October 2011

Regardless of how long ago you and I first heard about God’s grace, whether it was sixty years ago or only last week, if we really comprehend and appreciate the Bible’s teaching about the meaning and scope of grace, then we are awed and overwhelmed by the truth that the Almighty Creator of the universe would be willing to demonstrate grace to us. Yes, it is “Amazing Grace,” indeed.

It seems that in modern times most people use the expressions “God’s grace” or “the grace of God,” which are certainly biblical (Titus 2:11). It is also proper to think of grace as “the grace of the Godhead.” While the Bible does not use that exact term, the Scriptures show that grace is connected to each member of the Godhead. As we noted, the Bible speaks of “the grace of God” (Hebrews 2:9), but we also read of “the Spirit of grace” (Hebrews 10:29) and “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 13:14). These facts demonstrate the Godhead’s unity in providing grace to humans.

In the New Testament, what does the word “grace” mean? “Grace” comes from the Greek word “χάρις/charis,” which is defined in part as “that which bestows or occasions pleasure, delight, or causes favorable regard . . . on the part of the bestower, the friendly disposition from which the kindly act proceeds, graciousness, loving-kindness, goodwill generally” [Vine’s Expository of New Testament Words, word no. 5485]. In terms of the salvation that the Father provides to mankind through His Son, God’s “grace” is undeserved kindness – kindness that He extends to us, though we could never earn or deserve it.

Let us look at some matters which the Bible shows are related to the Godhead’s marvelous grace. [All emphasis in all Bible quotes is mine, rdc].

The Sinner For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:23,24). It is really quite simple: we need grace because of sin. Sin creates the separation between the transgressor and God, and grace provides a way out of that otherwise helpless, hopeless situation. Look again at the sin-grace-redemption connection in Romans 3:24,25.

The Riches – “In Him [Jesus] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians

What glorious riches they are!

The Death – “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9).

The Blood – “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

The Salvation – “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us . . . For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:4,9)

The Availability – To what extent does the Lord make His grace available to humanity? “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11)

The Word – “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). By His grace, God gave us the gospel, by which He reveals His desire to save us through grace. So, it is a grace-gospel: (1) it was given by grace and (2) it is a message that makes known real grace.

The Location – As we noted, God’s grace is available to all men (Titus 2:11), but we need to know where God makes that grace available. Again, we look at Ephesians 1:7: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” It should not surprise us to learn of God’s grace being granted “in” His Son, since we read that all spiritual blessings are “in” Him (Ephesians 1:3).

The Access – “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand . . .” (Romans 5:1,2). So, it is “by faith” that we are justified and “by faith” that we have access to God’s grace. What kind of faith? The kind of faith that causes one to obey the gospel, which includes being baptized into the Christ (Romans 6:3,4,17,18). That is the only way into Him and His death.

Now that we are in the Lord, what shall we do? Continue in His grace by continuing in His word (1 Corinthians 15:1,2). Thank God for His great grace.

Roger D. Campbell

TRUTH is published monthly by the Klang church of Christ in order to help educate, edify, encourage, and equip the saints of God.

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