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Friday, December 9, 2016

A Discovery About Grace

Grace is one of the popular Christian bywords. Preachers talk about extending grace, living grace, showing God’s grace, etc. Let’s define grace according to the dictionary.

     Grace—“The word ‘grace’ in biblical parlance can, like forgiveness, repentance, 
          regeneration, and salvation, mean something as broad as describing the whole of God's activity 
          toward man or as narrow as describing one segment of that activity. An accurate, common
          definition describes grace as the unmerited favor of God toward man.” 
                                                                      (Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)

I was proofreading a doctrinal statement, and I came across several references on the subject of grace. I looked up all the words translated grace in the Bible. To my surprise, I noticed that the word grace is used almost exclusively to express what God did for us in salvation. It isn’t about people extending grace; it’s all about God’s actions toward mankind!

Let’s read a selection of these passages:
  • But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD (Genesis 6:8).
  • And he (Moses) said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance (Exodus 34:9).
  • For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17).
  • But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they (Acts 15:11).
  • But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. . . . And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified (Acts 20:24, 32).
  • Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24).
  • By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:2).
  • Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5:20-21).
  • We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain (2 Corinthians 6:1).
  • For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).
  • For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).
  • That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:7).
  • But he (God) giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (James 4:6).
  • Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied (1 Peter 1:2).
Do you see how grace is tied in with faith and salvation? Did you notice that it’s not usually about human-to-human relationships but rather God to man? To be fair, we’re supposed to imitate God’s grace in our relationships with others. The Bible says, As every man hath received the (spiritual) gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God (1 Peter 4:10).

Yes, we extend grace to others. We treat them as we would like to be treated. We care. We rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep (Romans 12:15). We give to the needy and are compassionate. But, it’s important not to lose sight of the reason we do these things: the gospel of salvation in Jesus!

Grace is about what God did to reconcile us with Him. It’s about Jesus coming to earth as a Baby and becoming man in order to pay the debt for my sins and yours. Grace is the completely unmerited favor of God towards man. It’s amazing! It should humble us and make us so thankful.

And, we should honor Him in everything we do.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
be with you all. Amen.
(Revelation 22:21, the last verse of Bible)


  1. Thank you Lou Ann for this post! This wonderful word, "grace" has been misused and somewhat abused in the Christian arena. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  2. Love all the references. I am struck by how grace in the verses you quote always comes from God to us. I am wondering if you ran across any verses which even speak of grace as something we give to one another. I have been meaning to look into this but haven't yet. Of course we should emulate God but I wonder if we even misuse the word when we speak of giving one another grace.

    1. Hello, Well, I think we might misuse/overuse the term. Grace is God to us, but we can be vessels of grace to others by reflecting Him. Paul does use the greeting "grace and peace," which seems to indicate that we can share God's grace with others. The problem is that it looks like biblically God's grace is the Gospel, not just kindness.


Please share your thoughts.