Why the Second Age Is Called the Age of Grace
Jesus represents all the work of the Age of Grace; He was incarnated in the flesh and crucified on the cross, and He also inaugurated the Age of Grace. He was crucified in order to complete the work of redemption, to end the Age of Law and begin the Age of Grace, and so He was called the “Supreme Commander,” the “Sin Offering,” the “Redeemer.” Thus the work of Jesus differed in content from the work of Jehovah, although they were the same in principle. Jehovah began the Age of Law, established the home base, that is, the point of origin, of His work on earth, and issued the commandments; these were two of His accomplishments, which represent the Age of Law. The work Jesus did in the Age of Grace was not to issue commandments but to fulfill the Commandments, thereby ushering in the Age of Grace and concluding the Age of Law that had lasted two thousand years. He was the trailblazer, who came in order to begin the Age of Grace, yet the main part of His work lay in redemption. And so His accomplishments were also twofold: opening up a new age, and completing the work of redemption through His crucifixion. Then He departed. At this point, the Age of Law came to an end and mankind entered into the Age of Grace.
The work Jesus did was in accordance with the needs of man in that age. His task was to redeem humanity, to forgive them their sins, and so His disposition was wholly one of humility, patience, love, piety, forbearance, mercy, and lovingkindness. He blessed humanity richly and brought them grace in abundance, and all the things that they could possibly enjoy, He gave them for their enjoyment: peace and happiness, His tolerance and love, His mercy and lovingkindness. In those days, all that man encountered was an abundance of things to enjoy: Their hearts were at peace and reassured, their spirits were consoled, and they were sustained by the Savior Jesus. That they could obtain these things was a consequence of the age in which they lived. In the Age of Grace, man had already undergone Satan’s corruption, and so the work of redeeming all humanity required an abundance of grace, infinite forbearance and patience, and even more, an offering sufficient to atone for humanity’s sins, in order to arrive at its effect. What humanity saw in the Age of Grace was merely My offering of atonement for the sins of humanity, that is, Jesus. All they knew was that God could be merciful and forbearing, and all they saw was Jesus’ mercy and lovingkindness. This was entirely because they lived in the Age of Grace.
from “The Truth Concerning the Work in the Age of Redemption” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
During His first incarnation, it was necessary for God to heal the sick and cast out demons because His work was to redeem. In order to redeem the entire human race, He needed to be compassionate and forgiving. The work that He did before He was crucified was healing the sick and casting out demons, which presaged His salvation of man from sin and filth. Because it was the Age of Grace, it was necessary for Him to heal the sick, thereby showing signs and wonders, which were representative of grace in that age; for the Age of Grace centered around the bestowal of grace, symbolized by peace, joy, and material blessings, all tokens of people’s faith in Jesus.
from “The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh