 5.12.
We must want this full grace, pursue it, “stand fast in it” 1 Peter 5.12, see the need for it. To see the need for it, we must perceive the threat in this world, a personal, evil presence that would keep us from God or devour us whole spiritually, 1 Peter 5.8-9.
The God of all grace clears the fog for us, so we can see beyond our short lives of suffering to the eternal glory that awaits. Whatever the price we must pay to get this grace, it is well worth it.
Our price is really no price at all, for God does the complete work. Four future verbs in verse 10 show us how all grace does all the work. We absolutely must resist the evil one and stand fast in this grace and give our everything, but in the end God makes it all possible.
- We could not hear and believe without his Word of love and energy.
- We could not repent without the revelation of his glorious being in holiness and power.
- We could not confess without having the Son’s name announced to our ears.
- We could not be immersed for salvation without the blood of the cross to wash us clean.
- We could not serve and be his proclaimers without the power of his Spirit coursing through us.
How wonderful to have the one God, to follow the one Way, to worship the one Lord, to possess all the grace that God can give!
One God who made the universe,
Both man and beast and land diverse;
All grace is his to give in power,
Upon us pours his mercy’s shower.
—J. Randal Matheny