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AN INCOMPREHENSIBLE GOD:

Grasping for an Understanding

 

A God of Grace

Lesson #9

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    In the minds of many, following the idea that God is love is the concept that God is a God of grace.

 

B.      The Bible specifically says this in only one verse (I Pet. 5:10).

 

But 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.

 

C.     Grace is connected to the Godhead on numerous occasions:

1.      The Bible speaks of “the grace of God” twenty-four times (Luke 2:40; Acts 11:23; 13:43; 14:26; 15:40; 20:24; I Cor. 1:4; 3:10; 15:10 (2x); II Cor. 1:12; 6:1; 8:1; 8:9; 9:14; Gal. 2:21; Eph. 3:2, 7; Col. 1:6; II Thess. 1:12; Tit. 2:11; Heb. 2:9; I Pet. 4:10; 5:12; Jude 4).    

2.      The Bible mentions the grace of Jesus Christ twelve times (Rom. 16:20, 24; I Cor. 16:23; II Cor. 8:9; 13:14; Gal. 6:18; Phil. 4:23; I Thess. 5:28; II Thess. 1:12; 3:18; I Tim. 1:14; Phile. 25).

3.      We also read of “the Spirit of grace” in Hebrews 10:29.

 

D.    In this lesson, we will examine some of the main concepts of the grace of God as revealed in the Scriptures.

 

I.                   A DEFINITION OF GRACE

 

A.    The most common definition of grace is “unmerited favor.”

 

B.      Another definition is “God’s forgiveness of man’s sins.”

 

C.     A very good definition of grace is “divine help” (See Heb. 4:16).

 

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

 

D.    Lexicons:

1.      Old Testament:  two Hebrew words are translated “grace”

a.      Khane

1)      Strong (2580):  graciousness…kindness, favor, beauty

2)      BDB:  favor, grace, charm, eloquence, acceptance

b.      Techinnah (only one time, Ezra 9:8)

1)      Strong (8467):  graciousness

2)      BDB:  favor, supplication, supplication for favor

2.      New Testament:  two Greek words are translated “grace”

a.      Charis

1)      Strong (5485):  graciousness

2)      Thayer:  good-will, loving kindness, favor, of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

b.      Uprepia (only used 1x, James 1:11)

1)      Strong (2143):  good suitableness, gracefulness

2)      Thayer:  goodly appearance, shapeliness, beauty, comeliness

 

E.      Grace was taken to the lost in the first century and many received that grace as it is in truth.

1.      Grace taken to the lost by those who were ministers of God’s grace.

1)      Acts 14:26

 

And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.

 

2)      Acts 15:40

 

And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.

 

2.      Some individuals received the grace that was offered unto them.

a.      Acts 11:23

 

Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.

 

b.      Acts 18:27

 

And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren, wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him:  who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace.

 

c.       I Corinthians 1:4

 

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ.

 

d.      II Corinthians 6:1

 

We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

 

e.       Philippians 1:7

 

Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.

 

f.        Colossians 1:6

 

Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth.

 

II.                THE FIRST SPECIFIC INSTANCE OF GRACE IN THE BIBLE

 

A.    After the fall of man, man became increasingly wicked.  Eventually wickedness filled the earth (Gen. 6:5).

 

B.      God was grieved over man’s sins (Gen. 6:6) and decreed that he would destroy the earth (Gen. 6:7).

 

C.     However, God extended His grace to one man (Gen. 6:8).

 

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

 

1.      God’s grace reached out to Noah (Gen. 6:13).

 

And God said unto Moses…

 

2.      God’s grace saved Noah and his family (Gen. 7:7; 8:15-16, 18).

 

And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood…And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and they sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee…And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him.

 

3.      God’s grace revealed the plan whereby Noah and his family could be saved (Gen. 6:14-16).

 

Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.  And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of:  The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.  A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, and second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

 

4.      God’s grace was coupled with Noah’s faith and obedience (Heb. 11:7; Gen. 6:22; 7:5).

 

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became the heir of righteousness which is by faith…Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he…And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him.

 

a.      Noah was helped by God.

b.      However, Noah had to have faith and comply with God’s instructions.

c.       Question:  Did Noah “earn” his salvation?

1)      He worked long and hard to obey God’s commands, but he did not earn his salvation.

2)      His salvation was by grace through faith. 

a)      Grace offered the terms of deliverance.

b)      Faith complied with the terms that God had set forth.

3)      Noah’s deliverance was not something that he earned, it was a gift bestowed upon him by God even though Noah had to obey the conditions God set forth to receive the gift.

 

III.             DESCRIPTIONS OF GOD’S GRACE

 

A.    It is free (Rom. 3:24).

 

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

 

B.      It is a gift (Rom. 5:15; Eph. 2:8; 3:7).

 

But not as the offence, so also is the free gift.  For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

 

C.     It is abundant (Rom. 5:17; II Cor. 4:15; I Tim. 1:14).

 

For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousnss shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

 

D.    It abounds over sin (Rom. 5:20).

 

Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound.  But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.

 

E.      It is exceeding (II Cor. 9:14).

 

And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.

 

F.      It is sufficient (II Cor. 12:9).

 

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee:  for my strength is made perfect in weakness…

 

G.     It is rich (Eph. 1:7; 2:7).

 

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sin, according to the riches of his grace.

 

H.    There is a true grace (I Pet. 5:12).

 

By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.

 

IV.             GRACE IN THE SALVATION PROCESS

 

A.    Grace is definitely involved in the salvation process.

1.      Acts 15:11

 

But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

 

2.      Romans 3:24

 

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

 

3.      Titus 2:11

 

For the grace of God which bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men.

 

 

 

 

4.      I Peter 1:10

 

Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you.

 

B.      God gives grace to the lowly (Prov. 3:34; James 4:6; (I Pet. 5:5).

 

Surely he scorneth the scorners:  but he giveth grace unto the lowly.

 

C.     The word of His grace (Acts 14:3; 20:24; 20:32; Tit. 2:11-12)

 

Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

 

D.    It is by faith that we have access to the grace of God (Rom. 5:2; Eph. 2:8).

 

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

 

E.      The concept of election is by the grace of God (Rom. 11:5; II Tim. 1:9).

 

Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

 

F.      Jesus is part of the grace of God.

1.      II Corinthians 8:9

 

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through this poverty might be rich.

 

2.      Ephesians 1:6

 

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

 

3.      Ephesians 1:7

 

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

 

4.      Ephesians 2:5

 

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved).

 

5.      Hebrews 2:9

 

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

 

G.     We are called by the grace of God (Gal. 1:15).

 

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace.

 

 

V.                MAN CAN FALL FROM THE GRACE OF GOD

 

A.    Acts 13:43

 

Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

 

B.      Galatians 1:6

 

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.

 

C.     Galatians 5:4

 

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

 

D.    Hebrews 12:15

 

Looking diligently, lest any fail of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.

 

E.      Hebrews 13:9

 

Be not carried away with divers and strange doctrines.  For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

 

VI.             ERRORS IN THE FIRST CENTURY SURROUNDING GRACE

 

A.    Man could continue under the works of the law of Moses and under the New Testament at the same time.

1.      Romans 4:4

 

Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

 

2.      Romans 4:16

 

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.

 

3.      Romans 6:14

 

For sin shall not have dominion over you:  for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

 

4.      Romans 11:6

 

And if by grace, then is it no more of works:  otherwise grace is no more grace.  But if it be of works, then is it no more grace:  otherwise work is no more work.

 

 

 

5.      Galatians 2:21

 

I do not frustrate the grace of God:  for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

 

6.      Galatians 5:4

 

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

 

7.      Hebrews 13:9

 

Be not carried away with divers and strange doctrines.  For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

 

B.      Man can continue in sin that grace may abound.

1.      The answer to this doctrine is found in the words:  “God forbid”( Rom. 6:1-2; 15).

 

What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid.  How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

 

2.      Those who taught this doctrine were said to have turned the grace of God into lasciviousness (Jude 4).

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    If we understand and appreciate the grace of God, it should cause us to labor abundantly for the cause of Christ (I Cor. 15:10).

 

But by the grace of God I am what I am:  and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all:  yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

 

B.      We must remain strong in God’s grace (II Tim. 2:1).

 

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

 

C.     God’s grace is the reason for our hope (II Thess. 2:16).

 

Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace.

 

D.    If we gird up the loins of our minds, when the Lord returns, we will receive the end of His grace (I Pet. 1:13).

 

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

E.      NOTE:  There are other aspects of grace that could be discussed.

1.      Our ministries are given to us by the grace of God (Eph. 3:1-2).

2.      It is possible for us to give grace to others (Gen. 32:5, 33:8, 10, 15).

3.      We are to grow in grace (II Pet. 3:18).

4.      Grace should be part of our giving (II Cor. 8:1, 7, 19)

5.      Grace is part of the gifts and talents God has given to us (Rom. 12:6-8).

A God of Grace

Lesson #9

Homework

Victor M. Eskew

 

1.      T – F    The fact that God is said to be “the God of all grace” only once diminishes the fact

that He is the source of all grace.

 

2.      T – F    All members of the Godhead are attached to grace.

 

3.      What is the definition of grace that you like the most?  Why?

 

4.      T – F    We are to take grace to the world.

 

5.      T – F    If we take grace to the world, some will receive it.

 

6.      What is the first specific instance of grace found in the Bible?

 

7.      T – F    Noah was saved by grace through faith.

 

8.      In what ways was Noah’s salvation just like salvation by grace today?

 

9.      T – F    Noah had to work in order to be saved.

 

10.  T – F    Noah earned his salvation.  If false, why is it false?

 

11.  Of the eight descriptions of God’s grace in the outline, which two do you appreciate the most and why?

 

12.  T – F    Man is not saved by the grace of God.

 

13.  What is the importance of lowliness and humility in the salvation process?

 

14.  T – F    God’s Word is a part of His grace.

 

15.  T – F    We are saved by grace through faith.

 

16.  Can we separate grace and Jesus Christ?

 

17.  How are grace and God’s call connected?

 

18.  T – F    Man can fall from the grace of God.

 

19.  When Paul says, “We are not under law but under grace,” what does he mean?

 

20.  T – F    If grace abounds when sin is committed, we should sin more and more so grace can

abound more and more.  If false, why is it false?

 

21.  T – F    Grace should cause us to labor abundantly for our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

22.  T – F    Our ultimate grace will be received when the Lord returns.