2:11 pm grace

Perhaps one of the most widely known religious hymns is “Amazing Grace.” Grace is a beautiful word in English.  Charis is the Greek word for grace and it is also a beautiful term.  What is grace?  Let’s probe the meaning of this term.
First, grace (charis) was the most attractive trait of human character to the Greek.  It was kindness or generosity.  Hence, charis naturally came to mean benefit or favour.  When applied to God or Christ, charis means divine favor.
Second, charis means more than God’s favor.  It is a quality of God’s character.  But, it is a quality that is a motive.  Grace is God giving to men, acting upon men, moving in the life of His people to bless.  Grace is God’s active goodness toward man.  Remember, God is omnibenevolent (all good).  Charis is the divine good will acting on behalf of men.  The angels declared it at the birth of Jesus.  “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14).  Grace was at work in sending Jesus into this world to die for our sins.  John 3:16 and II Cor. 9:15 reveal an “unspeakable gift” from God–Jesus Christ.  So, God’s grace is His active goodness which bestows an unspeakable gift.
Third, grace involves a free act of God’s generosity.  Grace is a sovereign act of the divine will (Gal. 1:4).  God has the power to accomplish His purposes!  Grace is an active expression of unmerited aid or succor.  God has no ulterior motives.  He has no caprices or moods.  Grace cannot be coaxed or coerced from God.  Grace is a free act of a divine being.  Grace is unmerited by men.  God commends His love toward us while we were yet sinners (Rom. 5:8-9).  We did nothing to deserve God’s grace.  We are unworthy of it.  Yet, God freely bestows it upon us.  Grace is uncalculating unique kindness with the purpose of spiritually blessing man when he needs it most.
Fourth, grace is the benefaction of one in power who grants relief or practical benefit to his subordinates (often powerless and hopeless).  God is the only one who has the power to bless man in securing his redemption.  Grace is God’s love in power.  At the cross, Jesus conquers sin.  In His resurrection, Jesus conquered death.  Jesus triumphs over Satan and gives us victory over both sin and death.  The cross is the essence of God’s grace working to deliver mankind from the bondage of sin.   Grace is a spiritual concept that unleashes God’s power to triumph over evil forces.
Fifth, grace is given to meet man’s spiritual need.  The greatest need that any human being has is forgiveness from God for sin.  Man’s sin separates him from God.  Grace reconciles him to God.  Man’s sin produces a debt so large he cannot repay it.  Grace removes the debt and sets him free.  Man’s sin produces bondage to Satan and results in condemnation before God. Grace liberates from the spiritual consequences of sin (Titus 2:11-15) and bestows sonship with God.
Sixth, grace liberates us from the practice of sin.  Grace is not a license to keep on sinning (Rom. 6:1).  Grace calls us out of darkness into His marvelous light (I Pet. 2:9).  Grace transforms us.  God’s grace must be met by our gratitude in order to complete the circle of fellowship with God. Thus transformed, we pursue soberness, righteousness and godliness in this present world.  We are debtors to God.  We owe God something, no we owe Him everything!  Grace causes us to glorify God in our body and in our spirits which are God’s (I Cor. 6:19-20).
Seventh, grace is available to all without respect of persons (Acts 10:34).  Christ’s grace is appropriated through love (John 14:15); faith (Mark 16:16) and obedience (Heb. 5:8,9). Grace is not indiscriminately or haphazardly bestowed by God.  Grace is available to all men, but appropriated by an obedient faith (Gal. 3:26-27).  In the same epistle that Paul speaks of Christ’s grace (Gal. 1), he reveals how to become a child of God by that grace system–faith and baptism into Christ.
Grace flows from the throne of God to man who is totally dependent upon it for his salvation.  Grace must be received with gratitude in the human heart in order to complete the circle of fellowship with God.  Grace provides us with the means of sweet communion with God.  Now, let us sing, “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!”

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