UNDERSTANDING GRACE (Part1)
When we hear grace, what do we think of….? divine ability, unmerited favor…,
I think unmerited favor is possibly the most common. I think we should dive into that.
Sometimes when people say unmerited favor, it doesn’t really sink in.
So if we say grace is unmerited favor, it simply means this is favor that you did not deserve, God did a favor for you that you didn’t deserve, which leads us to ask the next question, WHAT IS FAVOR?
Favor can be described as any kind, helpful, benevolent, merciful action that you do for another person and when we say GRACE therefore is unmerited favor or undeserved favor, it means I show kindness to you that you never deserved, that is I did something for you that you didn’t deserve.
We can also use the word “GRACE” to describe somebody’s disposition towards you. If you say someone is gracious to another person, you know what you are saying? it means you are favorably disposed towards that person, it will means you have an inclination and a desire to bless that person, to be kind and helpful especially when that person doesn’t deserve it. If I did good to you and you do good back to me, you have simply repaid me for the good I did to you, you are not gracious to me. If you are gracious to me, it means I haven’t done anything for you but you just have this love for me that makes you always want to help me. Grace is not something you get because you have worked for it.
I think parents can relate with this. No matter the gaffes of their child, there is a natural disposition to help that child when the child needs help. No matter how bad your child is, will parents tend to be gracious towards their children? So we can say your disposition towards your child is alway to help that child.
How do you know I am favorably disposed towards you if I never act towards you? Which means the only way I can perceive grace is by what is done.
Grace like love is a verb, it has no substance until is is acted upon. Grace is a verb, not a noun
I can say you are favorably disposed towards me when I always get help whenever I come to you
The Bible abounds with examples of how God has been gracious to us. John 3:16-17 says :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.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
I like the book of Romans rendering of GRACE
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Sin always produces death. We were deserving of death but God extended His grace towards by the death of Christ on the cross
Grace is God’s kindness towards us which is often released in divine ability.
Does God’s help stop after we become born again? The truth is “No”
Bible scholars have actually discovered five expressions of grace. They found out that there are five ways that God’s Grace is expressed in our lives
- SAVING GRACE: is the one that gets us born again. It is God’s life and power released towards an individual and working in that individual, justifying and making the person a new creature
- STANDING GRACE: it imparts God’s strength into us, helping us to walk in victory over the challenges of life, which means Standing Grace give us the energy and the strength to walk in victory. Hebrews 4:15-16: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.16. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. There is strength available, it is available but not automatic, you have to ask for it, you have to receive. If you don’t come, you don’t receive it. Standing Grace has been given to enable us to reign as kings in this life. Romans 5:17 says 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. Now consider the fact that GRACE is the release of God’s power in and through you to help you live the life that God has called your to live, which means there is an energy available in Christ. You are not meant to live the Christian life in your strength. If that was the case, then we were okay with the law but because the law didn’t provide that energy, there was no life to obey it, God had to bring in a different covenant and in this covenant, there is grace available. Not only have you been made right, the power has been given to you to overcome your mind and your flesh and to bring them into conformity to the will of God. All those times that you feel depressed, all those times when you feel harassed, all those times when you are fearful, there is grace. We need Standing Grace to overcome the wiles of the devil. The word wiles means a strategy or a trick that is designed to entrap you. Satan plays mind games, sometimes you feel like you are a failure and the next day you are feeling like a success, are you schizophrenic? Today you are up, tomorrow you are down, what is going on? Satan is playing mind game with you. If he can keep you locked into that mindset, he has entrapped you. We need Standing Grace In Ephesians 6:10, it says: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord (or be strong in the grace that Christ offers) and in the power of his might. 2 Timothy 2:1 day :Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. There is strength in Christ Jesus and the Bible says we should take as much as we can take so that we can be strong.
- SANCTIFYING GRACE: Sanctifying grace cleanses us and enables us to walk in holiness. It keeps us from being contaminated from the corruption that is in this world. You know you can feel the corruption. In some environment, it’s stronger than the other. Titus 2:11-14: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,12. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;13. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;14. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. God’s Grace instructs and empowers us to live a Godly life. This grace life is so simple that it is easy to miss. How do you get help from anybody? So we know Grace is getting God’s help by asking for it. The Bible says in Matthew 7:11:If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?? A good father offers help to his child, that is the grace we are talking about. Some people think the Christianity we practice is not applicable in business, that is there is no help for the business man. The world says doing business is like swimming with the sharks. Does that agree with your bible? Did the Bible say “my grace is insufficient for you? It means in the areas where you lack strength, God’s power comes to your help. Grace doesn’t mean inactivity but Grace will not need your effort to save you. Grace produces it actions through you, for God is working within you, giving you the desire and the ability to perform. Grace produces action
- SHARING GRACE: 2 Corinthians 8:1-7: Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;2. How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.3. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;4. Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.5. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.6. Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.7. Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. Sharing Grace is the enablement to be concerned about the welfare of the other person and to give to meet the need of that person
- SERVING GRACE: It’s God’s ability imparted to us to be productive and fruitful in our service to God. We have been called to do something. You were not born to eat, drink, go to work and die. There is a purpose for your life and there is grace available to fulfill that purpose. This grace doesn’t happen automatically.
One of the ways to activate the grace of God is to cooperate by accepting the offer of grace.
God’s word is anointed and it is called the “Word of His Grace”.
The best way to multiply the grace of God in our lives is by increasing in our knowledge of God. 2 Peter 1:2: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.
Author: Pastor Sola Mabogunje