Grace is one of those theological terms we often wave at as it goes through our minds. We’ve all heard that grace is God’s unmerited favor. Some describe grace as God giving us what we don’t deserve and mercy as His Not giving us what we do deserve. These are accurate enough definitions, but somehow I believe God’s grace is so much more important than to just give it a wave and tip of the hat.
In ancient Greece, grace -“charis” was simply a sort of an empty tavern greeting such as, “How’r ya’ doin’?” Or, “Have a good day!” It was simply a meaningless form of recognition. However, after the resurrection, the disciples adopted that formerly empty word and filled charis to overflowing with new meaning which was accompanied by the power of Holy Spirit. Strong’s Concordance defines charis as “a divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life.” Grace charis was used to describe the very ability of Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated in and through believers by the gifts of Holy Spirit. Hence, we now have the term “Charismatics” – those believers who operate in the gifts of Holy Spirit.
God’s grace is a divine force which comes through faith in Jesus Christ ushering in an atmosphere where God’s love, favor and blessings flow into lives bringing about kingdom reality. It is the grace of God which brought about the reality of the prayer Jesus taught His disciples in Matt. 6:10 – “Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.” God’s grace is His kingdom’s atmosphere here on earth and comes as a direct manifestation of His agape love. His grace is responsible for all the kingdom principles; every Old Covenant example; Jesus’ birth, His life as an example for us, His death, burial & resurrection; His grace sent Holy Spirit to live within believers; it brought salvation, gifts and ability of God through Holy Spirit as well as eternal life; His grace brought heaven to earth! God’s grace brought all things we need for life and godliness and made us to be partakers of His divine nature!
God’s grace is the spiritual counterpart to His wrath against sin and man’s sin nature. Just as God’s wrath is a constant pressure against sin and sin’s consequences which is a living death penalty over sin-controlled men’s lives; His grace is a constant pressure which propels believers into deeper intimacy, understanding, revelation, power and ability to demonstrate His love in earth. Grace creates an atmosphere where earthly limitations lose its hold on lives and where impossibilities become reality as signs, wonders and miracles thrive and expand.
Grace also has the power to confront those under God’s wrath and pull them out to safety! Jude 20-23 – “But you, beloved, building yourselves upon your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”
When the fullness of God’s grace becomes recognized, acknowledged and received in a believer, the very gates of Heaven are opened for God’s glory to be manifested on earth. For God’s glory to manifest, His grace must be recognized, received and put into action – lived out in our lives!
This is my definition of God’s grace - His willingness to provide all the resources of heaven - not just meet your need, but to overflow your life with every spiritual blessing out of the riches of His treasures in glory by Christ Jesus – which has already been accomplished through the Finished Work of Lord Jesus Christ. God’s grace is a present reality, the very atmosphere of heaven, given to us through Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, ascension and the release of Holy Spirit to live His life in, through and as us!
· Jesus Christ ushered in the grace of God.
· His life and ministry displayed grace in action
· His death, burial and resurrection expanded grace
· Holy Spirit ushered grace into lives of all who would receive by faith
· We now live in a perpetual state of grace in Holy Spirit
As the revelation of the Finished Work of Lord Jesus Christ expands – so also does the grace of God in our lives. Grace releases God’s ability through Holy Spirit. The grace of God always causes us to triumph in Christ (2 Cor. 2:14); made us more than conquerors (Rom. 8:37); has given us power to trample on Satan and his demons (Lk. 10:19; Rom. 16:20); and has given us eternal life here and now (Jn. 17:3). Paul came to recognize the grace of God was sufficient to conquer and overcome the thorn in the flesh – demon assigned to cause him to lose the vision he received (2 Cor. 12:1-10). The enemy always attacks the truth of God’s word (Matt. 13: 21; Mk. 4:17; Heb. 10:32; 2 Cor. 12:7). God’s grace empowers us to overcome and walk in victory.
2 Pet. 1:2-4 – “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who has called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” The grace of God is responsible for our having been given ALL THINGS that we need in this life and for ministry. And not only that, but God’s grace has available to us to be a partaker of God’s very nature – just like Jesus Christ!
You might be saying to yourself – that just doesn’t equate with my feelings and my experiences. Many can’t recognize their solution – the very promise of God that you have been given “all things”- because it’s in “SEED” form in your life. God uses Covenant and His kingdom principles in His dealings with man. One can be in Covenant with God yet not understand His principles – how He works in earth through Holy Spirit. One primary principle is “Seedtime and Harvest”, simply what we sow, we will reap. A corollary principle is “Reproduction” – every SEED produces after its own kind. Your answer is in Word (seed) form, ready to be planted to produce your solution. Have you really invested time in the Word and in God’s presence asking and seeking His answer to your problems? God will give you His rhema – He is always broadcasting His answers to life’s issues; our problem is that we aren’t properly tuned in to receive! Grace holds all the mysteries of God for those who are willing to ask, seek and knock – He doesn’t just throw out His treasure for anyone to stumble over (Prov. 25:2).
All things you need in life; you already have; it’s yours – every answer to every problem, even your destiny is there – it’s just in seed form and needs to be nurtured, watered with Holy Spirit and exposed to plenty of SON-shine! Soon that seed of potential will grow into the fullness of your answer – your solution – your destiny! That’s God’s grace!
The last verse of the Bible is Rev. 22:21 – “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” John’s last words of scripture were for the grace of Lord Jesus Christ to be with us – unmerited favor? I certainly think so – and so much more! Amen.