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Saturday, August 13, 2011

LXV. Grace

One great thought was raised at http://ideasoftimbible.blogspot.com/2011/07/49-galatians.html in the comment section.  The thought was "define: saved by grace".  The thought was very provoking and makes one think, what is Grace anyway?  This question was taken to a couple of Christian websites and shared to see what their respected opinions would be on the subject.  Below you will find what a consensus of many of the answers.  Names and/or avatars are not posted for rules of forums do not permit it.
  • The basic definition for grace has always been "unmerited favor." In other words, it is a gift of love and acceptance which has not been earned or deserved.
  • How about, "God doesn't have to love or forgive us because we sure don't deserve it. But He chooses see us as clean again if we're willing to acknowledge that His Son Jesus is the only way of salvation, and Lord of all, and if we're willing to submit to Him in obedience."
  • "Favor bestowed when wrath is owed".
  • Grace is favor extended to someone out of the goodness of the givers heart. In this case God graced us with the opportunity for eternal salvation by providing the sacrifice for our sins in Jesus Christ.
  • Grace is when we receive what we do not deserve and we do not receive what we do deserve.
  • Grace means unmerited favor. You can't earn it for then it wouldn't be grace it would be wage. You can't deserve it for then it would be merit. Grace is God giving you that which you have no right to, no claim on and no reason to expect.
  • Grace is what God freely and kindly adds when I am lacking to make me whole. So this "new, improved and complete" me in actuality is a very tiny bit of me but a lot of Grace through faith.
In all, grace then seems to be something that God gives His creation.  That gift is not earned nor deserved but God chooses still to give it anyway.  But one point that was missed by all of the contributors (assuming they still meant this though).  Even though this gift is for everybody, not everybody will accept it.  But that is just the definition of grace.  More importantly, what would be the result of grace?  The result of grace is to be covered and made innocent by the blood of Christ.  Those who accept this gift remain covered.  But those who do not accept, figuratively speaking, wipe themselves off.

Ephesians 2:4-9 says
  • But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
This basically restates what has already been stated but nicely adds something that was missed by the contributors.  Grace saves you, THROUGH faith.  This faith is in Christ Jesus.  This is what is meant by not everybody accepts grace.  Some do not have faith, thereby grace will not give you eternal life.  The gift of God will save you but only with faith.  If you lose your faith, you lose your salvation.  Therefore once saved, always saved is not accurate in the full sense of the concept.  You are saved by God's grace (gift).  But that does not mean all go to heaven.  Even though there are many rooms in His mansion, scripture does not say that all will see that mansion.  The first part of Ephesians 2:1-3 explains why.
  • As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
We all have lived in sin.  We all are disobedient.  If we follow the desires of our flesh then we deserve the wrath of God.  Then the rest of Ephesians says that our faith in grace gets rid of the wrath.  Those who remain following their flesh do not receive eternal life and still receive the wrath of God.

In conclusion the best answer to what is grace is this:  Grace= God's love, mercy, compassion, and gift all rolled into one.  We can either accept the grace or reject it.

1 comment:

hawkssong68 said...

Cute story:

Little Johnny (dontcha hate him?) wanted a bike for Christmas. He prayed and prayed and prayed, "God, please give me a bike for Christmas!"

Christmas came and went. No bike for Johnny!

Johnny went to a Christian church and realized the error of his ways!

The next morning, Little Johnny went out, stole a bike and then prayed for forgiveness!

:)

Happy Birthday!

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