1. Hello Guest! You are browsing the forums as a guest; you will have limited permissions as a guest so we advise registering to enjoy the forums fully. Remember: we are a Christian ONLY site - any user who is not Christian will not be approved. Blessings, Christian Forum Site Staff
    Dismiss Notice

Definition of Grace

Discussion in 'Doctrinal Discussions' started by Lanolin, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. I dont usually post here but, just noticed many christians seem to think that grace means unmerited favour and just wondering where they get this from, and if they confusing this with mercy.

    I thought grace was Jesus gracing us with his presence, and also a divine change in our heart when we see Jesus.

    Because grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. He was the gift from God.

    I dont believe grace is a kind of favouritism because Jesus came for everyone, yet also says God gives grace to the humble, but resists the proud. ONly those who were humble accepted Jesus, the proud Pharisees and scribes did not.

    Your thoughts and scripture on this? Unmerited favour does not fit in with many of the bible verses I read on grace. I think thats what some churches teach and thats a manmade doctrine. Because if its unmerited favour, then why does say God gives grace to the humble yet resists the proud?
     
  2. And also, if Gods grace is sufficient for us, that does not translate to 'Gods unmerited favour is sufficent for us. That makes NO sense.

    Jesus is sufficient for us. What Jesus did on the cross is sufficient for us. His presence is sufficient for us.
     
  3. It's a bit long, but maybe you'll find what you're looking for

    2 Corinthians 9:8 (KJV)
    And God [is] able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all [things], may abound to every good work:​

    Ephesians 3:20 (KJV)
    Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,​

    Luke 15 many focus on the prodigal son, but he is one who understands Grace. The elder brother is the legalistic Christian.

    Luke 15:28-29 (KJV)
    And he was #1 angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to [his] father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, #2 neither transgressed I at any time thy #3 commandment: and yet thou #4 never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:​

    #1 Angry at the one who receives grace
    #2 No one ever is from transgressing
    #3 Focusing on the law
    #4 Demands reward for keeping law

    Jesus brought truth and grace and fulfilled the law in the flesh.

    John 1:17 "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."

    Romans 8:3-4 "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

    None of us can do that. As we were prisoners of the Law, Jesus made us prisoners of Righteousness. We are transformed from the enemy of God to the sons of God through Jesus. This is reiterated in the event of the Mount of Transfiguration.

    Matthew 17:1-8 "And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only."

    Just in the name of those that attend is a great revelation:

    Peter means Stone (the Law); James comes from Jacob which means the supplanter, i.e. replaces; and John means favored of God - grace. Just by their names you can see the mission of the Lord here on earth:

    Salvation comes by taking the law and replacing it with grace.

    Peter being so fearful, tried to honor the event by wanting to erect a monument to Moses, Jesus and Elijah. The problem was so sever that God the Father Himself spoke, affirming that Jesus was His beloved and that they were to listen to Him. Peter tried to lower Jesus and elevate the Law and the Prophets, but Jesus came to fulfill the Law, which kills, and fulfill the prophecies spoken by Him about Himself in the words of the prophets. Jesus gave the Law to Moses to show that man cannot, even if he so wishes to, keep the Law. The prophets gave hope of another way. What is the thing that the devil and man succeeded in doing with the Law? Cheapen it and hold man hostage through condemnation and guilt. Even Christians today are filled with this same mentality. But what was the first thing Jesus said after the Father said to listen to Him? "Arise, and be not afraid!"

    The Pharisees cheapened the Law by making it "manageable" for man to think righteousness was obtainable. But under the Law, the judgment exceeds the sacrifice as is illustrated when Elijah fought with the prophets of Ba'al and had water poured on the sacrifice. When God responded, not only was the sacrifice consumed, but the wood, stone alter, water and even the dust. When Jesus taught the Law this is what He said:

    Matthew 5:27-29 "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell."

    Jesus restored the impossibility of keeping the Law back to it's original intent. God never wanted the Israelites to accept the Law. From Abraham to Mount Sinai they lived under grace! No one died despite their murmurings and complaints. Yet, as soon as they arrogantly said they could keep the Law, they built an idol of gold and worshiped it. Three thousand died that day. When, on the same day, the day of Pentecost, they received the Holy Spirit and three thousand were saved. The Law kills, Grace gives life!

    Where the Law, written on stone revived sin which kills us, is the ministry of death.

    II Corinthians 3:6-11 "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious."

    The only thing written in stone was the Law - the ten commandments. If we could keep the Law, then why did Jesus have to come!

    Since this was one of my biggest issues with this correct thinking, I'm going to address the following:

    Romans 8:1-2 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."

    Prosperity preachers stop quoting this verse after they say "Christ Jesus", but the Spirit put it in there. I've even heard some say the next part of the verse was added by legalists. Yet, I contend that we are not the ones walking after Salvation, but the Spirit, therefore there is no condemnation which are in Christ Jesus. The Spirit wouldn't qualify that else we're back to the Law: do good get good; do bad get bad. Is it not the Spirit that quickens us?

    Ephesians 2:5-7 "Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."

    Since we're dead, how can we be subject to sin?

    Romans 6:1-2 "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"

    Understand God loves us personally, that we are dead to sin, and quickened to the life in Christ Jesus, there IS no more condemnation. There's no condition. We walk simply in faith just as we are saved by faith. Do you not understand that we are sheep and prisoners? What on earth do they have in common? They must both be taken care of. The means to DO is not within them. They follow the Shepherd or the Warden.

    Romans 4:13-16 "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,"

    This is a truth: if we are heirs of the world, now can we do that sickly or poor? It's the devil that steals these promises. Don't believe that kind of thinking, then read this verse:

    I John 4:17 "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world."

    "...because as he is, so are we in this world"! This isn't a future promise, but one of His grace on us NOW, HERE on earth! Hallelujah! Glory to God!

    How is this possible? God loves GRACE. Understand that even under the days of the Law, God loved Grace. When the disciples where hungry and walking through a field they began to pluck the food and eat it and it was the Sabbath and the Pharisees pointed out the Law. This is what Jesus said:

    Matthew 12:7 "But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless."

    Hosea 6:6 "For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings."

    We are guiltless, not sinless when we accept the Lord into our hearts. Stop focusing on the sin and focus on Jesus and His Grace towards us. We are guiltless because Jesus paid our debt of sin! The Holy Spirit lives within us to guide us away from our old man - who is still alive in our flesh. We still retain the knowledge of good and evil, but now it's time to focus on the Tree of Life - Jesus! When God looks at us, though we still retain sin within, He sees Jesus and we are found guiltless! Just like the ark of the covenant. When God would look down all He saw was the blood on the Mercy Seat even though the Law still remained within the ark. We are the ark, the Law still remains within us, but we're sprinkled with the blood of Jesus and so we are now GUILTLESS!!! We look for peace within when all we find is the Law and thus sin within. We need to look to the cross and wait patiently for the day the Lord returns and gives us new bodies!

    So, reject commendation and guilt. Nothing is passed over by God, yet nothing is imputed to me, for Jesus Christ was judged on the cross for them all.

    When Jesus came He brought grace and truth. John says:

    John 1:16 "And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace."

    In Greek the verse can be interpret as "And as a result of His complete fullness we ourselves all receive, even Grace in addition to Grace."
     
    Nanon likes this.
  4. Um sorry this is too long.
    I just need a quick biblical definition.
    As not Israelite I was never under the law of moses to begin with, so not relevant.
     
  5. God's unearned favor.
     
    Euphemia and Major say Amen and like this.
  6. EVERYTHING in the word of God is relevant.
     
    Major and Ravindran say Amen and like this.
  7. http://www.openbible.info/topics/grace

    Reading through all the verses on grace in the Bible one struck me in particular Jude 1:4

    About those that pervert the grace of God into sensuality.

    The rest all point toward Jesus and the power that is in Him, i.e the power of Christ. nowhere does it say anything about 'unmerited favour' for God has no respect of persons yet still resists the proud, sp that cant be it.

    Also whats interesting about grace as a garland like on top of your head...think of how Jesus wore his crown of thorns on top of his head but now has a kingly crown.

    Interesting.
     
  8. It seems like many look for things that arent there eg in above post it was said that the prodigal sons brother was a legalistic christian. Not the case, he was Jewish. (Or Israelite) they abided by all the laws given to Moses cos they were under the old covenant. Today many still are.

    So I suppose this is where ppl get it from. It is not unearned or unmerited favour because the prodigal son was ALREADY his son by birthright. Both were sons, they were family. Even if he wasted all his living, the minute he repented and turned back. His Dad accepted him. but his dad still loved him anyway cos he was his son, as was his other son.

    Gentile christians do not have this birthright, we are grafted in and adopted. But what happens is we are born again and start living by grace eg power of Christ. Nothing to do with favour or favouritism.

    At least thats how I see it and how the Bible looks to me.
     
  9. "But what happens is we are born again and start living by grace eg power of Christ. Nothing to do with favour or favouritism."
    True, you could look at grace as being the power of Christ.
    The reason it is defined as it is, is because we are saved by grace through faith. And since we are saved by grace, then we look at why and how. The grace is, as you said, the power of Christ, His giving His sinless life to cover our sin. This is the how. Now the why.
    Why did He do this for us? Love. Did we deserve this love? No. So we didn't deserve love, we didn't earn love, nor did we merit love. Most would say God was showing favor to humankind by doing all this for us. It is the gift of grace. Not the wages of grace.
    So it is the unmerited, unearned thing that Jesus did for us (His power), just because He loves us, so He gives us this gift (favor), even though it is undeserved.
    Favoritism is an -ism and is not the same as giving favor. Favor to me is just a gift of goodness. Like the father of the prodigal son. He could have been angry with his son for squandering the inheritance. Instead he showed love and favor for him. He didn't show favoritism, placing one son over the other. But the other son looked at this favor as favoritism. This son thought he had earned the right to be favored over his good for nothing brother. And that is the lesson. We don't earn favor with God. He gifts it to us, if only we would come home to Him.
     
  10. "But what happens is we are born again and start living by grace eg power of Christ. Nothing to do with favour or favouritism."
    True, you could look at grace as being the power of Christ.
    The reason it is defined as it is, is because we are saved by grace through faith. And since we are saved by grace, then we look at why and how. The grace is, as you said, the power of Christ, His giving His sinless life to cover our sin. This is the how. Now the why.
    Why did He do this for us? Love. Did we deserve this love? No. So we didn't deserve love, we didn't earn love, nor did we merit love. Most would say God was showing favor to humankind by doing all this for us. It is the gift of grace. Not the wages of grace.
    So it is the unmerited, unearned thing that Jesus did for us (His power), just because He loves us, so He gives us this gift (favor), even though it is undeserved.
    Favoritism is an -ism and is not the same as giving favor. Favor to me is just a gift of goodness. Like the father of the prodigal son. He could have been angry with his son for squandering the inheritance. Instead he showed love and favor for him. He didn't show favoritism, placing one son over the other. But the other son looked at this favor as favoritism. This son thought he had earned the right to be favored over his good for nothing brother. And that is the lesson. We don't earn favor with God. He gifts it to us, if only we would come home to Him.
     
  11. The definition of grace that i herd, that i like is God's overwhelming desire to treat us as if sin never happened. That's why God sent Jesus to die for our sins. Just like you quoted in John, grace and truth came from Jesus Christ. In God's grace, He decided to reconcile us unto Himself (through the Blood of Jesus), even though we did not deserve it. Nothing that we can do of ourselves can pay the price for our sins, only by receiving what Jesus did for us do we receive God's grace, by faith.
    Hope this helps! Blessings
     
  12. Ok thanks I sort of see it, but then what does Jude 1;4 mean..some pervert grace?

    I know when Mary was visited by the angel she had found favour by God but that was because she was humble, and also Noah cos God saw he was righteous.

    I suppose the other son didnt know what he had already and rejected grace. (His dad).
    But then his Dad already loved him and it was merited simply cos he was his son. His dad did not reject him. His dad did not reject the prodigal either, he let him go. The prodigal came back, of course. Where else would he go?
    I suppose when people say they dont deserve Gods love cos they been so sinful they think Gods grace is something they dont deserve, that they actually do deserve hell. But I think God loves us already simply cos we are his creation and if we know his Son, then we know Him.
    Yes God was angry with all that wickedness and sin but he never gave up on us. he sent us the most precious gift, Jesus gracing us with the truth?
    I dont see Jesus as unmerited favour, Im sorry, as we need to be humble to receive him too. we need to repent, it was only when the prodigal repented that he got to see his Dad. Not whilst still living in sin. he turned around and went back to him. It was merited because he turned around.
     
  13. Mercy is something we dont deserve..thats different, God is merciful to us by not smiting us when we are wicked and give into sin.
    By his grace we are saved..it is not from ourselves..it is the power of Christ to keep us from sin. It is not works so anyone can boast. I do see some christians boasting they have grace eg license to sin that other people dont cos they think they have Jesus. but if they still stuck in their sinful ways after being saved then what does that say about Jesus, that he has no power against sin?

    Are they lying then? Have they not been washed clean by the blood of the lamb?
     
  14. Hmm do we deserve love?
    im going to go out on a limb and say YES! we crave love, we are made out of love we deserve love..I know my Jesus says his sheep deserve to be loved and not treated like goats. He did not look on us as undeserving even if WE may think we are totally not worthy.
    And likewise when our Father looks on His son Jesus and those bearing his name surely he sees we deserve love. Jesus covers our sins..yes, but also gives us The power to stop sinning, yes or no? He doesnt say..oh keep sinning, you have faith now. he says, go and sin nor more.

    Anyway just my thoughts.
     
  15. I dont see gifts as doing us a favor. Although being given a gift makes us feel special.
    Sorry..when I give gifts..I dont see that as a favor to someone. I give cos I like someone I dont give gifts to people I dont like. They may not be able to afford the gift I give them but I suppose that makes it more special eg when you give to children. Children deserve to be loved simply cos they ask nothing but to be loved. So why would we say to a child you dont deserve love??? Is it cos they naughty and we feel they dont deserve to have parents? I dont get it. They are helpless.

    Maybe I just having trouble getting head round this concept.
     
    Major likes this.
  16. Meaning, I dont give gifts to people I know who wont appreciate it or have that gift already. I suppose. Cos why would you give say a bike to someone who already has one?
     
  17. Gifts are not a bribe.
    Ok maybe I do a bible study on gifts. Jesus as Gods gift. DId Jesus deserve to be born? Was he a favor to us? Does God say Im doing you a favour by sending us Jesus? Where the israelites so bad and horrible that Jesus could have turned away and NOT do what he did?
     
  18. Thanks ravindran.
    Bit wordy but it did say grace was favor, and also divine influence on the heart.
    So maybe its both..but am going with the latter as a more concrete description of what grace does.
     
  19. It also says grace is a blessing given by Jesus.
    I always think some preachers leave out the Jesus part. I guess thats when they pervert grace.
     

Share This Page