The Grace of God

by Jannie

Introductory Notes
1. This short essay is to be read with “The Gospel” on www.gospel-truth.co.za.
2. If you skip the Scripture references, you are wasting your time.
3. Some information enclosed is from the paper “The Gospel”.
May we indeed, as Paul said to the Colossians (1:6), come to know the grace or undeserved favor of God in reality, deeply and clearly and thoroughly, becoming more accurately and intimately acquainted with it.
Why is it so crucial to grasp God’s grace? Because there are apparently only two ways in which man can attempt an approach to God, and only one is survivable!! – Jn 1:17; 14:6; Phil 3:9; Rom 10:1-4.
Χάρις (G5485), charis, means grace, divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in life, benefit, favor, gift; from χαίρω (5463), chairŏ, meaning to be cheerful, calmly happy, well-off, swell, God speed, joy.

 
God’s grace cannot be earned by any man in any way– Rom 11:6! In this short essay, we’ll examine this so that we can perhaps better grasp statements such as Rom 6:14 (expanded in the paper “The Covenant and the Law”)..

Two erroneous teachings related to God’s grace, are the following:
(1) Antinomianism. From the Greek άντί (473), anti, meaning against; and νόμος (3551), nŏmŏs, meaning law [of Moses], prescriptive regulation. This teaching claims that man cannot be held accountable to any moral law, and that it is only required to believe [with intellectual cognizance] and then can continue doing as he pleases. (Try Rom 6:16-23; 12:9; Heb 10:26-31. Remember that Jesus Christ paid for us to be free of sin, not to continue in sin).
(2) Perfectionism. This propagates the idea that the sin nature in man is eradicated as if it was surgically removed from man’s capacity [to sin]. These heretical teachers even claims that Jesus keeps on removing your continual sin as if it does not exist [by your habitual choice]. No, you retain your will [as an ability to freely choose] as it was given by God. (2 Cor 10:3-6…)

Bear in mind that what John in 1Jn 1:9-2:2 is talking about, is a particular action [slip, mistake]. John was using the aorist tense, mentioning one specific point in the past when an unintended error slipped in. Pre-meditated, habitual, and continuous actions against God’s will [intent] is none less than animosity mocking [challenging] God! Carefully contemplate Heb 10:26-31 again. John is clear that merely acting good can impossibly make anyone righteous – hence the corruption in the world and the hiding behind religion(s). Other references are Scriptures such as 1 Jn 3:6-9; Rom 6:1-4; 11:6; but let’s move on.

 

Spirituality is therefore not achieved by any self-centered efforts to control lust and greed and least of all can any self-righteousness (attempts at following Law) obtain favor with God!  This is clear from just Rom 3:20,23; 7:4,6,10; especially Gal 5:4,18 and so on. Gal 5:4,18 alone should shake any follower of Moses to the core. Only by clothing yourself with Jesus Christ (Rom 13:14), can you get close to God the Father (Jn 1:12-13,17; 14:6). Jesus alone is the perfect garment, armor, image (Eph 6:12-13)… Only in Christ you will remove what is contrary to His will [teaching, Word] in unfeigned love (Rom 12:9 with Prov 6:16-17; 12:12; 1 Jn 2:4). True wisdom is to follow God’s Spirit inside of you (Jn 14:26; Rom 8:14), not man-made philosophies and dead religious preachings of empire-builders. Before thinking of blindly following Moses, re-consider Jn 1:17; 9:28; Lk 9:62; Heb 8:13; 9:8 (2 Cor 3:10-18)… This you have to self-study and contemplate but are what we’ll touch on next by considering that our only righteousness can be in Christ. It is about what Jesus has done and over-paid for with His blood, and His resurrection and His ascension…  God’s grace has come to man, it does not come from man.

Consider Phil 3:9 again. Even Phil 4:6-9; in an effort to grasp Rom 3:20-28-38; 8:14; Gal 5:4,18.

Note at Lk 19:10-27. Note at verse 11, that if you think the kingdom of God is represented by Israeli’s in the Middle East today, you should refer to Lk 17:20-21 (1 Pet 1:12-13; Mt 21:43; Rom 9:7-9,25-27) and perhaps read through the papers entitled “The Covenant and The Law” and “Mixing Old and New”.

Then we note that Jesus was describing this nobleman in verse 21-22 as austere (αὐστηρός, G840, austēros, (figuratively) severe). An austere God implies absolute unforgiving [strict] righteousness. But we know God is Love (1 Jn 4:8) and that Love [God] is merciful and kind (1 Cor 13:4; Rom 5:8-17), slow to “anger” and quick to forgive (Neh 9:17; Ps 103:2-10; 2 Pet 3:9). There is no mercy in strict application of law. To reconcile the two apparent opposites we have to understand that God’s grace [love for us] is not random or inconsistent (Heb 13:8) but that His grace [Love] simply has absolutely nothing to do with our efforts to righteousness (Rom 5:15; 6:14; Eph 2:5-9; 3:2-9; Tit 3:7)!! If we thus dare approach God in our own righteousness – i.e. under Law – we will not be able to “see His Face and live” (refer to # 5:2 in “Apparent Controversies in The Bible”), as even Uzzah discovered (2 Sam 6:3-8). There is only one way to approach God and it is via [in] Jesus Christ (Jn 14:6)! Hence, Jn 3:3,17-21 and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Selah.

Lk 19:21 furthermore states that this austere man expects you to pick up what you have not lay down and reap what you did not sow. At first glance this might appear unfair and harsh, but considering Jesus’ words in Mt 7:12 [as summary of a correct application of law that would be for compensation, not retaliation, as discussed in the paper “The Covenant and the Law”], we compare Jn 4:24, 38 and Gal 6:6-8. We’ll discover herein a tremendous gracious gift of God for those who want it [believe, trust, follow]. This author believes that God’s idea of everlasting Life (not our concept of mere after-life) is unfortunately currently way over our conceited heads. This is expanded on in the paper “The Testimony”. Suffice for now to point to (i) Heb 10:38 and 11:1; and (ii) to Heb 9 – specifically Heb 9:12 and hence the generally wrong understanding of Heb 9:27.

Note at Heb 9:27. The word men there, is anthrōpǒs [444] and is from anēr [435], a primary word actually indicating an individual man, a husband! Look it up in a Greek concordance.
Even just reading the context of Heb 9, you should have noticed that the very next verse (28) states that so it is with Christ, having offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of all once for all… The judgement then, for all sin, was thus on Him that took it [death] on our behalf! It is saying that Jesus is the Lamb of God and the only Savior of all that believes this outrageous deed of love! He had to die so that we can live. Live for God, don’t pretend to die for Him! Read and trust His Word and LIVE! What honor, what grace and what mercy is there in death? Can you see grace, honor and mercy in life? So, why die from sickness? We’re not talking about catastrophes, were talking about Mt 10:8; Phil 4:13 and so on… (The paper called “Healing expands on this”).
At any rate, when reading Heb 9:27, have you noticed verses 11-18 in the same chapter? Check the context with Scriptures like 1 Thess 5:9-11; Rom 5:8-11; Col 1:20; 2 Cor 5:15-21; 2 Tim 2:11-17; Gal 4:4-12; Mk 1:15; Ps 30:5; and you Zion (Is 60:14; Mt 5:14) in Ps 102:15-28; 118:17-19 (Heb 2:8-18) and Jn 11:25-26…

 

All right, we were talking about God’s grace and Jesus’ explanation in Lk 19:15-27. Contemplating the other papers in www.gospel-truth.co.za as mentioned above, should then make it sufficiently clear.

If more interim reading is what you are looking for, try the following references to God’s grace as unmerited favor:
In the Old, even Ezra 9:8 (Heb 8:13; 9:16-18) and Zech 4:7; 12:10.
In the New, Lk 2:40; Acts 11:23; 13:43; 14:3,26; 15:11,40; 18:27; 20:24,32; Rom 1:7; 3:24; 5:15,20; 11:5-6; 16:20,24; 1 Cor 1:4; 3:10; 15:10; 16:23; 2 Cor 1;12; 6:1; 8:1,9; 9:14; 12:9; 13:14; Gal 2:21; 6:18; Eph 4:29; Phil 4:23; Col 1:6; 2 Thess 3:18; Tit 3:7; Heb 2:9; 4:16; 12:15; 13:9; Js 4:6; 1 Pet 3:7; 4:10; 5:5,12; 2 Pet 3:18; Jude 1:4; Rev 22:21. Bless you!
In the words of Paul, “And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [separate you from profane things, make you wholly pure and wholly consecrated to God]; and may your spirit and your soul and your body be preserved sound and complete [and found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)… The grace (unmerited favor and blessings) of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) be with you all. Amen” – 1 Thess 5:23,28.