Grace - Part 1

September 12, 2021

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace (John 1:16).

We will take a momentary detour from Matthew for a few days to explore more carefully the doctrine of grace because it is so misunderstood by many people today. The encounter between the rich young man and Jesus, and Jesus’ subsequent discussion with His disciples, has afforded us the opportunity to engage in the subject of God’s grace.

The word ‘grace’ is found 170 times in 159 verses the Bible. In the Old Testament the word translated ‘grace’ is khane. It is found 39 times in 37 verses. In the New Testament the word translated ‘grace’ is charis. It is found 131 times in 122 verses.

Down through the years we have picked up a number of definitions for the word ‘grace’. Once popular was the acrostic: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Still popular is the definition, ‘God’s unmerited favor’. We speak a lot about grace in the church but, much to our detriment so few understand it biblically. Don’t get me wrong, there are those in the fellowship who have found the thought of God’s grace so overwhelming that they can never get over it. Grace has become the constant theme of their conversation, prayers, songs, their very lives.

But a lot of Christians pay lip-service to the idea of grace. It doesn’t impact them. It doesn’t capture their thoughts or their feelings. It has little to do with their experiences. Some Christians are more passionate about budgets, buildings, and buffets than they are about God’s grace. And the reason for that is because many believe the idea of God’s grace is beyond them. They don’t understand it. Why?

The heart of the matter seems to be a total misunderstanding in the basic relationship between God and man. And it’s not just a ‘mind’ thing - it’s a ‘heart’ thing. But I’m not talking about feelings. I’m talking about the deeper level of the inner man - the very core of our being. Take evangelism for instance. Every Christian knows he should share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others. But we don’t. Why? We’re not passionate about it. Why? We have lost our sense of ‘lostness’. The same is true with grace. We have lost our sense of man’s total depravity which separates him from God. We have forgotten that unless God does something about our spiritual condition, then our spiritual condition and destination will not change - we are lost forever in hell. What God does about our condition and our destination is His grace.

“Lord, teach us again of Your wonderful, marvelous, infinite grace. Brand it upon our mind and heart that without Your grace we remain totally undone, lost, condemned, and destined for an eternity separated from You. Embed its miraculous truths in the very core of our being so that we will praise You even more for having understood Your great work in our lives. In Jesus’ name I ask, Amen.”


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