What is God’s grace and why do we need it? What if the grace of God was not just Him being gracious to us, but empowering us and enabling us to do what He’s called us to do?
What Is The Grace Of God?
A Look Into The Old Testament (Hebrew) Meaning of Grace
Let’s look at Genesis 6:8, the first occurrence in the Bible about grace. It says,
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
The Hebrew word for grace in this scripture is: chen (noun)
This word means:
- favour, grace, charm
- favour, grace, elegance
- favour, acceptance
So Noah found favour, charm, elegance, acceptance and grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Why is it that Noah found grace or favour in the eyes of the Lord?
Let’s read Genesis 6:5-12:
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
This section of scripture talks about the wickedness of man – that their every intent of the thoughts of their heart was only evil continually
The Lord felt sorry He made man. And then verse 8 goes on to say, “BUT NOAH”.
What do you think was different about Noah?
It says in verse 9 – Noah was:
- a just man
- perfect in his generations
- one who walked with God
For Noah to have these qualities about him would indicate that He’s developed character. The character of Noah made him different from the rest of the people and as a result he found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
The scripture does not say that Noah worked hard to earn God’s grace. In fact, God’s grace was attracted to Noah as a result of his relationship with the Lord.
When you look into the words just and perfect, you find that Noah was about what was lawful and righteousness. He was a man who was sound, healthy, upright and full of integrity,
Now Noah sounds like a person you can trust.
When you walk with someone, what happens?
You get to know their heart, you hear from them and exchange conversation. There’s something special and significant about the relationship you build with that person. For Noah, I can imagine that if he walked with the Lord he got know His heart.
So then, finding grace in the sight of the Lord is not something you can manufacture, work towards or ask for; it’s a gift from the Lord. There’s no equation to grace.
A Look Into The New Testament (Greek) Meaning Of Grace
Let’s look at another verse, this time in the greek language.
The greek word for grace is charis. And the first occurrence of charis is found in Luke 1:30, which says:
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
The word favour in this scripture is grace.
- that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech
good will, loving-kindness, favour
- 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
- what is due to grace
- the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace
- the token or proof of grace, benefit
- a gift of grace
- benefit, bounty
- thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward
Do you suppose Mary had a relationship with the Lord?
I believe she did, just like Noah! She called herself a maidservant or handmaid of the Lord. She was likely surrendered to His Lordship therefore found grace or favour in His sight.
What Does God’s Grace Do?
The grace of God is available for a purpose and does many things:
- God’s grace can be seen
- Acts 11:23 – When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.
- God’s grace is the gospel
- Acts 20:24 – But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
- God’s grace is the passageway to salvation
- Acts 15:11 – But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.
- God’s grace enables and empowers us
- Acts 4:32-35 – All the believers were one in mind and heart. Selfishness was not a part of their community, for they shared everything they had with one another. The apostles gave powerful testimonies about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great measures of grace rested upon them all. Some who owned houses or land sold them and brought the proceeds before the apostles to distribute to those without. Not a single person among them was needy.
- Ephesians 3:8 – To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
- God’s grace is a free gift
- Romans 11:6 – And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
All other religions tell you what you must do to make yourself acceptable to God, what things you must perform, what you must accomplish and what you must do. Christianity, on the other hand, centers on what God has done to make us acceptable to Him.
Grace is unmerited and unearned favour. It is the inexhaustible supply of God’s goodness whereby He does for us what we could never do for ourselves. God’s grace is what He does for us independent of us.
When we look at the references of grace, we find that it’s an environment with which we live. While grace can’t be earned, it must be accessed. You access grace by faith, you don’t earn it.
Access what has been given to you freely so that you can do what God has called you to do!
Anchored in Christ,