The Grace of God

“Where sin increased, grace superabounded, and then some on top of that.” (Romans 5:20b Wuest)

Today we want to look at the Greek word charis translated grace in our Bibles. This is one of the most important words in the New Testament.

Since the New Testament was written in the common Greek language of the first century AD, we will first look at the Greek meaning.

In the ethical terminology of the Greek schools, charis or grace implied a favor freely done, without claim or expectation of return.

“Aristotle [ancient Greek philosopher] lays the whole stress of the word on this very point, that it is conferred freely, with no expectation of return, and finding its only motive in the bounty and free-heartedness of the givers” (Trench).

In the New Testament the Holy Spirit took the meaning infinitely further. I quote Kenneth Wuest on the use of the word:

“But how this purely classical meaning of the word describes what took place at Calvary. All the human race could expect in view of its sin, was the righteous wrath of a holy God, that and eternal banishment from His glorious presence. But instead, the holy God stepped down from His judgment seat and took upon Himself at Calvary’s Cross, the guilt and penalty of human sin, thus satisfying His justice and making possible the bestowal of His mercy. And this He did, not for those who were His friends, but His bitter enemies, unlovely creatures saturated with sin. Charis in classical Greek referred to a favor conferred freely, with no expectation of return, and finding its only motive in the bounty and free-heartedness of the giver. This favor was always done to a friend, never to an enemy. RIGHT HERE CHARIS LEAPS FORWARD AN INFINITE DISTANCE, FOR THE LORD JESUS DIED FOR HIS ENEMIES (Romans 5: 8-10), A THING UNHEARD OF IN THE HUMAN RACE. Surely this was beyond the ordinary course of what might be expected and is therefore commendable. This is what John is speaking of in his first epistle (3.1) when he says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God.” The words “what manner of” are from a Greek word which means “what foreign kind of.” That is, the love shown by God at the Cross is foreign to the human race. Man simply does not act that way (Rom. 5:7,8,10). That is why God’s action on the Cross in dying for lost humanity is an action beyond the ordinary course of what might be expected and is therefore commendable. HERE IS ONE OF THE STRONGEST PROOFS OF THE DIVINE SOURCE OF THE BIBLE. The substitutionary atonement never came from the philosophies of man but from the heart of God.”

“Thus, the word charis comes to its highest and most exalted content of meaning in the New Testament. It refers to God’s offer of salvation with all that implies, which salvation was procured at Calvary’s Cross with all the personal sacrifice which that included, offered to one who is His bitter enemy, and who is not only underserving of that salvation but deserves condign [appropriate] punishment for his sins, offered without any expectation of return, but given out of the bounty and free heartedness of the giver. This means that there is no room for good works on the part of the sinner as a means whereby he could earn his salvation, or after salvation, whereby he might retain that salvation. Paul sets grace over against works as things directly in opposition to one another as fas as the means of salvation is concerned (Rom 4:4, 5, 11:6). But Paul is very careful to make plain that good works naturally issue from and are required by grace (Titus 2:11-12). (Ephesians – Kenneth Wuest emphasis mine)

I hope you are blessed by this explanation. I’m still marveling at what God has done for us, totally undeserving humans. God bless you and thank you for your time,

Father God, we praise you for your underserved mercy and grace!!!! Amen.

Carl

“…led by the Spirit of God…”

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“For as many as are being constantly led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”  (Romans 8:14)

I recently heard of a Christian brother in a local church, who during a discussion on the Holy Spirit, expressed his fear of the Spirit.  Due to erroneous teaching he had received over the years and things he had seen, he had become afraid of the One who indwells him as a believer; the very Helper Jesus sent to him when he believed.

The Apostle Paul told us in Romans that we are to be constantly led by the Spirit of God.  The word “led” is the Greek word “ago” and according to Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words it means “to bear, bring, carry, lead,” and is translated by the verb “to lead”.  An example would be the act of leading about an animal at the end of a rope.  Rick Renner in his Sparkling Gems From The Greek says this about “ago”:

“An animal’s owner would wrap a rope around its neck and then “tug” or “pull” until the animal started to follow him.

“Pay careful attention to the “tugging” and “pulling” of the Holy Spirit in your heart. He is a Gentleman and does not force you to obey Him. He prompts you, tugs on your heart, and pulls on your spirit to get your attention. Sometimes His “tugs” may be so gentle that you almost miss them. But if you’ll develop your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, He will gently “lead” you exactly where He wants you to go with your life.” (Emphasis mine)

Have you developed this sensitivity to the Helper?  If not, we pray that you will.

Our scripture goes on to say that those who are led by the Spirit, these are sons of God. In Galatians Paul says that while Israel was under the law of the Old Testament, they were considered “nepios”, an immature person who needed a guardian to look after them. The guardian was the law of the Old Testament.  But in Romans 8:14, Paul uses “huios” which signifies someone of full age; a mature person having outgrown the need for his former guardian.

In conclusion, we are living under God’s wonderful, unbelievable grace as born again children of God.  We have no need for the law because we have the Spirit of God living in us, vastly more powerful and effective than the law.  If you will, He is our guardian now. He is our source of godly desires and the power to do the will of God. He is grieved by our sins and wanderings. He is faithful to convict us of our sins and bring us to repentance. He will  never leave us or forsake us. Let us develop a sensitivity to his “tugs” and “pulling” so he can lead us in the way we should go. What wonderful provision God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ has made for those who trust in Jesus Christ.

Pay Close Attention To Yourself and The Holy Spirit

Carl

 

 

 

Knowing God

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Field and forest, vale and mountain,

Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,

Chanting bird and flowing fountain

Call us to rejoice in Thee.

—Genevan Psalter

All mankind has a desire to worship. History shows that man in every age and time, in every location on earth, has worshiped some form of a god.  Deep down inside each person is the desire to worship something. As created beings, we intuitively know that we should be worshiping something greater than ourselves.   The beautiful creation we live in reveals that we are not alone.

“Because that which is knowable concerning God is plainly evident in them, for God made it clear to them; for the things concerning Him which are invisible since the creation of the universe are clearly seen, being understood by means of the things that are made, namely, His eternal power and divine Being, resulting in their being without a defense.   (Wuest Expanded Translation Romans 1:19-20)

His creation testifies of His eternal power and His divine Being to all of mankind,  but it did not matter.  Man’s evil heart prevailed.  Romans 1 continues to say:

“Because, knowing God, not as God did they glorify Him, nor were they grateful, but they became futile in their reasonings, and their stupid heart was darkened. Asserting themselves to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for a likeness of an image of corruptible man and of birds and of quadrupeds and of snakes.” (Wuest Expanded Translation Romans 1: 21-23)

And if you continue to read in Romans, mankind’s situation continued to spiral downward until they called darkness, light.

Though man can know that there is a god by the creation, man can only truly know God The Father through a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Lord said:

“…no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”  (NASB John 14:6)

And after we come to Jesus in repentance and faith in His Gospel, Romans 5:1-2 says:

“….Lord Jesus Christ, though whom also we obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand…”

To help us understand this wonderful statement about what Christ has done for us, I want to share with you Wuest’s article on “entree” which could be perfectly substituted for “introduction” (“access” in KJV) in this verse:

“In Romans 5:2, Paul speaks of the fact that we have access through our Lord into the grace in which we stand. The word “access” is from a Greek word which refers to the act of one who secures for another an interview with a sovereign.

“In the first place, the person thus acting must be close to the king himself. Our Lord dwells in the bosom of the Father. He occupies the place closest to the Father’s affections. He is therefore fitted for His task.

“In the second place, the one for whom this entree has been gained, and the French word most happily gives the meaning of the Greek, must be rendered acceptable to the king. This our Lord did through the blood of His Cross whereby He put away the guilt and penalty of our sin and bestowed upon us a righteousness, even His own standing before the Throne, and thus we are “accepted in the Beloved.” As I Peter 2:7 says, “Unto you therefore that believe is the preciousness.” The preciousness of Jesus in the eyes of God the Father has been imputed to us, as His righteous standing has been imputed. God therefore looks upon us with all the favor with which He looks upon His own well-beloved Son.”

“Then again, the one presented at the High Court of Heaven must be correctly attired. Our Lord clothes us with His own beauty, for He is made unto us sanctification, Paul says. The Father sees us in His Son, not apart from Him.  And the glorious radiance of the One Altogether Lovely shines upon us.”

“Finally, when we have been brought by Him into the place where we have entree into the presence of God, we find that we are standing in His unlimited favor, in unlimited grace. No demand made upon that grace can exhaust it. For time and eternity we are the objects of the Father’s supreme affection, the recipients of His boundless mercies, the favored ones of His matchless grace. “

“Hallelujah! Praise the Lord “by whom we have our permanent entree by faith into this grace in which we stand.””
(Kenneth Wuest)

Not only can we know that there is a God through the witness of creation, but the Lord Jesus Christ, after salvation, brings us into this permanent grace and into the very Throne Room of Heaven where He makes it possible for us to be introduced, or have access, to our new Father.  As Paul said “…and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6)

Let the true worship begin! 

“Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in the time of need.”   (NASB Hebrews 4:16)

Carl