October 19, 2003
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
by Jack Northart
We live in an age of great grace. What is grace? Simply defined, grace is Godís unmerited and undeserved divine favor. It is by the grace of God that we have His Word so that we may believe and be saved (Ephesians 2:8). It is in His grace that we live our lives in this day and time. It is perpendicular from God to man. We didnít earn grace. God decided to give grace to us freely when we deserved it least.
Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace is mentioned throughout the Old and New Testaments. However, grace is spelled out as being so abundant in the New Testament, and more specifically in the seven Church epistles written to us.
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
What a fantastic truth to read in Godís Word! Another wonderful translation of these verses are: Vs. 6 ďFor the express purpose of praise for the resplendent brightness of Godís grace, which He poured upon us, making us lovely and acceptable by means of His beloved Son.Ē Vs. 7 ďThat in and by Jesus Christ there is given to us redemption, and by Jesus Christís blood, his life, his death, his resurrection and his ascension, forgiveness of sin according the to the wealth of Godís grace.Ē
Without Godís grace, mankind would have perished long ago. The justice of God demands, and it requires, judgment; but the love of God demands and requires grace. The first time we read in Godís Word about grace is in the book of Genesis.
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
Things werenít looking so good for mankind back then, but Godís unmerited divine favor was there.
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
This is the first occurrence of the word ďgraceĒ in the Bible. The first occurrence basically always gives its complete meaning throughout the rest of the Word of God. God in His foreknowledge knew that Noah would believe, so Noah found grace, unmerited divine favor, in the eyes of the Lord. The first time that grace is used in the New Testament is in Luke.
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour [The word ďfavourĒ is the word ďgraceĒ] with God.
Mary was not good enough and yet God overlooked that and He saw her heart. The angel said unto her, ďMary, do not be afraid. For you have found grace with God.Ē The same could also be said of the apostle Paul.
For ye have heard of my conversation [manner of life] in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace.
God foreknew Paulís heart, even before the foundations of the world. We gain more understanding of Godís grace in Paulís life in the book of Timothy.
I Timothy 1: 11-14
According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
And [But] the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
Paul obtained mercy and exceeding abundant divine favor from God.
I Corinthians 15:9,10
For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
It was grace that gave Paul the gospel of the glory of God that we just read about. It is the Book of Romans, the first great Church Epistle that lays the true foundation for the good news, the gospel of grace.
By whom also we have access [entrance] by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Some find grace as a means to be weak and not stand. Here it says that we are to stand in that grace and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. No matter what the world says to us as believers, we can stand in the grace wherein we were called. It is Godís unmerited divine favor upon our lives.
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
When we were dead in sins, He made us alive. Thatís grace. And throughout all the ages to come, God will exhibit for His own purpose, the superabundant greatness of the riches of His grace in His sweetness of disposition that was towards us and upon us by what Jesus Christ did for us. It is by, in and through Godís grace that we were saved, made absolutely whole and complete. It wasnít our own doing, but in contrast, the gift of God was the offering of His Son, Jesus Christ for us. Now we can come boldly unto God.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
|Return to main page|