June 12, 2008

What is Grace? (Part 1)

The English word "grace" has a number of meanings. Some include, favor, good-will, beauty, a pleasing or attractive quality, kindness, esteem, etc. The Hebrew word used in the Bible for grace, can be pronounced something like "Khen." It is often used to describe the favor of God. "But Noah found favor [grace] in the eyes of the LORD." (Genesis 6:8). The Greek word used in the Bible for grace, can be pronounced, "Kharis." It is mentioned in the New Testament over 150 times, often meaning God's divine favor, freely given with unlimited kindness and mercy to undeserving people. It also refers to a blessing for those in Christ, favor with God, salvation, thanksgiving and thankfulness, joy and pleasure.

The concept of grace in the Bible can be seen in a number of verses connected with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ:

Luke 2:40 describes Jesus, "And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor [grace] of God was upon him." (ESV).

John 1:14 says of Jesus, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."

John 1:16-17, "And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."

So we see that the grace [or favor] of God was upon Christ, He was full of grace and truth, we receive grace from His fullness, and grace comes through Jesus Christ and not the law of Moses. Jesus Christ is the manifestation of God's grace. Romans 5:2 says it like this, "Through him we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice [or lit. boast] in hope of the glory of God."

When you think of grace, do you think of Jesus Christ?

Grace and peace to all of you who are resting in Him.

11 comments:

Raine said...

thank you very much for your encouraging comment. i never expected my posting that to be used of God. i actually made another blogger (hidden) account to put in more serious thoughts and that was my first post. it seems God did not intend me to push through with that blog, but wants me to shine my light instead. again, thank you very much.

Penn Tomassetti said...

Raine,

I'm glad you were encouraged. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Remember that the law came to increase sin, because it is only at the Throne of Grace where we find satisfaction. God bless.

Margaret Neufeld said...

I've often thought about this question myself many times. We read about grace, we talk about grace, we sing about grace but really what is grace? You've answered my question to a great extent. I'm also hoping to read a book soon called What's So Amazing About Grace?

Blessings!

Penn Tomassetti said...

Margaret,

Thank you for reading. I'm glad you were helped! I titled this blog, "All of Grace," partly for that very reason you mentioned.

I haven't read Philip Yancey's book either, but I can tell you what's so amazing about grace is Jesus Christ.

God bless you!

Kaysie said...

Thanks for this encouragement and great explanation. Grace is an often used term that can become so familiar that we loose it's depth of power and meaning. We need as much clarification of grace as we can. Thanks!

Penn Tomassetti said...

Kaysie,

Thank you for your comment. You are right that we can become familiar with these things. I pray that I will not become "familiar" with Christ in a way that causes me to lose the awe and wonder. However, there is no better One to be familiar with! It all really can be summed up in 3 words: "Looking unto Jesus..." (Heb. 12:2).

God bless.

cj said...

Hey Penn, I really like your blog. if that's alright with you, I'm going to put you on my blog roll:)

cj said...

Wow! This is a very encouraging post.

I agree with Kaysie, we use the word "grace" so often that we lose it's depth and meaning and that "We need as much clarification of grace as we can."

-cj

Penn Tomassetti said...

CJ,

Thanks for checking it out. I don't mind at all if you include "All of Grace" on your blogroll. May God use you to help "clarify" grace for others also.
Thanks,
Penn

Roshan said...

hello again Penn!

thank you so much for your encouraging words! Praise God for the love that you have. :) Yes, it is important for us, as Calvinists, to practice what we preach and be men(and women) of humility and love. I think the reason Calvinism is unpopular in many realms today, is because of the stereotypes it has been linked with, that are the opposite of its teachings, namely being "cruel" and "self-righteous". (haha and some occasions, if not many - with good reason - even piper acknowledges it.)

I pray against the devil that this does not infect us. Godly men like Mahaney, Piper, Harris inspire me to be a [foremost a Christian, and then a] Calvinist with integrity. I'm sure you've heard of Humble Orthodoxy (the inspiration for the New Attitude conferences) - the term Josh Harris and Eric Simmons use a lot. Its holding what is true and righteous, in a way that is humble. I pray we maintain humble orthodoxy as we present truth.

again, thanks so much for your feedback! i want to let you know it is not going into vain, and im actually trying to digest all the great feedback i've received, so i have a sense of direction in my next post. Because you are, by God's sovereign grace, a well - equipped Calvinist... in love for Christ, I anticipate that you will play an active part in the attempt to learn and portray truth, and as Spurgeon calls it, "Biblical Christianity". :)

Penn Tomassetti said...

Roshan,

Your comments always fill me with joy. Thank you for all your encouragement. Calvinism is just a title... sometimes it's negative, sometimes positive. Did you check out the poor huckster? When the religious people questioned the poor guy, all he could say was, "Well, the only thing I know is that, I'm a poor sinner and nothing at all, but Jesus Christ is my all in all." (I got this from a little evangelism tract I have, but you can read it online if you do a search for this phrase: 'the poor huckster, mountzion.org').

Keep looking to Jesus!