Grace for exploits – Part 1
Our God is GRACIOUS. Every good and perfect gift comes to us through the marvellous grace of God. God, in His mercy and grace, provides all things that pertain unto life and godliness. May you find Him gracious and may He lavish you with grace to do exploits for Him. May you find grace at your hour of need. Amen.
(A) Understanding Grace: The Bible mentions the word “grace” in more than 170 occasions. The Hebrew word used in the Old Testament is “khen,” (Noah-Gen.6:8) while the Greek word used in the New Testament is called “charis.” This word can be interpreted “grace, favour, care or help.” It speaks of an act, which one grants to another. The most popular definition of God’s grace is “unmerited favour.” Grace differs a little bit from mercy. Grace is receiving favour that you do not deserve, while mercy is not receiving the punishment that you deserve. A Quaker, whose hides were stolen then, placed a strange newspaper advert saying, “Whoever stole a quantity of hides on the 5th of this month is hereby informed that the owner has sincere wish to be his friend. If poverty tempted him to take this step, the owner will keep the whole transaction secret and will gladly help him to obtain money by means more likely to bring him peace of mind.” It worked, for the thief came begging for forgiveness. Grace is the kindness and love of God our Saviour.
Charles L. Allen presents three distinct meanings of Grace in the Bible. These are:
• The Mercy and Active love of God: The demonstration of His favour.
• The Winsome Attractiveness of God: According to Augustine of Hippo, “grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we might be able to do them.” Grace is not cheap though freely given. Therefore, beware of cheap grace, i. e. the preaching of forgiveness without repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, church membership without discipleship and wearing the crown without bearing the cross.
• The Strength of God to Overcome. James Ryle calls it “the empowering presence of God enabling you to be who God created you to be, and to do what God has called you to do – right where you are.” John Bunyan adds, by saying, “ grace can pardon our ungodliness and justify us with Christ’s righteousness. It can put the Spirit of Jesus Christ within us. It can help us when we are down, it can heal us when we are wounded.’ May you receive the threefold level, as we experience the grace of God today. Amen
(B) Dynamics Of Grace: There are many descriptive ways to view grace. Some are Amazing Grace, Marvelous Grace, Infinite Grace, Matchless Grace, Loving Grace, Exceeding Grace, Excelling Grace, Redeeming Grace, Victorious Grace, Unequaled Grace, Unparalleled Grace, Glorious Grace, Abundant Grace, Abounding Grace and many more. God’s grace is without preconditions and without works. Let us learn some important matters about grace.
• Grace Is Unmerited: Simply defined, grace is unmerited favour. When something is unmerited, it means the recipient is in total demerit. Grace is undeserved, unearned and unearnable on the recipient’s part.
• Grace Is Expensive: Grace is expensive. Though it is free to the recipient, but costly to the donor. The only way one may say grace is not very costly is if the particular benefit costs the donor very little. The grace of God that brought us salvation cost our Lord Jesus His life. Some may insult grace, reject it or trample on it, but that does not lower its infinite value. Grace is not cheap.
• Grace Is Often Incredible To The Recipient: Sometimes, it is not easy to believe someone who offers grace. In our world of merit, the gospel of grace sounds unbelievable. This is one of the major reasons many have not accepted the gospel of grace, the plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. It sounds so unbelievable to them.
• Grace Is Not Fair: In the year of grace, God can bring a man who is last to the front. A man who is totally unqualified can be given the job above the one who is qualified. Grace can make a man reap where he did not sow. It is not about achievement, but about attainment. It is not about a reward, it is an award. To others looking at the demonstration of grace, definitely they complain, grace is not fair at all. Grace is bestowed not because we deserve it, but because God loves us.
Rev. Dr. Israel Kristilere, SHEPHERDHILL BAPTIST CHURCH, (SANCTUARY OF GRACE & GLORY)
Baptist Academy Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos.
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