Even we being dead in deviations, he made us alive together with Christ,by Grace you are having been saved.
That being justified by his Grace, we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:7
God is not obligated to have Grace and Mercy on any one of us, he does not owe me anything, i am totally dependent on his Mercy....
"Grace gives us the chance to take advantage"some say---That's what it appears to look like, but instead i do agree with C. H. Spurgeon; he said;"God's Grace has quite the opposite affect; one receiving God's Grace will react with thankfullness in his heart and will be fleeing from sin, since it cost the life of Him that gives Grace.Therefore he will do his uttmost to flee sin."
John Bunyan; in his excellent book, saved by grace, says; "for the doctrine of free Grace believed, is the most sin-killing doctrine in the world".
God's Grace causes thankfulness in God's elect; you cannot be thankful and take advantage at the same time. One cannot be thankful and chase after sin. Being thankful and sinning are on opposite ends.Taking advantage=the flesh, being thankful=the spirit, and if you are led by the spirit, then you are sons of God, and if sons, then heirs....
God's Grace makes me dependant on him. Spurgeon said; " God gives us enough Grace for today, tomorrow i will need more Grace for that day.(and God will supply that Grace also) The more one receives Grace, the more he realizes his need for Grace.
The only counter force against sin is God's Grace." Because Grace is greater than sin, where sin abounds, Grace abounds all the more...
The Law was brought in. The purpose of the law is to show sin for what it really is and to magnify our sinfulness. Before the law, yes i was a sinner, but sin is not charged where there is not law. No one is able to keep all of the law, all of the time, we all fall short, most of us way short.Therefore all our righteous deeds are like filthy rags in God's eyes. Now God's Grace is, Jesus Christ dying for our sins once and for all, and now that Grace empowers God's own to live a life pleasing to him, free of being enslaved to sin and escaping sin through him. And the final Grace is his appearing a second time to gather his own to be received into his kingdom!
So God calls us by his Grace, empowers us by Grace to follow him and overcome sin, keeps us by his Grace and supplies us with enough Grace to reach his heavenly kingdom-the final Grace!
I want to touch on a scripture;
Jude 1:4 for certain men slipped in stealthily, the ones having been of old written before to this judgement, ungodly ones perverting the Grace of our Lord into unbridled lust and denying the only master, God, even our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ever since Jesus said "to beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inside they are ravenous wolves" (Matthew 7:15) and paul the apostle said "after my departure unsparing wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock" (Acts 20:28-32). So until now we have "churches" or religious establishments that "their grace" justifies sin, instead of the real Grace that justifies the sinner and calls the sinner to follow Christ. The grace they talk about leaves the sinner right where he is at, tells him all is ok, Jesus died for your sins and there never becomes a difference in person, in living, or a difference from the rest of the world. Dietrich Bonhoeffer calls this "cheap grace" as opposed to costly Grace.(from his book; the cost of discipleship)
So now we have religious people that live a worldly life.....that's not Grace.
That's religion. Of course there is no such thing as "cheap grace", but for illustrative purposes it paints the right picture of what the devil through the flesh and certain religions has turned it into.
First and foremost Grace comes from God, brings about real change, justifies the sinner but doesn't leave him there, brings a person that was living according to the flesh to living in the spirit and lead by the Holy Spirit. And soon the fruits of the spirit will start to appear.( read galatians 5) Just remember different people grow at different rates.
Grace brings about obidience, an obidience that is not possible otherwise and an obidience that lasts till we meet our Lord and Savior in his kingdom. Because that obidience is based on his Grace through faith and causes real thankfulness, a motivation that lasts and continues....and since God through Jesus Christ has done so amazing to us, we will follow him forever, we know nothing better, we want to be close and near to him. And isn't that a real and amazing change?!
Foreword to the study on God's Grace;
What's really most important is the one behind grace, God himself. From this study you should
be able to learn about God's nature, what he really is like and how he is toward us and what kind
of relationship he has with his own. You will come to understand that our salvation is by Grace and Grace alone and that our relationship with God is through Grace by Jesus Christ. This study will lead you to a greater appreciation and marvel of God for who he really is and how to respond to him and enter into a Grace-relationship with him. We hope that this study will bring you closer to God, make you more thankful and become alot more amazed at how great God is. You will come to realize that God is in total control, even though in this world it doesn't look like it, but he has a plan for each of us and that is his Grace. Our hope is that if you aren't a follower yet, that this study will help you realize that he is calling you and that you will be encouraged to respond to his call and that you want to be near such a gracious God. If you are already a christian, we hope this study will help you to have a closer relationship with him and that you will be able to serve him more pleasingly out of thankfulness for his grace. Hopefully it will put you serving him in a whole new light, like it has done for me, or at the least it will fuel the fire that's already there. God's plan is from before the beginning of time. His plan, his call, his predestinating his own, his justifying, his sanctifying and keeping us and finally bringing us home is all by his Grace out of love. God has a unique way of dealing with each of us and that is his grace too. This study is from the scriptures and from my experience and some input from other christians and from some great voices that went before us like C. H. Spurgeon, John Bunyan, Martin Luther, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and saint Augustine of Hippo. I'm not a scholar or a trained bible professor, just an honest christian studying to show myself approved and willing to share.This page and website is a work in progress, as God leads me and shows me more and I get better at writing it down. So bear with me, please. Test all things, including what is stated here, pray for God to lead us into all the truth by his Spirit. Only believe and trust things that he himself confirms to you. The purpose is for us to be more thankful and really depend on God about everything by his grace and serve God more pleasingly and prepare for his kingdom and also to represent him as he is to our families, friends, neighboors and the world.
God bless and enjoy this study and i pray it will be of help to you.
Why is GRACE so important?
1. Because I am a sinner, a terrible one at that. But for example let's just say that
someone only committed one sin. How does one get right with God? We cannot "make up"
even for one sin. God will in no way overlook our sin and anyway, God says if you broke one of his laws, you are guilty of breaking them all. So if one asks God to forgive his sins, how can God forgive? Just like our law, where there is punishment that fits the crime, so also even more with God and he says the punishment for our sins is eternal death.(Romans 6:23) God's justice demands punishment for our sins. In the old testament whenever the jews broke God's law, they had to make an animal sacrifice to God for he said; without the shedding of blood there is no forgivness of sins.(Hebrews 9:22) Now shedding a sinners blood is of no value, as we need a sacrifice without spot or blemish, so God sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, who was the perfect sacrifice, because he never sinned and he took our sins upon him, shed his blood for us. He became that acceptable sacrifice, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. God doing that and Jesus giving himself that is GOD'S GRACE AND JESUS CHRIST'S GRACE toward us.
2. Because I cannot work my way into heaven. No work or deed or righteousness of ourselves is or can be acceptable to God. What can i do to deserve heaven? The answer is nothing. It is like the cat chasing its tail, an impossible task.Only his Grace. Matter of fact, any one trying to work their way into heaven, by doing good deeds, or being a good guy, what they really are saying is that God's grace isn't necessary, that Jesus didn't need to die on the cross, that they
can do it all on their own merits. After giving up his only Son, how do you think God will deal with people like that?
3. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ, so Grace is the basis now, of christian life, of
our relationship with God and our life. We are no longer under the law like the jews in the
old testament but we are under Grace now. Jesus Christ through his death and ressurection
introduced a much better covenant, one that God intended all along. Also see king David,
Abraham just to mention two.
4. Abraham, Israel, they are God's chosen people, but now through Jesus Christ's death and
ressurection, salvation became available to all of us also. Now all that are of the same faith as Abraham, they are Abrahams children. And isn't that GOD'S AMAZING GRACE.
What is God's Grace?
Maybe Justin Holcomb said it best; "Grace is getting what you don't deserve and not getting what you do deserve." And st. Augustine of Hippo said; the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord must be understood as that by which alone men are delivered from evil, and without which they do absolutely no good thing, whether in thought, or will and affection, or in deed.
The getting is; salvation, being justified, being sanctified, empowerment to obey and do what God wants, a right relationship with God, thankfulness, a way to overcome sin. God has entered into a Grace relationship with us, giving us favor and blessings and receiving thanks in return as acceptable worship.
But the purpose of this study is to get to a better understanding, so go over it, study, come to your own conclusions from God's word and from God himself by what he reveals to you.
DICTIONARY; (2) in christian belief; the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowment of blessings.
Grace - Relationship
Through Jesus's death on the cross, what Grace accomplishes is that I am restored to our original relationship with God that Adam had, but even better, because we are a new creation in Christ Jesus. And that relationship that God's Grace makes possible, is based on his Grace and on God continuing his Grace toward me and me returning Thanks(grace from me) to him. Think about it, that's really the only thing we can "give" God, THANKS. By his Grace he impowers his own to overcome sin, flee sin and do what is pleasing to him, which his elect want to do anyway out of their thankfulness to him for what he has done through Jesus Christ and is doing in them and for them.
God's Grace finds his own in their lost condition, but doesn't leave them there. Instead it changes his own from one degree of glory to the next, they becoming more and more like him.
Grace, the human point of view
Here we have a career criminal, sitting in jail. Either he committed a real bad crime, or maybe so many "small "offenses that it finally caught up with him. So here he is, sitting in jail, waiting for his sentence to be executed. He is sentenced to death, he can't complain, he knows he did the crime. O, how he wishes he could turn time back, reverse his actions, but he knows that is not possible. He pleaded with the judge, promised to be good, to change. The judge, although friendly to the criminal, said he had to uphold the law, and the law demanded punishment for his crimes. He had run out of chances. So there really was no hope for said man. He spent his days waiting to be called by the executioner, for him to be led away and he would surely find death, cause that was his sentence. And alas, that feared day arrived, he was called, but to his surprise, he again stood before the judge. And the judge pronounced him a free man, he could go, his record had been wiped clean. Free, free at last shouted the man, and then he began to wonder how he got so lucky to escape this sentence of death. Well he thought, the judge must've reconsidered all those promises he made to change and be a new man. No, that couldn't be it, said the man to himself, cause he knew he only said that in the state of the fear of death. Maybe somebody paid the judge a large sum of money, that's why he was getting released, well maybe that could be it. So finally he got the courage to ask his jailor, which was his ex-jailor now, why am I getting released? And the jailor responded; This morning, as we were getting the gallows ready and were about to come and snatch you out of your cell, we were told that a man had arrived and volunteered to accept your sentence and take your place at the gallows. That is the reason why we are releasing you. Please, bring me to that man, so that I can at least thank him, said the ex-criminal. It's too late, the man has been executed already, was the reply he got. At least tell me his name, implored the ex-criminal. His name is Jesus Christ.
Now what kind of life you think that criminal lived from then on? And what is his attitude toward Jesus Christ now?
I imagen that the criminal was extremly thankful to Jesus Christ for saving him from sure death. And I'm sure his life reflected that and he turned into a God loving and God fearing christian by the Grace of God.
Grace - adoption
Another way to look at Grace, we are like poor children with a father who is a thief, and a no good mother. They don't take care of us, but abuse and neglect us. Therefore we have no hope and no future. And finally our parents abandon us altogether. Now we have become orphans. But we get adopted. But not just by anybody - by the King.Just think for a moment, when some one is going to adopt a child, what kind of child do they usually look for? Well, a good kid or a nice kid, a kid that will fit well into their family, one that doesn't have too many problems.....But our King adopted the worst, most vile, most neglected, no good children. Now we went from poor neglected orphans to adopted children of the King, with all his benefits and riches. Now we get to live like Kings son's and daughter's, receive all the schooling and training a prince and princess receive, get dressed in king's clothing and will get to inherit the kingdom. (story inspired by one of spurgeon's sermon and the scriptures)
That is another example of how amazing Grace works!
Grace and our will
What Grace is not
Grace and whats on the opposite side!
What Grace produces
Grace, how it works
If you are proud, "enjoying" a sinful life, doing whatever you want, then you are not ready or eligible for God's Grace.
Because God opposes the proud, but gives Grace to the humble.That is in scriptures 3 times. (james 4:6, 1peter 5:5,
proverbs 3:34) There are not many things that God repeats, let alone that you can find 3 times, so it must be very important.
That is also the one thing we can do, HUMBLE OURSELVES BEFORE GOD. And of course that is by his Grace only. But first your sin has to really, really bother you. There has to be an elementary surrender, a desire to turn away from sin, a sort of emptying out, so that God can fill you up with his Spirit, his Grace, a new creation and that is only by his Grace through Faith.
Now how God does that can be very different from one individual to the next, he is God and does what he pleases and has mercy on whom he desires to have mercy. And we are not all the same, we can be very different people, but the same problems in possibly very different forms and extends.God knows what he is doing! So let's trust him and his way.
His Grace is sufficient for each of us, however much each of us needs, God will provide.
SIN (romans 5:20,21, romans 6:14,15, romans 6:1)
THE LAW (john 1:17, romans 6:14,15, galatians 2:21, galatians 5:4)
ungodliness and worldly lusts (titus 2:12)
WORKS (ephesians 2:8,9, romans 11:5,6, 2 timothy 1:9)
DEAD (ephesians 2:5, romans5:15/17)
poor/poverty (2 corinthians 8:9)
PROUD (james 4;6, 1 peter 5:5, proverbs 3:34)
fleshly wisdom (2 corinthians 1:12)
think to highly of himself (romans 12:3)
let not any rotten word go out of your mouth (ephesians 4:21)
no root of bitterness grow up in you (hebrews 12:15)
strange doctrine (hebrews 13:9)
unbridled lust (jude 1:4)
Grace for Grace
Grace and words with it
And out of his(Jesus Christ's) fullness we all received, and Grace for Grace.
I never understood why it said Grace for Grace. I wondered why are there two Grace there? That didn't seem necessary.
Here is Augustine of Hippo's explanation from his exellent book; on Grace and free will
He explains that the first Grace here is being saved by his Grace (ephesians 2:8,9) and the second Grace is the free grace-gift of eternal salvation (romans 6:23)
So we see that we begin with Grace and end with Grace!
That is amazing Grace. I will further study this, if I can find any other christian writings saying the same thing.
What is the purpose of Grace?
The number one purpose of God's Grace is; that by way of Grace, which in our case was made possible through Jesus death on the cross, to save his elect, his own, his sheep, his chosen, his children. And save meaning; to keep save from the lake of fire, keep save from the evil one, give us power over sin, instruct us on how to live and to keep us save from beginning to eternity. Therefore part of God's Grace and purpose becomes; to keep us, to impower us to be what he intendeds us to be, which we could not do on our own power, of ourselves we are powerless.
Grace is costly and free at the same time!
(inspiration for this section from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's book, cost of discipleship)
Grace is costly, it costs more than all the gold in the world, because it cost our Lord and Savior's life. Jesus Christ willingly gave up his seat in heaven, took on our form of flesh and blood, endured the same temptations yet without sin, and went to the cross, shedding his blood for all of us. That's how much God and Jesus Christ love us.
How hard is it for a father to give up his son? How hard is it for an innocent man to go to his death, death on a cross? Now remember, death on a cross, hours upon hours of extreme pain and then death. Remember, Jesus had the weight of all of our sins upon us. Remember he did it, not for a bunch of righteous or noble people, but the no good, sick of the world, who at that time cared nothing for him.
So you can see, Grace is very costly to God.
Now for us, it's FREE!!
We cannot do anything to earn it, it's absolutly free! It's ours for the taking, or better said; God's for the giving.
But he does not give Grace according to merit, work, or how well you live by the 10 commandments, but whom he chooses to be gracious to. Also he does not give Grace on your promise of future good works, etc. etc.....
It is solely by his choice! He takes the dirt and forms something beautiful out of it, to his glory.
Now doesn't that make you very thankful???
God's Grace = balance
I am convinced that unless God's Grace is the basis of your christian life, you will not be balanced, but you will be like a table with 3 legs, alot easier blown about by any wind or doctrine, any attack of the enemy, open to false doctrines, open to all kinds of doubts, worries, temptations that you got to do something....
Our salvation is based on the Rock, Jesus Christ himself and we are being saved by his Grace and his Grace only and that must become the basis of our christian life and than we will continue with Him, growing in grace....
Can i give Grace to God?
YES, ABSOLUTLY!! Matter of fact is; you will, you should, you must.
Let;s look at some scriptures;
1 Corinthians 15:57 But THANKS(5485 Grace) be to God,the one giving us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 2:14 But THANKS (5485 Grace) be to God, the one always leading us in triumph in Christ, and the one revealing through us the fragrance of the knowledge of him in every place.
2 Corinthians 9:15 But THANKS (5485 Grace) to God for his unspeakable gift.
1 Timothy 1:12 and i have THANKS (5485 Grace) to him empowering me, our Lord Jesus Christ, because he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.
2 Timothy 1:3 i have THANKS (5485 Grace) to God, whom i worship from my forefathers in a pure conscience......
SO YOU SEE, BEING THANKFUL IS GIVING GRACE TO GOD. And isn't that the "only thing" we can give God anyway, THANKS? Any one receiving God's Grace will be thankful and become more thankful as we continue in his Grace and grow in his Grace.
This is a Grace
1 Peter 2:19+20 for this is a Grace, if because of conscience toward God anyone bears grief, suffering unjustly, for what credit is it if sinning and being hit by the fist, you patiently endure? But if you are suffering while doing good, and patiently endure, this is a Grace from God.
The old covenant and the new covenant