What is Grace?
If you ask most people what grace is and you will inevitably get the standard reply of, “Unmerited Favour with God.” And that is true, but I heard on a DVD Sermon the other day, this rendition that sounded so much better, and it comes from Noah Webster in his 1828 Edition of the Dictionary that bears his name. Grace; (3.) “Favorable influence of God; divine influence or the influence of the spirit, in renewing the heart and restraining from sin.” My grace is sufficient for thee. 2 Corinthians 12:9.”
I found this so much deeper and more comprehensive, covering so much more ground as it were than the normal options. Then my mind was drawn to the last part of the definition, “restraining from sin,” and as I pondered this, I realized that so many of us can so easily claim to be “Under Grace,” or “Saved by Grace,” and yet go on through life living and sinning just like a Devil. We claim to have repented and left the Devil and currently live like and for Jesus Christ, so why do we invariably still live like our Old Life and not our New Life in Christ? That should not ought to be, we should be more and more, day by day, growing in Grace and Knowledge and reflecting Jesus Christ, for we claim in word at least, to be “Christian,” one who is following or reflecting Jesus Christ, so why do we try to use a cloak or semblance of God to bluff or hide our real sinful heart, when we should actually be repenting. God is certainly not fooled, and most people about us can see through the cloak and see the real person underneath. “By their fruits ye shall know them,” (Matt 7:20;) so why do we try to deceive, when the genuine is so much better and satisfying than the counterfeit, and access to heaven is available only to the genuine follower and not to the clone.
Wheat is harvested and goes to God, Tares are burned and destroyed. Sheep go to God’s fold and goats do not. Wise Bridesmaids that have prepared go into Eternal Life, the unprepared stay out. We have parable after parable that gives us the admonition, to repent, turn from our wicked ways and to live, (Eze 33:11.)
There is a current trend where sin is creeping into our midst, and it is creatively disguised as having a form of Godliness but denying the power, (2 Tim 3:5) where authors are writing things that on the surface looking so plausible and true, but on closer inspection under the light of Holy Scripture, they turn out to be nothing more than Satan trying to infiltrate and to corrupt us. Isaiah 8:20 “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.” We need to be so careful now that we measure and weigh everything by the word of God, “It is Written.”
So what is Sin, 1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” We have John’s council and advice given a long time ago, and to their minds, it was still the same as it should be today, that the Law, is the first five books in the Bible, and these were written down by Moses, but Law is connected to Torah, and Torah is connected to the Bible, as Jesus told Satan in Matt 4:4 “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Developing this, we Christians who are “Wheat,” are to be eating regularly of the Bible, and then using it as our early warning system to shine light on sneaky deceptions that Satan sends in to try deceive us and to turn us into a “Form of Godliness,” (2 Tim 3:5); we need to be good Bereans, and check these things out for ourselves.
Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Should be our new Battle Cry, and Mission Statement; as we all have more than one copy of Scripture, but do we actually eat it up daily, hungrily feasting on “The Word” Christ Jesus (John 1:14) who is also the Heavenly Manna (John 6:31-35) so why do we feast so much on what the latest trendy books serve up, when we have the real solid nourishing food right in our hands, Isaiah 55:2 “Wherefore do ye spend money for [that which is] not bread? and your labour for [that which] satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye [that which is] good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.”
Back to Noah Webster and his definition for us today, “Favorable influence of God; divine influence or the influence of the spirit, in renewing the heart and restraining from sin.” My grace is sufficient for thee. 2 Corinthians 12:9.” God’s Grace is abounding, as found in Romans 5:20-21 “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
How can we flee from Sin, when we do not know what sin actually looks like? Well we do have the Scripture, which is light that shineth in a dark place (2 Peter 1:19); so what we need to do is to turn on the light of God’s Word, the Bible, which teaches us of Jesus Christ, and to walk in the light as he is the light (1 John 1:7). Paul put it this way in Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” We are now in a battle for our Eternal Life, so let us all stand, and repel sin by scripture, which is the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God; so let us sharpen up our swords for the battle is upon us.
Dear Reader, let us each resole to live by Grace, and be “Faith Walkers.”