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The grace of God is a free gift to every one for salvation and for Godly living. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11–12).
This gift of grace for salvation and Godly living was given to us by God before the world began. “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (II Timothy 1:9).
Our salvation in Christ brings us into the fullness of God’s great reservoir of grace. “And of his fulness [of grace and truth] have all we received [fully and completely], and grace for grace” (John 1:16). The preposition for (anti) has the meaning of “succession,” giving the sense of “grace succeeding grace perpetually.”
We can appropriate God’s grace for every aspect of our lives, and by doing so, our walk in grace by faith will have several expressions and manifestations.
The free gift of God’s grace interacts with the gift of faith for salvation and righteous works. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8–10).
Just as faith is expressed in good works, so grace is demonstrated in Godly labor as Paul testifies, “By the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (I Corinthians 15:10).
An important expression of God’s grace that is freely given to us is our generous giving to others, for “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (II Corinthians 9:8; see also II Corinthians 8:1–19; 9:8–15).
God’s grace to believers involves spiritual gifts that are to be used in edifying all the members of the Body of Christ. “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (I Peter 4:10). “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness” (Romans 12:6–8).
God’s grace works in us to bring us to spiritual completeness and maturity. “The God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (I Peter 5:10).
The grace of God is multiplied to us, and we grow in grace through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord…. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (II Peter 1:2; 3:18).
The unmerited grace of God can be resisted and also corrupted by turning it into a license to do our own will. “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:15). “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4).
In affirming this definition of grace, Dr. Spiros Zodhiates commented, “Grace is like God’s power generator, and we are like the conduits which carry His power to its intended purposes by the Holy Spirit.”
Copyright © 2002–2011, William (Bill) Gothard. All Rights Reserved.