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Friday, August 15, 2014

What is Grace?

Illustration by: Master isolated images

We hear this word in Christian circles everywhere: grace. It seems to mean everything from tolerance and acceptance to a magical, fuzzy feeling. What is grace, really?

Grace (Greek: charis) = That which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness.* It is mostly used to express the Lord’s favor, freely extended to give Himself away to people.**

The Author of grace is Jesus Christ. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17).

Grace’s power comes through the Holy Spirit. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all (Acts 4:33).

The Apostle Paul often used “grace and peace” as a greeting at the beginning of his letters. To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 1:7).

Paul also used the word grace as a closing word of blessing. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen (2 Corinthians 13:14).

The grace of God speaks of salvation.
  • For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  • And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 1:14).
  • For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men (Titus 2:11).
  • For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. . . . 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 5:17, 20-21).

Grace doesn’t mean Christians have a license to sin. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid (Romans 6:1-2, 15).

With Grace:
  • Teach and sing. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Colossians 3:16).
  • Speak. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man (Colossians 4:6).
  • Pray. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
  • Serve God. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear (Hebrews 12:28).
  • Grow. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen (2 Peter 3:18).

The grace of God—His showing love and favor towards men—is beautifully expressed in the well-known verse, John 3:16:

For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life.

So, when we speak of grace, we’re talking about God’s favor, His sublime gifts to mankind. It’s something no one deserves, but He gives it because He loves us. 

To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

*Online Bible, Ephesians 2:8
**Strong’s Greek Concordance

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