Aug
20

Grace of God by Ken Hamilton 8/20/10

By

According to James Strong, in his Strong’s Concordance, grace comes from the Hebrew word “chen” (pronounced khane), and Charles Ryrie, in his Ryrie Study Bible, goes on to say it comes from a root word meaning “to bend or stoop”.  Donald Barnhouse, Presbyterian Pastor and author of “Exposition of Bible Doctrine” and other books, said “Love that goes upward is worship; love that goes outward is affection; love that stoops is grace.”  Lewis Sperry Chafer, founder of Dallas Theological Seminary, said “Grace means pure unrecompensed kindness and favor.”

The World Book dictionary defines grace as “the condition of being influenced and favored by God, in a sense, is that which conforms us to God—the Creator.”

Old Testament examples of God’s grace:

In Genesis 6:8, the Bible says, “But Noah found favor (grace) in the eyes of the Lord.”  This is the first time grace is mentioned in the Bible.  Later in Genesis 34:6-7, God said to Moses “The Lord , the Lord God., compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, ….”

God demonstrated His grace in Genesis 18:23 concerning the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah when Abraham asked HimWilt Thou indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?  Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city…”  God answered “…then I will spare the whole place on their account.”   This went on again for forty, then thirty, then twenty, and down to ten and to all of these God conceded to spare the city.  As we know from the rest of the story, only Lot was found to be righteous and he and his daughters were spared.  His wife would have been spared too but she looked back because her heart was still in Sodom.  God also showed mercy in this accounting because when Lot hesitated to leave Sodom, the men (angels) seized his hand and the hand of his wife and hands of his daughters (God’s mercy overcame Lot’s procrastination) and they put them outside the city.

New Testament examples of God’s grace:

God gives His believers Spiritual gifts by His grace.  In Romans 12:6, the Bible says “And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us…” Such as prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, giving, leaders, and mercy.

God also through His grace, allows us to overcome temptations.  Sin abounds in us, but God has more grace, enough to allow us to overcome the temptations leaving us without excuse for sin.

The Bible says “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what He will provide our ability to overcome as it says in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.”

It is through God’s grace that we can love others as Barnhouse said, “Love outward is affection.”  God commanded it of us as Christians when He said through John the Apostle in 1 John 4:7, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”  John goes on to say that because He sent His Son to die for us, His love was manifested (visible) in us.  In Acts, everyone desired to always be gathered together in worship with love for each other.  Love was manifested mightily at that time.  John says in 1 John 4:11-13, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought (a moral requirement) to love one another.  No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected (complete) in us.  By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit (the Helper to give us grace toward others).”

Jesus told us to forgive others who sin against us.  See Matt 18:23 about the King and his servant who owed 10K talents and said be patient with me and I will repay and he forgave his debt only to find out later the servant dealt harshly with another servant who only owed him 100 denari and ignored his pleas and threw him in prison.  The king threw the first servant in prison to be tortured until he could pay, which would be never.  Jesus compared this to the Kingdom and how God the Father will deal with each of us who does not forgive his brother from the heart.  Paul says in Ephesians 4:32, “And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has forgiven you.”

In the book of Acts, we see believers caught up in love for one another wanting to be in fellowship with each other constantly and caring for each other communally.

This outward love was paramount in the attitudes of Jesus’ disciples as He picked them and taught them how to be fishers of men.  This leads us to the most important aspect of God’s grace, salvation.

Salvation by the grace of God:

In Titus 2:11, the Bible says “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.”

In Ephesians 1:7, the Bible says “In Him we have redemption, through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us.”

And, in Colossians 1:13-14, the Bible says “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

And in Romans 3:24, the Bible says “Being justified as a gift by His grace, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus

Redemption:

1)    Ransomed us with the blood of Christ

2)    Removed us from the curse of the law

3)    Released us from the bondage of sin into the freedom of grace

The Bible says in Romans 11:6 “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works …”

And, in Ephesians 2:8, the Bible says “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

So, by God’s unmerited favor, we receive salvation through faith in Jesus Christ who satisfied God’s judgment for all our sins.”

So, you could say that grace is getting what we don’t deserve.

What about mercy?  How does it differ?

The World Book dictionary defines mercy as “more kindness than justice requires.”

So, you could say that mercy is not getting what we deserve.

In the Muslim’s Hadith, Mohammed talks about Allah’s Mercy and never mentions grace.  A Muslim has absolutely NO assurance Allah will give him mercy and not send him to hell.  By Allah’s mercy, he may get into heaven if the scales of good “works” versus bad “deeds” tip more toward the good.  So, in effect, Allah might give more kindness than justice requires for a Muslim.

God is unique in that He is a just God and by His attributes, justice must be handed out.  Therefore He sent Jesus Christ to be the propitiation (satisfy the wrath of God) for our sins.  Therefore we have the assurance we will go to heaven by His grace and not according to our “works”.

The Bible talks about God’s Mercy and Grace.  God gives us mercy sometimes, like my shooting accident, by His mercy, I didn’t blow my leg off.  He also gives us His grace and we can know with certainty that anyone who accepts God’s grace through faith, he will indeed go to heaven.

Categories : Devotionals

Bible verse of the day

Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/