G R A C E
WHAT IS MEANT BY GRACE ?
Grace is a divine anointing of God. Ps 45:2 describes Jesus Christ, “You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever.” Yes, it is literally the anointing of the mouth of the Lord from where His Word proceeds. The Word that Begets, Creates, Recreates, Redeems, Restores, Regenerates and above all Saves. Therefore, it is rightly said “It is by grace you have been saved” (Eph 2:5, Rom 11:6, Isa 64:6). FOR GRACE IS ESSENTIALLY THE REPERTOIRE OF GOD’S WORD.
MAN HAS NO GRACE IN HIM:
On the contrary, man has no grace in him. Because out of man’s heart, which is deceitful above all things (Jer 17:9, Eccles 9:3(b), Mk 7:20, Matt 12:34(b), Col 3:8-9, Ps 34:13 etc.), comes lies, evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. They make him unclean, and they are fit only to tear down, destroy, dishonor, desecrate that which is holy, accuse and kill.
But, God in His mercy and love gives grace, the divine anointing, to those who fear Him. To those who keep His Word and obey Him. Therefore, those few servants of God, who have been blessed by the abundant grace of God, testify to it in the relative abundance of His Word bearing fruit within them. They not only abide by His Word but also preach and teach the same faithfully. Having been redeemed by the Word, they in turn would only seek to save others. Read Matt 24:45-46, “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the Master has put in charge of the servants in His household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose Master finds him doing so when He returns.”
For another example, let us read what the psalmist of 119:98-103 has to testify, “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your Word. I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
THE FULLNESS OF GOD’S GRACE:
As it is rightly testified in Jn 1:16, “From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another”:
A. First the Grace that sent forth His Word and brought everything ‘good’ to life and existence (Gen 1 & 2).
B. Then the Grace that sent forth its Word and sowed the seed of Good News that anyone Who believed and put their trust in the Lord might be saved (Gen 3:15).
C. And to the Grace that sent His Word as flesh to die on the cross and save many from their sins, curses and death (Jn 1:14).
- Jn 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, Who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Lk 2:40, “And the child grew and became strong; He was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him.” Lk 2:47, “Everyone who heard Him was amazed at His understanding and His answers.” Lk 4:22, “All spoke well of Him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His lips….”
- The Saving Grace or the gift of life by God’s Grace – “But the gift is not like the trespass. For if many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the One man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!….For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One Man, Jesus Christ.” (Rom 5:15-17).
D. And to the Grace that poured out His Spirit, so that, by His Word we are renewed and restored unto complete regeneration (Jn 3:5-7, 1 Jn 3:7-9, Eph 2:4-5, Rom 11:6, Col 3:10, Eph 5:26 etc).
- But by the Spirit of Grace we received the Word, the bread of life, to replenish our souls and to help us grow into His likeness. Col 3:10, “…Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
E. And to the Grace that is poured out upon us in its various forms so that we in turn may be equipped to live in the light of His Word and serve others for their redemption (1 Pet 4:10).
- As Paul testifies in 1 Tim 1:12-16, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, Who has given me strength, that He considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life.”
- Because, even as we are weak and of dust, God’s all-sufficient grace strengthens and enriches us, 2 Cor 12:9, “But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness….”, and by His grace that was poured out upon us, we have been equipped to administer His grace in various forms (1 Pet 4:10),“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
F. And finally to the Grace that will renew and make everything new by His Word that is trustworthy and true! (Rev 21:5).
GRACE TO FLAVOR OUR SPEECH:
Therefore Jesus reminds us of our calling, our heritage to be the salt of the earth. Matt 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”
Col 4:6, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” And 1 Pet 3:15-16, “..Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience…”
2 Tim 4:2, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.”
Rom 6:14, “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” Since His grace has redeemed us from the law so that it is no longer by works, but by grace, we ought to continue under the grace of God. Our conversations should be full of grace, so that we become builders of one another. 2 Cor 13:10, “…in my use of authority – the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down” and Ephes 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs…”.
[Words influence and deceive men most easily. Soft and gentle speech that goes against the grace of God’s Word amounts to nothing. Without the proper grounding on His Word, it will be very hard to resist attractive and nice sounding speech that are only meant to enamor, corrupt and deceive. And those who continue to be deceived and refuse to heed will fall prey to the deception of words progressing with time until they are most manifested at the reign of the Antichrist. Refer Rev 13:5-8, 13-17.]
THEREFORE, UNDERSTAND, THE ONE DECORATED WITH GRACE IS THE ONE WHO IS ARMED WITH THE INFALLIBLE AND IRREFUTABLE WORD OF GOD.
THE HERITAGE OF THE SERVANTS OF GOD BY HIS GRACE:
Finally, it is the heritage of the servants of God to be able to refute by the infallible and irrefutable Word of God. For such is the wealth of God’s Word that enriches and arms the ones blessed with His grace.
2 Cor 10:4-5 testifies, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world, On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
And it is for such as these the promise of God stands eternally true, “..’No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from Me,’ declares the Lord.”
Matt 10:19-20, “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Also refer Mk 13:11).
Lk 21:13-15, “This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will able to resist or contradict.”
Ps 149:4-9, “For the Lord takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with salvation. Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds. May the praise of God be in their mouths, and a double-edge sword in their hands, to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all His saints. Praise the Lord.”
Refer Ps 119:98-103 again, “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me………”
Let us conclude with the words of the psalmist in Ps 119:111-112, “Your statutes are my heritage forever, they are the joy of my heart. My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.”
THE PERIOD OF GRACE:
Where grace abounds, His Word abounds so that it is the wealth of His Word that shows forth. Therefore, this is rightly called the period of grace. The age of God’s Word – to be preached to all nations and race. To reach out to all – mighty and small, rich and poor, master and slave, male and female, young and old, infants and babes, enslaved and free, the oppressed, the destitute, those imprisoned inside iron fortresses, the sick and the perishing.
And God in His abundant grace sent the Holy Spirit, also called the Spirit of Grace (Heb 10:29) down to us. Isa 34:16, “…….For it is His mouth that has given the order, and His Spirit will gather them together.” Also refer Jn 3:5-7 and 1 Jn 5:6-7.
This is given to us so that by the Spirit of grace the Word might continue to produce children of God. Refer Jn, 1:12-13, “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” In the manner of Christ Himself though not in the body but in the Spiritual sense.
And just as prophet Zechariah testifies, it is by the Spirit of Grace the remnant of the house of Israel will also return to their God, Zech 12:10, “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a Spirit of Grace and supplication. They will look on Me, the One they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as One mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son.”
Thus, the period of grace is the period of God’s Word sown in the harvest field of this world, readying for the harvest at the end of the age. Rom 5:20-21, “…But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The Word continues to wash us and keep us in His fellowship. For eg, Jesus to His disciples, Jn 15:3, “You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you.” And Jn 13:8(b), “…Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me’.” Also Eph 5:26-27. There is no judgement in this period, only the call for repentance. And the constant building up of His people into His likeness (Col 3:10).
However, since grace abounds many misuse it and use it as a licence to do evil and deny the Lord (Jude 4). Read Isa 26:10, “Though grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and regard not the Majesty of the Lord.” As seen in Rev 20:7-9.
May His Grace Be Upon You Now and For Ever and Ever!