Many teach that grace is simply God’s unmerited favor. They say: “salvation = grace + nothing.” But, according to Paul “the grace teacher,” grace has a much fuller meaning.
Grace isn’t just what Jesus did for us on the cross. Grace is God giving us the Holy Spirit, Who enables us and gives us the POWER TO OVERCOME sin. And overcome, we must (Rev. 21:7-8 & many other scriptures).
Steve Hill says: “Jesus didn’t set us free to sin; He set us free from sin.”
Paul teaches in Titus 2:
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we would live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; 13 looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ; 14 who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works.
The meaning of “Grace” (χαρις) in the Bible
“Against a still common view it must be stated that in Paul χαρις [the Greek word for grace – ed.] does not mean primarily a divine attribute (Wobbe, Charis-Gedanke, 32). It does not mean, in good Greek fashion, God’s graciousness, nor concetely his free love (Taylor). It almost always means the power of salvation which finds expression in specific gifts, acts, and spheres and which is even individualized in the charismata.” —Ernst Käsemann, Commentary on Romans, trans. G. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), p. 14.
“In Paul … χαρις is never merely an attitude or disposition of God (God’s character as gracious); consistently it denotes something much more dynamic—the wholly generous act of God. Like ‘Spirit,’ with which it overlaps in meaning (cf., e.g., [Rom] 6:14 and Gal 5:18), it denotes effective divine power in the experience of men.” —James D.G. Dunn, Romans 1-8 (Dallas: Word Books, 1988), p. 17.
Naturally, the various meanings of the word were simply taken over from ordinary language by the New Testament writers. And so it is quite illegitimate to try to construct on the basis of all the occurrences of the word a single doctrine that will account for all the various usages. That one word could express both “charm of speech” and “thankfulness for blessings” was doubtless felt to be a mere accident, if it was thought of at all. But none the less, the very elasticity of the word enabled it to receive still another—new and technically Christian—meaning. This seems to have originated in part by fusing together two of the ordinary significances.
In the first place, as in (e) above, charis may mean “a gift.” In 1 Corinthians 16:3; 2 Corinthians 8:19 it is the money given by the Corinthians to the Jerusalemites. In 2 Corinthians 9:8 it is the increase of worldly goods that God grants for charitable purposes. In 2 Corinthians 1:15 it is the benefit received by the Corinthians from a visit by Paul. In a more spiritual sense charis is the endowment for an office in the church (Ephesians 4:7), more particularly for the apostolate (Romans 1:5; 12:3; 15:15; 1 Corinthians 3:10; Ephesians 3:2,7). So in 1 Corinthians 1:4-7 charis is expanded into “word and all knowledge,” endowments with which the Corinthians were especially favored. In 1 Peter 1:13 charis is the future heavenly blessedness that Christians are to receive; in 3:7 it is the present gift of “life.”
In the second place, charis is the word for God’s favor, a sense of the term that is especially refined by St. Paul (see below). But God’s favor differs from man’s in that it cannot be conceived of as inactive. A favorable “thought” of God’s about a man involves of necessity the reception of some blessing by that man, and “to look with favor” is one of the commonest Biblical paraphrases for “bestow a blessing.” Between “God’s favor” and “God’s favors” there exists a relation of active power, and as charis denoted both the favor and the favors, it was the natural word for the power that connected them. This use is very clear in 1 Corinthians 15:10, where Paul says, “not I, but the grace of God which was with me” labored more abundantly than they all: grace is something that labors. So in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness”; compare 2 Timothy 2:1, “strengthened in the grace,” and 1 Peter 4:10, “stewards of the manifold grace.” Evidently in this sense “grace” is almost a synonym for the Spirit, and there is little real difference between “full of the Holy Spirit” and “full of grace and power” in Acts 6:5,8, while there is a very striking parallel between Ephesians 4:7-13 and 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, with “gifts of grace” in the one passage, and “gifts of the Spirit” in the other. And this connection between grace and the Spirit is found definitely in the formula “Spirit of grace” in Hebrews 10:29 (compare Zechariah 12:10).
David Wilkerson: True Grace — “According to Paul, we are not walking in grace until we have broken from worldly corruptions. Unless we are endeavoring through the power of the Holy Spirit to lead godly and righteous lives, looking for the Lord’s coming in our every waking moment, we do not know God’s grace.”
Who-Goes-To-Heaven Scriptures — Narrow is the Way | Who are the Children of God? — “There is therefore now *no condemnation* to those who are IN CHRIST Jesus, who don’t WALK according to the flesh, but ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT.”
What is liberal Christian theology? — “Love” of our fellow man becomes the defining issue. The Greatest Commandment, ‘Life in the Son’ is ignored — where our yoke is easy and our burden is light, and we’ll find rest for our souls
[WordPOWER!] In Psalm 50 God Warns: “You have done these things, and I kept silent. You thought that I was just like you. … Now consider this…lest I tear you into pieces and there be none to deliver” (Hell?)
D. A. Carson: The Problem of the Canon Within the Canon — A subset of scriptures taught in exclusion of those that would result in true doctrine. “We badly need to listen to one another, especially when we least like what we hear.”
[Lust “the poison that kills the soul” FREEDOM] My experience: How DEMONS DRIVE heterosexual and homosexual lust in ‘Christians’ — The bad news is that demons drive lust. The good news is that demons drive lust, because…
Baruch: “Not only is DECEPTION of the church possible, it WAS PROPHESIED TO HAPPEN!” — Jesus said “IN THE LAST DAYS THE MAJORITY WILL BE DECEIVED, take heed that it doesn’t happen to you” — “FALSE TEACHERS are actually SPEAKING SPELLS with the words of their FALSE DOCTRINES!”
Asbury Revival, 1970: “‘Dr. Kinlaw, I am a liar. Now what do I do?’ … Three days later, she came to me radiant, and she said, ‘Dr. Kinlaw, I’m free!’” Many need to get right with people they’ve hurt to be free! Then God can move!
The Welsh Revival of 1904-05 by J. Edwin Orr: A Countrywide Asbury-like REVIVAL! The 4 Points: #1 Confess any known sin, and put any wrong done to man right again. #2 Put away any doubtful habit. #3 Obey the Spirit promptly. #4 Confess your faith publicly.
Can ‘Christians’ use Paul’s “Forgetting the things which are behind…I press on” statement as an excuse to not get right with those they’ve hurt? Paul also said: “I also practice ALWAYS having a conscience void of offense toward God and men.” What if you don’t repent? And what will happen when you do? The Third Great Awakening can start with us!!! We can all be happy — ‘ONE’!