Gnostic Doctrine

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

What is Grace

Grace


Grace the undeserved kindness of God

5485 xáris (a feminine noun meaning-, "“a favour freely done, without claim or expectation of return, leaning towards to share benefit,  – properly, Undeserved Kindness.

5485 (xáris) is used of God's favour – freely extended to give Himself away to people (because He is "always leaning toward them").

The word is often used to refer to a kind gift or a kind manner of giving. When referring to the undeserved kindness of God, the word describes a free gift given generously by God, with no expectation of repayment.

grace--Good will; favor; disposition to show mercy; aid from God in the process of regeneration. "By grace have ye been saved" (Eph. 2:5).



Conditional Grace

God’s grace has been offered to the entire human family. “For the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men . . .” (Titus 2:11). This cannot mean that every soul will be saved. Such a conclusion would contradict numerous other passages.

What this does suggest is that God’s grace is potentially available to all who care to access it by means of the divine plan of redemption (cf. Romans 5:1; 6:3-4,17).

The receiving of God’s grace is conditional. Some Christians get this wrong asserts that grace is bestowed unconditionally by the sovereign will of God. The Bible negates this concept.

The principle is illustrated by the example of Noah, who “found grace in the eyes of Yahweh” (Genesis 6:8); and yet, as the writer of Hebrews shows, Noah and his family were saved by preparing an ark in obedience to God’s instruction (11:7; cf. Genesis 6:22). Yahweh proffered the grace. Noah, by faith, obeyed Yahweh, and so was blessed. While God extends grace, human beings must be willing to “receive” the favour (2 Corinthians 6:1).

Grace is conditional and requires something on our part: faith.

Justification– “A man is justified by faith” (Romans 3:28)
Sanctification– “sanctification by…faith in the truth.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13)
Glorification– “[Jesus will] present you before Him (God) holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if you indeed continue in the faith.” (Colossians 1:22)


The Grace/Knowledge Connection

1 Corinthians 1:4-7

4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus,
5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge,
6 just as the witness about the Christ has been made firm among you,
7 so that YOU do not fall short in any gift at all, while YOU are eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ

Grace is expanded into "discourse and all knowledge,” v5 endowments with which the Corinthians were especially favoured

The access to God’s grace is by means of an objective body of revelation. Paul noted: “For the grace of God hath appeared . . . instructing us . . .” (Titus 2:11-12). Christianity is a taught religion. Isaiah, speaking of the kingdom age, proclaimed: “. . . he will teach us of his ways . . .” (2:3). Jesus himself declared: “It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard from the Father, and has learned, comes unto me” (John 6:45).

God’s grace is not dispensed apart from an instruction that requires both understanding and obedience. In these days when there is a tendency to “stampede” folks into the church, with little  comprehension of what they are doing, this is a crucial matter to emphasise.


Grace Is Not Earned
Grace excludes merit. We must constantly remind ourselves that humanity is not deserving of salvation. No one can “earn” pardon by works of human merit. If such were the case, we could boast regarding our redemption; however, that is impossible (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Even if one were able to perform everything God commands, he still must regard himself as an “unprofitable servant” (Luke 17:10). Jesus taught that our sins have put us head-over-heels in debt, and no person has the ability to liquidate that obligation (cf. Matthew 18:24-27).

When this concept is truly comprehend, service to Almighty God will flow with a freshness and zeal that invigorates the soul. Doubtless a failure to comprehend fully the true significance of grace is the reason many church members are spiritually inactive.


"Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17); that is, the real saving, redeeming, transforming power came to man through the work that Jesus did in establishing for the race a new and higher consciousness in the earth. We can enter into this consciousness by faith in Him and by means of the inner spirit of the law that He taught and practiced.

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