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The Word of God
A right premise upon which to base our Faith
The word of God states “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together in Christ, (by grace you are saved)”. Ephesians 2:4-5. “For by grace you are saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God”. Ephesians 2:8
What is this grace by which we are saved, through faith? Often “grace” is defined as the “unmerited favor of God,” and many Christians believe this is the definition applicable in Ephesians.
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for grace is chen, (khan), as is found in Genesis 6:8, “Noah found grace in the sight of God”. It’s meaning here is favor, well favored, precious, objective beauty, and it comes from the root word in Hebrew chanan (khawhan), which means “to stoop in kindness to an inferior, to have mercy on or upon, have pity upon”.
For too long Christians have believed that the grace by which they have been saved and the grace that is being dispensed in our present lives is the Old Testament grace. We are going to examine the word of God a little closer to see exactly what grace really is.
John 1:14 says, “and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”.
John 1:1-2 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God”.
Since we know that Jesus Christ was and IS the word of God, WAS and IS God, and according to Philippians 2:6, “who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God,” then it does not seem at all reasonable to think that the grace He was full of was “unmerited.” If there was ever anyone worthy to receive favor, who merited the favor of God the Father, it was indeed His son, Jesus Christ.
The Greek word for grace in the New Testament in John 1:14 and in all but one verse where grace appears, means the same thing, and it does not mean “unmerited favor”, nor does it mean stooping down in kindness to an inferior nor does it mean that God had pity or mercy upon. The Greek word for grace in the New Testament is charis (khar-ece), and it means “the divine influence upon the heart, and it’s reflection in the life, (including gratitude).” It also means, acceptable, benefit, favor, gift, joy, liberality, pleasure, thanks and worthy.
Thus it is an easy thing to see that the grace that Jesus was full of, was indeed, “DIVINE INFLUENCE UPON HIS HEART, AND IT’S REFLECTION IN HIS LIFE”. Jesus said of Himself in John 12:49 “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, He gave me a commandment, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting; (verse 50), whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”
This is the grace that we have been saved by, not the Old Testament grace. And this same grace which abided to the fullness of all God’s ability in Jesus Christ IS the same grace that God has given to you. It was God’s purpose before the foundation of the world that you should be His child. He predestined you according to Ephesians 1:5 “having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will”.
The Father’s Divine influence upon your heart is what enabled you, by the Holy Spirit, to hear Him when He called you. It is that influence upon your heart that enabled you to respond to that call. Look at Ephesians 2:8 again, “for by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of ourselves; it is a gift from God.” Read it with a new perspective upon that word grace. Paraphrased it might read something like this, “By the divine influence upon your heart and it’s reflection in your life, are you saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God.” Now look at verse 9 “not of works, lest any man should boast.” You didn’t come to God because of anything you did or thought about, but rather He influenced your heart to agree with His heart so that you might receive His son Jesus Christ as your savior. The very fact that you are a child of God today is because GRACE moved from heaven upon your heart. You merit the gift because God said the finished work of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross and His resurrection was sufficient to bring you back into right standing with Him.
For too long Christians have held onto a “sinner man” mentality. Blinded to the truth that Jesus redeemed us totally from the curse of the law and bondage to sin. He has restored us back to the Father. This AMAZING GRACE is what influences your heart everyday and by the Holy Spirit is reflected in your life every day.
Ephesians 4:7 says “but unto every one of us is given grace (Divine influence upon the heart and it’s reflection in our lives) according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” How much grace was that? As much grace as Jesus was full of. John 1:14 “and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”, that’s how much grace you have been given.
Perhaps with this new understanding of the grace of God which you have been given, it will be a little easier for you to do what Ephesians 4:23-24 says, “and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
It is my sincere prayer that you will search the scriptures for more evidence of this AMAZING GRACE which you have been given, and through prayer, praise and worship, our father will increase your comprehensive understanding of this wonderful gift.
I also am praying that your very heart will be moved to yield quickly to His divine influence, in order that it’s reflection in your life will be unimpaired and that the knowledge of God in you, by the power of the Holy Spirit will equip you to take the message of His grace, love and peace through Jesus Christ to the lost in this world.
I remain your faith-filled, grace-filled sister in Jesus Christ.