Some one posted this up on the net.
“These days, every one seems to have a definition for the grace of God.
How does the bible define grace?
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
So is grace a person? Contrary to what a pop star preacher has been teaching, grace is something bestowed upon believers to help us live out the righteousness of God, to help us move away from sinning. It is as much a form of “restraint” as it is an empowerment while we wait for the appearance of Christ.
Grace is not a person”
I personally think such people love to look for needles in hay stacks.
It is well established theology that when Moses is mentioned everyone associates him with the Law. Does this means that he is a legalistic man?
Of course not. In fact the scriptures calls him the meekest of all men. Yet you see verses like this.
“But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.”
It is Jesus who personify Moses as the Law. Hence Moses despite not being a law man was identified with the Law. Hence to Jesus and the Jews Moses was the Law.
That was why John said:
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Now let’s look at this passage properly.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Notice this Jesus is not just grace. He is FULL of grace.
The word here for full is “pleres”. It is used in another passage of Scripture.
Now Stephen, a man FULL of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.
The word simply means he has been overtaken. Jesus was not just full of grace. He was overflowing with grace. Grace is his whole personality.
Hence the apostle Paul decided to call Jesus the grace of God himself.
1 Timothy 1:14
The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Notice the grace of God is IN Jesus?
No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”
Notice you are saved by the grace of Jesus?
and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Notice God’s grace came through the person Jesus?
in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Notice how the grace of God is expressed in the person of Jesus?
1 Peter 1:13
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.
“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.
Notice how the spirit of grace was poured out in abundance when Jesus was nailed to the cross.
How for our sakes he who was full of grace emptied himself of it for us.
The writer seem to have also forgotten about this part of Titus.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his GRACE, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
I wouldn’t try to define grace as an empowerment. The only person that empowers me is Jesus. Let me quote to you what Kenneth Greatorex said.
“Some years ago I heard a brother minister some excellent things about grace. He taught that Grace was really Divine Enablement. Consider the following verses two ways. First insert the evangelical term of “unmerited favor” in place of the word “grace.” Then insert the words, “Divine enablement” in place of the word “grace.”
First, 1 Corinthians 15:9-10 “For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the unmerited favor of God I am what I am, and His unmerited favor toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the unmerited favor of God with me.”.
Next, 1 Corinthians 15:9-10 “For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the divine enablement of God I am what I am, and His divine enablement toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the divine enablement of God with me.”
Now, which makes sense to you, “unmerited favor,” or “Divine enablement?” Clearly Paul could do what he did because of the indwelling Christ! Christ is our Divine enablement, he is our very life.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul wrote, “And He has said to me, “My grace (divine enablement) is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” The power of the indwelling Christ was and is the Grace of God!
Remember Matthew 1:23 where the son to be born was to be called “Emmanuel,” which means, “God with us.” Yes, God in Jesus the Christ, who dwelling is us, is our positive expectation [hope] of glorification, the coming into the fullness of sonship.
If you cannot see yourself as our Father sees you, IN Christ before the foundation of the world, even as the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world, then you will wander helplessly in religious frustration and confusion, and always wonder if you are good enough. You may well live in fear that God is out to get you, and to punish you because you are so unworthy. We exhort you as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 6:1-2, “we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” God’s Grace, His full provision for all of our needs is found in Christ.”
Don’t insult the grace of God by calling it a doctrine. The only person worthy to be named the grace of God is Jesus himself. The fullness of God’s grace.
Perhaps we should listen to this “pop star” preacher more?