GRACE:    “WORTH CONSIDERING”     3/23/22      From Ken Smith<><

There is generally a sort of a fluffy, Santa Clause,  feeling with most Christians concerning the word Grace, or Grace of God..   Like something that we say over our food before we eat.   Or when something special happens to a person that is unexpected that is really good,  Like from God.

In the Webster Dictionary,   Grace means:  a: unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification.   b: a virtue coming from God.  c: a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance.    But,  Most folks think it means”   1 attractiveness, charm, gracefulness, comeliness, winsomeness; refinement, class. 3 kindness, kindliness, love, benignity; benevolence. 4 forgiveness, charity.  But to truly understand a word used in the Bible we need to allow the Bible to be the Context.

So in the Bible we find the following: Eph. 2:7-12:   “[and He did this] so that in the ages to come He might [clearly] show the immeasurable and unsurpassed riches of His grace in [His] kindness toward us in Christ Jesus [by providing for our redemption]. 8 For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; 9 not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation]. 10 For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].’

So does this mean we are simple a bunch of robots?   That the Saved and the Lost are both just a matter of God’s choice?  There is a little word in our Bible  that is often overlooked, the word is foreknowledge:  
1 Peter 1:2   according to the foreknowledge of God the Father by the sanctifying work of the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace [that special sense of spiritual well-being] be yours in increasing abundance [as you walk closely with God].
Romans 8:29   For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers.

So in 1 Cor. 13, please notice that there are two different time dimensions.   One is the one we live in and the other dimension is where GOD lives.   So it would appear that before we were born God saw the desires of our heart even before any physical creation of the universe and set in motion the Grace or Power to help us to make the transition from our time zone into His time zone if we wanted to?
1 Cor. 13:9    For we know in part, and we prophesy in part [for our knowledge is fragmentary and incomplete]. 10 But when that which is complete and perfect comes, that which is incomplete and partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God]. 13 And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.

So our Creator God, ponders our hearts, even before we exist and make decisions and HE extends HIS Grace (Power) to help us make the transition from our temporary dimension in time to HIS Eternal dimension.  He knows of our weaknesses and gives us HIS power or grace to overcome if we will ask for it and seek HIM for it.  He wants us to learn to choose HIM in loving faith in all things so we can become HIS eternal family and be made in HIS image and likeness in righteousness just as Jesus did.  The word Grace is used 155 time in our Bible, 130 times in our New Testament in the AMP translation.

For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift]. 17 For the Law was given through Moses, but grace [the unearned, undeserved favor of God] and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God [His essence, His divine nature] at any time; the [One and] only begotten God [that is, the unique Son] who is in the intimate presence of the Father, He has explained Him [and interpreted and revealed the awesome wonder of the Father].    John 1:16-18 But we must see our need for HIS grace and ask for it.  Our Creator God will never force HIS Grace/Power on us if we don’t want it.

And now I commend you to God [placing you in His protective, loving care] and [I commend you] to the word of His grace [the counsel and promises of His unmerited favor]. His grace is able to build you up and to give you the [rightful] inheritance among all those who are sanctified [that is, among those who are set apart for God’s purpose—all believers].   Acts 20:32.    So our faith and loving obedience is a big factor in securing HIS Grace/Power to enjoy HIS Romans 8 victory.

As you are reading your Bible or listening (perhaps a better way) think of the word Grace also as meaning the Power of God.   By faith, God allows us to live and walk in HIS power or Grace as we lift up Christ Jesus as LORD and in humility submit to HIM in all things in Loving Obedience.  But how can we be obedient if we don’t know what HE wants and how can we know we need HIS Grace or Power until we come to the end of ourselves and our own works?  We will never walk on water until we are OK with getting out of the comfort of our secure little boat,  which is not at all secure.

All around us now are the signs that Jesus told us to watch for and then to be looking up for HIM to appear in the clouds of the air.  So getting ready to make the jump to light speed is imperative if you are interested in living with our Creator God as HIS righteous family for eternity.

Yours, in HIS great Love and wonderful Grace and Mercy,   Ken<><   www.OhanaChurch.Life
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There is but ONE Church of Christ Jesus, all who love, honor and obey Him are members.

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