The Grace of God
Bro. David Thomas Jr.


The word "grace" is used many times in the Bible. However, there is no chapter that describes
grace as Hebrews 11 describes faith. An example of a verse where grace is used is Luke 2:40 that
describes Jesus. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of
God was upon him." Phrases like "grace of God" and "find grace in thy sight" are often used in
salutations such as Romans 1:7, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus
Christ".
A salutation asking for grace is found at the beginning of all of Paul's epistles. The last verse of the Bible in Rev. 22:21 says, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."
In Webster's Dictionary grace means "ease, charm; or ease and beauty in form and motion" such
as a graceful dancer or someone who speaks or acts in a graceful manner. In the Bible it means
much more. The word translated "grace" in the New Testament is the Greek word "charis". The
word charis has six meanings that can be divided into three groups. The first group has three similar
meanings. The first meaning is "the property of a thing which causes it to give joy". The things that
gave the Greeks joy were grace and beauty. So it came to mean "the presence of grace and beauty".
Finally, it came to mean "the beautiful thing itself. So the first group signifies "the property of something that causes it to give joy", "the presence of grace and beauty", and "the beautiful thing
itself.
The second group had one meaning only which is "thankfulness" or "thank worthiness". The final
group had two meanings. The first is "favor freely given", and the other is "an act beyond the
ordinary course of what is expected". This last group is very important as we shall see later.
A good example of the first group is found in Luke 4 after Jesus had spent 40 days in the wilderness. We read that Jesus returned with the power of the Holy Spirit to Galilee and he came to Nazareth.
Verse 16 says,
"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read."
The chapter continues. "And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And
when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is
upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the
broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering the sight to the blind, to set at
liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, this day is the
scriptures fulfilled in your ears.
And all bare him witness and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?"
Jesus was quoting Isaiah 61:1,2. It is interesting to note the difference in wording between Isaiah
61:1,2 and Jesus' words in Luke 4. The translation of the Greek New Testament and the Hebrew Old
Testament are somewhat different. Jesus' words were graceful and beautiful and they gave joy to
those who heard them.
The second meaning of the Greek word "charis" is "thankfulness". We have an example of this in
1 Peter 2:18-21.
"Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering
wrongfully."
The word "thankworthy" is the Greek "charis". These verses may be difficult for some to accept. These verses seem to say that a servant must faithfully obey his or her master even if the master is undeserving. However, these verses are not defending the froward master. They are telling servants
to "turn the other cheek" and not seek revenge.
The final group of meanings of the word grace is the one that we usually associate with it in the
Bible. The Greek word "charis" can mean "favor freely given" or "an act beyond -what might be
expected". We will quote many verses showing that it is through the grace of God or His favor
freely given that we have hope of eternal life.
The best example of God's grace was the death of His son. His death was an act beyond what might normally be expected. Perhaps the second best example is Paul. If the light did not shine down from
heaven, Paul would not have followed God. We read the following in Acts 9. "And Saul yet breathing out threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto
the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether
they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shines round about him a light
from heaven:"
The Lord spoke to Paul and he became a great apostle. Many times Paul said that he was able to preach because of the grace of God. Paul was a humble individual who made it very clear that he
was fortunate to have found God. In 1 Cor. 15:10 Paul says,
"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with
me."
This is true of all believers. Ephesians 2:8 says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that
not of yourselves: it is the gift of God". It is not our faith by itself that saves us. It is through the
grace of God that we are saved if we have the faith.
In Galations 1:15 and 16 Paul says, "But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's
womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his- son in me, that I might preach him among the
heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:"
It was through the grace of God that the Israelites were the chosen people of God. He didn't have to
choose them. Deut. 7:6-9 says, "For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a
special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any
people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of
bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;"
Exodus 33:12, 13,16, and 17 says, "And Moses said unto the Lord, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I
know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.
Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the
earth.
And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found
grace in my sight, and I know thee by name."
It is through the grace of God that the Gentiles have hope of eternal life. In Acts 11:22 and 23 we read that believers heard how the truth was being preached to the Gentiles. They sent Barnabas to
see first hand how many were accepting the truth. "Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was at Jerusalem: and they
sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord."
In Romans 5 Paul describes how it was through God's grace that his son was sacrificed for us. Rom.
5:1,2 says, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope
of the glory of God." Verses 6-8 says,
"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a
righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God
commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
In conclusion, we should be thankful that through God's grace we have found the truth in God's Word. It is through God's favor freely given that we meet together each Sunday.
 

David Thomas Jr.


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