Perhaps the title of this article may shock some. The truth has a way of doing that. Many, or most of us, have been conditioned by religion to believe that Grace is unmerited favor. The thought that it could be more than that, will be difficult for some to grasp. The truth is, we have all been affected by the teachings of the Babylon system of religion.
The sorry weak Evangelical meaning of grace has kept the saint’s sin-conscious and sinning. The thinking of many is, since we are such undeserving worms, we are too weak to be anything but “Sinners saved by grace.” Rubbish! The same goes for the blasphemous statement that accompanies the preaching of this unmerited so called grace message which is, “I am a sinner and I will always be a sinner.” Rubbish! What kind of so-called salvation is that? Do we not believe what John wrote in 1 John 4:4? “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he, who is in the world.” Who is in you? I hope you know that it is, “Christ in you the hope of glorification.” Williams NT.
Titus wrote, "For the Grace of God has Appeared [epiphany] bringing salvation to all men." [2:11] Can we accept the grace is more than a concept here? Grace is a Person! Who appeared? Jesus the Christ! What did He do? He brought salvation to ALL mankind! True grace has the shout of restoration. “Be reconciled to God.” Our Father says, “Come home.”
Certainly the word grace has the meaning of “favor” some times, but not always. The true Grace of God has absolutely nothing to do with our meriting it. Every man, woman and child who has ever lived, or will ever live, merits the grace of God! Yes! The worst of sinners you can name merits the grace of God. Lest we forget, the apostle Paul considered himself to be the worst. WHY do we merit the grace of God? We do merit the grace of God, because it has absolutely nothing to do with us and everything to do with our Lord Jesus Christ. God our Father sees us In CHRIST. As we understand this truth it kills off our efforts to be good enough, holy enough, etc to obtain because it is grace, grace, grace all the way.
Note in 2 Timothy 1:9 that Grace was IN a Person, in the person of Jesus Christ. “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.”
And again, grace was given because it was IN the Person. 1 Corinthians 1:4 “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you IN Christ Jesus,” God’s answer to ALL of our needs, is not more religion, not more good things like Bible reading or prayer, but, Christ! The New English Bible puts verses 4 and 5 this way. “I am always thanking God for you. I thank him for his grace given to you IN Christ Jesus. I thank him for all the enrichment that has come to you IN Christ.”
Some years ago I heard a brother minister some excellent things about grace. He taught that Grace was really Divine Enablement. Consider the following verses two ways. First insert the evangelical term of “unmerited favor” in place of the word “grace.” Then insert the words, “Divine enablement” in place of the word “grace.”
First, 1 Corinthians 15:9-10 “For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the unmerited favor of God I am what I am, and His unmerited favor toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the unmerited favor of God with me.”.
Next, 1 Corinthians 15:9-10 “For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the divine enablement of God I am what I am, and His divine enablement toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the divine enablement of God with me.”
Now, which makes sense to you, “unmerited favor,” or “Divine enablement?” Clearly Paul could do what he did because of the indwelling Christ! Christ is our Divine enablement, he is our very life.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul wrote, “And He has said to me, "My grace (divine enablement) is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” The power of the indwelling Christ was and is the Grace of God!
Remember Matthew 1:23 where the son to be born was to be called “Emmanuel,” which means, “God with us.” Yes, God in Jesus the Christ, who dwelling is us, is our positive expectation [hope] of glorification, the coming into the fullness of sonship.
If you cannot see yourself as our Father sees you, IN Christ before the foundation of the world, even as the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world, then you will wander helplessly in religious frustration and confusion, and always wonder if you are good enough. You may well live in fear that God is out to get you, and to punish you because you are so unworthy. We exhort you as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 6:1-2, “we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” God’s Grace, His full provision for all of our needs is found in Christ.
Receive the Grace of God, Christ our life!