Monday, December 11, 2023

Gift of Grace

Monday, December 11, 2023

Gift of Grace - submitted by Kay Crumley

In this season of gifting, I want to investigate one of the most wonderful gifts we, as His adopted children, have been givenGrace is a word we hear often but do we fully understand the importance of graceA common definition of grace is ‘a smooth and pleasing way of moving or a polite and thoughtful way of behaving.’  That is what is referred to when we compliment someone for being graceful in behaviorBut that is not the way grace is used in the BibleGod’s grace is defined as undeserved favorGod has given us His spontaneous, unmerited favor through His gift of salvation from sin through His Son Jesus Christ.  It is demonstrated in other ways as well throughout scripture.  I have selected two passages to study aspects of grace. 


John opens his gospel confirming that Jesus is truly the Son of GodHe used the witness of John the Baptist to show that Jesus was the true light of the world even though He was not receivedYet, in verse 14 John declared that He was the Word become flesh living among us, humankindThus, he concludes in verses 16-17 of the work of grace through Jesus Christ.  


John 1 

16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 

Jesus gives us ‘grace in place of grace already given’ or ‘grace after grace from His fulness’ or ‘grace upon grace’ or grace for grace, as is seen in various versions of the BibleThat suggests that we had already received grace and now Jesus gives us more or different graceOne commentary explains that God’s grace is never ending, as one piece of divine grace recedes it is replaced by anotherThat is amazingly wonderful newsHis grace to believers is continuous, without interruption or limitationGod gave the law to Moses that set rigid guidelines that were impossible for sinful man to followIts purpose was to show we are unable to live the perfect, blameless lifeJesus brought a new order, one demonstrated by the fullness of graceJesus came to provide a way to have our sins forgiven by His sacrifice which leads us to live a righteous life, one patterned after the character and behavior of our LordWe are not without sin, but we are given the unmerited favor of His sacrifice and love which enables us to be spotless before God, Eph 1:4. 



In the proceeding passages of Hebrews 4, we have the rest in Him explained as that rest we have when we have heard the gospel and accepted itThus, we have become obedient to HimHe has provided eternal rest through His SonThe good news, or bad depending on our position with Jesus, is that nothing is hidden from GodHe sees all our actions and knows our hearts.  His Word is alive and active and judges our thoughts and actions.  However, we have the wonderful gift of our High Priest. 

Hebrews 4 

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. 

We no longer need an intermediary, a priest, who will hear our pleas and deliver them to GodWe have direct access to the Father through the SonJesus walked on earth in human form so knows our weaknessesHe experienced temptations as we do, but He never gave in to those temptations and sinned against His FatherNow, we can come to His throne of grace, undeserved or unearned favor, confidently with the firm assurance that we will receive mercy and graceWhat a blessing we have knowing we can go to God through Jesus Christ, our intercessor, at any time with any needHe is there ready and waiting for us to ‘bare our soul’ to HimHe already knows what our needs are and so is not surprised by our confessions or requestsWe simply need to confess our dependence on Him and seek His grace and mercyBy His mercy we do not receive the punishment we deserveHe shows us undeserved favor and forgives the punishment we deserveThat doesn’t excuse us of consequences of our actions, but it assures believers of the forgiveness of sin which separates us from Him. 


What a beautiful gift we have as His children. This is reason to celebrate Him every day of the year. 



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