Grace is Not What you Think (part 2)

Posted: November 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Last week I left you with a few questions that challenged the thought of grace being the unmerited favor of God. Let’s unpack those questions a little further today.  My first question was, “If grace is ‘unmerited favor,’ why does God give it only to the humble?”  Both James and Peter say that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5).   If “unmerited” is a word that describes grace, how is it that God only gives it to the humble? Why not give it to the proud?

But there’s more, according to Paul. Again, nobody in history had a clearer and deeper understanding of grace than did the Apostle Paul. He, being Jewish and fully acquainted with the Old Testament, had a life-defining encounter with the Lord Jesus that changed his view about grace completely. So, if we want to understand what grace truly is, then we must listen to what Paul wrote about it in the New Testament. Not only does God discriminate between the proud and humble when He gives His grace to man, but Paul tells us in Ephesians that grace is also given by God in measures.(Ephesians 4:7)  So Paul is saying that grace is not simply poured out from the portholes of heaven soaking all upon whom it falls.  Rather, it is supplied in specific measures. Some receive more; others less – but everyone gets exactly the measure that they need. Think about that!  God knows us intimately…He made us and He knows exactly the amount of grace we need.

Paul also gives us another challenging thought about grace in Galatians 5:4. Here Paul indicates that it is possible to “fall from grace.”  If grace is “unmerited favor” then why can you fall from grace? Why would God freely give me something I clearly do not deserve, and then make it possible for me to lose it if I don’t start acting like I deserve it? Do I get it for free, but then have to keep it by my behavior? Does that even make sense?

And now that I have you riled up…if grace is “unmerited favor” then why does the Bible say that the grace of God was upon Jesus? Are we to believe that God’s “unmerited favor” was upon His Son? Did Jesus not deserve it, but God gave it to Him anyway? Of course not!

Lots of challenging questions here but I want to let you see here that God gives us grace in exact proportion to His will for our lives! So please know that whoever God has created you to be, and whatever God has purposed for you to do – He has already supplied you with the full measure of grace you will need to successfully prevail in His purpose for your life! You cannot fail – as long as you stay humble.  More next week!

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