The grace of God is often understood intellectually as mere unmerited favor from God. Commonly heard is the traditional acrostic, G.R.A.C.E., which stands for God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. When we hear this definition we might think, “God didn’t strike me with lightning which I deserved. He’s overlooking all my offenses because of Christ’s payment for me.”
In the New Testament the Greek word, charis, is used over 170 times and carries varied meanings. But there is so much more to grace than merely unmerited favor as we understand it. It is the very fabric in which we live and move and have our being.
Grace denotes supernatural power at work continually in our lives.
Grace is all creation and everything and anything good that happens to us, including all the disguised blessings we view in this life as curses.
Grace is any intervening act of God on our behalf, starting with Calvary and everything that led up to it and all that it offers us.
Grace is waking up every morning.
Grace is having the strength to live another day.
Grace is the sincere smile we receive from a stranger while we endure a miserable day.
Grace is the addict hitting rock bottom.
Grace is remembering Calvary.
Grace is the willingness to be made willing to forgive.
Grace is desiring to do the will of God.
Grace is learning and growing to live, move and have our being in Christ.
Grace is the overwhelming love that God had for us before the foundation of the world.
The grace of God includes everything except the dead nature, the fallenness of the world and the forces at work against Christ and His body. Grace has overcome and is at work even through all of those (Gen. 41:41, Ex. 10:1; John 16:33).
As we learn of God’s grace and appropriate it in our lives we, in turn, naturally overcome these elements as well. For it is not we who are overcoming them, but the grace of God in our behalf that overcomes (Gal. 2:20-21). This is the same grace of God which raised Christ from the dead. The same grace that raised us from the dead.
We must simply learn to surrender to the tsunami of grace which resurrects and reorchestrates everything in its path.
The grace of God is the most powerful force in existence. The grace of God is Jesus Christ.
THE LORD said to Moses, Go to Pharaoh, for I have made his heart hard, and his servants’ hearts, that I might show these My signs [of divine power] before him,
Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.
I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
[Therefore, I do not treat God’s gracious gift as something of minor importance and defeat its very purpose]; I do not set aside and invalidate and frustrate and nullify the grace (unmerited favor) of God. For if justification (righteousness, acquittal from guilt) comes through [observing the ritual of] the Law, then Christ (the Messiah) died groundlessly and to no purpose and in vain. [His death was then wholly superfluous.]
And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth.
Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]
And with great strength and ability and power the apostles delivered their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace (loving-kindness and favor and goodwill) rested richly upon them all.
But we believe that we are saved through the grace (the undeserved favor and mercy) of the Lord Jesus, just as they [are].
And now [brethren], I commit you to God [I deposit you in His charge, entrusting you to His protection and care]. And I commend you to the Word of His grace [to the commands and counsels and promises of His unmerited favor]. It is able to build you up and to give you [your rightful] inheritance among all God’s set-apart ones (those consecrated, purified, and transformed of soul).
It is through Him that we have received grace (God’s unmerited favor) and [our] apostleship to promote obedience to the faith and make disciples for His name’s sake among all the nations,
Therefore, [inheriting] the promise is the outcome of faith and depends [entirely] on faith, in order that it might be given as an act of grace (unmerited favor), to make it stable and valid and guaranteed to all his descendants–not only to the devotees and adherents of the Law, but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, who is [thus] the father of us all.
But God’s free gift is not at all to be compared to the trespass [His grace is out of all proportion to the fall of man]. For if many died through one man’s falling away (his lapse, his offense), much more profusely did God’s grace and the free gift [that comes] through the undeserved favor of the one Man Jesus Christ abound and overflow to and for [the benefit of] many.
But if it is by grace (His unmerited favor and graciousness), it is no longer conditioned on works or anything men have done. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace [it would be meaningless].
1 Corinthians 1:4
I thank my God at all times for you because of the grace (the favor and spiritual blessing) of God which was bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
1 Corinthians 12:4
Now there are distinctive varieties and distributions of endowments (gifts, extraordinary powers distinguishing certain Christians, due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit) and they vary, but the [Holy] Spirit remains the same.
2 Corinthians 4:15
For all [these] things are [taking place] for your sake, so that the more grace (divine favor and spiritual blessing) extends to more and more people and multiplies through the many, the more thanksgiving may increase [and redound] to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 6:1
Laboring together [as God’s fellow workers] with Him then, we beg of you not to receive the grace of God in vain [that merciful kindness by which God exerts His holy influence on souls and turns them to Christ, keeping and strengthening them–do not receive it to no purpose].