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  • What is God's Grace?

    Not sure a poll would do this topic justice, but I think we have so many thoughts as to what is the Grace of God...

    So to see what the mass thinks God's grace is, here's the discussion point.

    What is God's Grace?
    "Enter by the Narrow Gate...
    Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way...
    ... there are few who find it."


    -----------------------------------------------

    * All Scripture when quoted is taken from:

    The New American Standard Bible®,
    Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
    1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
    Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

    Italics, bold, color and/or underline are added for emphasis


  • #2
    Re: What is God's Grace?

    Great question. I'd say it's the physical manifestation of His love shown to us. The greatest example being Jesus dying for us.
    This IGNORE button is by far one of the most useful tools I've used to keep my peace while navigating through some of the madness.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What is God's Grace?

      Classic definition is unmerited favor.

      Gods riches at Christs expense.

      The substitutionary death of Christ for mankind. Vicarious atonement. The only hope of mankind to escape the certain wrath of God revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Rom 1:18

      For the cause of Christ
      Roger

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What is God's Grace?

        Grace is God choosing to be the initiator, for no reason other than it pleased Him to do so, in restoration of a sinful man.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What is God's Grace?

          The grace of God is the dynamic action of God by and through which He saves us from sin and its consequences through faith, and empowers us to serve Him. This action is wholly voluntary and without any obligation on the part of God, and is freely given to us through the faith that He makes it possible for us to have. An integral part of that faith is our volitional obedience to Christ as we yield to the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What is God's Grace?

            Originally posted by Jemand View Post
            The grace of God is the dynamic action of God by and through which He saves us from sin and its consequences through faith, and empowers us to serve Him.
            Neat!

            Originally posted by Jemand View Post
            This action is wholly voluntary and without any obligation on the part of God,
            Can you explain this a bit more? Not sure I am following

            Originally posted by Jemand View Post
            and is freely given to us through the faith that He makes it possible for us to have. An integral part of that faith is our volitional obedience to Christ as we yield to the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.
            So are you saying God's grace is given to us through faith? Does that mean that Faith is also given, or is faith the receptor of God's grace to us? I just want to clarify and understand your point better. Thanks.
            "Enter by the Narrow Gate...
            Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way...
            ... there are few who find it."


            -----------------------------------------------

            * All Scripture when quoted is taken from:

            The New American Standard Bible®,
            Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
            1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
            Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

            Italics, bold, color and/or underline are added for emphasis

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What is God's Grace?

              I've never heard it better, shorter, or sweeter than Websters

              "unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification"

              Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
              Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
              Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
              Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What is God's Grace?

                Originally posted by Sirus View Post
                I've never heard it better, shorter, or sweeter than Websters

                "unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification"

                Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
                Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
                Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
                Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
                Run for the hills Sirus...we are somewhat in agreement again!

                I would define God's grace like so many others "unmerited or underserved favor", but I would also add it is so much more. For as Sirus has somewhat said grace is Divine influence upon our spiritually dead hearts, that convinces us of the truthfulness of the gospel (creates faith in us). This Divine influence comes by the hearing of the Word applied through the Spirit, and it is unto "all men" without distinction, but not to "all men" without exception. This Divine influence upon our hearts, that brings faith is not something God gives only in regeneration, but is also something necessary for our sanctification.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What is God's Grace?

                  Running.....
                  Yea, you know that 'spiritually dead' and 'regeneration for salvation' stuff is not what I meant, but to not derail the thread.....somewhat is right. We at least agree it is more than unmerited favor

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What is God's Grace?

                    Originally Posted by Jemand
                    The grace of God is the dynamic action of God by and through which He saves us from sin and its consequences through faith, and empowers us to serve Him.

                    Originally posted by Redeemed by Grace View Post
                    Neat!
                    Originally Posted by Jemand
                    This action is wholly voluntary and without any obligation on the part of God,

                    Originally posted by Redeemed by Grace View Post
                    Can you explain this a bit more? Not sure I am following
                    Originally Posted by Jemand
                    and is freely given to us through the faith that He makes it possible for us to have. An integral part of that faith is our volitional obedience to Christ as we yield to the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.

                    Originally posted by Redeemed by Grace View Post
                    So are you saying God's grace is given to us through faith? Does that mean that Faith is also given, or is faith the receptor of God's grace to us? I just want to clarify and understand your point better. Thanks.
                    God freely gives His grace to whom He wills when He wills to give it independently of merit on the part of man, and it is received by man through faith, that faith being made possible by God through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What is God's Grace?

                      Originally posted by RabbiKnife View Post
                      Grace is God choosing to be the initiator, for no reason other than it pleased Him to do so, in restoration of a sinful man.
                      Agree!

                      all the best...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What is God's Grace?

                        I feel like we need to be very careful here. We often try to apply our own dogma's to scripture where we shouldn't, and then we totally miss what it really means.

                        If we look at every instance of where and how the word "grace" is used in scriptures it always means one of two things and it's important to understand both because they are different:


                        1.) Favor - goodwill or kind regard (Often "deservedly." Does that mean that I think I, or anyone, deserves God's love or forgiveness? No! But, we need to take an honest approach to scripture, and be sure not to read into it what isn't there. I've only given a few examples, but if you look at each one, more often than not, when the word "grace" is used as "favor", it was after, or when, somebody had earned it, or done something good that they requested favor and received it)

                        Examples:

                        Gen 6: 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

                        Gen 39:4 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.

                        Gen 50 : 4 And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, If now I have found grace in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying,

                        1 Sam 27:5 And David said unto Achish, If I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee?

                        Ezra 9:8 And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.


                        2. ) Goodness - moral excellency, virtue, or excellency of quality

                        Examples:

                        Prov 4:9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

                        Jn 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

                        Acts 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

                        Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

                        Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;


                        In a few rare instances, it is difficult to determine which meaning to apply. Probably because the goodwill of God is borne out of His Goodness. It can be hard to distinguish the two.
                        Last edited by Lily; Sep 22nd 2010, 06:23 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What is God's Grace?

                          Thanks Lily for your thoughts in reply.
                          "Enter by the Narrow Gate...
                          Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way...
                          ... there are few who find it."


                          -----------------------------------------------

                          * All Scripture when quoted is taken from:

                          The New American Standard Bible®,
                          Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
                          1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
                          Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

                          Italics, bold, color and/or underline are added for emphasis

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What is God's Grace?

                            Originally posted by Lily View Post
                            I feel like we need to be very careful here. We often try to apply our own dogma's to scripture where we shouldn't, and then we totally miss what it really means.

                            If we look at every instance of where and how the word "grace" is used in scriptures it always means one of two things and it's important to understand both because they are different:


                            1.) Favor - goodwill or kind regard (Often "deservedly." Does that mean that I think I, or anyone, deserves God's love or forgiveness? No! But, we need to take an honest approach to scripture, and be sure not to read into it what isn't there. I've only given a few examples, but if you look at each one, more often than not, when the word "grace" is used as "favor", it was after, or when, somebody had earned it, or done something good that they requested favor and received it)

                            Examples:

                            Gen 6: 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

                            Gen 39:4 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.

                            Gen 50 : 4 And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, If now I have found grace in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying,

                            1 Sam 27:5 And David said unto Achish, If I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee?

                            Ezra 9:8 And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.


                            2. ) Goodness - moral excellency, virtue, or excellency of quality

                            Examples:

                            Prov 4:9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

                            Jn 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

                            Acts 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

                            Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

                            Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;


                            In a few rare instances, it is difficult to determine which meaning to apply. Probably because the goodwill of God is borne out of His Goodness. It can be hard to distinguish the two.

                            The beginning point in understanding grace as a religious or theological term is to recognize that the word “grace” is never used in the Old Testament as a religious or theological term. It most often simply means “favor,” “approval.” This is also true of English translations of the Qumran writings and the rabbinic writings. In the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament, the word χαρις is most often a translation of the Hebrew word חן, which also simply means “favor,” “approval.” In the New Testament, the word grace is a translation of the word χαρις. In some places, χαρις has the same meanings as it does in Classical Greek and the Septuagint, that is, “favor,” “approval” or, much less often, “gracefulness,” “attractiveness.” In a few places, it has the same meanings as it does in Classical Greek and the Apocrypha but not in the Septuagint, that is, “a kindly feeling, such as gratefulness or thankfulness, because of a benefit received.” In some other places, it has the same meanings as it does in Classical Greek and the Apocrypha but not often in the Septuagint, that is, “benefit, “bounty,” or “gracious gift.”

                            When the word χαρις is translated as “grace” in the New Testament and is used as a religious or theological term, it never means goodness, moral excellence, virtue, or excellence of quality; it always refers to the dynamic action of God by and through which He saves us from sin and its consequences through faith, and empowers us to serve Him. God’s goodness and moral excellence may be a motive in His bestowing His grace upon us, but God’s goodness and moral excellence, in and of themselves, do not have the power to save us from sin and its consequences through faith, and they cannot empower us to serve Him. Luke’s use of the word in Acts 4:33, 6:8, 11:23, 14:3 and 15:11 demonstrates very clearly the dynamic aspect of God’s grace,

                            4:33. And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.

                            6:8. And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.

                            11:23. Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord;

                            14:3. Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands.

                            15:11. “But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”

                            Paul’s use of the word in Romans 3:24, 5:15-17 and Ephesians 2:8-9 also demonstrates very clearly the dynamic aspect of God’s grace,

                            Rom. 3:24. being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

                            Rom. 5:15. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
                            16. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.
                            17. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

                            Eph. 2:8. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
                            9. not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

                            The use of the word χαρις as a religious or theological term has not been found in any literature predating the New Testament. In the New Testament, the word χαρις as a religious or theological term is frequently used by the Apostle Paul and is central to his soteriology and ecclesiology where he uses it for the dynamic action of God by and through which He saves us from sin and its consequences through faith, and empowers us to serve Him in the Church. The word χαρις as a religious or theological term is also frequently used by Luke in Acts and perhaps in his gospel ,

                            Luke 2:40. The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

                            Indeed, the use of the word χαρις (charis) in a dynamic sense in many passages in the New Testament is responsible for our English words “charism” (plural, “charismata”), “charisma,” and “charismatic.”

                            (All quotations from Scripture are from the NASB, 1995)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What is God's Grace?

                              Thank you Jemand for the thoughtful reply. I get the impression that you want to understand grace as much as I would like to. I hope, as we explore God's word, and live life according to His leading, that we'll come to understand better and better the dynamics of grace and His love.

                              This is going to be a long post, but I hope you'll hear me out.

                              Above and beyond anything else I believe that we HAVE to take an honest and unbiased approach to scripture. If we had never looked at things from other possible points of view, there would be no Christians. We would all still be gentiles or Jews, believing what our parents and teachers before us have taught. It’s no different today. But for some reason we still often like to believe something we're taught and accept it as truth.

                              As a matter of fact I had never questioned the idea of grace as “unmerited favor” until the night I posted in reply to this thread. And, in fact, I have described it before in the same way many other posters in this thread have. And if you could have seen my post before I edited it, I had indeed described grace as unmerited favor and listed several old testament passages to demonstrate it. It wasn’t until after I posted my reply and began reading ALL of the scriptures with the word grace in them that I realized, much to my suprise, that often the person requesting and receiving grace had in fact “earned” it. But, I had also described it as “goodness – moral excellence.” Because that’s what my understanding of it is in most New Testament references. I know that it’s quite different from how a vast number of Christians understand it, but I’m not the only one who sees it differently.

                              I still feel that it’s unmerited favor and it is that, too! But we’re totally missing another very important doctrine when we insist that’s what it always or only means. I LOVE the song Amazing Grace. Am I grateful for what God has done for a horrible wretch like me? Extremely!!! I could never, EVER do enough for God to make up for all of my sins and for all that He’s done for me, just even in this life, let alone the fact that I’ll get to spend eternity in His love. And that’s why we need grace, because we can’t make it up to Him! But not ONLY because we can’t, but more precisely because Jesus is the ONLY one who can! He is the only one who is morally perfect. Remember that doctrine? Do we get so caught up in the idea of unmerited favor that we forget that it’s perfect, sinless, spotless Jesus’ blood that purifies us, and cleanses us? That we take on that “charis” (charisma), a gift that enables us to become more and more Christ-like, more morally pure? You listed several verses that demonstrate exactly that.

                              Consider this definition of grace from Strong’s Concordance… "The divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life." Who’s reflection? Christ’s morally excellent reflection, right?

                              In fact please read the following from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_grace (my emphasis on the last paragraph.)...

                              --------------------
                              Divine grace is a theological term which is present in many and varied spiritual traditions. It is God's gift of salvation granted to sinners for their salvation. However, there are significant differences between the way people of different traditions use the word.

                              Within Christianity, there are differing conceptions of grace. In particular, Catholics and Protestants use the word in substantially different ways. It has been termed "the watershed that divides Catholicism from Protestantism, Calvinism from Arminianism, modern liberalism from conservatism".[1] Catholic doctrine teaches God uses the sacraments to facilitate the reception of His grace.[citation needed] Protestants generally do not hold that view.[citation needed]

                              Romans 5:1-2 (King James Version) "1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand..." Galatians 5:4 (King James Version) "4Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."

                              Grace in this context is something that is God-given, made possible only by Jesus Christ and none other.

                              The view that Christians have on grace is that it is undeserved mercy that God gave to us by sending his son to die on a cross to give us a way to be with him for the balance of eternity.

                              However, the Greek word used in the Bible is Charis pronounced khar'-ece, in which Strong's concordance gives this interesting definition, "The divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life."[2] The Greek word charis is related to two other Greek/English words, which are charisma (a special spiritual endowment or influence) and character (an engraving, stamp or mark indicating the genuineness of something)[3] Therefore, grace is given by God in reference to developing characteristics in harmony with God's character. This implies that grace is given to those who develop such God like characteristics. An alternative perspective is that grace is given to enable such character changes to be realised.
                              --------------------

                              Now reread the New Testament scriptures, where ever the word grace is used, and replace it with this understanding and see if it doesn’t make sense. You said, “it always refers to the dynamic action of God by and through which He saves us from sin and its consequences through faith, and empowers us to serve Him.”

                              I totally agree with that. I think "the dynamic action of God" is Him providing us with His only begotten son, perfect and pure, to atone for our sins and which empowers and changes us.

                              Please don’t think that I don’t also understand it as unmerited favor. It is certainly that, too. None of us is worthy! But reading it only as “unmerited favor” completely alters the meaning, or at the very least, leaves out another very important meaning. And for what purpose?

                              Comment

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