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In this study we will find that grace is much more than unmerited favour.

1. Defining Grace – Why it is not Just Unmerited Favour:

A. Grace comes from the Greek word, charis.

It is often translated as gift, and so therefore grace is a gift.

B. Grace is commonly defined as unmerited favour.

Grace is unmerited favour because we have found that favour is initially a free gift through being God’s son or daughter.
Both favour and grace require nurturing and growing.
We will find it is so much more than unmerited favour. A gift is a gift, regardless of whether it is merited or unmerited.


2. The difference between Grace and Favour:

A. Grace is a gift that comes UPON us;

And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

Luke 2:40

So grace is a free gift that is simply given.

B. Favour is initially a gift of being a son or daughter, and then grows on the basis of decisions made;

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Luke 2:52


3. Grace is Active:

A. Grace can strengthen us, therefore it is a gift that benefits the recipient;

…it is good that the heart be established by grace,

Hebrews 13:9
B. A gift that benefits the recipient

Remember that grace is the Greek word charis. The word charis refers to a gift that actively benefits the recipient.

C. Grace is an impartation.

When God gives grace to someone, there is an impartation that occurs. Favour is a reward for making correct decisions.


4. Grace Provides All Sufficiency and Abundance for Every Good Work:

Grace provides everything a person needs to complete what God has destined for that person to do.

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
 

5. Grace Works Powerfully in You:

A. Grace is NOT passive!

And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.

Acts 4:33

Here we see that grace “works” powerfully!

B. Grace empowers you in weakness;

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

So we can come up with a definition of what grace is:

Grace is the empowering presence of God enabling you to be who God created you to be, and to do what God has called you to do – right where you are.

James Ryle’s definition of grace


6. Grace Imparts to Others:

A. So grace is an impartation that gives, and it has an effect.

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Ephesians 4:29
 
B. Impartation of grace can come from God or man, it can be as simple as a word of encouragement or a gift of money;

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
So a broader definition would simply be:

An impartation that benefits the recipient.

Dr H Eberle, Systematic Theology for the new Apostolic Reformation 2nd Ed p555

But in some respects this does not reflect the on the cost that Jesus paid on the cross, so I would offer this as a definition, remembering that you carry the very presence of God:

7. Defining What Grace Is:

GRACE IS THE EMPOWERING PRESENCE OF GOD, EITHER DIRECTLY IMPARTING TO A PERSON FROM GOD, OR THROUGH A PERSON IMPARTING UPON OTHERS, WHICH ESTABLISHES AND GROWS THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND REVEALS THE NATURE AND CHARACTER OF GOD.

Dr Neville Westerbeek van Eerten

 


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