Thursday, November 24, 2011

God's Amazing Grace

One of the things I am most thankful for is the grace of my God. If not for it... well, there is nothing... no good thing... no hope... nothing. So in honor of Thanksgiving I have pulled out a study I did on the grace of God to share with you all. May it be a blessing.
God bless the study of His Word.


The first use of the word grace in the Bible is in Genesis 6:8.

But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

This word favor in Hebrew is chen -it means favor, grace, kindness, beauty, precious. It comes from the word chanan –which means to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior, to have mercy on or to have pity on.

The last time the word grace is used in the Old Testament is in the book of Zechariah.

Then he said to me,
“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying,
Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
says the LORD of hosts. 
‘What are you, O great mountain?
Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain;
and he will bring forth the top stone
with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”
Zechariah 4:6-7


 “I will pour out on the house of David
and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
the Spirit of grace and of supplication,
so that they will look on Me
whom they have pierced;
and they will mourn for Him,
as one mourns for an only son,
and they will weep bitterly over Him
like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.
Zechariah 12:10

 In all of these uses grace is equated with salvation and our beautiful Savior.

In 1 Peter we read of how God’s grace was prophesied through the prophets. We also saw how this amazing grace was longed to be looked upon even by the angels!

As to this salvation,
the prophets who prophesied of the grace
that would come to you
made careful searches and inquiries,
 seeking to know what person
or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating
as He predicted the sufferings of Christ
and the glories to follow. 
It was revealed to them
that they were not serving themselves, but you,
in these things which now have been announced to you
through those who preached the gospel to you
by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—
things into which angels long to look.
1 Peter 1:10-12

The first time that the word grace is used in the New Testament is in Luke 2:40

The Child continued to grow
and become strong,
increasing in wisdom;
and the grace of God was upon Him.

Once again it is in a verse that is teaching of our Savior. In the Greek, the word grace is charis –which means gratifying, of manner or act, the divine influence upon the heart and it’s reflection in the life.

The next mention is in John 1:14-17. We read of how grace and truth were realized in Jesus. In the KJV this verse (Jn 1:17) reads “grace and truth came” by Jesus. The word “came” in this verse is ginomai –and means to cause to be generate, to be finished, follow, be found, be fulfilled, grow, be kept, be married, be ordained to be, partake, be performed.

What we see from this is beautiful!
The Law is indeed truth, but it came with no grace.
Yet in Christ grace and truth are married, they are one.
Grace and truth are finished in Christ, they are performed in Christ.
They are brought to life in our lives in, through, and by Christ.

As we move through the New Testament and continue our study of the grace of our God we can discover beautiful truths:

*We discover that grace is free – Eph 1:6, Rom 4:4
*We discover it is by God’s free gift of grace that we are saved – Rom 3:24, Rom 5:1-8, Eph 2:5-8
*We discover that not only is it by grace that Christ offers Himself but it is by grace that God even accepts this as propitiation for our sins – Heb 2:9, Rom 5:15-17
*We discover that it is grace that calls us to salvation –Gal 1:6
*We discover that it is grace that covers our sins – Rom 5:20-21, 1 Tim 1:13-14
*We discover that all that we are in Christ is by grace – 1 Corin 15:10

So what effect should this amazing grace have in our daily lives?
Remember that it is “the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life.” (look at Acts 4:33, 2 Corin 9:8)

*Grace should be recognized in you by others – Acts 11:23, 2 Corin 1:12, Gal 12:9
*Grace should be shared with other – Act 20:24, Eph 3:2, Eph 4:29 (with believers), Col 4:6 (with unbelievers)
*Grace should empower you – Titus 2:11-14
*Grace should build you up - Acts 20:32

God also gives us warnings concerning His grace:

*We are not to receive it in vain - 2 Corin 6:1
*We are not to fall from it – Gal 5:4
*We are not to insult it – Heb 10:29
*We are not to come short of it – Heb12:15
*We are not to turn it into licentiousness – Jude 4

God also gives us commands concerning His grace:

*We are to be strong in it - 2 Tim 2:1
*We are to run to it – Heb 4:16
*We are to fix our eyes on it - 1 Peter 1:13
*We are to stand firm in it - 1 Peter 5:12
*We are to grow in it – 2 Peter 3:18

The last mention of the word grace is the Bible is in Revelation, the very last verse in the word of God.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”
Revelation 22:21

How great is our God and how abundant is His grace!

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