17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Truth is, we have carried the Old Covenant concept of grace into the New Covenant, and considered grace as just God’s unmerited favour, kindness and goodwill. We have failed to find out the true grace that has come to us through Christ Jesus. So, the true meaning of God’s grace is lost on us.
1 Peter 1:10-12
Notice the Old Covenant prophets prophesied of the grace intended for us. This is the true grace that has been brought to us by Christ Jesus. The grace to come to us after His death, and the glories to follow us which were revealed to them were for us and not for them–the Old Covenant saints.
In the new birth, we were not only saved and redeemed according to the riches of God’s grace; we were also lavished with the wealth of His grace –Ephesians 1:7,8.
Christ, who is full of grace and truth, dwells in us by His Spirit. And out of His fullness, we have received grace for grace, blessings, spiritual gifts, and favour upon favour -1John 1:14-16.
God is able to make all grace come to us in abundance in Christ.
2 Corinthians 9:8 (AMP)
8 And God is ABLE to MAKE ALL GRACE (EVERY FAVOUR AND [EARTHLY BLESSING) COME TO YOU IN ABUNDANCE, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient . . .
The grace which comes to us as believers, and makes us sufficient in all things is more than God’s favour, kindness and goodwill. The Bible clearly reveals to us, the nature of this true grace found in Christ.
1) Grace is God’s strength and power which He infuses in us, and makes us sufficient to face any hardship, trouble and problem we encounter in life. Grace empowers us to endure and overcome every challenge.
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 ( AMP)
You can understand Paul’s claim that he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him. Christ empowers us by infusing inner strength (grace) into us and makes us self-sufficient in His sufficiency –Philppians 4:13.
Again, consider this passage of scripture in Philippians 2:12-13 (AMP)
Grace energises and creates in us the power and desire for us to carry out the will of God.
2) Grace is the divine influence and empowerment.
Titus 2:11-12 (AMP)
11 For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind.12 IT HAS TRAINED US to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world.
Understand that grace is not divine permission to do wrong. Rather, it is divine influence and empowerment to do what is right.
3) Grace is the transforming and enabling power of God. Remember all that Paul used to be and his own admission as the chief of sinners. But read his own testimony about what grace did in his life and ministry.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 BUT BY THE GRACE OF GOD I AM WHAT I AM, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, BUT THE GRACE OF GOD which was with me.
So, grace is not just unmerited favour; it is the empowering force behind who we become and all we are enabled to do for God. We must learn to cooperate, yield and depend on the grace that has come to us.
(We will continue with the ABC’s of God’s wonderful grace in our next meeting. Stay with us)
Written by Peter Collins Obeng