Hebrew Roots/The original foundation/Grace
THE GRACE OF GOD
The word 'grace' literally means 'favour' In Hebrew it is CHEN from a root word CHANAN - to bend or stoop in kindness to another as a superior to an inferior (Strongs 2603) In Greek it is CHARIS and has the idea of graciousness in manner or action (Strongs 5485) it comes from a root word CHAIRO to be cheerful, happy (Strongs 5463)
When used in reference to God, it is the benevolent action of Him stooping down to us in His kindness to reach us in our need, and convey upon us a benefit. His grace has been termed 'unmerited favour' but it is more than an attitude of favour or mercy. His mercy is an expression of His compassion toward us, but His grace is an extension of benevolence translated into action that releases His enabling power into our lives.
Seeing that we never merit His favour, we are always indebted to Him to extend to us His Mercy and bestow upon us His grace whereby we may respond to Him in an acceptable manner. From beginning to end we are dependent upon Him, for life itself, for all sustenance by which we continue to live and have our existence, and on a spiritual level from that, all energising power by which we progress in our walk.
"In him we live and move and have our being (our existence)" Acts 17:28
THE POWER OF HIS GRACE
"By grace you have been saved" Ephesians 2: 5b "By grace are you saved by faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift (charis) of God" Ephesians 2: 8
"Not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship .. 2: 9,10a By grace you are saved v.5 the faith you exercised was a gift - part of His divine enabling v.8 it was nothing of your own works v.9 You are His workmanship v.10
"Therefore it is of faith that it might be through grace" Romans 4:16 "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Y'shua the Messiah, whom God set forth as a propitiation by his blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God has passed over the sins previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be the justifier of the one who has faith in Y'shua" Romans 3:24
We are justified by His grace, having passed over our sins in His forbearance and in His righteousness "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Y'shua the Messiah, through whom also we have access into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Romans 5: 1, 2
We have peace with God and have a standing with Him based on grace in the hope of receiving His glory
"Having predestined us to adoptions as sons by Y'shua the Messiah to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." Ephesians 1: 6
Predestined to adoption - i.e. not our choice It is according to the good pleasure of His will - His choice to the praise of the glory of His grace
And it certainly is to the praise of the wondrous glory of His grace! "Even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Y'shua the Messiah our Lord." Rom. 5:21
GRACE AND WORKS COMPARED
Grace justifies Titus 3: 7 Works can never justify Romans 11: 6 Grace is given freely Romans 3:24 Works makes us debtors Romans 4: 4 Grace gives humility & faith for salvation Eph.2:8,9 Works makes us boastful Romans 2:17-20 Grace glorifies God Ephesians 1: 6 Works honours man Colossians 2:20-23 Grace says Messiah did it all for us Galatians 5: 4 Compared to our own efforts Rom.3:20
GRACE AND LAW
"Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt " Romans 4: 4
The Law gives a knowledge of righteousness but there is no power inherent in it to enable us to fulfill its demands. In our sinful state we are incapable of meeting its demands.
Y'shua said, "Do not think that I came to destroy the law and the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." "one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled." Matthew 5:17-18 Y'shua came to meet the demands of the Law, not doing away with it, but fulfilling and completing it so that He might bring it to finality, that He might introduce a New Covenant! The Mosaic Law is now obsolete in this sense, as being a vehicle by which man could attain to righteousness in the sight of God. The Ten Commandments which were written in stone are what Paul refers to as "the LETTER" "Written and engraven in stones" and such, Paul wrote, are a ministry of "condemnation" and "death". But, he wrote, we are made "able ministers of the NEW covenant, NOT the "old". (2 Cor. 3:6) "Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life."
Some teach that the requirements of the Law still need to be met, but this would imply that Messiah Y'shua has not already done this. The "not under law but under grace" teaching is not a false concept when taken to mean that we are exempt from fulfilling the Old Covenant contract made between God and Israel as a vehicle or means of attaining righteousness. As Paul wrote, "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" see Philippians 3:9 Paul once tried to attain righteousness by keeping the law, but was forever done with that once he experienced God's Grace!
Being under grace means that we are not under the dominion of sin - "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace." (Rom. 6:14) Paul wrote: "The strength of sin is the Law" therefore, if we stay under the keeping of the Law, then we will continue to be under the strength and control of sin in our lives. (1 Cor. 15:56) But Paul says that if we live under Grace, then sin shall not have dominion over us. "What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness." Romans 6:14-16 The obedience Paul refers to here is not obedience to the Mosaic Law, but to the "obedience of faith" (Rom. 1:5), when one walks "in the Spirit", he will "not fulfill the lust of the flesh." (Gal. 5:16) When the believer walks "in love" he or she is fulfilling the righteousness the Mosaic Law could never produce. (Rom. 13:10)
When false teachers say that believers must still obey the Mosaic Law, which ones and how many of these laws must be followed??? There is no more Temple, so the sacrifices cannot be fulfilled. If they say that sacrifices are no longer required, then they are amending Moses' law and there is no authority for that! Jesus came to fulfill and replace the Mosaic Covenant with a New Covenant based on Two commandments: "And this is His Commandment, (1)That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and (2) love one another, as He gave us Commandment." He that loves his brother has fulfilled the law." (Rom. 13:10); "For all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Gal. 5:14) This "one word" (not 10, not 613) but "one" command negates any need for any others, for in fulfilling the commandment of "love" the entire law is satisfied.
The Law is only still in force in relation to, and as a foundation for, civil governments as long as a sinful world exists, for Paul wrote: "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient..." Therefore, it is not a law for God's people who are "in Messiah", but for the world of sinners.
When Paul wrote, "For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor" (Gal. 2:18) he is saying that if he were to rebuild Law-keeping back into his life, he would thus become susceptible to breaking it all over again. For, when the commandment comes, sin is revived! (Rom. 7:9 "when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.")
James tells us that a life of faith without the corresponding works is 'dead'. "A man is justified by works, and not by faith only" (James 2:24), and, "I will show you my faith by my works" (James 2:18) Living in a faith relationship with the Son will produce the same fruit that He produced by living in a faith relationship with the Father. John 15:1-9; 14: 9-11; 8:31-37 This, however, does not imply the "works of the Law" but "actions" corresponding to New Covenant faith.
It is a flawed concept that because we are now saved by grace, and therefore being 'under grace', that we can excuse ourselves from shunning sin in our lives. Rather, His grace enables us to shun sin in our lives by following, not the Mosaic Law, but by following "the Spirit", into loving one another. "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are NOT UNDER THE LAW, but under grace." (ROM. 6:14)
GRACE - HIS DIVINE ENABLING
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" John 1:14
"For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Y'shua the Messiah. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him." John 1:17-18 "And of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace" John 1:16
He was full of the Father's divine enabling (His grace) empowering Him to fulfill the law's requirements. Of that fullness we have received, and so, by His enabling we can also begin to fulfill all righteousness.
Grace upon grace is available to us.
The word of His grace is able to build us up in Him so that we enter into the inheritance of the saints. Acts 20:32
To be holy as He is holy, is our inheritance and His expectation of us. Genesis 17: 1-2; Exodus 19: 6; 1 Peter 1:15-16
"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age." Titus 2:11-12
"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work" 2 Corinthians 9: 8 He is able to make 'grace', His enabling power available to us, it is up to us to avail ourselves of His resources . "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Heb. 4:16
"Therefore gird up the loins of your mind and hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Y'shua the Messiah: as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who has called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct " 1 Peter 1:13-15
"looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God " Hebrews 12:15-17
"lest any root of bitterness .. .. .. "lest there be any fornicator .. .. .. "or profane person like Esau .. .. ..
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of Yahweh and of Y'shua our Lord, as His divine power (dunamis - i.e. energising power) has given to us all things that pertain to life (spiritual life) and godliness .. .." "by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.."
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, (spiritual strength) to virtue knowledge, (of the Word) to knowledge self-control, (of the flesh) to self-control add perseverance, to perseverance add godliness, to godliness add brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness add love (His unconditional love)
For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;" 2 Peter:1-10
Peter is teaching us here that Yahweh has given to us all that we need to become partakers of His divine nature, promises in the Word specific to our need, and His grace is extended to us in divine enabling to be able to appropriate these things into our life step by step - grace upon grace. One portion or level of grace upon another.
Our walk commences with an impartation of faith which we must add to in strengthening ourselves in His presence, so that the process of growth from initial faith to His perfect love may be accomplished in our lives. (Ephesians 3:16-19)
Being strengthened in our spirit by His grace will impart the virtue (strength) to put aside self, seeking the knowledge of His will and walking in obedience, wherein the exercise of self-control over inclinations/lusts of the flesh will be required. Perseverance/continuing on in the way of keeping the flesh under control will effect godliness/His character and nature in us, so that we exercise brotherly kindness in our relationships in the situations of life until we have matured to perfect His love in our lives, so that we love all people in all circumstances. If we fail to do this Peter says we are shortsighted of the fact that we were cleansed from sin to live a new life in Messiah.
We are told to "grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Y'shua Messiah" ( 2 Peter 3:18)
Growing in the experiental knowledge of His ability to enable us to live the life, is mandatory.
Living things grow!
That which is stunted in growth becomes weak and diseased. Growth is an antidote for falling away from the faith, from "the true grace of God wherein you stand" (1 Peter 5:12) The only place we can stand is in His enabling power. Not in our own works/efforts, knowledge, past attainments or whatever, we only stand by grace, at all times.
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us" 2 Cor.4: 7
Remember, "For God gives grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5: 5) but, resists the proud. Proverbs 3:34
MINISTRY GIFTS BASED ON GRACE
"But to each of us grace was given according to the measure of Messiah's gift" Ephesians 4: 7
We are all given a deposit of grace wherein we can function in the Body and partake in its growth, personally and corporately. Although the gifts are given, they need to be exercised and developed to have increase. He is expecting a return Matt.25:14-29
"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:28, 29