Passover or easter: Or, if you were participating in the…
The subject of Grace is probably one of the most confused and conflicted issues of the Bible. People seem to just turn it every which way but loose.
Much of the reason for this is the same reason there is so much confusion about so many other vital subjects of the Bible. When it is taught that the Bible begins at the book of Matthew or Acts, there is no context for these critical and ancient fundamentals of faith.
Does God’s grace begin in the book of Matthew?
One of the most common misconceptions about grace is that the Tanach (OT) expresses the “law of God” while the Renewed Covenant (NT) expresses the “grace” of God. The mantra is that we are now living in the “dispensation” of “grace”.
This understanding leads people to believe that the Bible has been turned on its head, that God is a double-minded deity who was a “barbarian” in the “Old Testament” but is now full of “grace” toward people in this “New Testament dispensation”.
Sound a bit extreme? I promise you that it wouldn’t if you were to walk in my shoes over the last twenty years or so. I couldn’t tell you how many people I have met that believed this way, partly due to the errant approach to “grace” that many Bible “scholars” take.
Grace is a part of God just as love and mercy.
God can not be separated from His love or His mercy. It would be like trying to separate wet from water, it can’t be done. If you were to somehow separate the wet from the water then it would no longer be water.
Likewise, if it were possible to separate God from His grace then He would no longer be God. Therefore, “the grace of God” has existed for as long as He has. God’s grace did not begin in the book of Matthew or Acts. The grace of God has no beginning just as God Himself has no beginning. God’s grace has always existed, just as He has. God’s grace was not more present in the book of Matthew then it is in the book of Genesis or Revelation.
Grace has always existed
God has always extended Grace to people. Was it “grace” when God created man, breathed life into him, loved him, and gave him dominion over all of the earth and everything in it? Was it “grace” when God didn’t immediately destroy Adam and Eve? I think it was.
Grace is clearly seen in the first few chapters of Genesis. In chapter 6 it is even specifically mentioned:
Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.God
If you were to ask Noah if God had grace in the “Old Testament” what do you think he would say?
What about when the God of Israel led His people out of slavery? Was that grace? Sure it was. How about when He sent Jonah to the pagan region of Ninevah? Yes, that was grace too.
God’s grace is overwhelmingly evident all through the Tanach (“Old Testament”).
The truth will set you free
A very well known verse in the Bible is John 8:32:
“and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
What do you think of this version of that verse?
“and you will know the truth, and the truth you know will make you free.”
In other words, Yes it is true that “the truth will set you free”, but it is also true that it will only set you free if you know it. The more truth you know, embrace, and apply, the freer you will be.
This principle applies to every area of life: Spiritual, emotional, physical, relationships, health, healing, everything; including grace.
Grace in the Renewed Covenant / “New Testament”
The traditional definition of grace is “unmerited favor”.
However, “unmerited favor” can not be a good definition of grace. If it is then Yeshua didn’t have any because the grace upon His life was not “unmerited”. Are you following that?
The verse referenced in the paragraph above, which says that Yeshua grew in grace, is Luke 2:52. It says that Yeshua kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
The word “grace”, as used in the Renewed Covenant (N/T), is the Greek word “charis”, Strongs #5485.
There are only Six times that the Greek word, charis (Strongs number G5485) is translated into the English word “favor“. One of those time is the verse referenced above (Luke 2:52).
However, that same Greek word, Charis, Strongs #G5485, is translated into the English word “grace” 130 times.
One of those times is just a few verses away from Luke 2:52 (above) in Luke 2:40.
The Child (Yeshua) continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace (Strongs #5485) of God was upon Him.
So was the “grace” that was upon Yeshua “unmerited” as the traditional definition of the word would dictate? Of course not.
In review, the definition of grace that I mentioned above, “unmerited favor” cannot be a good definition of grace because if it is, then Yeshua didn’t have any because the grace of God upon Yeshua’s life was not unmerited.
A better definition of “grace”
Rather than “unmerited favor”, a good working definition of “grace” is “God’s empowering presence”.
The Bible tells us to boldly seek after “the empowering presence of God”
Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of “empowering presence”, (grace) that we may obtain mercy, and find “the empowering presence of God” (grace) to help in time of need.Hebrews 4:16
God wants you to boldly seek His empowering presence. Let me say that again:
God wants you to boldly seek His empowering presence!
Grace for YOU!
What an amazing reality it is that Yeshua extends to us! It truly is amazing grace!
This is part of what Yeshua was referring to when He told us to “seek first the Kingdom of God“
Yeshua made you a “joint heir” of all that is His in the Kingdom of God and that includes God’s grace!
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.Romans 8:17
Grace: “The empowering presence of God….” This is what God wants for you! This is what you were created for.
It is not God who has set stumbling blocks before you it is the satan who does not want you, or the Kingdom of God, or the glory of God to be established here on earth.
And now, Lord… grant to Your bond servants [full freedom] to declare Your message fearlessly, while You stretch out Your hand to cure and to perform signs and wonders through the authority and by the power of the name of Your holy Child and Servant Jesus.Acts 4:29-30 (AMP)
Understanding and applying of God’s grace is another Key to the Kingdom of God that Yeshua has promised to you.
Because of Yeshua, you can step out of your life of existence and into the glory of God’s grace.
Conclusion: The laws and grace of God have always existed. They have been co-existent with Him as He has always been. Grace did not begin in the “New Testament”. The “New Testament is not a “new” book.
The Renewed Covenant is not a “New” covenant. Rather it is an extenuation of the foundations laid before. Among other things, the Renewed Covenant is an extension of the expression of God. The same, ultimate God that is represented from Genesis to Malachai is the same God of Genesis to Revelation.
God never changes. God’s grace has always been present with Him. Likewise, it was present in His only begotten Son, Yeshua, as it is available to all of His sons who seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.
In America, and all through the world, in the days ahead, staying alive without the grace of God working in your life will be an impossibility.
This is what revival is all about.
Confession: I embrace the reality and truth that I am a son / daughter of the Most High. I will seek first the Kingdom of God and His grace and walk in it.
Prayer: Thank you, Father God, for extending your grace to me through Yeshua. Please help me to embrace your empowering presence in my life so that You can be glorified and Your glory will manifest throughout the earth as you always intended it to be.
God’s Kingdom Realm
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